Instead, this is a fast and furious reality check. I’m calling you out! Yeah… YOU.
You know who you are. You’re the one still in a relationship with a person who treats you like shit (and has for weeks/months/years). You vacillate between blaming your partner and blaming yourself. You feel miserable in private, and angry and bitter in public. You’ve told your partner how you feel, and he or she promised things would change “soon” … but they haven’t.
Because “soon” is just a code word for “someday”, and “someday” actually means “NEVER.”
The days drone on, but you’re afraid to pull the trigger on your dead, unhappy, passionless, predictable, unsatisfying relationship. Your friends and family are sick of hearing about it, and you’re tired of feeling like shit all the time. But still, you stay … And, you bitch … And, you stay … And, you hope … And, you stay … And, you complain … And, you stay…
You know who’s responsible for all of this? … YOU. Not necessarily because you created the situation. Not because you’re a bad person. And certainly not because you’re unworthy of love and happiness.
You’re responsible because you’re aware things just don’t work between you and your partner anymore.
You know you’re unhappy — and that your partner isn’t happy either. And that awareness means you are not a hapless, helpless victim — YOU ARE A PARTICIPANT. You’re actively participating in your own misery. You wish things were different, but YOU AREN’T TAKING ACTION! You hope things will change, but YOU AREN’T CHANGING THEM!
If you’re looking for a sign from the universe, THIS IS IT.
If you want a life (and relationship) that’s different/better/happy/amazing/[insert positive adjective here], YOU are the one who must change it. “Why?” you ask? Because you are in charge of you. Every day when you wake up, you have the same choice: Live a life that makes you happy, or not. Reach for what you want, or not. Create a positive life … OR NOT.
So far, your choice is “not” … and that will never work out long-term for you. You’ll remain stunted, depressed, unhappy, and leading a life that’s unfulfilling, empty, and lacking passion.
So, is this straight up enough for you?
Are we on the same page yet? Yes? GOOD! Because anytime someone orchestrates their own unhappiness, they need a wake up call — a proverbial slap in the face.
If you’re wondering what to do now, that means you’re shifting your thinking. You are now — perhaps finally — getting the hell out of your own way and are ready to make changes that will increase your satisfaction in life and love, and get you what you say you want: happiness.
It’s time to detox your love life, and the best way to do that is by being honest … with yourself. Here’s how to do it:
1. Accept that you’re worthy of better
Stop what you’re doing and go look in the mirror. The person you see is worthy of love. Stop trying to convince yourself otherwise … NO EXCUSES!
Too fat, too thin, too out, too in, too busy, too broke, too much trouble, too many assholes, too much baggage, too little time, too much drama, too many bills, too late, too old … STOP! Just as you are, you are worthy. We’re all works-in-progress.
2. Really look at your relationship
Seriously, really look at it with honest eyes. Someone who loves you builds you up and doesn’t break you down. Someone who loves you supports your passions. He or she doesn’t make you feel inadequate.
That partner looks for ways to add to your happiness, not insist on being the entire source of it. A real partner loves who you are, not just what you do for him or her.
3. Accept that you can’t make your partner change
Stop trying to twist your partner into the mold that works for you. Right or wrong, good or bad for you — your partner is his or her own person. Your bewilderment/frustration won’t change anyone, and only hurts you. People change when they’re damn well good and ready. If someone won’t address your needs, it doesn’t necessarily make either one of you bad people … it means you two aren’t compatible. Period. End. Full stop.
4. Stop trying to make it all better
You can’t take care of someone else or yourself through a breakup or separation. Breakups suck … which is why so many people stay in relationships that make them miserable rather than leave; it’s easier to stay and remain silently miserable than leave and face the mystery of life on your own. But here’s the thing: You will never find the light unless you risk the dark.
5. Moving on means actually moving on
Unfriend. Delete. And quit stalking your ex from your best friend’s Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr/Instagram; you aren’t fooling anyone, and you look desperate. Maybe you and your ex will become friendly acquaintances later … but that’s later (which is far, far away from today). For now, you need a clear separation to let go of what was, and then move on to what will be. There is no way to start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one.
Your life is your own to live, but when you dwell in the past, you prevent yourself from creating a happy future. Get real with yourself and accept that things don’t always go the way we think they should. It sucks, but it’s part of adult life.
Now … is all this easy to say and hard to do? Absolutely. But the secret is to just start … and it will get easier as you go.