Brittle Leave


Ending a relationship long troubled by mixed sentiments is never easy. May be at first a feeling of relief is noticed but then the consequences become painstakingly clear. You have recognized you have to move on, no matter what. For those who thought differently this is about mentoring. At a certain moment in time a mentoring relationship becomes mature and at its final stage (never precisely determined at what time during the relationship it occurs) a point comes where travelers choose different roads to go on. It is a familiar problem in mentoring (1). The mentor being disappointed after so many hours of attention and care falls back in soul searching about what went right and where chances were missed. The mentee still ignorant about how to go on but confident in personal ability to pursue reassesses the relationship as one that has lost prospects.  Establishing that moment of leave is both complicated and frightening.

In a mentoring study it was sought to determine whether different patterns in talks between a mentor and a mentee occurred depending on the phase or stage of a relationship. It turned out that the nature of communication changed over time. At later phases of a relationship more action oriented speech acts initiated by the mentor and advice giving talk were present. Whereas in early stages of a mentoring relation more orienting and questioning speech acts were noted.

It is almost as if in a relationship it is felt that conditions and needs have changed or matured above what can be offered or provided. It is not only courageous to dare to break the relationship at that point  it is wanted.

Question though remains: is the new and challenging situation do-able and sustainable to act upon by the independent self-regulator. You never know.   No matter what, in mature relationships the part that comes  after a leave is also ruled by positive intentions of care and welfare. Nothing ends definitely, it only continuous differently.