Why relationships end
Have you ever tried to take a look at your past, think of all the relationships you had and figure out why they ended? I mean like taking a really conscious look to understand what happened?
Do not feel bad about ‘not knowing’ because it is not always that obvious. It is not always easy to see what we are doing wrong or what went wrong until someone else points it out to us.
Let’s talk about why relationships end. This is not to make you feel bad, depressed or unworthy. This is to open your eyes and make you more aware. As you become more aware, your love life will change too.
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Sometimes I wish that along with math, chemistry, biology, history, and many other classes we were taking in high school or college we were taught basics of relationships as well. If we only knew back then what we know now there would be less pain, abuse, broken hearts, drama, and breakups.
Relationships end because:
~ We trust too much. When we see someone we like we assume that they are ‘this’ and ‘that’ without taking our time to learn who they actually are. We throw ourselves at them and fall blindly into a relationship with both of our feet as if we have known them for a hundred years.
There are all the kinds of people out there, and as we do not trust just anyone with our home keys we should not be trusting other people with our own heart either. At least in the beginning. We trust them too soon… but what if they have dirty feet and an indecent conscience? They will surely stamp over us time and time again hurting us more and making us wonder what we did wrong. It would have never happened should we have trusted them less and kept in mind that possession of the key to our heart is an earned privilege.
~ We do not communicate enough. We assume that if there is chemistry, then they should ‘get us’. They are a magician, a psychic, and an x-ray man who can see through us and read our thoughts, feelings, dreams, and desires like a book. And as we believe in this myth strongly enough, we rightfully have expectations. As they get mostly unfulfilled, we grow gradually pissed. We explode, yell or give them the silent treatment. We think they ‘should have known’ but they didn’t; they should have done this and that, but it never happened. Why? Because they had no idea.
Believe it or not, when it comes to communicating our needs, dreams, and desires, chemistry and love is not enough. It is NEVER enough. They may think they ‘feel’ you, but without your direct input they will mostly fail. They need concrete facts and/or reassurance they are on the right path of ’reading’ you. Help them to succeed by sharing what’s on your mind. They need your help. They cannot do it on their own.
~ We idealize. We ‘assign’ non existing qualities to those who have never EVER possessed them in the first place. We wear pink colored glasses because it suits us ‘I like what I see’. I mean, you like what you want to see?
We only see what we want to see, but as with any fairy tale there is always The End. It is inevitable and just a matter of time when chips start falling off and sobering reality begins to set in. ‘Hmmm, how did he dare to say/or do something like this to me? I thought he was (insert your dream quality here)’. He was never the person you thought he was!
It is a painful experience when our imagination collides with reality, but who is to blame here? Was it his fault? We need to be careful not to assume anything about someone we know nothing about. It is a very dangerous and rather delusional path to travel.
~ Simply put – we ignore red flags. What I find fascinating is that red flags are actually predictors of what our relationship will be like. They are predictors of what exactly will bring us pain and what exactly we will be complaining about. We may ignore them in the beginning because we would rather ‘focus on positives', but as I like to say - ignore the approaching train and one day it will hit you at full speed. You knew it was coming, you saw it was coming, but you chose to look in the opposite direction.
We ignore red flags and end up being in a miserable relationship with a man we feel too attached to and too invested to quit abruptly. It is much harder to quit once we are in it with both feet dreaming about ‘happily ever after’.
It never hurts to be extra vigilant. See the red flags for what they are and try to understand what they could mean to you and your relationship.
~ We have screwed up thinking. We do not just idealize and project all the good, sometimes we project bad stuff too. There are great guys out there, but if our vision of men and relationships is distorted, we may not see good things for what they are. In other words, we twist good reality to make it look bad. It does not even matter if there is proof of what we think is happening; all that matter are our own believes and bogus evidences.
Ever met a guy who treated you nicely, but were worried about him disappearing on you ‘one day’? ‘Everything is so great, it cannot be possible… when is the other shoe going to drop?’. We interrogate or get suspicious, get anxious, worry and do all the crazy stuff to scare the guy away. We do not believe in happy endings and so we believed they were a fraud. Were they??
That’s the example of the case when our head is our sole and only enemy. Not the other guy, not fate, not some weird circumstances but the messed up us.
~ We are with the wrong person. It is not like they are a bad person per se, they are just wrong for you. When we are with the wrong person, then no matter what we do (or do not do) it just does not work. We may go as far as turn ourselves into a pretzel and they would still be the same person we met months or years ago. They are the wrong person for you if you feel like they need to change, to adjust, or to be excessively accommodating to make the relationship work. It is just too much struggle to be in such a relationship plus it is a waste of mental energy and time. It will not work. Period. Admit it and move on.
~ We bet on potential. We bet on possibilities, on 100 maybe-s, and what they promised to us 2 years ago (like ‘we will be together’) and focus on what they will do or promised to do rather than on what is happening here and now. That’s a very steep slope to travel because every time when we stop to reassess reality, we end up sliding back to the very bottom of the slope, i.e. the exact place we started out climbing our fantasy journey from. ‘It has been 3 years, will he ever leave his wife like he promised on the day we met?’
~ We stop maintaining it. As we tend to eventually take for granted everything good, the same thing can happen with relationships. You may have not thought about it, but everything in life requires maintenance. Be it your favorite car, the house you bought, your friendships with girlfriends, your garden, skin of your face and your figure, your PC or your pet – all of these things - if you want them ‘to function properly’- they require maintenance.
Relationships are no different. They develop, evolve, and grow; they require our attention and cannot be neglected. Try to neglect your car and see what happens. Stop changing the oil, forget about replacing tires, ignore a ‘check engine’ sign and see how long it will last. Try to ignore your pet, abandon your garden, neglect calls from your girlfriends and watch the consequences.
Relationships are no different and they do require maintenance as well. We cannot take them for granted and hope they ‘will stay the same’ and ‘everything will be great’. If it is great now it means that you have done a great job of maintaining it, BUT it does not mean it will remain great after a year of neglect. It just does not work this way.
It is not always possible to know what our relationship will be like with the next stranger. It is better to take it day by day – rather than think way far into the future – and see if there are reasonable grounds to keep the relationship going.
As I like to say – you are the CEO, CFO and the boss of your own life. And your relationships too!
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