At some point or another, most of us have found ourselves in a relationship that we’re unsure of. And the folly of these relationships is that they are so often with a person who is objectively wonderful. They are the people our friends and families love, the ones who can support us in solid, steady ways, the ones who should not, by any means, make us unsure of our care or devotion.
But alas, they do.
These people make us feel crazy for questioning them – they are everything we’ve been taught to want in someone else and yet we cannot seem to bridge the gap between wanting to want them and actually doing so. We endlessly try to look deeper, love harder, overcome whatever must be flawed within us that is preventing us from loving them with all of our hearts.
But here is what nobody ever tells you about those relationships: You don’t have to maintain them. You don’t have to stay in them. You don’t have to keep half-loving this person, just because every logical part of you knows that you should.
If you don’t love the way their eyes light up when they’re talking about what they’re most passionate about, then you should let that person go. If you hate the way they talk in their sleep and chuckle too loudly and take too long to make every decision, then they are not the person for you. If you are staying with the person you’re with primarily because they are good and kind and well meaning and you feel as though you don’t have a valid enough reason to leave them, then you already have every right to walk away.
Because here’s the thing about the person that you cannot decide on: somebody out there is 100% sure of them. Someone out there has been walking around looking for a person who mumbles in their sleep and snickers at all the wrong moments and deliberates heavily over every decision they have to make. Somebody out there adores their favorite sport team that you abhor and finds their awkward nature endearing and likes that they would rather read a book then head out to a party. Somebody out there is searching for someone exactly like the person you’re not sure of but they haven’t been able to find them – because they’re in a relationship with you.
I’m not asking you to play the martyr here. I’m not asking you to give up what you love 70% of the time because somebody else could love them better. But here’s what I will ask you to consider – what if, somewhere out there, the exact person you’re looking for is stuck in a half-satisfactory relationship with someone else? What if there’s a person out there who laughs at all the right moments and makes decisions swiftly and wants to go to all the parties you want to go to, and stay home when you want to stay home?
What if this person is the one that you’re supposed to be with – not your soul mate per se, but a pretty damn good fit? What if the two of you could have conversations that wind on for hours, what if their presence would shock you wide awake on your most exhausted days, what if the passion and fire that burned on between you was something you never thought you’d feel for another human being?
What if somewhere out there there’s a person who’s right for you in all the ways that matter but they’re unavailable – because they’re stuck in a relationship with someone whom they love 70% of the time? What if that person goes to bed every night assuring themselves that they are being too picky – that the person they’re with is good and kind and well-meaning and they shouldn’t expect to have it all? What if they hope and suspect that there is someone like you out there for them, but they aren’t sure where you are or how to find you, so they just stay where they are? What if the only thing standing in the way of you finding each other is your own refusals to leave what you know in your heart of hearts to be wrong?
If you are with someone you’re unsure of, you need to let that person go. Let them go to find the person who adores their quirks, relishes their silences, adores the tiny nuances that drive you slowly mad. Let that person go so that you are free to find the person who loves you the way that you need to be loved – not just the way you’ve convinced yourself is the best you’re going to get.
Someday, someone is going to be unbelievably happy that you left your current partner.
And if you play it right, that person is going to be you.