Talking with a friend of mine, I realized that there is a common trait in long-term relationships that suddenly take a turn for the worse. There is often a lack of short-term memory. There are plenty of people in relationships that are only in them because they’ve “been together for so long”. If you are constantly complaining about your significant other and your only explanation for still being together is the aforementioned reasoning, then you should re-evaluate how you would like this relationship to end. Far too often, people feel that have come too far to go backwards. In response to that, I’d like to ask you, how far have you actually gone if you’re still arguing about topics from the first month? Even though the equation “you + me = us” does make sense, it does not help predict the life expectancy of a relationship. “Us” is a variable, not a constant.
If you are one of the unfortunate members of the majority that are forced to face the fork in the road with one side showing a stop sign; and the other side not showing an end in sight, which road do you take? If the relationship ends before one person picks out baby names and china patterns, the two people involved are not left wondering, “what happened?” If the relationship is ended right before a weekend getaway at the family cabin, then angry and emotional status updates via Facebook may become a part of both individuals near future. Either way, the end result is the same. The downward spiral of complacency has come to a halt. Although one scenario leaves one person hating the opposite sex for a month or two because “they finally opened up”, it provides an opportunity for both people to continue on with the rest of their lives and avoid a predestined dead end.
There are plenty of adults who do not realize this is the case until they are knocking on the door of being the woman with all the cats or the old man that hates everyone. According to your support group, the fact that s/he will not fully commit and you are “running out of time” to get married at a “decent” age is a great reason to abandon ship. When, in actuality, you have been setting sail without a breeze for years! Personally, I do not believe in a small window of opportunity to get married or an age where you should adopt animals and become the next Bronx Zoo. Experience has shown me that, as humans we try to see the potential in people, but we all know that potential that does not soon become apparent will eventually be seen as underachievement. Although you may think that underachievement is only being performed by the person who has the memory span of a goldfish, it is in fact underachievement by both persons involved. Allowing someone to hold you back and use you as a crutch hinders your own ability to grow. Think back to the kid who cheated off your test and then got a better grade than you because they screwed up one of your answers.
Looking back at the end of a relationship, we will always have a spot in our hearts for that companion that never became what we needed; but, creating a feeling of regret within the relationship is much worse. Relationships can either be quicksand or rolling hills. You can either completely lose yourself in the sinking pit of bullshit or be lucky enough to endure ups and downs on a hillside. This article is not to suggest that you should break up with someone because they picked up the wrong type of milk. The point is that if they keep forgetting your birthday/anniversary, you may need to reconsider that double sink and man cave you two have been designing. Allowing someone to stay on life-support within a relationship can be defined as cruel and unusual punishment. R.I.P Terry Schiavo.