You know your partner’s not the one for you, but why are you still together? We’re here to shed some light on this common relationship conundrum.
In today’s fast paced culture, it is easier than ever to find potential dating partners. With dating sites like Eharmony.com and Match.com, and apps like Tinder, all you need to do is create a user name, and log on to browse literally thousands of sexy singles.
So, you would think that because of the advances in dating, it would be easier to get out of a relationship that no longer works. However, many people still find themselves staying in a relationship with the wrong person for much longer than they should.
Why do people stay in relationships past their expiration date?
Every relationship has its own reasons for staying afloat. But how come a lot of people insist on patching things up instead of abandoning ship in favor of something better?
#1 Habit. Human beings are creatures of habit. Whether it is your friend Sarah going to Starbucks every morning at seven thirty, or your cousin Matt watching the same television show at nine p.m. on Thursday, people often repeat the same patterns of behavior. Dating is no exception, and once a boyfriend or girlfriend becomes integrated in your daily routine, the simple ritual of habit can keep them there for way longer than necessary. [Read: 12 signs you’re not sure where your relationship is headed]
#2 Fear of breakups. Anyone who has ever been through a breakup knows that they can be a rollercoaster of potentially traumatic emotions. A boyfriend or girlfriend, even if he or she isn’t perfect for you, can still provide a significant amount of comfort.
The simple act of cuddling, or watching TV on the couch together can provide general feelings of connection and intimacy that are hard to replicate in the single world. Breakups cause the source of these comforting feelings to disappear. But don’t worry, ice cream is there to step up and fill the void during your breakup! So is chocolate.
#3 Fear of the unknown. When you enter into a long term relationship, it can really alter your life. You end up factoring your partner into your schedule in many ways. Before you know it, a large part of your life includes this person.
So, if you are contemplating breaking up after you have made all of these changes to accommodate them into your schedule, there is a potentially large amount of change that will happen once that person is no longer there. This can be scary at first, but keep in mind that sometimes, change is very good for you.
#4 Denial. Sometimes, people simply refuse to accept the problems that their partner has. After all, who wants to face the fact that your boyfriend only showers once a week, or that your girlfriend has a habit of calling your mom a bitch.
These problems can be a real pain in the neck, and it can be easier to just deny their existence, rather than deal with them. However, if you deny accepting them for too long, they could keep you in the relationship way past its natural end date.
#5 Settling. Dating can be frustrating. If you go for a length of time without finding someone you really like, then there can be a strong temptation to settle for someone you aren’t all that thrilled about.
The benefit of settling is that you have someone whom you at least like a little bit. But the problem with it is that you never feel fully satisfied in the relationship. So, you end up feeling like you are selling yourself short, and that’s no fun. [Read: 16 signs you’re settling in an unhappy relationship]
#6 Being too busy. Life has a habit of becoming busy. Between work, school, socializing, hot yoga, manicures, pedicures, and everything else, life can move quickly. Sometimes, even if a relationship isn’t satisfying you, there can be a temptation to stay in it, simply because you are too busy to start dating again.
Dating takes time and energy. But then again, so do relationships. Wouldn’t it be a whole lot easier to spend your time and energy finding someone who’s right for you, instead of spending that same amount of effort to make a mediocre relationship survive?
#7 Guilt. Getting out of a relationship can mean hurting your partner when you break up. For some people, this is hard to do. It also doesn’t help if your partner guilt trips you with sad texts and Facebook statuses. But no relationship will ever survive if it’s based solely on guilt. You’d be accused of being a worse person if you stick around and string your partner along, despite the fact that you’ve wanted to get out for a long time. [Read: 18 signs of an unhealthy relationship]
#8 Not wanting to admit you were wrong. Occasionally when you start dating someone, your friends will tell you that he is “definitely not right for you.” But you don’t care, because it’s your life, and you’ll do what you want. However, four months later, you realize that everything they said was actually right, and you were wrong. Facing up to this reality can be a bit embarrassing. But it can also be necessary. So, just brace yourself for some annoying, “I told you so’s,” and you’ll get through it.
#9 Sexual attraction. Despite the fact that your partner may be an emotional wet blanket, he or she may still be a total hottie. So, while your partner might not be meeting your emotional needs, your physical needs might still be getting met to the fullest. Although good in the short term, in the long term, this type of situation can be a trap. Watch out for this. [Read: Are you in love or in lust?]
#10 Everyone else likes your partner. The opinions of friends and family can have a significant impact on decision making. If everyone around you likes the person whom you are dating, and they tell you to stay with that person, then it can definitely affect how you feel about the situation.
For example, say that your best friend tells you that he or she thinks you should stay with your current partner. That is most likely going to have some influence on your decision to stay with your partner or not. The more people around you who like the person, the more difficult it can be to break up with him or her, even if you know that it’s the right thing to do.
#11 You think your partner might change. From time to time, you might date someone whom you like, but who has certain qualities that you wish were different. Hoping and waiting for these qualities to change can be a dead end. People usually don’t change, unless they want to change, and expecting them to do so for you is a tricky path to take. [Read: 10 telltale signs your relationship is doomed]
#12 You are waiting for them to propose. The allure of having the ultimate commitment, marriage, as a part of your life can tempt you into staying with a person when you should just move on. Perhaps you think that if you could just get married, then everything would be worth it. You want a beautiful wedding, stability, and let’s not forget that fabulous diamond ring, so you overlook the fact that he isn’t ready for marriage.
Staying with someone who isn’t ready for marriage out of a hope that he will propose one day, is a risky gamble to take. Meanwhile, your perfect Mr. Right, who is ready and willing to give you the fairytale happy ending that you are looking for, could be waiting just around the corner. Do you really want to keep waiting on Mr. Commitment Issues.
Settling is a disease that plagues many an unhappy relationship. If you know for a fact that your relationship is doomed, cut the cord now, instead of prolonging your pain. Don’t wait on a miracle to cure your relationship!
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