Even If You Still Love Him
This whole blog is about finding happiness – not just in work and school, but in all areas of life. Unfortunately sometimes that means sacrificing things in order to be the best for your future self. Our relationship was rocky for 3 months and I could hardly see how bad it had gotten. The stress of trying to make things work out weighed on me and skewed my perception of time – always the main sign that I’m in way over my head. When texting a close friend for advice, I asked “remember that fight Nick and I had last week?” His response was, “which one?” I hadn’t realized that in a single week, Nick and I had fought nearly every day.
I still love him. He was my best friend and most trusted confidant and it’s weird and difficult to move away from that. He’s still my friend, and I still trust him; I just believe we both need the space to be our own people. I broke up with him because I was looking out for future me. I knew that if I didn’t get out of this relationship before he left for Army Basic Training, it would get harder and harder. Eventually I might settle for a marriage with a man who ultimately wasn’t quite right for me. As much as it hurt then, I had to look out for future me and her happiness.
Break ups are, of course different for everyone. Some are worse than others. Here were my five signs that it was time to end the relationship:
- You fight all the time. Or the relationship is stressful. Maybe you are fighting all the time but with your wacky sense of time you just don’t realize it. But your body does, and all of a sudden you’re tired all the time and don’t know why. It doesn’t have to be big fights. It could just be someone nagging on the other person all the time. Either way, it’s no fun.
- You don’t like the person you’re becoming. Your other half is supposed to bring out the best in you, to encourage you and support you in becoming the best person you can be. After we moved in together, I noticed I was nagging him all the time. And I hated it. I hated that I was turning into an awful stereotype. You can argue that this was partially my fault. I could have been more lenient or just shut up. However, I made a point of reserving my nagging for things I truly felt were important – like finances. He didn’t step up to the plate and so my nagging increased until I couldn’t stand the person I saw in the mirror.
- Your priorities don’t align. There are things that can be compromised on. He wants to be a father, I don’t want biological children. We could agree that adopting would work for both of us. I value drive and ambition over college education. He never intends to go to college, and doesn’t know exactly what he wants to do in life. That’s fine. What kind of 21 year old has a 20 year plan? On the other hand he constantly delayed looking for a job and once he had one expressed no interested in increasing his meager 15 hours a week or finding a second job.
- You aren’t financially compatible. This isn’t far different from #3, but I thought it deserved it’s own number. We don’t see eye to eye financially – I’m a frugal girl who religiously keeps up with personal finance blogs in her spare time; he’s a spendthrift who enjoys eating out regularly and sees no need to have an emergency fund. It drove me crazy in the worst way and I could see a nice long future filled with fights over finances.
- You aren’t his priority even though he’s yours. Among other things, this is visible in that the above four points apply to your relationship. If you’re fighting hard for the relationship and you’re not sure he’s doing his part to make things work, then either a good long talk or a break up is in order. If he’s consistently not working on improving the relationship (and you are), then there’s a serious problem and it’s not likely to work out.
NOTE: I actually started writing this article in November. It’s been a rough couple of months reminding myself why I broke up with him in the first place, but I know my reasoning was solid. Maybe I’m not happier yet, but I will be. I looked out for future me, and current me just needs to chin up and move through it.