Girl, grab yourself a box of tissue and a glass of wine. It’s time to count to three, rip the Band-Aid off of that stressful relationship and let it go. Trust me, the wound will heal.
Several of mine have healed so, I know.
Let’s be honest. You know something’s wrong with this man you’ve been dating for a while, now don't you? Yet somehow you’re still holding on to the relationship? *side eye*. What making you stay even though you know deep down inside that you deserve more? Is it the sweet words of apology he offers every time he messes up - the way he seems to "mean it this time around?". Is it because he begs for your forgiveness while saying all the right things in your most vulnerable moment? Or maybe it’s the deep genuine feelings you have for this man that will not let you imagine going a day without him. Could it be that you are afraid to let the time and effort you invested in the relationship go to waste?
There are many reasons why we keep holding on even when there’s nothing left to hold on to. For some women it’s the fear of being alone. Others have deep-rooted insecurity issues that leads them to believe that they will not find someone else if they let this one go; the kind that contends “Better the devil you know than the Angel you don’t.”
Whatever the reason, you’ve tied a knot on the rope and are hanging on like grim death. Once a strong, independent woman, you’ve now been reduced to the queen of giving chances to a man who doesn’t deserve them. Without even knowing it, you’ve depleted your own power supply. You’re powerless.
The list below is simply meant to help you hold the mirror of honesty to your relationship. Examine it closely. If you’re still dating a man who repetitively exhibits any of the behaviors listed below, you’ve stayed in the relationship a day too long and it's time to untie the knot and let it go!
The Abuser: This should be the number one reason for any woman to end a relationship. Every girl needs to know that they do not deserve to be hit or mistreated by a man EVEN ONCE. The first time he lays hands on you is the day you leave and never look back. You don’t even have to pack any bags, just leave. Now, it’s important to note that abuse is not always physical. It could also be emotional. A man who repeatedly calls you names, demeans and puts you down is emotionally abusive. I’m not trying to be judgmental here, but I’m honestly surprised at how easily girls have come to accept being called names by men. Beware. This is how abusers start. They test boundaries to gauge how much you can tolerate from them. Once you accept one thing they progress to another. So today you might be a B*tch and it sounds harmless to you but tomorrow you’re an **hole the next day you can take a slap across your face. The more immune you become to any of their demeaning behavior the more they will dish out for you to absorb. And you know what – You don’t deserve it.
The Chronic Cheater: Some men will always chase after the thrill of being with something new, fresh and forbidden. Every new woman in town will come under their radar. It has nothing to do with what you are or are not doing as a girlfriend. Your man is simply addicted to the idea of doing something clandestine and absolutely loves the adrenaline rush that comes from scheming and trying to get away with it. When caught, he might offer a heart-felt apology and vow to never do it again only to disappoint you with another hurtful act of infidelity. Do you want to enter into a marriage with a man like that crossing your fingers and hoping he’ll change? I don’t think so. Not to say that redemption is impossible. Some man have slipped, fallen, repented then spent the rest of their lives making it up to the woman they love. We praise the Lord for those! Others will pursue your cousin, your co-worker, your best friend and, God forbid, even your sister at every opportunity. Those are the ones you leave behind like scrap mental and move on to a more empowered life. If not, you’ll spend the rest of your life with a broken heart crying yourself to sleep wondering why this man will not change “for you”
The Blame Shifters: Watch out for these ones. They are sleek master manipulators. They commit an indiscretion but yet it’s never their fault. They always find a way to shift the blame to someone else or to a circumstance. Zero accountability on their part. Have you met a man like that and doesn’t he just make you want grit your teeth? You do not want to commit your life to someone who sees nothing wrong with their behavior because as long as it’s someone else’s fault they will never change what they need to change.
The Lazy Bum: Is there anything more unattractive than a man without ambition? Don’t get me wrong, I’m the kind of girl that would eat noodles with my man and sleep on an air mattress with him as long as he’s inexhaustibly working towards a dream he believes in. But the kind that lays on the sofa all day waiting for you to come home because they will one day miraculously become the next big rapper, investor or most sort-after underwear model? The chronic procrastinator who ends up playing video games all day to escape their reality? Nah. No. I’m not down with those. And by the way, that is NOT sexy at all, men, and does not give a girl any kind of euphoric feelings towards you. You have to see a fire in your man’s eyes. Inspire him if you have to, but make sure he’s the kind that has a vision and is making a daily effort towards reaching his goals. Not everyone gets discovered at the local gas station by a talent agent. A wise person once said “A young man without ambition is an old man waiting to die.” You have to admit, it’s hard to respect a man who is just sitting around waiting to die with all of his untapped potential.
