Even when we say our marriage vows, there's no commitment of forever.
Nothing lasts forever. We're conditioned at a very young age beginning with fairytales to believe in happily ever after, and we interpret that to mean forever.
But the reality is that even when we say our marriage vows with a commitment of "until death do us part," there's no commitment of forever.
Long gone are the days of staying in unhappy relationships. We have options — and judging by all the singles out there with marriage(s) and multiple relationships under their belt — very few people are "going the distance."
Long-term love can happen; I believe it will happen for me. I'm just not going to get caught up in the details of what defines "long-term."
I mean, really, what's long term? Is it one year, five years, ten years? At this point, I've been divorced as long as I was married. I've been in few relationships and the "long-term" ones lasted between two and five years.
I was beating myself up thinking that my relationship shelf life is 5 years. I convinced myself that I throw in the towel too easily. But the only five-year relationship I've ever had was dead four years in yet I stayed, unhappy and afraid to leave.
I didn't want to disappoint family, friends, or him. I didn't want to be judged for not being able to hold a relationship together.
I wasted a year of my life worrying about what everyone else would think and feel.
Bottom line: The only relationship that doesn't have a shelf life is the one I have with myself.
Living in an unhappy, dead-end relationship is akin to being in prison and the last time I checked, falling in love isn't a against the law. When love and happiness is gone, so am I.
I often takes shots at myself for being a commitment-phobe but in reality I'm not. I've been (and can be) committed to someone other than myself.
I don't leave when things get rough. When I love, I love with my whole heart. I'm loyal and present.
I only leave when there's nothing left. I leave when I feel mistreated or disrespected. I leave when the relationship morphs me into someone I no longer respect. People's needs change; people grow, and when two people aren't on the same page, love fades.
Every relationship has a shelf life.