When I listen to friends of mine and their relationship dramas, there is by far no greater tragedy than the ones who have been dating the same guy for years, and staying in the wrong relationships.
We all know the reasons they are doing it: The safety, security, fear of loneliness, fear of starting over, and so on.
But here’s the thing: Nothing is 100% safe or secure. And the more important question to ask yourself is: Does safety and security equal happiness? Not necessarily.
The sad truth is we always find a way to justify staying with someone who isn’t right for us. These are three of the most common excuses:
- We’ve been together so long
You say to yourself, Well, I’ve invested so much time, why throw it all away? Reframe your perspective and think of it like this: Do I want to waste more time? I spent years of my life in a dead-end relationship; so do I really want to waste another ten years being unhappy?
Should I keep wearing the same shirt even when it has ten holes in it? Leave it in the past where it belongs. Go out and try on something new.
- I still care about him/her
“Love conquers all” does not apply if you fought every day for the past six months and you two aren’t on the same page when it comes to your future and where your relationship is going. Being attached to someone is not a good enough reason to hold on.
I admit I’ve been guilty of this. I have knowingly dated someone who told me from Day One, “I don’t want a girlfriend,” but I thought I could change his mind. My inner-dialogue went something like this: He’ll see how great I am and will want to commit. He wants to date me, but just doesn’t know it yet.
I let myself fall for too many emotionally unavailable men, and if I could go back in time I would do a lot of things differently. Stop getting caught up in the “someday” trap. Someday he will treat me better. Someday he will be who I want him to be. All that matters is here and now, who he is in this moment. The future is a fantasy, and trying to predict what will happen is a waste of time and energy.
- I’m afraid I won’t find someone like him/her
What’s worse? Settle and remain stuck in a relationship that doesn’t make you happy? Or take some space for yourself and be on your own for awhile?
Trust me, being alone is better than being in the wrong relationship. I’ll never forget something my friend once told me after ending a five-year relationship, “I felt so alone even when I was with him.” I think this is so profound because this is what so many people in the wrong relationships won’t admit to themselves. It’s only after it’s over that the truth comes out. She was living a lie, but the fear of starting over kept her from leaving.
Every relationship teaches you something about yourself; some lessons bigger than others. The truth is some relationships just have an expiration date. Plain and simple. Stop wasting time.
Reflect on the reason this person came into your life and then let him or her go.