Just like making pesto in a blender without the lid on is a bad idea for white ceilings, in relationships we often have bad ideas that may seem like good ones at the start.
Getting married so you don’t lose your best friend who gives you an ultimatum is probably a bad idea. Dating a guy for a year because he’s a wonderful person and you’re hoping the chemistry will kick in sooner or later is probably a bad idea. Dating a guy that you have amazing chemistry with but he’s a donkey is probably a bad idea. Dating a guy who promises to go on trips with you but hasn’t followed through in six years is probably a bad idea.
Maybe we all look and hope for the best in people, and so we keep pushing forward, hoping that something will change. They say you can’t change another person, but they can change themselves. Maybe we hang on, hoping that they will come to love us enough to make the change. Maybe they just haven’t hurt us badly enough yet for us to push them away with any finality.
In my experience, the relationships that end in friendship are the ones that are short, and they were with men that I liked but wasn’t in love with. The men I was in love with are the ones who had the ability to hurt me deeply, and those are the relationships that did not end well.
If we see in the beginning that we are incompatible in the long term but press on, hoping for change, we run the risk that the other person will fall in love, and they will be the one deeply hurt when it ends. Although we didn’t have hurtful intentions letting things go on as long as we did, someone did get hurt, and it will probably end up as a relationship where we no longer speak to each other.
Is it best to end things as soon as we know it’s not going to last long term, or is it best to persist and hope that maybe the other person will eventually understand us or love us enough to make changes? If they make the changes, will we finally get our “happily ever after,” or will new issues arise that are deal-breakers? Should everything be smooth sailing from the beginning?
Just like using a laxative for the first time five hours before a long hike is a bad idea, staying in a relationship and hoping for change is probably a bad idea too. It might make you feel better, but you’re doing it the difficult way. Further, just when you think you’re done, it goes on and on and on until you get hurt. Making good choices early on seems like the best way to avoid pain, both with the laxative and with your relationships.