There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re in a relationship cul-de-sac. It’s a kind of procrastination from choosing a direction. It usually stems from being unsure about the future of a relationship. And so you try to leave in search of better pastures. Only problem is you start to miss that person after a week or a month. You then begin to think maybe there was something there. You reach out to them for a reunion and feel a sense of renewed spark leading you back into the relationship. A week later, that nagging and lingering feeling of doubt begins to creep in and the cycle continues.
Perhaps it’s the temptation that we can have it all that keeps us from settling down, or it’s not knowing what feels right or the allure of the unknown. Maybe we’re just lazy and spend more time finding the perfect love rather than creating one. When you spend more time looking at what your relationship lacks it’s easy to miss what is there. Time apart may help when it comes to gaining perspective but just like most choices there is a sacrifice that is made and this may alter the possibility of a future with your partner if you decide to have them back.
Being flighty about your relationship draws you into a pattern that can be difficult to break. It has chronic effects on your self-esteem and your perspective on the conditions of love. People often tell me that when the right person comes along, they will want to settle down. We’ve all experienced dating someone who captures our attention in a way that leaves us wanting more. The question then becomes what happens when the excitement and thrill of getting to know someone new dies down? This is when most people question: is this it and can I feel like this for the rest of my life?
It’s a choice to be with someone and to build on what you have. The love that you share together is as good as you make it. Indecision can be a bad place that feels chronic. If your partner has one foot out the door it’s probably not a sign that they are trying to work on the relationship. The problem is most of us prefer to see the side with the foot still in the door. This leads us to believe in what we hope instead of what we need.
Having been in my fair share of flighty relationships, I must say that although the heartbreak never seems to justify the lessons learned, it’s a growing experience. You learn to build boundaries around who and what you allow in your life. Only when you hold yourself to a higher standard will those who are ready to meet your needs find their way into your heart.
If you’ve decided to break it off with your partner just remember it’s not respectful to break up over text. It says everything about your character.
Amy Yew is a researcher and therapist. Tell us what you think and submit any questions you have to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also tweet your thoughts on Twitter @AmyYew.