Love… What word conjures up more competing emotions… Fear and Courage, Rejection and Acceptance, Pain and Joy.
The sweet aroma of new found romance and the sour taste of heartbreak…
Which is what this all boils down to right? Our hearts?
Unfortunately, our hearts tend to play tricks on us.
We misinterpret a mate’s actions, we sacrifice our own well-being, we over commit to people that don’t give a damn about us. And we even fight to fix broken relationships with people we just aren’t compatible with. Which is why I recommend all new lovers ask each other these 255 questions for couples to determine their level of compatibility.
Now don’t get me wrong. Having a heart that brushes its fingers on the warm and cold surfaces of life is needed to experience a life well lived.
And love is a beautiful thing.
However, when it comes to love you have to be able to correctly identify it.
Which most of us can do if we allow our minds to have a little bit of say so in our love lives.
Remember when I said, “our hearts tend to play tricks on us?”
That’s truer than most people realize.
Until they find themselves stuck in a relationship with someone they know they shouldn’t be with, but their heart yearns for them.
But that’s only scratching the surface of this issue.
Here are 7 reasons we stay with people that aren’t right for us… Despite knowing better…
Quick fact: Our mind’s often over value what’s readily available and most convenient.
Which works out just fine most of the time.
However, this psychological tendency that saves us time and energy also often leads us to stay in bad relationships simply because they are convenient.
Unfortunately, people tend to not realize how big of a mistake this is until after they’ve made life altering decisions like having children, signing a mortgage, or co-mingling their finances in other ways.
Which opens up a whole nother’ bag of worms that traps people in relationships with spouses that aren’t right for them.
2. They’re financially tied to the person.
As a relationship progresses, it’s only natural for our lives to begin to intertwine in many ways.
One of the ways our lives start to unite that has significant implications financially.
We sign mortgages, open joint bank accounts, have children, maybe even quit our jobs or leave school to help raise the families we’ve created.
That’s what love tends to do.
Which is all fine… Until you realize you’re severely unhappy in the relationship and no longer have the same feelings for the person you share your bed with.
However, at this point many people realize how much a breakup would turn their lives upside down… So they stay.
Unhappy, unsatisfied, unfulfilled, until they finally reach a breaking point and end the relationship, often in what appears to be dramatic fashion. Leaving everyone around them scratching their heads and saying, “I never saw this coming.”
3. Fear of being alone.
Although most people won’t admit it, nearly everyone, both men, and women have a fear of being alone.
That fear is even stronger when you’ve been in a prolonged bad relationship that has lowered your self-esteem to the point that you feel like nobody else will want you.
At that point, the fear of being alone has grown past the norm as the result of…
4. Physical or psychological abuse.
This goes hand in hand with our last point.
Physical and psychological abuse can make you feel like no one else will want to be with you or love you.
Not to mention the fear of the abuser’s reaction often makes women hesitant to leave the relationship.
Out of all the reasons on this list, this is the one that troubles me the most.
No one deserves to be abused, neglected, or manipulated in such a way that they feel hopeless and worthless.
Sadly, this is happening all across the country as statistics show that nearly half of all women have experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetimes.
5. We’re afraid to face the world alone.
This is very evident with couples that have been together for 5 years or more.
After being a part of a couple that long it can be terrifying to even imagine having to face the world solo.
Who’s going to be there after you’ve had a long day at work?
Who’s going to help take care of the house? Help with living expenses? Watch your favorite TV shows with you? Even take out the trash, and the list goes on.
Psychologically this can be a daunting task that many of us shy away from.
6. We don’t want all the things we sacrificed in the relationship to be done in vein.
In psychology, this is known as the “Sunk Cost Fallacy.”
Basically, when we invest a lot of time, effort, money, or any other valued resources into something it’s extremely difficult to walk away and “cut our losses.”
We see this happen in gambling when a player that has lost hundreds of dollars at a slot machine ends up losing hundreds more because they decided to keep playing because they wanted to “win their money back.”
We see this when a person buys a ticket to a bad movie, but they stay and watch it anyway because “they already paid for it.”
Very unfortunate, but true.
For more information on the Sunk Cost Fallacy and how you can successfully defeat it check out this article from Psychology Today: Letting Go of Sunk Cost: How to Escape the Past
7. We love them…
Which is probably the number one reason we stay with people that we shouldn’t.
They treat us wrong, they get on our nerves, display selfishness, but deep down inside we love them.
It’s funny how that works right? The thing we love the most causes us the most pain.
Should we let go?
If only it were that simple.
If only your heart would listen to your mind.
But making the right decision… It’s a hard thing to do when the heart is involved.
These are just a few of the reasons we stay in relationships with people that aren’t right for us despite knowing better.
The good news is that most of these barriers to leaving a bad or unsatisfying relationship are mostly mental.
You won’t be alone forever, someone else will love you, and rebuilding your life more often than not isn’t as difficult as people imagine.
Everyone deserves to be happy.
If you’re in a relationship that’s unsatisfying, leave.
Once you regain your happiness and peace of mind everything else has a funny way of falling into place.