As humans we love deluding ourselves.
Yesterday, while trying to mind my own business at a coffee shop, I overheard a conversation between a man and a woman. Both were in their mid twenties and eventually my curiosity took over. It went something like this:
Him: “So what do you want to do? Leave him?
Her: “No, not at all. Things aren’t what they used to be. Even the sex is dull. But I love him.”
Him: “It looks like you’re in a stumped relationship.”
Her: “I’m sure this is a phase. It’s been like this for two months. We fight and grow apart, but we make it through. I think it’s the everyday routine that’s tearing us apart.”
Him: “Are you sure you’re not in denial?”
Her: “I’m with him because I love him, I suppose. And I don’t think he’d bear it if I left.”
Him: “I have a theory that if someone agrees with five or more situations, they’re in a relationship that’s over but refuse to be honest with themselves.”
You’re more excited about your individual activities
You’d rather stay and watch a movie on your own than go out with your partner. You make all kinds of excuses to avoid hanging out with them.
You fantasize about being in another relationship
You imagine what it’d be like to be with someone else, whether it’s a coworker or classmate. You might even fantasize about random strangers. The only thing that’s keeping you faithful is a sense of duty, not love.
You still think about your ex
You keep comparing your former relationship to the one you have now. You might have even called your ex. You think that nothing will ever top what you had with them.
Part of you still wishes you were single
You’d rather see yourself as single rather than someone tied to an unfulfilling relationship. Still you’d rather save the drama of a breakup and stay the same.
You use social media to keep appearances
In real life you’ve lost the thrill of being with your partner. Yet on your social media you’ve created a fake situation to show the world everything is perfect. You post pictures of both of you kissing, giving each other presents, and traveling. Anything to keep your friends and family from suspecting.
You pretend to be sad when you’re apart
If for some reason, your partner has to leave for a short or long time, you put on a show. You tell them you’ll miss them, but actually you feel slightly relieved to have some time to yourself.
Sex has become a chore
Sleeping together is the glue of your whole relationship. None of you is that into it, but you go through the motions anyway.
It’s gotten to the point where you’ve been involved sexually or emotionally with other people. You hide it so you won’t hurt your partner, but there’s a huge divide between you.
The magic’s gone
For the last few months you don’t even want to be seen in public with your partner. Everything you used to love about them now just bores or embarrasses you.
You don’t see a future together
When you think about the imminent future, say 5 to 10 years, you can’t picture your partner by your side. This might be the most obvious sign that in your heart you know it’s not meant to be.
Don’t be afraid to be honest with yourself. It might be painful, but it’s better to start taking steps towards reality. It’s better to end a difficult situation than get involved in more entanglements such as infidelity, resentment, or emotional manipulation.
Some time alone could help clear your mind in order to discover what it is you’re looking for.
Is your ex the one that got away?
Translated by María Suárez