Why Am I Holding On?
“…Lena Horne was a lady. And a lady always knows when to leave…”
My fav line from the movie “Madea’s Family Reunion”. In that case, Blair underwood wasn’t speaking to the great Lynn Whitfield’s character about a relationship. Somehow that line always sticks out to me in my own personal dating life…posing the question: Do we ever know when to leave? And once we know, why does it take long to act on it. Or better yet why does take pain to finally exit.
You can't put your finger on it, but you know something is wrong. Then, a sign appears; staring you dead in the face and still wanting to wait it out. At times, it’s okay to wait and see because things aren't always what they appear to be. Giving the benefit of the doubt never hurts.
But what about that gut feeling? The gut feeling unscrambles the truths that are half told. Connects the dots in the middle of the night, digging up the questions you should have asked. Laying the red flags on the table isn’t enough. You just can’t let that person go.
Many factors contribute to the lack of moving on when it’s time:
Deep down, we know better. We’ve been taught lessons both the soft (someone telling us OR watching someone go through it) and the hard way. But once you’re in it, there’s a force beyond what you know to be common sense. Beautiful words of what you want to hear deepen the connection; making it hard to untether yourself. Knowing that in the long run, there’s a slim chance that what you want and deserve is NOT coming from this person.
It doesn’t take much to find an excuse to stay. The nameless/faceless attraction will win over the list analysis. Leaving is a no-go all the while, your mind is screaming for you to get out before you get hurt.
Why Is It Important to Know When to Leave?
But There’s Still Hope…Right?
After complaints, you may even see small improvements to ensure you’re locked in. Giving second (and third) chances is normal. It shows that you’re willing to work on it instead of leaving at the first sign of conflict. It’s a great quality, however, those who give chances are often used. Hanging onto hope will have you overlooking warning sign after warning sign. Knowing when to let go of hope can be tricky. Who wants to return to the dating pool when all you had to do was give it time? But that time would be a waste. How can hope turn into what you want? The answer is complicated. If your partner isn’t willing to change and do better, that hope will only lead you to heartache.
In some cases, once there’s a hint of getting back comfortable, the red flags are back. Another confrontation arises again. It may end in an argument or you conceding to the fact that you’ll still be with this person although something just isn’t right.
Just a continuing cycle of finding out more and more things that should push you to leave. However, that HOPE will keep you hanging on to a thread.
But it's just dating, a relationship…You can ALWAYS walk away. Very true statement but one can’t just walk away until they are ready. You have to be ready to walk. Unfortunately, some cannot cut their losses and stop caring. There was a time investment. Even an investment in the fantasy world thinking of all the great things that could possibly come. If only, that person would just do right by you. If only…
We choose to stress and be distracted instead of being set free.
I remember being sick in bed. My person at the time didn’t care about me being ill. They were only concerned with their wants. And if I didn’t agree, there was a back and forth adding more stress. Unnecessary stress. Looking back, I was grateful for being sick at the time because it gave me a reality check to put myself first. There I was in bed sick and I’m going back and forth, compromising, dimming my light for someone who couldn’t even ask “How are you feeling today?”. That was enough for me. Sometimes the “enough” comes at the most random times. But afterward, there’s a feeling of being set free and clarity. Then comes the regret and that constant question Why did I put up with this for months?
Hindsight is Always 20/20
The aftermath brings a bit of an exact account of what ACTUALLY happened during the relationship. When you’re in it, you’re operating from a place of not seeing past what you want. However, in reality, it’s not what it is. There’s nothing wrong with caring, loving, and giving someone a chance. But there comes a time when you have to step back and realize it isn’t going to end well.
How many times have you thought of an ex and said to yourself “I don’t know why I dealt with him/her. I should have BEEN left.” Why can’t this clarity come when you’re invested? It would be so nice to have a light switch that will cut off what you feel and understand where you stand with that person.
How to do Better Moving Forward
Start with putting YOU first. You must consider your wants, needs, and boundaries. Hold true to the deal breakers no matter how great you think they are. In the long run, you don’t want to feel as if you wasted time on someone who never had any intentions to be considerate of your needs.
There’s nothing wrong with cutting your losses. You tried. There’s no need to stay where you’re not receiving what you deserve. Life’s too short to be miserable. Might as well start a fresh chapter by cutting ties with what’s mentality weighing you down.
The Blakk Dahlia (E. Alexcina Brown) is a New York City author/blogger from Macon, GA. Recently, she released the book series, the Heartbreak Diaries outlining different perspectives of heartbreak. The Dahlia Diaries is a lifestyle blog penned by The Blakk Dahlia, sharing her story in NYC along with life lessons and tips she's learned in her journey.Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
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