We've all been in that relationship before where our friends, family, coworkers — even that cashier at the grocery store — wonders why you're still in. Sure, it started out great, with all of the thrill and fireworks of new and exciting love. He chased you, won your heart and told you everything you wanted to hear; he made you feel so beautiful, so alive, so wanted. Top 10 Traits All Singles Are Searching For
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But, gradually, things started to change. There were fights, hurt feelings and things that were said that shouldn't be said to anyone. There were also scars that couldn't heal and there may have been infidelity. It just keeps getting worse.
Of course, there were also apologies and the highly dramatic make-ups that seemed like the only thing that brought you close to that initial excitement that you now wanted to get back to so badly ... but you could never quite get there. So, you settled for the break-up and make-up rollercoaster ride to fill the emotional void that was ever widening.
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Ultimately you find yourself resigned to a constant feeling of depression, which — when coupled with a lack of communication and support — leads to a life that's just utterly lacking in love. But, still, you can't let go.
What is it that compels us to stay in relationships that aren't good for us? There are many reasons, but more often than not, it's a combination of several motivations. The first step towards making your situation better is in understanding why you're making the choices you're making to begin with.
1. You're afraid you're getting too old. You're afraid if you leave, you'll feel desperate to find someone else quickly because you think you're running out of time. You may also feel that if you can just make this work it will be much better than having to start all over again with someone new or you may feel the pressure of your biological clock ticking. Although the biological clock is a very real thing, none of these reasons are a good reason to stay in a relationship that's not working. Bad relationships don't get better with age.
2. You're afraid of being lonely. This one is one of the most common reasons for staying in a relationship that's just not working. You may have very clear memories of how alone you felt on those long lonely Saturday nights when you had no plans and nobody to be with. As much as we all long for someone to share the beautiful, special moments in life with, as well as someone to be intimate with, being with the wrong person just for the sake of avoiding being alone will ultimately lead to more pain and sadness than the pain of loneliness.
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If the fear of being alone is keeping you in a dead-end relationship, find some girlfriends to spend time with, or get yourself a furry four-legged friend. As Greg Behrendt said in the very humorous and popular book, He's Just Not That Into You, "that's what pets are for. Pets are God's way of saying, 'Don't lower the bar because you're lonely.'"
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