Recently, I was having a drink with a friend who I was just getting to know. They told me that they are in a relationship that they are starting to question, and have explored intimacy with other women, and they are really enjoying it. In other words, my friend (I'll call him Patrick), is cheating.
He started to ask me my story, and how I ended up in Madison. I told him I had been flirting with the idea of moving to Madison for some time. All sorts of things can hold you down from such a life change: family, money, job, marriage, relationship, need I say more? Without divulging too much information here, let me just say that I knew I had to leave Cleveland.
I am writing this post because people continue to ask me how I was "brave enough" to just "up and leave." It's funny because I don't see myself as being brave at all. It has always been in my nature to do what I want. Isn't that what our generation is about?
Even yesterday, a young girl told me that she and her boyfriend of five years are "taking a break," because they are currently in different countries, but that she is scared to break up with him. She asked for my advice.
Now, I am not an expert on this. All I can tell you is that when you start to question your relationship, you MUST move on. Who wants to spend the rest of their life second guessing their partnership? It is absolutely ridiculous. I cannot believe how many people have divulged information about their "questionable" relationships to me, since I have moved here. They tell me all sorts of things such as:
"I cheated on her, and it was fun. I would like to do it again."
"If you liked it, it sounds like you are ready to be single again. You can feel free to do it as much as you want, when you are single."
"I love him, but I like the attention I get when I go out with my friends."
"I am not sure I want to spend the rest of my life with him."
"Do you really think that that feeling is going to go away? If you are wondering that in your 20s, then maybe he is not the one to spend the rest of your life with..."
Unfortunately, I do feel that these people feel the need to meet the old fashioned expectations of settling down. But life is too darn short for that.
Let me get back to my friend, Patrick for a moment. I told him that I thought he was stuck in this boring relationship, and that he simply needed to end it. He told me that he knew that, but he just couldn't do it. He said it would be too painful, and too hard. This is all true. It will be. I don't disagree with him. However, don't you think that the rest of his life will be pretty hard if he doesn't break up with his girlfriend?
As people say, time heals all wounds. Making the decision to break-up with someone after a long relationship is not an overnight thing. But if you are uncertain, and feeling what my friends have expressed to me, then imagine how you feel once you end it. You may feel stuck, and yes, breaking up is awful. It is the death of a relationship. In my 28 years, my break-ups were up there with my parent's separation, and the loss of my grandparents, but you do get over these things, and you grow, and you learn, and, you HAVE FUN!! Do all those things you are dreaming of. If you are eyeing men at a bar, go for it! But, please, get out of your relationship first!
I know it's not that easy. I do know that. It's going to hurt. But, I want you to know that you can do it. This is for all of my friends who are "stuck." When in doubt, get out.