I Stayed With Him Because I Didn’t Want To Be Alone — Bad Idea

I stuck with my ex for a long time even though I knew in my heart he wasn’t right for me — I just didn’t want to be alone. The idea of single life frightened me, especially since I was nearing 30. Of course, I’ve since learned what a mistake that was and I seriously regret wasting my time with him.

  1. I didn’t love him. Sure, I’d liked him in the beginning, but after some time, I realized that we just weren’t right for each other. I thought our love would grow or we could somehow make things work. Who was I kidding? I was just hurting myself by staying with the wrong guy.
  2. He was full of drama. This guy had no shortage of problems and baggage, and since I was choosing to stay with him, they ended up hurting me. It was stressful because I was always hearing about his problems or having to help him sort them out. For what? I didn’t deserve that! At least if I’d been alone, I wouldn’t have had anyone’s problems on my plate — only mine.
  3. I wasted time I’ll never get back. I was with him for eight months and it was a total waste of time. I knew the relationship wasn’t going to go anywhere. The funniest thing is that I ended up single anyway at the end of it, which is what I’d been trying to avoid. It would’ve been so much better for me. I could’ve made that time much more useful and saved myself a lot of stress.
  4. I wasn’t getting what I deserved. I was settling, and by doing that. I was essentially saying, “This is the best I can do, so I should just stick with it.” What BS! You’ll never find me in that situation again. I have much higher standards and I’d rather be on my own than stuck with the wrong guy who brings me down.
  5. I prevented great love from coming my way. What I realized way too late into the relationship is that by staying with this guy, I was blocking any better romantic opportunities from entering my life. I could’ve been so much happier, but I slammed the door on that future.
  6. I screwed myself over. It’s like I told myself, “I’m afraid of being single, so I’m just going to be in an unhappy relationship instead.” WTF? Instead of dealing with my fears of being single and facing them head-on, growing stronger because of them, I was essentially bringing MORE problems to my life than I would’ve had if I’d embraced my single status. It wasn’t worth it.
  7. I tried to change him. I’m not one to give up easily, so even though deep down I knew this relationship was not making me happy, I really believed I could change that if I just changed him. If I helped him with his issues, he’d get better. If I helped him solve his problems, things would improve for both of us. Disclaimer: there’s no way to change someone if they don’t want to change.
  8. I tried to be the best I could. I really kept trying to make him a better boyfriend, and make myself an amazingly supportive girlfriend. But why? I thought I could change our whole relationship into something better, but that was BS. I shouldn’t have tried to make the relationship make me happy — I should have realized I’m the only one who can make myself happy and I could’ve had that by being single.
  9. I was lonely with himBeing alone might sound scary, but honestly, being with a guy and feeling lonely in the relationship is a hell of a lot worse. That’s what I experienced in this relationship. I tried to get my happiness from the relationship, only to realize it wasn’t going to happen, and that really sucked.
  10. I thought, “Better this than being single.” Hey, at least I had someone to call after a stressful day and a guy I could fill my weekends with, right? I realized quickly that such things just weren’t enough. I didn’t need a warm bed and someone guaranteed to talk to at night. I wanted a relationship that gave me much more, but I didn’t have the guts to be single and find it.
  11. Everyone was getting on with their lives. One of the things that kept me trapped in this mediocre relationship was how all my friends were getting engaged and settling down. I felt like this was my last chance to do it for myself, and I somehow had to make it work. Why would I have put so much pressure on myself, especially for the wrong guy?!
  12. It was ridiculously unfair. I was ruining my life and getting depressed. I was also being unfair to the guy I was with. As screwed up as he was, he deserved someone who really loved him. By sticking with him, I was being horrible to both of us.
  13. I took the plunge and I’m so glad I did. I dove straight into the icy waters of singledom, afraid I’d end up buying lots of cats or that I’d be all alone and regret my decision. But you know what? It was actually so empowering to end an unsatisfying relationship. It was amazing to take the time to feel comfortable with being on my own and depending on myself. I didn’t have anyone to snuggle up with, but I had self-respect, newfound confidence, and hope for the future — and yes, that did keep me warm at night.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.