My nieces are such a great resource for helping me to remember not only what I went through when I was dating, but we talk about things they are currently going through as well. They are in their mid 20′s, quite the intelligent young women filled with much more insight and the ability to be introspective than I was at their age.
The topic of conversation last night was breaking up and why we stay in relationships too long. Not only have I personally experienced being in a relationship WAY too long and where fighting was normal, but the up and down drama became a routine. Somehow we justify this because when it’s “good” it’s really good, but when it’s “bad” it makes your life miserable. And then there are the litany of excuses to stay. Here are just few we came up with.
1. Afraid you won’t find someone else that you will feel as familiar and comfortable with:
Not only will you absolutely find someone that you are comfortable with, but the right relationships for you will not be so difficult. Just think about the abundant amount of single people seeking a relationship. AND….remember, it’s NOT suppose to be that difficult. There is an ease and flow when you find the right partner for you. Paste this message on your bathroom mirror!
2. Afraid the other person will be better or “fixed” with someone else:
Think about this….So What?? Staying in this relationship only traps you both. You are not only dishonoring yourself by staying in the relationship, but you are keeping them in the relationship as well. If your partner will work better with someone else, this also means that YOU will work better with someone else. This also stems from your own insecurity and your ego. You do not need to obtain your own self importance by trying to fix someone else. Begin doing exercises to boost your own self worth and let go of the ego desire to control someone else’s life. It’s not your place to keep someone trapped when setting the relationship free could be the most honoring thing for both your lives.
3. Better to have someone than to be alone or lose your safety net.
Really? Is your own company that bad that you would rather feel mediocre all the time than feel happy? In my opinion, learning the skill of being happy and whole on your own without needing someone else’s approval or acceptance is crucial before being in a committed relationship. When you come from a place of being healthy and secure within who you are and embrace your own ability to self soothe, then your relationships will change. You will drop the need to stay in a relationship too long because you have the confidence in yourself to be in the world without a partner and have fun! What a concept…have fun on your own and begin doing those things that you put on the back burner while you were in a relationship. Become your own safety net!
4. Break up process and confrontation is scary.
In perfect world, ending a relationship would be a mutually comfortable decision. This is rare. Telling someone that you want out is not easy, however doing it skillfully and gently is important. Being loving and honest is important. Make sure you allow your partner their feelings and simply let them know that the relationship is not working for your life. Chances are that if you are unhappy, they are unhappy too.
I am sure there are many more excuses why we stay in a relationship too long, but when you are unhappy in a relationship and have explored different options to heal it, making the decision to end it is the next step. I would not recommend ending a relationship when you are in the middle of an argument or angry with the other person. It will not stick because when you get back on that “high” again with the other person you will end up back together. This decision should come from a place of balance. Sit quietly and ask yourself, is this how I want to live my life? Is there more pain than joy in this relationship? More fighting and struggle than peace? Is there ongoing dis-satisfaction? Do you like yourself in this relationship?
You know in your heart if you are simply making excuses to stay in an unhappy relationship or if the relationship is just going through a bad patch.
Remember, these points:
- It’s not suppose to be that hard
- Do things that you have put on the back burner
- Learn to enjoy your own company
- There is someone who is a better fit for you
Take a breath, be honest with yourself and take action!