This topic has been on my mind quite a bit lately, not only because it’s something I have experienced but because I am also seeing people around me experiencing the same things. I’m also aware that this is entirely situational. There’s no magical formula for dating and how it looks and feels is going to be different for everyone.
*Also I use the term “guy” a lot because I’m speaking quite a bit from my own personal experience, not because I’m making any assumptions about your dating preferences/gender.
You may have read the title and thought, wtf is she thinking why would anyone walk away from a good guy. And yea, I totally get it. It is really freaking hard and almost seems irrational, which is what inspired me to write this.
I spent a year in a relationship with someone who I thought at the time was amazing, he was smart, extremely driven and pretty cute when he tried. He also treated me better than any guy I had been with before. But that relationship wasn’t everything I wanted. The positives outweighed the negatives so I chose to bury and ignore that feeling deep down, that it wouldn’t work out. At that time I knew that, but I couldn’t leave. Because when you’re 25 and dating you just want someone who is good and kind, the kinda guy that you can take home to your family. The kinda guy that you could see yourself marrying with a white picket fence and 2.5 kids and a really stinking cute dog. Luckily he ended up breaking up with me – I’m so happy I can say “luckily” now. But now I find myself dating again and potentially falling into the same habits.
I’ve talked a lot before about how dating in your 20’s can feel super high pressure. Everyone’s getting married and having babies. Not to mention once you’ve graduated college and established yourself as a professional woman, the only thing people ask you about is your love life. Am I right, or am I right?
This makes it so hard to leave a good partner. A partner who on paper checks all the boxes for you to potentially have a great life together. Because if you do leave this almost perfect partner you’re back to the uncertain dating pool of tinder assholes. Because if you leave this person, you have this irrational fear that you’ll never find someone else. Someone who checks all the boxes and is cute and has a graduate degree and has his own rocket ship.
I’m here to say that’s bullshit. There are 325 million people in the U.S. (I just checked the census). With the interwebs you have access to so many people outside of your social circle and zip code. Also, life is f*cking short. I was so harsh on myself for spending a whole year of my life in something I knew wouldn’t work out.
There are plenty of reasons you might be considering breaking it off with a decent human. Maybe your partner has expressed they don’t want a serious commitment [but you totally do] or they don’t want to get married and have kids [again, but you do]. Maybe they won’t introduce you to their family. Whatever the case, you don’t have to put up with it simply because they check some boxes on your imaginary list. There are tons of good guys (and girls) out there who can and will give you everything you need.
To be clear, I’m not saying ditch every good partner that doesn’t make you feel like Drake makes me feel. I wholeheartedly believe in the power of communication. If you aren’t getting everything you want out of your relation/situationship and you can honestly say you’re giving 100% then communicate it. Let your partner know what you need, give them the chance to rise to the occasion. I know that’s not as easy as it sounds either. Asking for what you want takes guts. It makes you vulnerable and it opens up the big scary door of disappointment. But if after all of that, if you still don’t have what you need – give yourself permission to walk away.
Girl, I am right here with you. I’m also writing this as a reminder to myself. It is so easy to stay with someone who feels comfortable and safe. You don’t walk away from an unfulfilling relationship with a good person because you don’t love or like them. You walk away because you love yourself more. You love yourself so much that you can spend a little more time in the uncertain dating world. Because you know you deserve everything you ever wanted, and those little things you never thought you needed. An act like this takes a lot of courage, and a lot of love for yourself and your partner. Be grateful that you even know what you want and need, so many people don’t. Knowing what you want is insanely powerful- don’t dismiss it.