Have you ever been out with a couple and thought to yourself, they shouldn’t be together? Maybe it’s because of how one of the partners treated the other, because they constantly argued or simply an energy you picked up on, but you didn’t say anything because technically it’s wasn’t your place to. However, what do you do when you’re the one in the relationship that’s not working out? Do you end it? Do you stay in the relationship hoping things will change or do you stay in the relationship because it’s easier to maintain the status quo than it is to leave?
Recently, I had dinner with a friend and his girlfriend. The girlfriend was very much committed to the relationship, even being willing to move to another state to sustain it. My guy friend on the other hand had clearly checked out of the relationship. He was seeing his future as a single man and longed for his freedom. Problem was he wasn’t quite sure how to end the relationship. He was too emotionally involved, his family knew and liked his girlfriend and he didn’t want to break her heart. So four years later as she’s contemplating marriage, he’s still trying to figure a way out of the relationship. Whenever the break-up does happen, it’s not only going to be devastating for her but both of their lives will be changed forever. Does this sound familiar to you?
It didn’t have to be this way. Usually within the first six months to year of a relationship, the parties involved are aware of where they see the relationship going. This is the point where the person who may not see the relationship going long-term should let the other person know how they feel. Breaking up with someone is never easy, but if it has to be done this is the time to do it. Before feelings become intensified and the other person can walk away with little to no baggage. However, when you stay in the relationship for an extended amount of time thinking you are “preserving the other person’s feelings” or because it’s easier to stay in it than to leave, you are not doing what’s in the highest good for yourself or your partner. If you really loved him/her, you would let it go. Let them have the freedom and opportunity to meet someone else who will love them in the way you are not able to. It also gives you the freedom and opportunity to attract the type of love and relationship you truly desire and deserve.
This advice also works in reverse. If you are in a relationship with someone and within the first six months to a year into the relationship you sense your partner’s feelings are not as strong as yours or if you and your partner’s vision of the relationship’s future is not aligned, this is the time to have a serious conversation with him/her and gain an understanding of where he/she is. After having this discussion, it is up to you to give it some critical thought and decide if this relationship is right for you. Is it worth your time? Don’t allow guarding your heart to be someone else’s responsibility when it is yours.
Are you in a relationship where it’s been challenging for you to depart? Have you ever been in this type of relationship? Do you have any advice you’d like to share with someone in this situation?
Photo: Edgar Dacosta / Flickr