Breakups suck. We all hate getting dumped (whether we really liked the guy or not) but we also hate being the bad guy in the breakup, and doing the dumping. Especially, if there’s nothing dramatic going on. Especially, if the guy is a nice guy. Especially, if there is absolutely nothing wrong with the nice guy— except for the fact that you’re just unhappy with him. Then what?
What happens when you’re just not in love? When you’re bored to tears and the thought of continuing like this makes you miserable? Or you feel like you’re trapped? Or you wish he would be the one to just pull the trigger and cause the breakup, so you both could move on to find people you actually love? Or if he loves you so much and you just aren’t feeling it– but you don’t want to hurt him?
I have nothing against nice guys, in fact I married a pretty nice guy (thankfully he also has a backbone) but there seems to be an epidemic of settling going around. And honestly some of these guys aren’t even nice—they just aren’t complete assholes. I think as women, when we are with someone who isn’t completely horrible to us, we latch on in fear that we’ll never find something better. We’re convinced that good men, the kind we could truly be in love with are few and far between. That they are all gay or married.
It just isn’t true.
Rather than wait for someone we are totally in love with, someone who gives us exactly what we need (whether we like it or not), someone who challenges us, supports us and loves us back unconditionally—we get scared.
We treat love like a game of musical chairs, and when the music stops everyone scrambles to the closest chair. Do you really want to be the girl, so worried she’ll miss a chair completely that you’re willing to settle for the closest one?
The Excuses We Tell Ourselves
He hasn’t cheated
While yes, there are plenty of men out there that are cheaters; there are also plenty of them that are not. Just because a man hasn’t strayed outside of your relationship doesn’t mean he’s your soul mate. It’s really not that hard to not cheat (trust me, I know) and using fidelity as a baseline for your relationship means you really need to raise your standards.
He doesn’t abuse me
The majority of my relationships have been with decent guys and only one complete sociopath. There were so many times I felt like a breakup wasn’t justified because they weren’t doing anything crazy enough to warrant one, and so I’d put off the inevitable.
This is a damaging way of thinking. It instills in our minds that as long as we aren’t being abused, it’s okay that we are unhappy with the man we are choosing to spend our time and life with. That we should stick it out because it sucks being alone and it’s hard to find someone that we are even this okay with.
If you have a history of dating abusive and/or controlling men and you are now with one who isn’t—I want you to read this next line a couple times:
The fact that you are now currently in a relationship free of abuse, is due to the work that you have done on yourself.
Now read that one again.
This magical, non-abusive man didn’t just show up and steal your heart. You made changes within yourself. You increased your self-worth. You opened yourself up to men who will not hurt you. You’ve allowed yourself to be free. And then this man walked in.
So get out of your head that you should just shut up and be grateful because he doesn’t harm you. No. This man is an example of what happens when you do the work on yourself, to raise your standards and weed out the men who aren’t good enough. The next one will be more suited to your needs. And so on, and so on until you find the one for you.
As discouraging as it can be out there, ‘nice’ is actually a dime a dozen. In fact, I fully believe that the place you are in life, and the work you’ve done on yourself dictates the kind of person you eventually end up with.
We have kids together
I know this can be a touchy subject for some. Most women would give their lives for their kids, so what’s a decade or so of misery right?
Kids are sensitive little creatures, and while their parents breaking up isn’t ideal, they can sense your unhappiness while you’re together. There are plenty of people who have successful co-parenting relationships. Would you rather your kids see you happy and thriving or feeling trapped in a relationship? Do you want to teach your own children that it’s okay to settle? Or do you want to teach them that happiness is always worth the risk?
I’d feel bad
I’ve heard this line so many times. Look I get it; he’s a nice guy and you think a breakup might destroy him. He’s probably even a really good man. He can be both those things and still not be right for you.
You have to make the decision. Are you willing to stay in the land of the mediocre comfort zone or do you want to meet and be with the love of your life?
Because you can’t do both.
Do you feel like there has to be drama to warrant a breakup?
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