Since the age of 15, I’ve jumped from relationship to relationship. When I did have gaps, it wasn’t for very long (a year maximum), and even then I would be seeing people casually. I’ve had 3 serious relationships thus far in my short life, and one in particular (as you lovely readers probably know) was, in the end, a very unhappy one.
In hindsight, or to the outsider, it can be really confusing as to what possessed us to stay in the unhappy relationship – why would put up with it for so long? Surely any sensible person would just up and leave, and that would be that. But it’s not that easy. Emotions are involved. Maybe it’s because I have a (borderline ridiculous) obsession with romance, but it’s actually really easy to stay in unhappy relationships. [Read: When Is Love Just Not Enough?]
I had a good ponder as to why I think this is, and I’ve whittled it down to the following brutal truths as to why we stay when we are clearly miserable:
We’re scared of being alone and starting again with someone new
Starting afresh with someone new is really scary. Being alone is even scarier, especially when you’ve been in a relationship for a long time and it’s what you’re used to.
Having to go through all those stages you gladly saw the back of – the nerves of if they like you back or not, is this ‘a relationship’ talk, having to meet new families for the first time (and worry if they’ll like you) and losing the old families you were close to, going through all your insecurities and getting to learn someone new from scratch.
Being alone is also really scary, no matter how independent you are, when you have your best friend, someone who knows you and is there, the support and comfort of companionship – losing all that and being on your own can be really hard.
We think we’ll never find anyone else
What if no one loves me ever again? What if I’m alone forever? The dating game is so convoluted nowadays, how will I ever meet anyone new?
It plagues your mind that you will never find anyone who remotely comes close to what you have now.
We don’t want to ruin everything we’ve built
You’ve built your castle together, and now you want to burn it down. Along with all the memories, all the good times, all the happy moments and the future you wanted together. You feel guilty for hurting the other person, you don’t want to dash their hopes and dreams.
You’ve grown apart but don’t want to admit it
You’ve been together so long, you don’t realise you’ve grown apart and want different things. You just don’t recognise your partner to be the person you fell in love with.
We think it’ll change in the future
The bad patch has lasted months, but you still believe it can change back to how it used to be…
We view the relationship with rose tinted glasses
Forgetting issues which we probably shouldn’t, we have the tendency of burying our heads in the sand and not paying real attention to deep-rooted issues.
We fear making a mistake
One of life’s greatest mistakes is living in fear of making mistakes. That fear will stop you from breaking away from a toxic relationship.
Don’t get me wrong: by no means am I advocating giving up at the first sign of trouble, because I think all relationships go through rough patches and come through stronger. Giving up should never be the first option if it’s something which can be fixed and you both love each other. But if you are truly miserable and just desperately want to hold on to what is comfortable, don’t.
You are worth everything and you are worth fighting for. Fight for yourself, fight for your happiness and fight for a love that you deserve: one that doesn’t pull your heart to pieces or boggle your mind with worry.
What do you think is the reason, do you brilliant readers agree? Let me know in the comments! 👇