Should I stay in a relationship with no future?

General, Romantic Relationships / Monday, April 16th, 2018
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Hey, Alana!

I’ve been living with a man for four months, and today he tells me I’m only his friend and will only ever be his friend because he never wants to be in a committed relationship. I have been hurt from past relationships. However, I understand that I can not let my past upset my future. The most awful part about it is I’ve never been happier in my life. That is, until the minute I felt crushed knowing that I will never have a future with this man. Even then, I still refuse to give up hope.

What is your advice?

Hey there!

Thank you for sharing this with me. I can only imagine the heartbreak you felt when the man you saw a future with said that he only wants to be friends. That’s never easy to hear.

Rather than explicitly telling you what to do, my goal here is to help you come to a conclusion on your own.

Here are three questions to help you figure out how to move forward:

What is it about your current relationship that makes you so happy?

In your question, you said that you’ve never been happier in your life. That really sticks out to me. It reveals your ability to appreciate the value of your own happiness.

Let’s dig a little deeper into that. What, specifically, makes you so happy? Do you enjoy feeling special to someone? Maybe you find peace in having a companion to do life with.

Once you figure out what makes you so happy, see where else in your life you can find similar contentment. This doesn’t have to be another relationship, necessarily. You might start a new hobby to help you feel some excitement. Maybe you could find a group of friends to meet with regularly to help you feel a human connection.

Finding other activities outside of your relationship will help you gain perspective and remind you of the possibility of happiness even if this person is no longer a part of your life.

Is your past hurt preventing you from moving on?

You said that you’ve been hurt in past relationships. So, I’m sure when your current relationship began you felt incredible relief to have finally found someone who made you genuinely happy. Now, however, this same relationship has no promise of a future, which may cause you to fear that you’ll never find the same level of happiness again.

If you gain anything from this post, remember this: you have the power to create the relationship you desire. Just because your previous relationships were painful does not mean that the one you truly want doesn’t exist. You can find someone who is willing to faithfully commit to you. You have to trust that. Don’t let fear of being hurt again hold you back from finding the right relationship.

What hope are you holding on to?

It sounds like the man you’re living with made it very clear that he just wants to be friends. I think it’s crucial for you to listen to that.

You said that you refuse to give up hope, but what exactly are you hoping for? Are you hoping that he will change? Are you hoping that you will end up being happy in the relationship despite his lack of commitment?

Once you determine the outcome you are wishing for, figure out if it’s realistic.

What he told you is really hard to hear. Because of that, it might be easy to ignore his clarity and hold on to hope that he might change his mind.

I’ve seen a lot of women bend over backward in an attempt to become what they think a man wants or needs. But, rarely does it work out in their favor. Usually, the man retains the same feelings he had before, and the woman ends up feeling inadequate, unworthy, and insecure.

If you find yourself heading on this path, please keep in mind that it’s not your responsibility to make him want to commit to you.

Another way to look at it: pretend that your life is a garden. You can spend your time watering a dead plant and hope it comes back to life, or you can choose to water a new seed that has the potential to grow into a big, beautiful tree.

How do you want to spend your time?

I encourage you to reflect on these questions. Hopefully, they help you come to a decision that’s right for you.

If you believe in God, pray for guidance. So much strength and clarity can come out of a simple prayer.

I believe in you.


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