It's truly a heartbreaking question. Let me be clear, I am not talking about a marriage. I am talking specifically about a dating situation only. Two people meet; they hit it off and start to see each other often. As feelings progress and times spent together start to forge together building a bond between them, their hearts take over where the mind leaves and a budding relationship begins. But at what point in the sequence of time do you realize as much as it feels good, it's not going anywhere? How do you walk away from something that feels so wonderful?
When you first meet someone new and start forming a bond, your feelings take over your brain. There are so many euphemisms out there for this process I can't even begin to list them all. Your knees get weak, your heart pounds and like a silly teenager, you actually get butterflies in your stomach every time you see them. You communicate very well together, can have intelligent debates and while you have enough common ground, there are also enough differences in lives, backgrounds, and hobbies that there really never is a dull moment.
But as the days turn to weeks and weeks turn to months you start to notice those pesky little red flags in the back ground. You realize it's been six months and none of your new found "friends" even know you exist, all the while the other person is immersed in your life. They know your friends, are comfortable in your home. They have been to your office and even met your family and then it dawns on you that you are but a mere ghost in their life. Existing only to that one person.
It's in that exact moment you realize you have over invested yourself. You have put yourself out there 100 percent, and the other person hasn't given you even 5 percent. You realize in that exact moment that while the other person is so very comfortable in your home, you don't even know what color their bathroom rug is because you've never seen it. Your friends adore the other person because they have charmed their way into total submersion of your life, but their friends are completely unaware of your existence.
It's in that moment of realization you have to look in the mirror and say, I am better and deserve better than this. I cannot and will not be anyone's secret. I will not be a ghost in anyone's life and if I matter to them half as much as they matter to me, those words will change everything.
But, that brings the next question, if it's already gone that far, is it worth hanging on to see if the change actually happens? Not the change in the person as a whole, because no one should have to change who they are. But instead, the change in your place in that person's life.
Only you can formulate that answer. My opinion is no. If someone wanted you in their life, they would have made a spot for you and demanded attention be made to the fact that they feel the same way you do. After all, it's what you did. The only thing you can do at that point is say this was fun, I really enjoyed my time with you, but I deserve better. It's that old adage of "If you want a place in my life the door is open, but don't just stand there blocking the view if you aren't going to walk through." Or "Don't make a woman fall for you if you have no intentions of catching her."
So, now that you have realized that it actually is not good for you to be with this person, how do you move on? Carefully and cautiously, one day and step at a time. Every day you have to answer yes, I did the right thing when your pesky heart messes with your brain and says what if I gave up too soon? You have to stay strong with the hope that one day someone will come around who will not only impress you, but show you what love really is.
Dating is probably the most annoying and crazy thing I have ever had to do, but I do know this. Every experience I have had, every crazy curveball this life has thrown at me, I have learned from each experience what I do not want in a partner and in a relationship. I certainly will be the first to admit that I have no idea what the correct answers are, but I seem to have become a master at finding out what the wrong answers for me are.
To all of you "daters" out there, here is my advice to you. You need to be able to sift through all the wrong answers, all the wrong experiences and all the wrong people and have the courage and self-confidence to walk away from those things that are wrong. Have the where with all to endure it and stay positive about the over all experience. You must hang onto the knowledge that without those wrongs, you will never know what will be your right. Learn, love, and never stop growing and moving forward.