Finding the can’t-live-without

19 Apr

As I was spring cleaning this month, I came upon a box of my ex-boyfriend’s things – one of them being his high school class ring. In case you’re wondering, I returned the ring. But finding all those old items made me think about our past relationship. I was the one who ended it, and at the time, it was painful. We had been dating for almost four years. To this day, I still couldn’t tell you why the relationship wasn’t working, but the fact is it wasn’t. I realized that even though you care for someone, you can’t stay in a relationship to make the other person happy. You have to be happy yourself.

I recently read an article about things to know in your twenties, and one of the points was this: “Now is also the time to get serious about relationships. And “serious” might mean walking away from a dating relationship that’s good but not great. Some of the most life-shaping decisions you’ll make during this time will be about walking away from good-enough, in search of can’t-live-without. One of the only truly devastating mistakes you can make in this season is staying with the wrong person even though you know he or she is the wrong person. It’s not fair to that person, and it’s not fair to you.”

I found myself in this situation with my ex. Now, I don’t want to give the wrong impression. Things didn’t end because he wasn’t “good-enough” for me. He’s a good guy, and he’ll make one girl really happy someday. I didn’t end it because of who he was; I walked away because of how I felt in the relationship. The longer we were together, the more things began to change. Sometimes you grow together, and sometimes you grow apart. It came to the point where I was just going through the motions, and I finally had to stop. It wasn’t fair to him and it wasn’t fair to me.

So our relationship ended, and although it hurt at the time, I will always feel that it was the best decision for both of us.

As I moved on from the breakup, something crazy and wonderful happened. I fell in love with a boy from Germany, and we’ve been happily dating for almost two years. While this long-distance relationship is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, it’s also one of the greatest. I wouldn’t do this with anyone else.

Don’t stay in a relationship because it’s comfortable or because you can’t pinpoint what’s wrong. Hearts will heal, and you’ll open yourself to finding the can’t-live-without. Trust me – you want to find the can’t-live-without.

image via

2 Responses to “Finding the can’t-live-without”

  1. MoninaW 04/25/2012 at 3:00 am #

    Allow me to be living proof that “now” is the time to take it seriously and that you must definitely always keep your own happiness in mind. A relationship cannot thrive if both parties are not fully committed (i.e. happy). I wish I had been as smart and as mature as you at that age. But just as your twenties is prime time to realize all of this, it’s never too late to achieve happiness.

    • The Wild Child 04/25/2012 at 9:07 am #

      Thank you for the kind words. You are very right: it’s never too late to achieve happiness. There was a time when I didn’t think about my own happiness, and I plan to never do that again. You have to love YOU first.

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