Everyone has been in one.
They are the relationships that we stay in despite our second guessing, our constant questioning, and our ever knowing that the person that we are with is not the person that we should be with.
Yet, we stay. Another day, another month, another year goes by and you are stagnant in a relationship that you are completely unsure about. But nothing better has come along, so, you stay. You are complacent. You are complacent until complacency become too much.
I think we stay in these relationships for as long as we do because there seems to be no way that we can step out of our comfort zones. This person has been with you through some of your greatest years, best experiences, and even some of the bad times, too. They are your rock. But things are not right, so you stay in this relationship wondering, wandering your eyes, thinking about the “what if’s” but still settling because the fact of letting this person go and becoming a new person is the most daunting thing you will have to face.
But in the grand scheme of things, it is okay to let someone go in order to better yourself.
I facilitated a long term relationship that should have ended before it had even begun. This sounds pretty harsh, but at the same time, I spent years of my life questioning whether or not the person that I was with was really my destiny. I bumbled my way through the last year of the relationship constantly questioning in all different directions. It brought the worst out in me. I was mean, I was selfish, I was borderline unfaithful. And most of all – I was not me. That person was not me. I am kind. I am selfless. I am loyal. But this relationship turned me into a monster. It was graceless. It was awful, but it made me better. And I truly felt that I lived through the darkest moment before the dawn.
I think that when we get into these situations, it is because we are fixated on a step by step booklet to what life is supposed to be. And hopefully, you begin to realize that life is not “supposed” to be something that is laid out, planned, and executed. You start to accept the fact that life can be whatever you want it to be. And sometimes you don’t get to choose what is happening to you, but you have to accept what is happening and make it into a situation that can allow you to life a full life. Once I was released from the “supposed to be” thought process, I vowed to never treat another person that way again. I realized that I needed someone to make me want to be my best self. And that is the greatest gift that this person could’ve given me.
But at the same time, you can’t give them too much credit. You bring yourself out of these situations. The ending of that relationship may have been catalyst for you to truly grow into the person you want to be, but you are the one doing the growing, the learning, and the changing. And you are doing it on your own without their support that you had once relied on for months or years. You are growing into something that there would be no way you would have been able to achieve if you had stayed in that relationship, but you would not have been able to experience this change had you not stayed in the relationship for way too long.
There are times that I kick myself for not embracing being single in my early twenties. I missed out on some valuable dating lessons that I am now learning. But despite feeling behind, I have learned more valuable lessons since ending that relationship. When you stay in a bad relationship for so long, you are sitting there as someone with so much potential to discover themselves. The fact that your entire life changes the minute you end that relationship, is the most exciting thing to have happened to you. Your life becomes something completely different from what you have expected.
More than anything, you learn what you don’t want, what you don’t like, and what you don’t want to be. You learn how to treat yourself in a relationship and how to treat someone else. You learn the value of your independence and how to find grace in being alone. You learn the valuable fact that things are never “supposed” to be any certain way, and that you have the control to be who you want to be and with whom you want to be with. And this, this is the best reward you could receive for finally letting go.