Relationships are hard. I think one of the hardest things to do is leave a relationship, despite still being in love with the person. If you are like me, you have also found this to be a constant struggle. I’d eventually reach the point of no return (ready to leave and not come back), but not until I was emotionally ready. This would result in a lot of wasted time, money, and energy. Over the years, I had to ask myself, why do I stay, when I know that I need to leave?
I am a person that generally operates from a pure heart. I love, love. I seemed to attract broken men, and I thought it was because I was supposed to heal them. The men that I previously dated, I chose based on their personalities. Some of them were good-looking, but most were not what I am typically attracted to. Most of them were not morally sound or emotionally stable. When I started dating, the only real red flag that I was taught to look for, was being unequally yoked. My parents pushed that heavy, so I wasn’t aware of the other red flags to look out for when dating. I ignored certain things to give the love that I thought my partner needed. One of my relationships was very toxic and abusive. I wanted to be the difference maker in his life because I thought I saw his potential. Although when I challenged him, it usually ended up turning physical, I thought if I stood up to him, the abuse would stop, and he would learn to respect me, but he did not. I stayed because I loved him and he was a go-getter, actually more like a hustler. That hustler mentality was one of the things that attracted me to him, but he was very deficient in most other areas. I would like to attribute that to his age because he was only 21 and I was 24 when we started dating, but his actions could also be attributed to his upbringing. We were together for five years. I finally left when I realized that enough was enough.
In other relationships, they often also lasted longer than they were supposed to. I focused too much on being in a relationship than bettering myself. I literally would go from one boyfriend to the next, without giving myself a break in between to focus on myself. When the last relationship ended, I settled for situations. They weren’t as demanding as a real relationship, and I thought that I was healing from past relationships in the process. I deceived myself into thinking that I wasn’t going to fall in love or give too much of myself to that person. I set myself up for failure, time and time again.
Situationships for me, was a friend with benefits. A person that I could have fun with, and not have to keep up with their ins and outs. Looking back, I do not know why I did this to myself. I am a lover! I care and want to do things for people to show my love for them. I thought that I could handle casual relationships, but I couldn’t. In each situationship, I caught feelings because although we weren’t official, I was only sleeping with that one person. I never felt comfortable sleeping with more than one person at a time, and therefore developed feelings that I tried to hide. On about two occasions, the situationships lasted over a year. I allowed them to continue because I wanted to keep my body count low, and I also thought that a real relationship would develop.
So when do you stay in a relationship or situationship that is no longer serving you? My answer is, NEVER! Honestly, a situationship will never serve you, at least not as a woman. The man is using you for everything he can get from you, while he also entertains other women. It’s very selfish, but if someone is going to give you everything upfront, there’s no need to put in the work. This is how men think about situationships. For monogamous relationships, there are many factors to consider when deciding whether to stay or go. In general, if a relationship is failing, it is usually because of one or two things. The first reason is because of bad communication. Communication is the key to everything. When there is a communication breakdown, both parties are misunderstood, conversations are impossible to have, insecurity sets in, the love may leave, the attraction goes down, and many other issues can arise. Relationships do not have to end if there is a lack of communication, because great communication has to be developed. Most people do not realize that communication isn’t automatically established just because you are in a relationship. It takes intentionally being open and honest about everything that is going on in the relationship. The saying “closed mouths don’t get fed,” is very applicable here. A person won’t know how you feel, what you expect, what you like or dislike if you don’t speak up. If you’ve chosen this person to give your time or life to, then make sure you both create a space of transparency, where there is honesty without judgment, animosity, anger, or fear. If effective communication can not be established, then everything else in the relationship will eventually break down. When this happens, it’s time to move on.
The second reason a relationship may be failing is because of the lack of trust. Trust issues kill most relationships before they even get started. Many women get cheated on in the dating phase and then get into a relationship and the cheating never stops. I want to be sensitive here because many women believe that they have a valid reason to stay with a cheating man. They need him for his financial stability or they want to keep their family together for the children’s sake. Ladies, this is a huge mistake, and you have to leave. I know that it is often easier said than done, but you owe it to yourself to get back your self-worth. Leave! If you need a plan in place where you stay, but you are stacking your money in the process, do it! If you need to stay with friends or family members, do it! Whatever you have to do for your sanity, do it! If trust has not been broken in cheating, it may be broken through lies about finances, job status, marital status, whether or not they have children, or the number of children that they have. You can’t allow yourself to be subject to lies and manipulation. This is mental abuse, and you need to leave. Also, if someone is playing games by being inconsistent, or not committing to you, leave! If a person is unsure about your presence, make that person sure about your absence!
Notice that I did not mention the lack of love. When there is a lack of love, it’s mostly because there is a lack of communication and or a lack of trust. Love is built on the strong strong foundation. Never stay in a relationship where you’ve tried to make it work, and nothing you’ve done resulted in any lasting improvement. It is easy to change for a day, a month, or even a year, but if you notice they have returned to the behaviors that they know are unacceptable, it’s time to let it go. There are too many people out here, to be unhappy in a relationship. You may have to leave while still loving that person, and that is o.k. When your partner shows that they do not want and cherish you by lying, cheating, not committing, being manipulative, and or displaying any signs of abuse (verbal, mental, physical), then you need to leave. I don’t care if you are dating, engaged, or married. It won’t be the end of the world. You’ll find love again. It takes two people, doing everything in their power to be selfless. open, honest, respectful, and faithful, in a relationship to make it work.
~Peace, Love, and Blessings~