Have you ever stayed in a relationship knowing full well that it’s not going anywhere and you would be better off without it? I have, and in retrospect, I wonder why did I not walk out. I had all the reasons, all the red flags I could ask for, yet I stayed put.
You maybe shaking your head in denial, but many of us (especially women) stay in relationships beyond their glaring expiry date. And when I say red flags, I don’t mean the obvious deal breakers – like lies, cheating, broken trust, abuse, etc. I am referring to silent killers – lack of love, lack of interest, lack of spark, inability to see the two of you together in near future, lack of compatibility, inability to push the other to be the best version of themselves, etc.
These signs are easy to look away from, but that doesn’t make them any less dangerous for your relationship’s survival. Yet we look away. We don’t end relationships that are not meant to be. And we have our reasons for it.
- Being alone is scary. We all need love and companionship, someone to come home to, someone to call when you are beaten down, someone to share the good news with. Even if not all of our emotional needs are met, we stay put, because that person is also a friend.
- Gone too far. Physical intimacy is tricky, because it binds us to one another. Once you have stepped over your personal threshold, you feel trapped. When love walks out of the door, guilt becomes the only elephant in the room.
- You don’t want to accept your failure. Once again. You know that you chose the wrong man, but being with him might be easier than accepting your mistake and ‘losing face’ with friends and family. You don’t want to be the person who just can’t make relationships work.
- What if you are wrong, and being too hasty? Every relationship has problems, and what if you are confusing those bumps for roadblocks? You constantly question yourself, and can’t decide whether it has really expired.
- Because the other person is madly in love with you. It is one of the worst tragedies but happens more often than not. You feel indebted. The other person goes to all kinds of lengths to make you happy, and even though you don’t feel as fiercely, you stay with them, as you wouldn’t want to break a heart. While yours drowns quietly.
Being in a wrong relationship does nobody any good; ending it might hurt for a while but it is as necessary. It takes a whole lot of courage to do it, and I hope you can find it in your heart to walk out when you have arrived at it – the end.
But before you do, make sure you have exhausted all options to make it work. Some reasons can’t be worked out but others can be fixed. If it is lack of interest and dying flame, take a romantic and luxe vacation somewhere. Talk to each other; explicitly communicate your expectations if disappointment is the core of your problems. And make room for other people in your life, so it takes the entire weight of your happiness off your partner. Friends and family can come handy.
Being in love is easy; staying in love is back-breaking. When it’s good, it’s worth all the effort. Don’t be hasty and make sure you have exhausted all options and remedies. But once you know it’s dead, don’t drag the corpse around. Give it a dignified burial and move on.