When I met my ex, he was everything I had been searching for on paper; handsome, funny, intelligent, kind, great with kids, supportive, honest and loyal. Fresh out of an unhealthy relationship, it felt like I had hit the jackpot.
We enjoyed all the same things: traveling, going to amusement parks and museums, spending time with family and friends and having deep conversations about the injustice in the world. He was not only a great catch, but also my best friend.
After three years of dating, he supported me as I moved cross-country to pursue my dreams in California. It was hard for people to understand how (or even why) we made it work. But, we did.
Sure, we had our ups and downs like any relationship, but finding a great guy is not easy! How could I possibly give up the one that I had? I knew that he’d make a wonderful husband and an even better father one day and those qualities are not only important, but also extremely rare to find.
Our long distance relationship lasted an astonishing four years, until I faced the truth about our future together. I started to see that the grass might actually be greener on the other side of this “safe” relationship.
Here are the 7 reasons I left a 7-year relationship with a great guy:
1. The perfect guy on paper was not perfect for me. I learned that A.) Just because somebody is great, doesn’t always mean that they’re right for you. And B.) What you want in a relationship is sometimes very different from what you need.
2. I knew deep down he wasn’t the one. While I tried to convince myself that he was my happily ever after, I couldn’t lie to myself any longer. I felt like a fraud going against what I knew to be true. And when we go against what our essential self knows to be true, we eventually “crack.”
3. There was something missing. When you know, you just know. The strong friendship was just not enough. We were lacking the chemistry that made a romantic relationship, romantic. And without that piece, it felt like we were running on fumes.
4. The comfortable relationship became confining. Even 3,000 miles away, I felt suffocated, restricted and no longer free. While my mind gave me 101 reasons to stay, my body was screaming at me to leave (and our bodies never lie).
5. I didn’t want to settle. I got honest about what I wanted (and needed) in a relationship right now and what I was actually getting from mine. The same way I decided (years ago) that I wanted something greater for myself in my career, I now decided that I wanted something greater in the love department.
6. I didn’t want to waste precious time. I was approaching 30 ? and if I wanted to find the man of my dreams, I knew that I had to end the relationship. My motto “life is too short” played on and on like a broken record.
7. It was simply time to move on. I was tired of using holidays or an upcoming vacation as an excuse to stay together. The choice to end things came from within and I knew it was time to let go, once and for all.
Leaving a 7-year relationship was not easy, but was probably one of the bravest decisions I’ve ever made. By managing my fear and shifting my beliefs about my future, I’m at a place of peace and hope, while feeling excited about not knowing who I’ll spend the rest of my life with. (Never thought that could happen, but…)
It’s when we move through the fear that we can finally see the light.
Take a look at your own life. Where are you playing it “safe”? What area of your life are you settling? When something feels “off,” chances are it is. When you’re not 100% sure about something, it’s time to question why.
Change is never painless, but I’ve come to learn that it’s always worth it. Let that knowing be the belief that moves you through.
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