“Hi Anna! I so love your content. I am always coming across the perfect most relevant videos of yours at the right times.
I have been trying to permanently end an on again off again relationship for almost 4 years now. He’s not terrible. He’s just not right. But I am crippled by the thought that I will never find someone else. I would rather have him (even with all the miscommunication and lies and stress and thoughtlessness) than have no one. Advice on this?”
My Dearest Bad Biddie,
The paradox of staying in the wrong relationship is that, while it may feel as though you’re not alone, you have likely never been more alone. Being single is not a tragedy – the real tragedy is being misunderstood by the person who is supposed to understand you the most. You didn’t get into the specifics, but I have a hard time believing that “he’s not terrible” when it’s followed by “all the miscommunication and lies and stress and thoughtlessness.” I wonder how many times, at night, you’ve laid awake mentally tallying the pros and cons of staying versus leaving and ending up at the “he’s not terrible” conclusion each time.
As someone who spent her twenties terrified of being single, I hope you know that, I, too, have told myself “he’s not terrible” and therefore, “I should stay” more times than I care to admit. It tooks years of therapy, failed relationships, and one brief, but devastating situationship for me to realize that I could no longer believe the lie that I had told myself all these years – that I could make the wrong man into the right man.
In hindsight, perhaps it was never about the wrong man or the right man. It was always about me, running away from myself, and hoping I would find the answers to who I was in another person. My misguided attempts to replace my need for a career (that wasn’t dying on the vine) with a relationship only drove me, time and time again, into the arms of the wrong men. What’s crippling you isn’t the thought of never finding someone else, it’s the thought that you will never feel that sense of belonging we all feel when we’re at peace with ourselves and our surroundings. It’s the feeling of home.
And, while you may think your home is with him, it has always been with you. You’ve just been running away from yourself and what you want for so long that you’ve lost sight of it. I challenge you to run away from this man who, at best, is not terrible, and run back to your proverbial home. Suspend your disbelief at the thought that there is no one, out of the four billion men in this world, that could possibly be better for you than your current partner. The enemy is not the threat of your looming singledom, and it’s not even your not-terrible partner, it’s you. Leave and tell yourself you will find someone better suited for you before you actually believe any of it. You don’t need to believe it to act on it. Let your actions create the reality that will one day far surpass any limiting beliefs you now hold.
You may be crippled, but you’re not paralyzed. This much I know because you took the first step in writing to me. As you make your way out of your present situation, please remember that even an unsteady step forward towards your future is better than standing strong, yet immobilized by your past.
Your internet hype woman