In a relationship or life jam? Lemme unstuck your life — send your questions to:
[email protected] or reach out to me on Facebook.com/AskMindaHoney
Hey lovers, still over here waiting for more questions, so I turned to Facebook for ideas for this week’s column. My editor, who is also a Facebook friend, helpfully suggested I write an open letter to our current First Lady, because she looks like someone who could use some serious love advice.
But when I sat down to actually write the letter, I couldn’t conjure up the words. I don’t really know anything about that woman. I started thinking about the relationships the people around me are in. A lot of times, many of these love scenarios look like chaos from the outside. Yet, these relationships go on for years, and the participants seem happy enough with the state of their affairs.
So, maybe the First Lady is in exactly the relationship she wants to be in. I personally prefer the dynamic Michelle and Barack got going on, but hey, to each their own. So, if you’re the type that’s in an emotionally exhausting, big, messy relationship: Do You. If you and your main thang (and sure, your plus 1, too — hey poly friends!) like to keep a nightly routine so bland it rivals Manila folders: Do You. If you’re happy casually dating someone until the day you die, rip up all the mail forwarding forms and Do You.
That Right-Size love is so hard to come by, that when you do come by it, embrace it even if it doesn’t look like a fairytale or follow the plot of a John Green book.
Buuut… if you’re in a relationship that feels too small and itchy, discard it. I’ve come across so many people who are in relationships that don’t satisfy them and yet they keep on, keeping on. It makes me wonder if us Singles are doing too much moping around and making this solo life look so miserable you should stay coupled at any cost.
And the worst part is that they’re with the wrong person and this wrong person takes up so much space in their life that their every choice and decision is contoured around that wrong person’s wants and desires. And I think this is why my editor has so much concern in his heart for the First Lady. [Ed. note: Not exactly] Is she truly living the life she wants, or is she a footnote in her own story?
I think reaching your full potential in love is a lot like reaching your full potential career-wise. If you don’t see it, it’s a lot harder to achieve it. Yes, there’s always going to be the Oprah’s who rise above their circumstances, but many more people end up consumed by their circumstances. In our society, we’re just now really getting examples of what equity in love can look like, but I don’t know that it feels attainable to everyone. Holding out for something that may never come is scary (I know because I’m doing it!). So, I don’t want to judge anyone who’s settled for the best option they could find.
But if you’ve been considering the possibility of something better, I just want to be that friend that encourages you to go for it. Take your key off the key ring, leave it on the counter and leave. Count your pennies, stretch your dollars and pick up an extra shift at work to make do without that dual-household money. Hold that wrong person’s hands, look them in the eye and say what’s gone unsaid too long.
You can totally do it. You can put all of your energy into finding someone new or you can indulge in life as a party of one. You should never stay in a relationship that’s not doing it for you out of fear or uncertainty. That’s not fertile ground for love to flourish in. All you’ll sow is regrets and What Ifs.
Reimagine yourself as some who directs the course of their own life. What would that look like for you? Are there things you’d like to free up space for in your life? Are there interests you can stop pretending to love just because your partner loves them? Are there friends and family members you’d like to reconnect with?
If you’re a reader who’s let a partner over stay their welcome in your heart, let me know in the comments on my “Ask Minda Honey” Facebook page what makes you continue to stay and what it would take for you strike out on your own.