On the whole, we’re too passive. Too many of us will tolerate life’s avoidable abhorrences for far too long before, if ever, confronting them. We don’t send our sandwich back when it comes slathered in a Mississippi-esque amount of mayonnaise despite requesting the mayo be on the side. We’ll sympathize with our frustrated dieting friends, making sure to avoid directly stating that their extra weight isn’t a result of their “large bone structure” but rather from their inability to resist eating an entire family-sized bag of Ruffles and jar of cheese dip for dinner. Life’s already too short, but we’ll still smile and nod as we knowingly waste our time each day listening to that coworker verbally vomit through another monotonous tale about his unsightly, sticky-fingered children—both his biological and his Sims varieties.
In short, this country has too many Cheryl Davids and not enough Larrys.
Relationships are like gambling. Call it quits too early and people call you an impatient child. But stay in a losing game too long and you risk being ten years in and so far down, financially and emotionally, that there’s no chance of ever breaking even. Now this is not an exclusive list by far, but here are five signs that you need to disregard your partner’s feelings, seize the day, and make the pragmatic decision to channel your inner refugee and bolt to freedom.
There are likely some exceptions to these out there, but don’t cling for years to the notion that you’re the exception when contrasting evidence is everywhere around you. Destroying a six-month-old spider web is a lot easier than destroying one that’s taken fifteen years to weave and now has two kids, joint bank accounts, and an unlovable family dog entwined in it.
1. The Only Trait You Enjoy is Their Body
Every decision you make with your partner is motivated by an insatiable desire to jam your fun parts together. You’ll find yourself willfully enduring countless terrible conversations, Applebee’s dinners, and sequels to Baby Geniuses and the entire time you’ll be fixated on your watch, wondering how much more you need to put up with until you two can retire to a bed/shower/disgustingly-crusty beanbag to yum up some sweaty, loveless lust. In the end, it doesn’t matter how well your puzzle pieces fit together, if you find everything else about the person objectionable it’s going to be a lot easier, quicker, and better to solidify your relationship with your strong hand than with them.
2. You’re Completely Numb
There’s nothing that excites you about this person anymore, but it also isn’t like you’ve settled into a comfortable, fun rhythm like a couple in a Cheerios or Cialis commercial. Depressingly, and through the logical power of physics, inertia is the only explanation you can attribute to remaining together. You’ve been phoning it in, and, while that might be more than enough to sludge through the inane small talk and email forwards at work, it’s become a recipe for a sad, detached personal life. Given, it’s less work to stay on a hopelessly lost bus, but the sooner you take action and get off the less of your life you’re going to waste.
3. Being With Them is Exhausting
It’s not an insane exercise regiment, a ravenous appetite for sex marathons, or an undiagnosed case of Attention Deficit Disorder that makes this person excessively tiring. No, this partner is like a day full of office meetings; there’s minimal physical activity but all their problems get dumped on you and at the end of the day all you want to do sob uncontrollably in a sleeping bag while you eat a block of sharp cheddar in the dark.
4. You’re Wishing for Something to Get in the Way
It’s like hoping for a band-aid to naturally decompose or get ripped off by a smelly toddler so you don’t actually have to take any action. Or like wishing for your dog to run away immediately after he bit that mailman’s face so you don’t have to deal with the fallout. Despite having no desire to stay together, you have even less of a desire to initiate an awkward, break-up conversation. So, instead, you tolerate the relationship, yearning for the day when you can disguise the delight in your voice and say to them, “Sorry the war has continued and you got drafted. Oh well, at least we gave it a shot.”
5. You Figure Things Will Get Better Over Time
It doesn’t work like a unionized job. Relationship seniority can give way to things like living together, children, and marriage, but, much like Italy, by itself it does nothing to solve problems. You can gloss over things, sweep them under the rug, take a Penn-State approach, whatever you call it; if you don’t deal with issues they’ll find a way to manifest themselves at some point in the future. Maybe he starts grinding her teeth. Perhaps she finds stress-eating, stress-drinking, stress-texting, and stress-driving all at once is the only way she can eventually cope. Or, conceivably, he could rediscover Star Trek and develop a William-Shatner-esque response time when it comes to his partner and pool emergencies.