All week long I have been talking with clients and friends and having fits of deja vu -- flashbacks of what it was like for me when I was in a relationship with a man that I SO wanted to love me... who on some occasions was able to give me the unconditional love I craved... but who on so many more days couldn't and wouldn't. In fact he would mostly do the opposite - yelling, fighting, ignoring me, telling me how messed up I was. But yet I stayed for 15 years, waiting for the day when he would finally love ME, that he would become the loving partner I craved more than the emotionally unavailable or verbally abusive mate he was 90% of the time.
After our relationship ended, which led me to loads of therapy and self-discovery, I came to realize this phenomenon I had been experiencing as the 'BLIP EFFECT." The Blip Effect takes place when, in relationship, we let the small joys and moments of unconditional love make up for all the crappy times, loneliness, and struggle. It's what kept me trapped in a relationship that wasn't much different in year 15 than it was in month six - dysfunctional and unhealthy. And it's what kept all the friends and clients I've talked with over the years trapped too.
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So why do we stay in these relationships that don't give us the connection, intimacy and support we so crave?
Why do we get amnesia and forget about all the 'bad' stuff as soon as Dr. Jekyll transforms into Mr. Nice Guy?
1. We get love mixed up with a reason to be in or stay in a relationship believing that we only end relationships when we fall out of love. And that is just one big lie. The truth is that we don't fall out of love, we fall out of intimacy, trust and respect. Once you love someone you will always love that person. Unfortunately most of us push our relationships to the point of drama, deceit and devastation, and overstay, clinging on as if our life depending on the relationships survival. Where does this get us? Hating and hurting the both people, including ourselves, convinced that we don't love them anymore, when in fact the love is lurking right beneath the surface of the hate and mistrust we've worked so hard to conjure up. This is a big waste of your life's energy, agree?
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2. We are afraid to be 'alone.' We get 'alone' mixed up with 'being lonely.' The truth is that there is no place lonelier than being in a relationship in which you don't get the unconditional love, support, trust, respect and intimacy you crave. It's way lonelier than being single. In fact when you do choose to end a relationship and go it alone, what you will find, and what I found, was that there was a whole lot of love waiting for me. I found that love inside myself, I received it from my friends and I got boatloads from the wonderful healers and spiritual communities that welcomed me in.So much more than I ever got from my "ex-person."
There is a simple truth that we all need to embrace into our lives -- the only two reasons to have a relationship is because it makes your life better (helps you reach your dreams) or because it makes you a better person. If a relationship doesn't make your life better -- and I am not talking financially or materially here -- then there is NO need to have it. You are better off without it. That is self-love.