When I’m in a relationship, I’m 100% committed. I’ve always been an all-in or nothing type of girl. I wear my heart on my sleeve and truly believe in the power of love. That being said, I’ll always have an escape plan for any relationship I’m in just in case things get bad—here’s why you should too.
What would you do if it all went south? Seriously, ask yourself this question. Do you live with your partner? Have a dog or cat or goldfish together? Shared bank account? Shared car? What happens if it was all to end tomorrow? Be an independent woman and have your act together just in case. I’m not saying you should be as next level as some of those doomsday preppers out there, but you can exist as an individual and a couple at the same time (and you should).
You want to be the one to swim, not sink. Watching my ex barely keep his head above water when we broke up was painful. It made me feel terrible that his life was literally turned upside down. He literally relied on me for everything, which was the exact reason I ended things. I felt like I was drowning while trying to keep him afloat. When I pulled the plug, he had no place to move into (we were living in my sister’s house), he had no car (I had bought and registered it in my name), and he had little to no income (I was full-time paying 90% of the bills while he was trying to start a personal training business). I ended up moving in with my grandma so he could continue to live with my sis until he found a place and I let him keep using my car until he eventually bought a bike.
My ex was the perfect example of what happens when you don’t have an escape plan. Of course he eventually pulled it together, moved into a new place, and was forced to find a paying job and sort himself out with a car. Still, for a very painful month, I bet he was thinking, “Damn I should have planned for this.”
You can’t blame anyone else for your lack of foresight. You won’t even believe what he did next! He then blamed me for “taking” the car, “taking” the dog and breaking his heart. He said all of this for millions of people to hear on a reality TV show called Heartbreak Island. I swear I’m not making this up! It wasn’t my fault that he thought he could mooch off me forever and hadn’t thought about what would happen if we ever broke up.
Your escape plan doesn’t need to be complicated. It doesn’t have to be a 100 page document detailing every step you’ll take because when you’re hurt or you’ve hurt someone you once loved, you’re not going to be thinking rationally enough to remember the small details. Still, you should know where you’d live if you broke up, if and how you’ll afford to live, whose shoulder you can cry on, who will have custody of your precious fur baby/real baby if you’re that deep, and a go-to activity that has no association with your partner that will make you feel good during a crappy time. It’s that simple.
You can still be committed to your current relationship whilst also knowing what you’d do if it ended. I love my current boyfriend a ridiculously large amount. We share the same interests, we love our time together and our time apart doing our own thing, and everything right now seems so perfect. But if he turned to me tomorrow and said, “See ya!” I know I’d be OK thanks to my trusty escape plan.
Sometimes it pays not to have too much faith in relationships. I’ve watched too many women be cheated on, blindsided, or made to feel like they’re stuck in a no-longer-desired relationship. Because of taht, I refuse to be caught floundering if I find myself in the same situation. I want to be able to pick myself up, dust myself off, and stand on my own two feet.
This isn’t the 1950s anymore As a strong woman, you’re allowed to have a job, an education, a degree, goals, ambition, a voice and financial independence. Set yourself up to succeed no matter what your relationship status and also set yourself up to bounce back from any of the obstacles life can throw at you.
There’s no guarantee of tomorrow. I mean this in the least depressing and morbid way possible! Use uncertainty to fuel your fire to be the best person you can be. Fall in love, lower your walls, and let someone else in. Truly believe it will last forever but have your escape plan stowed away in a box locked tight in a corner of your brain. As long as you do, you’ll know you’ll be OK if it all goes wrong.
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