I sometimes conceptualize relationships as a living breathing organism that needs attention and care. In the beginning of a relationship, you have to start somewhat carefully and nurture it. You have to spend time with the other person and while some relationships may be easy, a strong one requires you to be deliberate. It doesn’t happen overnight. You solve misunderstandings and constantly assess what’s needed in order to make it stronger. You invest copious amounts of time and energy in the hope that it will be reciprocated and that you will get the results you desire. Sometimes this involves fighting for the relationship and defending it. Prioritizing it when it’s not always convenient and making amends when there is a conflict. This means that a relationship can be like an actual project. Recently I’ve been evaluating my friendships and relationships with others. I’ve realized that there are times that you have to literally step away from a friendship or relationship for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the reason is that after you’ve put in time, invested energy and resources and nurtured it, you have to see if it can survive on its own. This sometimes happens with distance. But it can also be a deliberate choice to test the strength of the relationship to see if it can last without being nurtured all the time. The truth is that sometimes the only way to know if you’ve done good work is to step away and see if it can stand alone without assistance. Many times this process isn’t easy but in the end it’s worth it because you know where you stand and you can decide if the relationship is actually worth your continued time and energy.