Moving on better than enduring toxic relationships
By Amanda Greever | (email@example.com)
Sometimes you can beat a dead horse until there’s nothing left but bones.
I’ve been known to do it. Sometimes, I can get stuck on something. I’ll be the first to admit I’ve been known to carry a grudge. And sometimes, I just can’t manage to let some things go. Especially when it comes to relationships.
I’m no expert on them. In fact, more often than not, I’ve been the cause of their crashing and burning. Some might say I’m difficult. They usually find out exactly what difficult is after those comments. But I’m no Dear Abby, although some folks do come to me for advice.
I’m usually better at the relationships of others than I am my own. Although, even if I’m not, I’m still always willing to give my opinion, even if not requested. Curse of being me, I suppose.
A friend and I have been talking for months about a certain man in her life. Initially, I was thrilled for her — but the more I watched this relationship unfold, the more uneasy I became.
The man pushed and pulled equally. Warning bells went off in my head, but she seemed happy so I bit my tongue. Mostly.
It didn’t take terribly long, though, before his behavior became more and more boorish. I found my objections couldn’t be squelched. His actions weren’t simply — well, as simple as these things can be — romantic rejections. They went further, and they cut deeper.
I told her time and again this man hadn’t simply shown he would be an awful, awful romantic partner. He’d shown he wasn’t worthy of her friendship, much less her love. My protestations went on for months, and others joined in. She kept making excuses and explaining away his bad behavior.
They hadn’t really spoken in a long while, but the torch, while dimly lit, hadn’t extinguished completely. Finally, a straw broke the camel’s back. He made one more wrong move, and it was the last she would excuse. It was time to get rid of him.
The Facebook friendship was dissolved, and emails permanently deleted. I made sure I witnessed the latter because it can be too easy to dwell on the past by rereading notes. She didn’t see him often enough for proximity to be an issue.
Honestly, I worried if she would be OK after this last assault on her feelings. As she deleted the emails, closing the door on their past in a permanent way, her smile shone brightly. She proclaimed a burden had been lifted. The burden was lifted for us both. I’d been wanting to tell the jerk off for months.
There’s a certain sense of irony in the fact this section is all about romance, weddings and the like, and I’m writing about the end of a relationship and how ecstatic I am at its end. Even more ironic with Valentine’s Day next week.
I had hoped for a happy ending for this relationship. My friend deserves all the love in the world, and I’d hoped this guy might provide. Unfortunately, he was too consumed with his own selfish needs to worry about being a good romantic partner or even a good friend.
Love can be a beautiful thing. The companionship and feeling that comes with it can be wonderful. But you have to love yourself first.
My mom taught me years ago that you have to decide what you will and will not accept in a relationship. See how the other person treats you over time. Watch out for the warning signs. Life is too short to be miserable — being true to yourself must come first.
After all, there are much worse things than being content with your own company.
Amanda Greever is assistant managing editor at The Daily Times. She can be reached at 981-1161 or (firstname.lastname@example.org)