Your friends shake their heads. They can’t believe you’re going back to the same person again. They know how much you’ve been hurt, how this person doesn’t value you as they should. Your friends have told you numerous times to cut all ties, and never go back. And yet something inside you wants to give the one you love another chance. Even though you know they’re never going to change, you still have a tiny spark of hope.
Why — despite all reason, do you keep returning to them? Here are 5 reasons you keep going back to the wrong person.
1. It’s all you know.
You have been in love with them for so long, maybe for years. They’ve woven themselves into the fabric of your life. They know your family, your friends, you’ve shared countless memories.
You wonder if you’ll ever love anyone as deeply as you loved this person. You hope and pray that one day this love will finally be mutual.
You know they aren’t right for you, but the thought of them not being in your life anymore feels like losing someone who was part of your family. So you return to them again and again, because deep inside you can’t seem to let them go.
2. You don’t think you can do better.
Deep down inside you don’t feel worthy of love. You feel like this person is a great catch, you’re never going to have a chance with someone this amazing again.
All the time you spent dating them made you feel even less worthy. Because the entire time you were with them, they had one foot in and one foot out of the relationship. It was obvious to all that they didn’t value you. Your self-esteem kept plummeting. Yet, as soon as you resolved to leave them, they came chasing back after you and kept dangling that carrot of hope.
After suffering so much time in this hot and cold relationship, your self-esteem is in tatters. You don’t believe anyone will ever truly love you. And so you return to them. Because it seems like any relationship is better than going through life alone. That’s all you believe you’ll ever get.
3. You think your love will change them.
You see so much potential in this person. After knowing them, you see the talented, smart person they were. Your heart bleeds for all the pain they were put through by an abusive childhood or a relationship where they had their heart trampled.
You feel so sorry for them. Even though they’ve vowed they could never be in a relationship, because relationships are destined to fail, you are convinced they are wrong.
Your love is going to save them. You are the one who believes in them, and no one will ever love them the way you do.
You love them flaws and all, and the only reason they haven’t committed to you is that they’re scared of being hurt. You will never hurt them. You are the one who will bring them the love and respect and adoration they deserve. They will never be lonely again. You are the one who’s supposed to be with them. And sooner or later, they will realize that. Your love will heal them, and they will finally be able to love you back.
You’ve put them on a pedestal.
4. You think they’ve changed.
Things are different than the last time you were together. You’ve both grown up, and both of you have changed.
They’ve worked through their family issues, and the controlling parents they had are gone now. The ex is out of their life, and they’ve matured and don’t want to be single anymore. Now they are free to commit to you.
They’ve apologized to you profusely and sent you bouquets of roses and are turning up the romance.
They’ve promised you that things will be different. They say they’ve changed, and you should give them another chance.
You look deeply in the eyes you love, and you want to believe them.
Yet after a few weeks back with them, they’ve already started straying from you — yet again.
5. Lessons you haven’t learned yet.
Sometimes you return to a person because there are lessons in life that you haven’t learned yet. You need to work out issues from the past for your own personal development.
Sometimes you need to see how bad this relationship really was. Often in time we gloss over the bad times and focus on all the good things about the person. Then we go back to them hoping for more of the good, but instead, we only get worse treatment. For some reason, we needed to learn that lesson one more time.
Basically, you’re incompatible.
There’s a reason your relationship is never working. Even though you keep returning to them again and again, you are incompatible with each other. If you were compatible, the feelings between you would be mutual. They wouldn’t have treated you like you weren’t worthy of being with them, and they would have never hesitated in committing to you.
No matter how many interests you share, if they don’t want the same things as you, it is a recipe for disaster. A person who wants commitment and a steady relationship, and another person who wants to be single and free are not compatible no matter how much chemistry they have between them.
If you were both compatible you would be able to work through your issues and would have stayed together. There would not be an imbalance in your relationship.
When someone is in love and values their partner, they show it. They would never want to hurt you. They would never reel you in and spit you out like a piece of trash.
How to stop this self-destructive cycle.
Time goes by fast. Admit this isn’t working, and cut your losses. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been together with this person for years — if they’re still making you miserable it’s time to go. Give up this fight.
Start choosing a life where you have mutually loving relationships. You deserve so much better than to be strung along, or treated as a fallback person.
Get off of this merry go round and get ready to meet the person who loves and values you. This is better for you out there — only when you decide to let go.
This post was previously published on Hello, Love.
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