Relationship discussions typically focus on how to meet the one, how to attract them and even keep them. But what happens when the one you’re with is not the one for you? And then, what if it’s taken you several months – or even years – to come to that conclusion? Should you stay or go? And when you make the decision, what do you do next?
Let’s face it, if you’ve gotten to a place where you are doubting the validity or worthiness of your relationship, deep down you probably already know the answer. You may just be afraid or not ready to do something about it. When your gut talks – listen! And if your gut happens to be shouting at you, it might be time for you to bust a move.
We’ve all done the math when it comes to these types of decisions, but let’s recount just in case. Now ask yourself if you’re unhappy more than you’re not. Is the relationship one-sided or do you deal with everything as a duo? Does your partner strengthen your sense of self or eat away at it? Do they enrich your life, or chip it down? Are you more worried about being alone or with the right person? These are tough questions that when answered honestly, will tell you what you should do.
Often times we know instantly when someone is not right for us, and other times it takes a month, a year, a decade or even a lifetime to come to such a revelation. Is time spent in the relationship, or social pressures, age, bad habits or born and bred tendencies playing a factor in your decision? Determine if your pangs of uncertainty are valid or fleeting.
Shades of green
The grass is always greener. So that being said, take some time to move through that meadow. Visualize a life without this person in it. Fast forward to months down the line. Putting the pain of the parting aside, are you fundamentally a better person without them? Does the distance bring you serenity or sadness? Do you feel freed and inspired by the prospect of meeting someone new that could be the one?
A new foundation
Let’s assume, after lots of self-introspection, you have decided to cut someone free. The single most important thing you can do in moving past the dissolution of a long-term relationship is to reacquaint yourself, with yourself. Whether you have been mated for months or even years, you have a set of behaviors, activities, friends and patterns that were all part of your pairing. If it was an unhealthy union, you may have given up things or people that were once important to you. Take the time to reconnect with those you lost touch with – including your inner-self!
Look honestly at your relationship. Try to turn the focus onto your behavior as opposed to getting stuck in what a recent ex may have done to you – but be objective (don’t be too hard on yourself). Start with what you were most proud of. Depending on the duration of the relationship, this could be a short or very long list, but commit to the process. It could be as basic as how you fixed his toast in the morning, on up to how you dealt with a crisis. Remember the small things, like the attention you might have taken to look your best physically – no behavior is too small. Maybe you nurtured them back to health and brought home the bacon or built them a warm and loving environment. File away those moments and traits so that you bring them forward into your next relationship. Or you might decide to leave them behind next time and that’s okay, too. We all have our reasons.
Now move on to those moments when you did not hold yourself as high as you would’ve liked. When you dismissed your own desires for the good of the other. Where you lost touch with good friends because your partner wanted to be together all the time. Even more worthy of attention were those times when you changed key character traits that were fundamental to your personality. As much as we would like to avoid it, in our attempt to please, stay connected, or just hold onto someone, we may bend on important matters, that we later regret. We might have swerved so much that we go on to carry a grudge.
Take this information and time to develop a new sense of self and relish the opportunity to leave the mistakes and baggage of the past behind. Now that you have a realistic roadmap to expand and parlay those better qualities from the past into an opportunity to meet someone that you know is the one.
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