This Is Why We Can’t Let Go Of People Who Aren’t Good For Us (Even Though We Should)

Tord Sollie

I knew from the start you were “that asshole” but I have a comical way of thinking that I can be the one to impact someone, to change them. I naïvely think I will make a difference, so I attempt to. I try to be the one who let’s them in, the one who gives them chance after chance to prove to me they aren’t a bad person.

You were slightly different. The guy I met three years ago isn’t the same guy I know now. The guy I know now has a sweet side, but has a hard time showing it. He doesn’t like to expose his emotions. He covers them up at all cost. It’s been three years and I still can’t figure out why.

I can’t figure out what it is about you that keeps me around, either. I put 120 percent into the relationship, while you put in a mere 40 to 50 percent, on a good day. But I still stay hanging around.

I keep holding on. I keep telling myself things will get better, that you do care about me. I tell myself that you have a hard time showing affection. I tell myself that you show you care about me in different ways, even though I’m not entirely sure what those ways are. I keep twisting things in my head because I didn’t want to accept not having you in my life.

I should have known by the way you would only make time for me when it was convenient for you. I should have known when you didn’t want me to know the little personal details of your life that I so openly shared with you. I should have known that you really didn’t care when I’d invite you to dinners, parties, or even my own house and you always treated it like a chore. I should have known especially when you wouldn’t come based off who else would be there.

I had hoped over and over again. I hoped that maybe if I opened up to you, you would in turn open up to me. Instead I just kept making a fool of myself; I kept opening up for you to not even respond, time and time again. Maybe it wasn’t even that you didn’t have any stories you wanted to share, maybe they weren’t your stories to tell. But instead of not reciprocating with your own words, you would simply disregard me. I would maybe get a head nod, a couple words, maybe a look, and I still kept trying.

The question remains, why did I stay somewhere I was clearly unwanted? Why did I try so hard for something that was a dead end street? I kept trying, kept pushing, kept hoping for a new road to be built, but instead there wasn’t one and everything I was yearning for was out of reach.

I think the reason we stay holding on so long is because people like that know what they’re doing. All it takes is one random compliment out of the blue, a nice gesture, something atypical of them and it sends us wanting more. It satisfies the feeling we felt all along because deep down we knew they were capable of being that person. The person they allowed us to see for a few seconds. We knew they weren’t as cold as they present themselves.

It’s that one second; that one compliment that keeps us hanging on. It makes us do crazy things, it makes us put in the 120 percent because more than anything we want them to love us. We want them to realize that they’re lucky they have us and that we are better than they deserve, even though that will never make them want us more. It will never make them change. But we keep trying because we can’t let them go. Thought Catalog Logo Mark


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