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 acclimatise to toxic environments which aren’t good for us.

We need to be better at recognising that we deserve better than what we sometimes get. Often, we might be investing more of 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. 

Therefore, we need to recognise 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.

After talking, 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. 

If the problem can’t be resolved through communication: 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 prioritised. But that’s not how relationships should be. You should be prioritised. Simple as. 

If you are your partner’s favourite person, then obviously their conduct with your should reflect that. If not, then you should feel no guilt in exiting a rapidly progressing situation. As soon as it’s toxic, you’re in trouble, because it becomes harder and harder to extract yourself and your emotions. 

Therefore, you need to take a step back and think, ‘Would I let my best friend subject herself to this?’.

If the answer is ‘no’, then you know what you need to do.

It might suck, and it might be an awkward conversation, but we’re all adults here. Let’s level up into emotional maturity and deal with break ups appropriately. It’s 2019, guys – we shouldn’t be ghosting, but we also have to recognise our own needs. 

You aren’t selfish for leaving a relationship, even if there are other parties involved. Your life shouldn’t be constantly on hold just because there are children involved, or friends or a contentious situation. If you’re unhappy, you have to start to work on that straight away. Children of divorced parents aren’t unilaterally worse off than those whose parents stayed together. Wouldn’t you rather your parents were happy, even if that wasn’t with each other anymore?

How is living in a house with constant fighting or tension preferable to a more open, communicative environment? It’s not. 

Furthermore, you only get one life.

Yes, I know that sounds like something that would be on a poster in your high school guidance counsellor’s office, but am I wrong? You need to be willing to fall flat on your face in this world to reap the rewards of your endeavours. If you’re playing it safe and comfortable in relationships where you aren’t happy, you’re only wasting your time and playing yourself. 

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. 

Happy trails!