We all want to feel loved, desired and special. Here you are at crossroads in your love life. Part of you feels the love, and another is disappointed or longing for more. You have invested time and energy but lately this relationship feels one sided. You may be secretly thinking about leaving or there might be someone else in the picture.
Ambiguous relationships can be like a roller coaster of emotions. They can bring short term delight but they are difficult to sustain long term. You feel the longing and desire but there might be drama and uncertainty that leave you feeling insecure and frustrated. It is time to re-evaluate and free up some energy.
Step back and reflect on your experience
What drew you to this partner initially? What do you gain by staying in this relationship?
Feeling stuck and unable to proceed can be painful. Sometimes people have these romantic ambitions, and tolerate unresolved issues way too long. Do you avoid these issues with your partner? If you feel afraid to express your concerns, think about what fears keep you stuck. When it comes to love, it could be fear of disappointment, conflict, or fear of losing a partner.
We all have to talk about the things… we are afraid to talk about. Ask yourself:
Is this relationship meeting your needs?
In healthy relationships, there is room for both people to express and share their needs and desires. Is there space for your fear, joy, and dreams? If there is very little or none, it means you’re getting lost in this relationship and your needs are not being met. You’re probably in an unhealthy relationship.
Bring relational self-awareness
We are all attracted to people who feel familiar to us. We tend to unconsciously recreate the same relationship patterns or choose partners who have similar qualities of our parents. As we become more self-aware, reflect on the messages you received about yourself and relationships growing up.
Do you tend to experience the same issues repeating in different relationships? I encourage you to find your voice and look at these issues honestly.
If this relationship is causing you to feel worse about yourself, it’s time to reflect on the dynamics. You can do some journaling in addition to couples or individual counseling.
Keep a relationship journal
Start a journal and write about your current and previous relationships. Be kind with yourself and see if you can identify a common theme or pattern. Name the theme or write it down. By understanding our relationship choices, we can identify our strengths and deficits. You may notice patterns that are no longer working or no longer healthy.
What if you change the script? It is natural to be afraid of change… because we are so used to the familiar.
Sometimes we learn the most through difficult experiences. These are lessons of life – they help us to gain wisdom and insight. Sometimes they happen to awaken us to new truths, or reveal old beliefs that need to be released. If we pay attention, we can discover new truths about us, evolve, and grow.
Set better boundaries
Being aware is the first step to choosing something different. Second is to choose an intention – caring for yourself or acting in a different way. This could be setting better boundaries, being more assertive, saying – No, or ending a relationship. We have to set limits and healthy boundaries on what we can tolerate. As you free more mental energy, this will allow space for new people and experience to enter your life.
Reclaim your power and stay true to your beliefs
Get to know yourself: who you are, what matters to you, and the kind of romantic relationship you desire to have. Building your self-esteem is the first step if you want some change. Here are some suggestions:
- Identify your good qualities and your values.
- Engage in regular self-care activities such as journaling, meditation, walking in nature or therapy.
- Surround yourself with positive people who will support you.
- Practice asking for what you need and allow yourself to receive.
As you re-discover yourself, you will allow more space for your needs, preferences, and emotions. Know that you deserve a loving relationship that is honest and authentic.
As a therapist, I’ve worked with many people at cross roads of their love life, to better understand what they really want and need. It is up to us how to untangle our lives and detach from difficult relationships. Some people are able to do this with stronger boundaries, limiting contact or sometimes ending the relationship is the only way to reclaim yourself.