Adulting Is A Learned Skill
Growing up and learning you to have an adult conversation is easy to say yet can be so hard to do. Most of us have to learn this the hard way but, if you’ll follow this one simple rule, life will be so much easier.
Growing up and acting like an adult has to be a choice though. It’s not something that just happens, and it doesn’t necessarily happen at an early age, say 21 or 25. It can happen much later in life. It can be challenging, if not down right scary at first just like anything else you do the first few times.
It offers you freedom to make decisions, good or bad, and be able to live with them. It’s a time when you can be honest with yourself and others and be responsible for your actions. It puts you in a position to accept that your feelings are your own and the feelings of others are their responsibility.
When you learn to accept this premise you are free to make great decisions more quickly. You aren’t delaying your decision-making process because you’re worried about how your decision might make others feel. You still have to consider the impact to those around you…just not in an emotional way.
I was having brunch with a woman recently and she shared that she delayed here divorce because she struggled with how this decision was going to impact her husband emotionally. She knew she wasn’t happy and that she had married the wrong man yet didn’t want to hurt him. This is what appears to be a noble gesture on her part. Then you have to ask yourself, “How long should I continue to live in a poor marriage or relationship and disregard my own happiness?”
Let’s be perfectly clear here. I’m not promoting divorce without first making a significant effort to keep the marriage alive. When you’ve made a commitment, you owe it to yourself and your spouse to make every reasonable attempt to resolve the issues causing discord.
And, I’m not talking about cutting and running at the first sign of trouble when you’re in a long-term relationship. You’ve invested a lot of time and emotional energy to make this relationship work. You owe it to yourself and your partner to do your very best to make it work.
It isn’t until you have exhausted all your options and opportunities to make it work that you should consider making the decision to leave.
When you’ve just started dating someone, it is okay to walk away from the relationship quickly. These new relationships are more than likely not worth fighting for since you have very little time and emotional energy invested.
Adult Decisions Are Hard
In the end, it all boils down to making decisions that are best for you. As you may recall, a couple of weeks ago I told the story of a man who invited a woman to a social event and then abandoned her shortly after they met. He was a jerk! If you missed it, check out my blog #215 – Keep It Classy, Don’t Be An Ass to read that story. He was not emotionally mature enough to admit that he didn’t have much in common with his date. This is a classic example of emotional immaturity and how not to be an adult!
Making adult decisions can be hard. They aren’t always easy. Think about an important relationship decision you had to make. How did you handle it? Were you strong and decisive or did you avoid making a decision altogether?
You may be thinking; “How can you avoid making a decision?” The answer is simple. You let the other person make the decision for you. Let me explain. It’s not uncommon for at least one person in a relationship to be unhappy or discontent. Rather than being honest with their partner, they start to do things to sabotage the relationship.
Their rational is that if I make life miserable enough for my partner, they’ll make the decision to leave. This…is the coward’s way out. They want out of the relationship but are not brave or strong or self-assured enough to be honest with their partner. They let their partner do the dirty work.
The Struggle Is Real
If you struggle with making hard relationship decisions, you’re not alone. At some point we all struggle. No one wants to hurt anyone else’s feelings. Yet, we aren’t happy with the current situation. When it’s time to leave, you need to learn to be brave. You need to develop you own voice and speak your mind.
It’s never easy to end a relationship even if it’s only been a date or two. In fact it can be incredibly difficult. However, don’t make it any more difficult than it has to be. What I have found from experience is that these conversations do get easier with time. You don’t have to run and hide. You don’t have to ghost someone to get them out of your life although that is the easy way. But it’s not the adult way! It’s not the honorable way.
Never use “It’s not you…it’s me.” or “I just need time or space.” or anything else that’s not definitive. This leaves the other person hanging thinking there may still be a chance to date again in the future.
The simplest way to do this is to be straight forward and honest. All you have to do is say something like; “I enjoy talking with you and being friends. I don’t feel a spark or attraction though. That’s something necessary for me to want to pursue anything beyond friends. I wanted to let you know sooner rather than later. As we both know, either it’s there or it’s not.
It doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s not a lie. And it is certainly unambiguous so there can be no misunderstandings. It also gives both of you closure when ending your short-term dating.
I hope today’s topic has been helpful. For more information like this go to my website, RickSoetebier.com and check out my other blogs and videos. While you’re there, request a copy of The 5 Biggest Dating and Relationship Mistakes and How to Avoid Them. It’s FREE for the asking!
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Thanks for watching! Have a great and blessed day!