I truly believe that our strongest desire as humans is to love and be loved in return. Therefore, it’s no wonder we stay in relationships, even when deep inside a little voice is telling us that we need to move on.
I am not a relationship therapist. What I do have to offer, however, are opinions that I can share, learned from my own personal experiences and observations of others. Most of these opinions were formed after splitting up with a boyfriend I had been with for six years. Sadly, at about year three or four, deep down I felt that we weren’t meant to be, but I stayed in the relationship for a couple more years, anyway. I’m sure many of you have similar stories.
Here are three reasons I think most of us choose to ignore that little voice inside, and wrongly ‘stick it out’…
1. There’s no real reason to break up. You know one another really well, you have your regular routine, you have fun together most of the time, and to make things more difficult, you have good relationships with the other person’s friends and family members. Simply put: You’re comfortable.
Also, you really care about this person, but deep down you feel they aren’t the one you’re meant to grow old with, for whatever reason. So what are you supposed to do? Should you use your next argument as an excuse to finally say, “It’s over”? Or just wait it out and hope they leave you first?
Here’s a thought that might make it easier to say “good-bye”: The sooner you set that person free, the sooner they can move on and find a better match for themselves. They deserve that. Be brave enough to hurt that person’s feelings for the greater good of both parties involved.
2. You fear that this person is the best you’re going find. As much as I absolutely adore Disney movies such as Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella, sometimes I wonder if they do us a disservice. They make us believe at a very young age in the fairytale notion that there is only ONE true love out there in the world; therefore, deep down we’re afraid of letting the other person go in fear they are IT. After all, what if you never find anyone better and then you spend the rest of your days regretting that break up? The truth of the matter is, as my Dad told me after splitting with “six year guy,” there are many people out there we could live “happily ever after” with. Know your own self worth and have the confidence to let Mr./Ms. Wrong go when that inner voice screams that it’s time.
On a very personal note: Admittedly, it’s difficult for me to say the statements I just said, considering my own situation. I have been unbelievably blessed with a truly wonderful husband who is the absolute love of my life. We both say that we are a match made in heaven and we can’t imagine being this happy with anyone else. But if I were to get struck by a bolt of lightening tomorrow, I hope Jeff knows that he can and should move forward and find someone else when he feels the time is right. He deserves that “happily ever ever” more than anyone else I know. (Deep Breath)… ok, I’m wiping away tears so I can continue on here…
3. Lastly, you fear that the other person will find someone else if you let them go. It sounds selfish (and it is), but often times we’re afraid to let a person go because we fear they will find someone else…maybe even someone better or too quickly! Then, if you suddenly realize that breaking it off was a big mistake, you won’t be able to get back together. Needless to say, this isn’t fair. You can drive yourself crazy with all of the “what if’s” in the world, but the bottom line is, your gut usually tells you when you’re with the wrong person. Trust in that. Even though it might hurt when they find someone else, remind yourself of the “this person isn’t the one for me” feeling you felt when you were together. Know that you made the right decision by letting them go. Then do your best to be happy for that person. (I know what you’re thinking: “Yeah, sure… Good luck with THAT.” Doesn’t mean we can’t try.)
One last note: you can rarely change a person who doesn’t want to be changed.
Can you relate with any of the reasons above? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.
(Please note that planning the demise of your ex is not an option. Jeff told me to write that. )