There’s going to be enough average things in your life. Love shouldn’t be one of them.
I have a high school friend who got married awhile ago, and I was a groomsman in his wedding. I remembered he said why he was marrying her. He didn’t think he could do any better. To me, that wasn’t a great reason to get married. They are now divorced. There were many other reasons for the divorce, but I always thought just settling was a bad reason to make that lifelong commitment.
I’ve always wanted to find love, but I didn’t want to just settle because I felt I couldn’t do any better.
Just because you get along with someone so well doesn’t mean they are the best for you. Sometimes true love isn’t simple, but in many ways, it’s always worth it. I know it’s hard to do most times, because when there’s nothing really wrong with your relationship there’s no reason to break up, but there is.
If your heart has been telling you something else for awhile, then maybe it’s time to listen to it.
Because you need to and deserve love that leaves you feeling like you have to pinch yourself everyday. If that’s what you want, don’t settle till you have it.
Love should go both ways. If you’re unhappy and crying more than you’re smiling, then leave. Having your life controlled isn’t a sign of love. Always being treated like you’re worthless, but making it up with flowers a few days later isn’t love. You deserve better. Someone’s who’s going to appreciate you and make you a better person.
Love should make you feel invincible not defeated. (click to tweet).
If you’ve been wondering if you should go, then go. It doesn’t have to be forever. Take a break if that’s what you want. Don’t stay because you are afraid you won’t find someone else. If your gut feeling has been keeping you up at nights, you need to set yourself free and explore. Go and spend time with friends. Spend time alone if that’s what you need.
And if those roads lead you back to that person, then that’s great. Thinking if someone out there is better for you is enough reason to go. One way or another you will eventually wind up where you’re supposed to. Whether it’s with a new person or back into the arms of the person you left.
I know that is so hard to actually do because it sounds crazy. Why leave a good relationship when nothing is wrong?
Leaving Good Love
I’ve left good love to look for something extraordinary. It was a hard decision to make. I didn’t know if I was messing up a perfectly good relationship. A heart would be broken and tears shed.
It was 2008 and I was in love. It was only the second time I had fallen in love. I was 31. I had been in Taipei, Taiwan for seven months studying Chinese. I found her on a language exchange website. I wanted to meet new friends, practice my Chinese, while helping with their English. I replied to her ad, exchanged a few emails and eventually met for dinner one night.
The night went great and we really hit it off. The next time I saw her was at a New Year’s Eve party she invited me to. Soon after that we began dating. I wasn’t expecting to get into a relationship, but it happened. We had a good relationship. We hardly argued. We were in love and couldn’t have been happier.
About six months later, my feelings changed.
I don’t know why. Call it a gut feeling that I just couldn’t ignore. Nothing was wrong with her. She didn’t do anything that bothered me. Our relationship was fine, but maybe that was the problem. It was just fine.
When it comes to love, I’m a late bloomer. I didn’t have my first serious relationship till I was 25 and that lasted four years. It was great at the beginning, but the last two years were going nowhere because she wanted to get married and I didn’t.
When two people are heading in different directions in life, it’s best to end it. I just knew she wasn’t the one for me and my feelings wouldn’t change. I didn’t have the courage to end it though. I don’t like hurting people. I preferred her to break up with me. I wasn’t a man and I regret that looking back.
The next two years we slowly grew apart. She eventually broke up with me. I felt bad that we both wasted two years of our life. I felt more bad that I wasted hers.
Life teaches us hard lessons and it’s up to us to learn from it. That way in the future, if faced with the same situation, we know how to handle it better.
Now I was in the position where the other person was still in love, but I didn’t feel as strongly. This was her first serious relationship. Telling her how I felt would make it 100x worse.
I just couldn’t ignore how I was feeling. I couldn’t force myself to bring back the old feelings for her. Love can’t be manufactured. It’s a feeling.
Following my heart
“Almost everything, all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” Steve Jobs
My gut kept telling me something over and over. I’ll never forget it what it was:
“I know there’s someone out there better for me.”
I can’t explain why I felt that. I was a guy who has always been in the friend zone with girls, briefly dated one person for 2 months in college (pretty sad), and just had one serious relationship.
Now I’m in a relationship and after six months my gut is telling me there is someone else better for me out there?
He must be absolutely out of his freaking mind.
Call it a gut feeling. Call it my heart talking to me. Whatever it was, it wasn’t shutting up.
Handling the situation wasn’t going to be easy. I knew it was going to hurt her. I hate being the bad guy. There was no easy way to tell her, but I had to do it.
One night on the phone I told her. I told her that we needed to take a break. Of course, she didn’t understand why. There was nothing wrong with the relationship, but for me there was.
I didn’t want to completely end the relationship because I wasn’t sure yet. Maybe taking a break would help me realize she was great for me. Maybe my gut feeling would change its mind and tell me to go back with her. But I needed to know so I would never question if I should be with her or not.
We still saw each other once in awhile afterwards. It definitely changed the dynamics of our relationship though. I know she hoped that I’d change my mind and go back to the old Benny. I wondered if I was making the wrong decision. Did I just screw up a good thing? There were days when I was unhappy because I made her feel like this. It was hard. When we did meet, it was okay at first, but just became awkward.
Would I ever find someone better?
Sometimes things happen and we just don’t have an explanation for it. Life is more interesting this way.
About a month later, I went to a nightclub with friends from the kickboxing club I was a part of. I’ve written about how I had to overcome my fear to join the kickboxing club. Then I had to get over my fear of going to a nightclub. I’m glad I got over my fears because that night would change my life.
Of course I didn’t know that at the time. I was just excited about all-you-can-drink alcohol.
We get to this tiny club early. It’s near a couple big universities including the one where I attended. There’s no music playing yet. The lights are still on. There are some people already there just talking.
My friend walks up to a small standing table because he knew the two girls there. He introduced me to them. One was named Eleanor and I thought she was cute. It wasn’t love at first sight or instantly knowing I’m going to marry this girl. I do remember I was impressed with her English because most Taiwanese girls didn’t speak English that well.
I tried to make conversation, but she was pretty short with her answers. However, I didn’t get an attitude from her like some girls give off that say “get away you creep.”