Don't be a dating zombie. I mean, also don't date a zombie, but that's a different article altogether.
Trust yourself enough to walk away
We all have those moments of doubt and insecurity in relationships. That's inevitable. Humans aren't infallible, nor should they be. If everyone was just robotic and said exactly what we were meant to say, where would the fun and surprise of life be? That said, we also acclimatize to toxic environments that aren't good for us.
Sometimes relationships die. Sometimes we don't realise and they've actually been dead for a loooong time.
We need to be better at recognizing that we deserve better than what we sometimes get. Often, we might be investing more in ourselves and putting our time on the line for a relationship that isn't being reciprocated in the same way. Also, we often feel guilt for thinking about stepping away from such relationships, as though we are withdrawing a service that we 'owe' another person. We don't owe people anything in this world, not inherently. Not if they're not giving us the same in return, it's just not emotionally sustainable.
You end up expending and exhausting yourself and having nothing left for yourself.
Relationships have to be able to offer a give and take. You can't just carry the corpse of the failed relationship down with you everywhere you go. That's not fair. The other person probably also wouldn't do it for you, and it's a tough pill to swallow.
Therefore, we need to recognize and relearn our power to say 'no' and mean it. Or to tell the people around us what we need when we need it. We don't need to become dictators or totalitarians to do this or to control the relationship. We just need to have an active and equal part in it. If we want to know where the relationship is headed, that's perfectly within our rights. Should your partner not be on the same page as you, that's fine – but that's the signal to leave the relationship. If you explicitly do not have a future there, then you're both wasting each other's time and effort and making things harder for yourself in the long term.
Basically, if the problem can't be resolved through conversation or communication, the only other pathway is to break up. If you aren't going to put the effort in, both of you, then you have to be able to leave. Maybe you got used to how the relationship dynamic worked, being left on read, not able to make solid plans, and feeling like you're never prioritized. But that's not how relationships should be.
You should be prioritized. Simple as that.
I know how life gets. Seriously, I do. I know the ups and the downs and the hills and the valleys better than most. It's one of the pitfalls of being a chronic over-thinker and general 'spiraller'. We don't love that for me, frankly. Dead relationships can perish. Err ... that is if they haven't already?!
But if there is one thing I've noticed on all my multitudinous years on this earth, there is a golden rule to note.
There may be a second coming.
Hey, if Jesus can do it, maybe you can too.
I reckon that the 'never go back to your ex' schtick is a little oversimple and reductionist. There is, after all, a reason that you were all together in the first place. We don't need to erase those memories entirely. The most important thing is that you recognize that the relationship is dead or alive. After that, most times the relationship will end, but sometimes the startling reality is that... we ourselves are also to blame??
I know, I know. But get this, it takes two people to break a relationship. Maybe you have to learn something yourself, along with the other partner. Equally, what do I know - don't use this as an opportunity to backslide.
I'll say it again: you are worth more than your current relationship might have you believe.
Think about what you want, then go and find it.
Like Gotham City's criminals, your relationship is Wanted: Dead or Alive.