The More-Than-Occasional Vanishers: Oh girls! We can really get creative in making up with excuses as to why our man is not answering his phone, returning our text messages or why they cancelled that oh so important date you’d planned for weeks. Let’s say it’s Saturday night and you’re lying around your place, missing him. You send a non-committal somewhat fun text early enough hoping to squeeze in some cuddle time. You write “So bored, what’ya doing?” No response, even though you can see clearly that he read your message. You make some popcorn, watch a movie and maybe even get on Social Media to distract yourself. All the while you’re hoping this boy says something back. But your phone never lights up. The text goes unanswered. Soon it’s time for bed so you give it one last shot “Well, night night.” Followed by some sleepy-person emojis. That one goes unanswered as well. So you’re lying on your bed trying to downplay the disappointment and wishing you could fall asleep fast. But your thoughts are racing. You might want to soften the blow by telling yourself that, well, maybe his phone died before he could respond. Or maybe he’s in a coma in the ER. No, wait, perhaps he was exhausted and fell asleep early. And of course it could always be that the notorious neighborhood dog chewed his phone because, you know, it does that sometimes. Am I going to be the one to break it to you? Your man is out and up to no good. He’s avoiding you. If he’s not out with his boys chasing new tail, he’s probably laid up in the arms of another woman telling her the same sweet nothings he tells you and she’s now busking in your euphoria. A man who disappears on you every so often without a good explanation for his whereabouts is most likely a PLAYER.
The Pathological Liar: Ohhh I can’t stand them! They tell such intricate lies they start to believe them themselves. And even when you catch them in a lie they have the perfect explanation for it! How do they do that? Most people tell little fibs here and there, perhaps exaggerate some aspects of their lives a little. But telling blatant and white lies habitually? Your heart sinks when you discover that they were lying. If you choose to deal with a man like this, how will you ever distinguish between when he’s telling the truth about something and when he’s not? You can’t. This kind of man will look you straight in the eye and tell you they never charged $120 on your joint credit card at the mall even though you followed him around and saw him do it. Or they will deny being out with friends even if his friends provide you with irrefutable evidence that he was with them. You will always get into arguments and shouting matches with this kind. “Michael said you all went to the bar last night!” “I’m telling you I have not seen Michael for two weeks!” It’ll be a frustrating union. Walk away before you lose your marbles.
The Time Waster: Most women want their relationships to progress. If a man told you upfront that he wants you to be a perpetual girlfriend you would probably not want to get in a relationship with him, right? We enter in a relationship with the understanding that it will eventually progress from girlfriend, to fiancé to wife. And most times it does start with those intentions. But then the man gets comfortable, or gets cold feet and makes you a bosom warmer. This is the point where he doesn’t want to lose you, but he doesn’t want to move forward and fully commit to you either. When relationships get to this point some women get so frustrated by the stagnation that they deliberately get pregnant so they can tip the scale and force the man to commit. Instead of trying to trap a man like that, go find yourself the one who is not afraid to look in your eyes and see a future filled with everything you desire. As Bryan Adams once sang, when a man can see his unborn children in your eyes then you know he really loves you.
The Control Freaks: Where are you going and what time will you be back? You can’t wear that out, go change! I don’t want to see you hanging with Janet anymore. Come to me when you need money for groceries and I’ll ration it out to you. If this is the man you’re dating then Houston, we have a problem! And don’t you dare say no to any of their demands because they become angry very fast. When it comes to controlling men, you should especially pay close attention to those who are opposed to you furthering yourself in any way. He’s quick to discourage you from accepting a better position at work or enrolling in college or even pursuing a hobby that might make you successful or more visible to other people. This is most likely a man who is insecure, and is looking for something to control in order to satisfying his own ego. Sure therapy could help him get over some of his deep-seated issues. But what if it doesn’t? Are you willing to be turned into a puppet for the rest of your life?
Women. We’re nurturing to a fault sometimes. To be honest, when I heard that Khloe Kardashian had dropped everything to rush to Lamar Odom’s bedside after his near-death experience, I squirmed a bit. Okay I squirmed a lot. A classic woman move, always over committing our feelings and overreaching when it comes to our men. The men on the receiving end love it so much that they come to expect it.
Human Psychologists will tell you that human beings love to feel needed. I have often overheard women half-complain half-brag about this all the time. “I left my husband alone with the kids and he didn’t even know what to cook!” We huff, we shake our heads and even roll our eyes like we are exasperated about it but in the back of our minds we love it. They need us. They are a mess without us. We add value to them.
The feeling of being needed is a good one. But let’s not lose ourselves while trying to be someone else’s anchor. Know when you’ve given enough to a situation then walk away. One very valuable gift we have is the power of intuition. The idea here is not to find a perfect man. The idea is to pay very close attention to your intuition when it points out the red flags. Do not ignore those red flags.
Letting go of someone you love will hurt but remember if it doesn’t work out with that person it simply means that someone else loves you more. Go find that person. That’s the boy you deserve.