Dating a guy that seems perfect for you but for some reason he’s just not? How do you know if you should say goodbye and make room for someone new?
I LOVE your blog, April. My problem is unusual. I’ve been dating my boyfriend exclusively for about seven months. We’ve always had a good time together. The issue is that I’m ninety-nine percent sure he’s isn’t “the one.”
While I enjoy his company, there are several things about him that don’t sit well with me. He’s a lawyer, but it took him several attempts to pass the bar because he just doesn’t care. He drinks more than I do. And he seems to take my presence for granted.
I admit there are pluses: I do have fun with him, he’s extremely fit and we look good together (that’s just a bonus), we work in the same field and share a lot of the same friends. Every time I move to break up, he convinces me to stay. Should I give it more time? Thanks, Alexis
Alexis, thank you for your question and for being a regular Sparks! reader. Based on the details in your letter, I’m ninety-nine percent certain you already know the answer to your question. No, scratch that — I’m one-hundred percent certain you already know. But I understand you’re looking for some clarity and some reassurance here, so I’ll give you my perspective.
Things to Consider
First, let me point out that your question isn’t all that unusual. Many women, for a variety of reasons, stay in relationships with men they know aren’t quite right for them. And as you said, there are some pluses here. It can be especially hard to move on when you share the same friends.
But what you need to ask yourself is why you keep agreeing to stay. Is it because you don’t want to make waves? Are you worried about what those friends will say? Remember, this is your life, not theirs, and not his. You are an individual and you have your own needs.
Are you giving in because of concerns you won’t find someone who shares the sense of fun you seem to have with him? Because having fun is all well and good, but if you don’t have a deeper connection along with that, it’s not going to be enough on which to build a lasting relationship.
You’ll also want to look back and reflect on when it first occurred to you that you might want to break up. Was it early on in the relationship? Has the “not quite right” feeling been with you for some time?
Alexis, one of the most important things you can do for yourself at any time in your life is to listen to your intuition. As a regular reader of mine you know that I’m always telling women to trust their gut.
Here’s a mini-checklist to look back on any time you’re considering cutting your losses and moving on to seek a different relationship:
Top Three Reasons To Call It Quits
1. There’s more work than joy. Dating a new guy (or any guy) shouldn’t require a lot of effort. If the bad days are outnumbering the good, it’s time to call it quits.
2. Your personal goals are not the same. You can be dating a great guy, but if he’s not going in the same direction in his life, it’s time to call it quits.
3. The relationship is stagnant. You can literally feel yourself (and your guy) marking time. In other words, when the inspiration is gone, it’s time to call it quits.
Remember the Bigger Picture
Alexis, I hope this is helpful to you! Remember, you will never find “the one” if that spot in your life is occupied by Mr. Not-The-One. Consider what you might be missing out on. My hope is that you’ll have faith that you will find a wonderful man who puts butterflies in your stomach and a spring in your step.
Now to the rest of my readers — have you ever stayed in a relationship longer than you should have? When did you finally take action? Please share your stories in the comments! I’ll be checking back in later this week and would love your input.