I break, I don’t break? But we’ve had such good times, and yet, ah I don’t know. I’m confused. What am I gonna do about it? I’ve put too much energy, too much of myself into giving up now. Besides, how am I going to pay the rent? And then, maybe he/she will change. If only he/she were nicer, it would be perfect. Maybe he/she will change his/her mind about the children’.
Excuses, excuses, reasons not to, or reasons for. We’re in the middle of a “I’m out of here” situation here.
I’ve been asked for an article on how to get out of a relationship for several months now. Each time I’ve said to myself ‘I can’t talk about that, I don’t want to break up couples’.
So, disclaimer: It’s your responsibility to break up, and the decision is yours. I just want you to be happy.
There you go. You can’t sue me.
Breaking up a relationship is actually pretty easy. You say, ‘It’s not working, we’re not happy. I think I deserve better, and so do you,’ and then you take your cliques and your slaps, and you go live with your best friend, your mother, strangers, and then you cry every night on their couch until you have the strength to move on and look for a new place and start over.
It’s easy to get out of a relationship. But how do you know when it’s time to move on?
I was in a relationship for five years myself, and it took me six months to finally decide to leave. Six months of ‘I’m going to regret this for the rest of my life, I’m sure! I’ll never find love again, I want to die! That was dramatic. I had to take a plane ticket to go home to my mother and ‘think’ for a week.
My mother is a bit radical. She told me: ‘At your age, we shouldn’t be messing around with each other and enjoying life. Don’t do that.’ I’m sure she used softer terms, but for those of you who don’t have my mother to advise you, here are some signs that should make you think twice:
(To simplify and avoid the he/ she, we’ll call your half Jo.)
1-You are staying because Jo is nice and Jo would be too sad if you left.
Aww, that’s cute… no, no, no! People deserve better than that. You don’t stay with someone because they’re nice. Everybody’s nice. If Jo’s only nice to you, pass Jo on to someone else.
2-You stay because you have too much ‘invested’…
You’ve been with it for five years, ten years, and you’re staying because… you’ve been with it for five years, ten years. And nothing else? In five years, it’s just five more years, and five more reasons not to stop.
3-You tell yourself that Jo will change
(I raise my eyes to the sky) First of all, when you love someone, you just want them to stay the same. You don’t want to change him, because he’s perfect like that. Besides, people don’t change. They evolve, they change, but only when they decide to.
4-Do you feel physically threatened
Do I need to mention it? Okay, I’ll mention it. If you’ve been threatened, if you’ve had a single hand raised against you, whether you’re male or female, leave. Tut tut, no conversation.
5-You don’t want the same thing
You want to live abroad, not Jo. You want kids, not Jo. And you’re staying anyway because… Jo will change her mind? Or you don’t really want the children after all. Is that really true? You decide to give up everything? If so, fine. If not, need I remind you that people don’t change?
6-You don’t trust each other
You’re snooping through his phone, just in case. You’re asking questions about who he’s been seeing, just in case. You hide your salary from him, just in case… And Jo does the same. Mm-hmm.
7-Jo tells you that you suck, that your plans suck, to come back down to earth and stop dreaming…
Ahlalalalalalalala… Not cool, Jo. (I look up again) Without someone who supports you, who is there when you need them, who says ‘go for it, you can do it’, moving on and creating the life of your dreams is difficult. When the most important person in our lives is the one who discourages us, things become downright impossible.
You have a choice of who you share most of your time with. And you need your partner’s support 150%. Read how Adam followed Tania halfway around the world.
Sheryl Sandberg said it:
Choosing a supportive partner is the most important decision of your career.
Choose a supportive partner: This is the single most important decision [someone] can make for [their] career.
8-You Google ‘Do I really like him?
Don’t laugh. I did. I’m sure some of you did too. You want a secret: Google doesn’t know. Only you know.
9-You’re talking about breaking up once a week at least…
…then you get back together and do something crazy, like redecorate the house, to pep up your relationship. It’s called stepping back to jump, and not in a good way…
10-When you think about breaking, you can imagine all the practical reasons why you can’t…
…and you tell yourself that something magical is going to happen and all these practical barriers are going to come down. All you have to do is wait a little while for a Prince Charming or a Princess Charming to come and save you.
Another secret is that these barriers will not magically come down. Only you are in control.
I know that some of them bought a house together, have children and so on. I know that some people have bought a house together, have children and so on, but others have managed to separate from a partner who was not good for them and create a satisfying life in spite of all this. Even though I haven’t been in the situation personally, I have seen it happen, and these moments are not easy, they are messy and sometimes fragile, but when you really make the choice to live the life you dream of, you get there.
11-When Jo goes on holiday, you jump for joy as you imagine all the things you can do without Jo.
It’s normal to enjoy solitude, but not that much anyway! You’re supposed to be able to do what you like even (especially) when Jo is there.
12-You don’t want to have sex anymore
Boom! I said it. You don’t want to be physically close anymore. When Jo gets close to you, touches you, it annoys you, and you want to be somewhere else. Brrr.
13- You censor yourself when you talk to Jo, for fear that he/she will make a remark and you will feel like an idiot.
Because Jo’s done this to you so many times before. In public, you are afraid that he/she will cut you off by saying that you are talking nonsense. At home, you never think out loud, for fear of hearing his/her (often negative) opinion.
14-You do not like to do the same things at all.
You love walking, Jo hates it. You love the theater, Jo hates it. You hate to travel, Jo loves it. You don’t do anything together, because deep down you have nothing in common.
15-You imagine what life would be like if you were ‘free’.
Psst: You are free! Most of the people reading this blog live in a developed country, where they have a choice of partner in life. Have a little gratitude, and enjoy the freedom to make yourself and two other people happy, your ex who will find the right person, and your future sweetheart, who is waiting for you!