Relationships, Friends and Split Ends

Dear Stressed and Stranded,

Don’t you just love a fresh hair cut? Everything about it is wonderful: it curls better, hair looks healthier and shinier, the style lasts longer, etc. Just makes me smile! And you know what can easily turn that smile upside-down? A split end. Oh, I absolutely despise those little critters! They’re like little leeches, sucking the life out of a sharp hairstyle. I hate them with a passion!

I have naturally curly hair which apparently predisposes me to disobedient strands that may split as my hair grows longer. Boo!!! So, I’m at that point where I just want to cut off all my hair and start all over again. But I keep punking out. I finally started letting my hair grow back after wearing it short for 7-8 years, and now I’m ready to cut it off again? And why am I so hesitant to let it go? It’s just hair. I’ve had it long and I’ve also worn it very short. What’s my hold up this time? Well, all this talk about long hair and split ends somehow got me thinking about relationships (I know, I cook up the strangest correlations sometimes. Sue me! Lol). Hence the reason for this here blog post. Some friendships and relationships are just like split ends. And we hold on to them anyway for a number of reasons/excuses…

Winter is Coming

Because I get cold very easily, I enjoy having a little extra protection on my neck in the Winter. I can tuck my hair in the collar of my shirt and then wrap a scarf around my neck to lock in the warmth. Why would someone want to cut off all that comfort and protection when Winter is coming? Who cares if some of the hair is split or damaged? Likewise, many individuals will hang on to a bad relationship simply because Winter is on the way. They love the comfort of a warm body- even if the relationship is damaged. So they stay stranded in a stressed out relationship. If they can just make it through the cold, snow and ice, they’ll let it go when the season changes. Or so they tell themselves.

Too Much Time Invested

Ever envy someone with really long hair and then when you get up close you see how jacked up it is? It’s dry, brittle and lifeless. The split ends have split ends! Oh, but at least it’s long! Ooh, that’s so not cute, is it? It’s also not too cute to know someone is holding on to a terrible friendship or staying in a bad relationship just because they’ve been in it for so long. They have so much time invested they just can’t imagine cutting their losses now. Maybe it’ll get better…? NOT!

I Can “Fix” It

This may be the worst excuse of all. Split ends (or trichoptilosis, if you want to be technical) are typically caused by an excess of heat, stress, and styling. No matter how much you try to smooth them out, seal them together, straighten or curl them, they just don’t go away. In fact, the split just grows higher up the hair shaft until the hair eventually breaks off. The truth of the matter is, split ends are irreparable. And so it is with unhealthy relationships. Unless both parties are willing to sacrifice for the sake of the relationship and themselves, it’s not going to work. I don’t care how much you try to dress it up or sex it up, you two will end up breaking up if you both don’t deal with the root of the damage. And sometimes, even when you do deal with it, it may still make sense to let it go if it’s the only way to keep both of you healthy.

The Only Cure

So, how do you deal with split ends in your friendships and romantic relationships? You must cut off the damage. Deal with it head on. Just getting rid of the symptoms is not good enough. You have to cut off everything that is not contributing to the health of your relationship. Otherwise, one of two things will happen: either you’ll stay in a dry stressed out, broken relationship that never seems to grow, OR you’ll break up but develop a pattern of similar results in your future relationships. If you have the right tools, you can handle this on your own. But sometimes you may have to get the professionals involved- you know like getting a good hair cut. If you don’t have the right scissors, you will traumatize your tresses even more. So, be sure to get the support you need to empower you to get the job done right this time. And by all means, don’t leave God out of the equation. He created you. In fact, He has every hair on your head numbered. Trust me, He would rather you cut off all the unhealthy stuff, than have you grow into your own demise. Ladies, don’t settle for brittle and battered when you can be beautiful and bouncy! 😉

Practically Yours,

~The Practical Chick

P.S. If you are dealing with domestic violence, help is available to you! Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1 (800) 799-SAFE (7233) or log onto http://www.thehotline.org.  Advocates are available 24/7. Anonymous and confidential.

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