“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” ~Lao Tzu
I was going out with a wonderful man. He was generous and caring and had a great sense of humor. He treated me well and attended to my every need.
But something just wasn’t right. I battled with myself for over a month.
Every time a fear surfaced about how quickly things were moving, I smoothed it over with a shrug or a hug or a reminder of how lucky I was to have found someone with whom to share my life.
My logical mind told me that he was perfect, that I was self-sabotaging, and that I was afraid of commitment. Yet another part of me questioned the depth of my feelings for him.
I worried about our different beliefs and how they could cause problems down the line.
I was exhausted. I started biting my fingernails. I got sick. I even experienced random pains all over.
But I wasn’t listening to my body because I was overwhelmed with the noise of the chatter inside my head.
I could not stop the thoughts. And then, one day, I decided that I had a choice. I could simply stop thinking. I would listen to my intuition instead. Immediately, I felt calmer and more myself. I was able to enjoy life again.
Above all else, I was relieved. In that moment, I realized that the relationship was over. Well, according to me it was.
Now, all I had to do was break it to him. Of course, it was difficult. We were both hurting.
I hated letting him down, but I could not live a lie. So, I mustered up the courage to finish a partnership that appeared perfect on paper.
It wasn’t what he wanted. But a couple of weeks later, he texted to say that, although he wished it hadn’t ended, he was also glad that it had. In other words, despite the suffering, he now realized that we weren’t well suited.
Looking back, perhaps he had had a similar gut feeling but wasn’t aware of it, or had chosen to ignore it. Either way, I did both of us a favor by listening to myself and bringing the relationship to an end.
I closed the door on an apparently perfect partnership, but now I am open to something else, which will be more in alignment with who I am and what I desire.
If you’re agonizing about whether or not to stay with your partner, follow these three steps:
1. Sit in silence.
When life is loud and fast and nonstop, it’s easy to slide into the next month, year, and even decade with someone you’re not sure about.
Take some time out to sit with how you’re feeling. Are you happy? Healthy? Enthusiastic about life? Or are you ill, moody, or depressed?
When you know how you are, you’ll know how best to proceed. You don’t have to figure out all the answers the first time you meditate, but the more you slow down and pay attention to how you’re feeling, the more authentic your life and your relationships will become.
Now that you’re getting in touch with your body and emotions, you can listen to what they’ve been trying to tell you.
Life Coach Cristina Merkley says that, luckily, we have a built in system that alerts us when we’re in alignment with our Inner Being (and what we truly desire) and when we are not. This invaluable system is our emotions.
For over a month, I was mostly unhappy. I was tired and sick and in pain. When I finally started listening to myself, I was able to acknowledge that I wasn’t in alignment with my true self. I’m grateful that my body (and my emotions) won’t allow me to stay in a situation that isn’t right for me.
And never underestimate the accuracy of your intuition. I’ve rationalized things until my brain was ready to burst but it’s effortless when I go with my gut.
3. Check in with yourself when you’re with your partner.
And ask yourself the following questions:
When you’re in the company of your loved one, do you feel energized or drained? This is an excellent indicator as to whether or not to keep him or her in your life.
Do you feel good about yourself when your partner is around, or does your other half bring out the worst in you?
Are you growing emotionally and spiritually as a result of being with this person? Or has this part of your life begun to stagnate?
How about your partner? Are you enhancing his/her life? Or are you fighting so much that there’s no time for anything else?
Can you be yourself with this person? Or are you trying to be someone you think your partner wants? If this is the case, it’s never going to last.
Do you feel genuine love, friendship, and respect for your partner? Or are you staying in it because you’re afraid that, if you don’t settle, you’re guaranteed a lonely existence?
Bring awareness to how you’re feeling when you’re with your partner. If it feels good, it probably is. And if it feels uneasy or unpleasant, it may be time to set yourself (and your partner) free.
Bear in mind that not all uncomfortable feelings signify that you should end the relationship. These feelings could be a reflection of underlying fears of intimacy or a self-limiting belief that you don’t deserve happiness or that nothing good ever lasts.
If you’re unsure, repeat steps one and two.
When your partner is ticking most of those proverbial boxes, it can be easier to stay in the relationship. At least you have someone who will look after you, who will send you sweet messages, and cuddle you on the couch.
It’s scary to have to re-enter the big bad world of singledom and dating. But it’s also exciting. And you will be rewarded for being true to yourself and for honoring your ex enough to admit that you’re not the one for them.