When it comes to relationships, there are many red flags that many of us ignore. We continue on, perhaps hoping that things will change, but more often so that we don't have to be alone.
I've had more than one of these, sadly, and I fought hard for each of them. I sacrificed my own well being to try making something work that wasn't making me happy at all. . . in fact, I was quite miserable. Ask my poor friends who listened to my endless ranting and complaining (YIKES!). Thankfully they are still my friends! These apply to any type of relationship - romantic or not.
Here's my takeaway quote and the signs:
If you are with someone and allowing them in your life, you are choosing them. - MM
It consumes your thoughts. The negative ones. . . you know them. Do you find yourself thinking over and over about the same behaviors, the what-ifs, and the should've's and could've's? Do you lay in bed at night ruminating over things? Overthinking much? This is anxiety at it's best (or worst, I guess). I posted about this HERE.
You are nit picking every detail. We cannot expect anyone to be perfect and despite what anyone says, you aren't perfect either. It's a cool thing. We are all perfectly imperfect. When you truly love someone, you chose them. You chose the cabinets being left open just a little bit so that you know exactly where he was (that's my Matt!). You chose the clothes on the floor and the annoying little noises that come out of their mouth when they sleep. The truth is, we can ask for these things to be a little different, but not expect them to be different. We can have hopes, but not hold people to such a standard that isn't attainable. Reset your expectations. If you are disappointed about something, it is likely because you have set an expectation. Read about it HERE.
Your relationship is on-off. We all have hard times. What I'm talking about here isn't just a hard time. It's "I'm so sick of you and don't want to be with you ANYMORE"! kind of time. But then, a few days or weeks pass and we think we miss him, but we don't. We just don't want to be alone. If you are struggling with an on-off relationship, I would suggest journaling what comes up when you are tempted to make contact after you've separated for a few days. I learned that the pain of being alone gets easier to manage when you actually like yourself (that took me awhile to learn) and enjoy your own company. If you respect yourself enough, you'll give yourself this gift of being alone and discover yourself in a much deeper way.
You are trying to control things that aren't ANY of your business. If you are trying to control your significant other, you probably are thinking #5 below. And, this is pretty closely related to #2 above. But, this isn't necessarily the little details. Remember, if you are with someone and allowing them in your life, you are choosing them. If he wasn't an active guy when you met, you can't expect something different just because you are. If you've never hunted before and he wants you to hunt, he shouldn't expect you to go along. It is, however, a good idea to ask someone to participate in the things you enjoy, even if you know it's not their cup of tea. My guess is they will come along with you because they love you and want to spend time with you. And, if not, you get to chose if that is what you want in your life. We can't expect people to change because we want something different. We need to accept people for exactly who they are. If this is hard for a particular person in your life, you can read more about acceptance HERE.
You feel that the relationship is unbalanced. If you feel that he is better than you or you are better than him, we have a problem. Relationships are meant to be give and take. It means you might be better in some ways and he might be better in some ways. I tend to be a worrier and Matt is the opposite. He usually calms me down and we complement each other this way. In relationships, people struggle with all sorts of things - different social class, different hobbies, different careers, etc. One is not better than the other. They are simply different. Remember, if you are with someone and allowing them in your life, you are choosing them.
There are no easy answers. Making the choice to leave a relationship is difficult and affects more people than just the two of you. So, consider the signs above and journal about your thoughts on each. Maybe you'll find the answer in your own words.
I want to mention one more thing because it helped me greatly when I was in an on-off relationship. I listened to Andy Stanley on a podcast. He is a pastor of a mega church, but he has some fantastic content on dating if you want to Google him and religion doesn't turn you off. He stated that after a relationship, you should wait 9 months to date again. When I first broke it off with my boyfriend, 9 months seemed like an eternity. However, when the 9 months came around I actually extended it to a year and shortly thereafter, met Matt. I needed that year to heal and so I would challenge any of you in a difficult relationship to consider truly being alone for an extended period. It was a game changer.
Feel free to reach out via email or Facebook if you'd like to chat. I'm here to help you!
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