Don't Let People Stay In Your Life Longer Than They Deserve

Photo: Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock
woman looking out window
Heartbreak

The badass part of me says second chances are for the birds. 

If a guy hurts you — like really, really hurts you — then breaking up with him should be a no-brainer, and you should be able to move on from the relationship with a smile on your face and your middle finger in the air. And while that’s definitely my ideal version of a breakup, it’s far from what actually happens. 

Because the softer, more trusting part of me says everyone messes up. 

And nine out of ten times it isn’t done intentionally. 

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My goal is to be somewhere in the middle of those two extremes. Yes, we all make mistakes and it’s important to be empathetic and understanding — but that doesn’t mean you should give second, third, and fourth chances to a person who hurts you. 

One of the biggest lessons we can learn when it comes to love and relationships is to know when to let go. We have to be able to recognize when a relationship is over or when the guy you’ve been trying to get with just isn’t happening.

We need to be able to see the signs and say, “Okay, done with this. What’s next?” 

That can be pretty easy to determine if a guy is treating you like shit or ignoring you altogether, but what about when he’s not?

I think we’ve all had those moments in a relationship when there’s an aching feeling inside that it’s just not going to last forever. 

But he’s so cute and you like him so much that you just ignore it. 

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But it never really goes away, and you just keep getting more and more attached and the breakup gets harder and harder to do. 

When I say “don’t let people stay in your life longer than they deserve,” it doesn’t mean they’re bad people. In my experience, I’ve broken up more with nice guys than jerks who “deserved it.”

And because of that, I stayed in a lot of relationships a lot longer than I should have. 

Now that I’m slightly older and wiser (I said slightly), I have learned to pay attention to that aching feeling. It’s about trusting your gut and your instincts over a fear of being alone. Being alone is, of course, scary — but it's very different from being lonely. Being alone can be freeing, in fact.

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It’s about being direct about what you want, and not settling for something less just because it’s nice and easy.

It’s not fair to you and it’s not fair to the guy you’re dating. 

We all deserve a fairytale romance that sweeps us off our feet in the most unexpected ways.

But we only get that if we hold out for it.  

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Emily Blackwood is a writer and editor focused on relationships and pop culture. Follow her on Twitter.