(I took this photo in Prospect Park.)
To any of our dear readers who are dating -
I'm guessing that most of you have or will at some point be in a relationship that just makes you feel unsettled. But let's throw this in there to make things tricky...perhaps your partner actually has many great qualities. They might even be kind to you and be on the same page with you in many areas, etc...but because of a few things, you STILL feel uneasy or anxious, you still wonder if "this is the one", you still have that pit in your gut because you can't decide what to do. Perhaps something about the partner just holds you back and makes you wonder if this really is what you want in a partner. And...that feeling doesn't go away. Ugh. Maybe there are good days. But no matter how much you try, no matter how many justifications you try to make, no matter how many months or years go by, you can't completely shake that feeling that you just don't feel totally at peace with this person - or with the idea of moving forward.
Have you ever been in this situation? I was once. It was AGONIZING. My heart goes out so much to anyone trying to make a difficult decision like that. If I can help, I'd love to...
Here's a tip....
Imagine the day you might marry this person. Would it make sense to get married with that same kind of awful feeling? That same kind of pit in your stomach? Would you want to force yourself through your wedding day, even though in your gut you feel a little sick? (And no, I'm not talking about butterflies here.) And, would you want to have these same thoughts and worries about your wife or your husband during your marriage?
Please tell me the answer is no!
So, the way I see it - you have 2 options:
1. Do the hardest thing ever and end the relationship. Eeks! I know - this can be painful - and might even practically feel like a divorce. But if the relationship is causing you so much turmoil, it's essential that you are honest with yourself and honest with your partner. But know that if you choose to end it, you WILL survive!! You really will! In the moment, it can feel like the end of the world. But it truly isn't. You will be fine. And your partner can be fine, too. That is, if you both choose to be. That's the amazing thing about life - we all can choose how we react to our circumstances. And by the way, there ARE many, many wonderful people out there! Sometimes we get stuck thinking, "This is my only chance to get married." And it just isn't true!
And the second option...
2. Continue analyzing why you don't feel comfortable. At this point, if you're truly stuck and paralyzed and unable to make a decision, you might want to get counseling and/or do major, major personal introspection. Is there a chance you are fearful of relationships or marriage, in general? Are you so, so afraid of making a bad decision that you feel paralyzed by having to make any decision at all? Is there a chance you have OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and it is interfering with your relationships and causing you to have irrational thoughts? Do you just not feel ready enough or mature enough for marriage? Maybe you have other things you would like to do while single and the timing is just not right? Do you have trouble choosing partners in general or do you have trouble ending relationships early on, even when you know you should? Is your self-worth, identity, or ego so wrapped up in this relationship that ending it would feel like a loss of your worth? Do you know you should just end it but don't do so out of FEAR...fear that you will be miserable on your own, that you won't meet anyone else this good, or that no one else will love you? These are all important things to consider about yourself- and it may be easier to hash things out with a relationship coach, therapist or mentor as you try to get yourself on a solid foundation and build up enough wisdom, self-worth, and strength to approach relationships in a healthier way. I have no doubt that if you do the personal work - you absolutely can improve and make lasting changes! Though these things can also take time. If you're still in a dating relationship where you feel in turmoil, it still might be best to set both of yourselves free and put all your energy into doing the personal work you need to heal and improve your approach to relationships.
And no matter what you do for yourself and your relationship - - I say to go with your gut.
I've lived my whole life that way and it has served me so well - even when things haven't work out. The thing is, if you're not being true to yourself, it's practically like walking around with a ton of bricks on your back. It just feels awful and it can poison so much of your life. So, pay attention. Don't ignore your deep down gut feelings, intuition, or divine inspiration. I really, really do think that deep down, we usually know what we should do regarding these sorts of matters. We know what is good for us. We just need to be brave enough and bold enough to follow through.
What do you all think? What would you say to someone who feels uneasy in a relationship, yet paralyzed by making the decision to stay or get out? This seems to be a very, very common issue. I'd love your thoughts!
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