One of my former teachers told a story about a girl he dated in high school. They were madly in love, but ended up breaking up after graduating, ending it because they were going to separate universities and felt it would never work.
They both got married, then divorced. A little while later, they ran into each other. They’ve since been married over 20 years. While things definitely worked out, their decision to split up heading to college might not have been the right one. Perhaps they could’ve saved years of unhappiness and two failed marriages if they’d stuck together.
Some relationships need to end. The obvious reasons include abuse, dead bedrooms, constant fighting, and a clash of core values. However, there are other reasons people end relationships that are not always justified.
I’m talking about scenarios where couples love each other and are generally happy, but still choose to end it. Usually, it’s because they logically convince themselves they’re doing “the right thing” even though they’re emotionally happy in the relationship.
You might be in a great relationship right now, but are contemplating ending it for various reasons. You might not even fully understand why you think the way you do. However, before you cut it off, check out these bad reasons people end good relationships.
Family And Friends Insist
If you dated when you were a teenager, you almost certainly were in a relationship where some family member or friend didn’t approve of your choices. Even as an older adult, you still might have to deal with the disapproval of family and friends.
Families and friends can disapprove of your partner for a variety of reasons, some of them valid (he’s a jerk; she’s only after your money), but some of them not. For example, family and friends might be prejudiced against your partner for race, age, not making enough money, making too much money, and a multitude of other cultural, religious, and other differences.
The need for approval of family and friends is strong. But, some people are set in their ways and they might never get over the cultural and romantic prejudices no matter how hard you or your partner try to earn their approval.
While it’s always good to have the support of loved ones, your friends and family don’t have to live with the actual consequences of your dating choices; you do. So, if you’re in love with someone and happy, you don’t have to be miserable just for the sake of your family and friends.
When you break up with the right person to please family and friends, you’ll eventually end up picking someone “wrong,” or at least wrong for you. Family and friends typically come around anyway. If they don’t, then how loyal are they to you if they would prefer you miserable?
I often get asked to give advice about situations related to possible breakups. One common question is: “I want to attend school away from my boyfriend, what should I do?” Another is: “I love my partner, but got a promotion that will keep us apart; should I take it?”
I recently read a study that talked about trends among men and women in the Millennial age bracket. While they were more highly educated, they weren’t getting married like previous generations. So, it appears that for many people, especially young people, education and career ambition trump the pursuit of love.
There’s nothing wrong with pursuing educational and career goals. In fact, I highly advise it because an educated person with a great job is attractive. But, if you’ve found the love of your life, should you put education or career first?
The conventional advice is to put the person you love last. I’ve heard countless advice columnists advise to always pursue your career and educational dreams and don’t hold back based on another person. It’s funny how the conventional wisdom is that a career is a “once in a lifetime” thing, while love is disposable.
But, which do people look back and want on their deathbed? Do they wish they had spent more time working for a promotion or do they wish they had stuck with someone they truly loved?
And, look around at pretty much everyone you know, and their view of their jobs. Most people I know complain about their job constantly! Maybe think of that when you consider sacrificing a happy relationship for a job.
I’m not going to tell anyone to give up career and educational ambitions. However, if you’ve found someone you truly love, then you should definitely take that love into consideration when making choices, even big career ones.
Society might tell you that your career is the most important thing in the world. But, you know deep down that finding love is far more fulfilling.
During a talk I gave, a woman told me a story about how she lost a good man by giving him an ultimatum: get engaged or she was leaving him. He said he wasn’t ready and wasn’t going to force it. So, she broke it off, convinced that she deserved someone who could commit on her timeline.
Of course, by the time she told me, she considered it a bad decision. She looked back and realized that all of her friends were getting engaged and her sister just had a child. She was in a hurry to do what everyone else was doing, so she gave him an ultimatum. And, it backfired.
While there is such thing as a biological clock, many men and women face outside pressure and artificial timelines for relationships. They have multiple sources pressuring them into going a certain route at a certain time. These include family, friends, and religious and cultural values. Sometimes the biggest one pressuring you is yourself.
Don’t push away a great partner just because you, or someone else, has set an artificial timeline. While goals and schedules are good, if you’ve found a great person you love, then why push him away because he doesn’t want to move at the exact same speed as you? A loving, supportive person should be more important than a timeline you’ve set in your head.
So, if you find yourself thinking about ending a relationship for any of these reasons, think again. While everything I’ve discussed above (family, friends, careers, schedules) has value and is important, true love is a rare thing. If you’re going to end a good, happy, loving relationship, remember that you might never find such a great thing ever again.
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