As children, when something didn’t go exactly according to plan, or quite as well as we’d have liked it to, we enjoyed the luxury of do-overs. They weren’t supposed to be allowed in whatever game or activity we were doing, but as long as it was just with the other kids no one really objected.
The older we got, the fewer do-overs we got, but there is still one area where a lot of people seem to want infinite do-overs: the land of dating. And as some people seem to want continual do-overs, how do we know when it might be time to just call it quits?
Sure, when we first starting seeing someone and a few bad things happen — odd little screw-ups, or a nutty ex who just won’t go away — things can just stop dead where they are and the relationship might not recover quickly enough to be salvageable. Once it all cools down though, we come back to them and consider whether trying it again might be good. But how many times can a person go through that before they have to say they’ve had enough and not encourage it anymore?
When it’s the first time, maybe even the second, it’s okay.
What about those people who are on-and-off for years? Really, where are you going with that? If you can’t be together continuously, how is this wedding I hear you’re planning ever going to happen?
It seems like the people who are on-and-off have it much steamier and much more intense for the first while they’re back together. Then the cycle declines again and back into the pit of despair it goes.
Maybe after the fifth cycle it would be time to walk away and go home. The on-and-off relationship people seem so convinced that the person they’re with is right for them most of the time that you almost have to admire them for fighting so hard. But for the friends on the outside, it’s usually just irritating.
And then we’ve got our lovely couples that are working out just fine and suddenly they aren’t together anymore. Just like that. Bam! They’re not an item anymore. They stay apart for a few months, and then the avoiding becomes too much a hassle or they accidentally bump into each other and suddenly they’re back together. Bam! Just as quickly as they called it quits.
For some reason, a lot of the time, it never lasts long the second time around — maybe because they should have stayed apart. Because of all the avoiding, however, they were unable to see each other and remember why they were apart, so when they finally bumped into each other it was the end of being mad at each other.
It’s okay to miss someone, but when you forget why you weren’t good for one another the good reasons you had for breaking-up might be pushed to the back of your mind . . . temporarily.
And of all these situations, what about the people who simply can’t make time for you? Are we, the daters, seriously expected to wait around three weeks to see someone again when there is a whole ocean full of fish out there for us to try and catch?
Maybe we stick around for the security with these ones, or because of desperate wishes to make the relationship something more. But in the end, if you’re waiting too much and feeling like you don’t want to wait anymore, maybe it’s time to walk away.
Of course, there’s flex in all these situations and every relationship is different. These are just the basic feelings of one angry columnist. We’ve all just got to weigh our options and know when to call it a day.