happiness not fairytales

Advice is far easier to give than to hear. Many of friends who are perfectly smart, good people end up with partners who are just bad for them. No judgment on either party, the relationships are simply not working. I’ve asked, “why don’t you walk away?”

I’ve heard the same responses over the years: “what if: I end up alone?… hurt the kids?… don’t have enough money?… my partner hurts themselves?…” The list could go on but the answers boil down to the same basic message. They’re scared. Hey! We’re all scared of being alone or broke or unhappy.

I believe my friends are making a big mistake. They’re falling in love with a future and fictional version of people. They stay in a bad relationship and think ‘if only my boy/girlfriend would be happier, more active, more social, more different I’d be happy’. They’ve fallen deeply in love with a fairytale.

Sometimes, that fairytale works out. I know some folks who picked the wrong person at the wrong time and are truly happy. People can change. More often they don’t. I understand. I’ve stayed for some of those reasons in the past.

But, waiting for a wrong person to be Mr/Mrs Right is unfair. It’s unfair to that person and it’s unfair to yourself. (Thank you Aline) A few years ago, I stopped waiting for my partner to be someone else. I decided to stop being unfair to myself and him. I thought he’s not going to change and I was done waiting. I chose to value my own ‘now’ over a future ‘fantasy’. We’re both happier for that decision.

Poon Hill, Nepal

It was sad and pretty lonely at first. Then, I started to focus on self-care. I decorated my new home exactly the way I wanted, ran around, danced, saw friends, traveled and ended up in a better relationship for me.

I love my guy. We’re not perfect. We drive each other a bit nuts but, it works. As my mother said, “the only thing you can change is a man’s belt”. Generally, I don’t ask him to change…..but occasionally try….

Mom was wrong about one thing, you can change more than a guy’s belt. You can change his pants, shirts and watch too.

more reading …

I Choose Me (and Why You Should Choose Yourself) | by Amaya Pryce, Tiny Buddha

4 Reasons Why We Stay with Partners Who Aren’t Right for Us | Mark White, Phd Psychology Today

Why We Stay With People Who Are Bad for Us | Amber Petty, Greatist

An Argument For Self-Love | By  Ko Im

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