Why We Stay in Bad Relationships

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People get into relationships for a number of different reasons–sometimes not very good ones–and sometimes, they stay in relationships for even worse reasons. So before you end up with a messy breakup, saying, “What was I thinking?” CM has the answers to why people get into and stay in bad relationships, so that you don’t make the same mistake!         

You’re Rebounding

So you just got out of a bad relationship and the first person who comes along is the winner. STOP.

Rebounding will only end up hurting the other person and have you stuck in a relationship that you were just using as a cushion from the fall of your last relationship. Getting into another relationship just to ease the pain is a cycle that you do not want to start.

You’re lonely

This can be hard, especially around the holidays, and can really make people want to jump into a relationship just to have someone there. Even if you’re in a relationship, the fear of being lonely if you break up can make you stay in a relationship that you don’t want to be in.

“When you fear being alone, you’re much more likely to make bad choices and end up getting involved with and staying in bad relationships because it distracts you from feeling lonely,” says Christian Carter, author of Catch Him and Keep Him.

Instead, go out and have fun with your friends. You don’t need a boyfriend or girlfriend to not be alone–especially in college.

Social Pressure

If all your friends have significant others, it can feel like going out on Noah’s Ark and you’re the outcast. It can be really hard if you feel like you are the only one left single. Just remember that there are plenty of single people in college and try and go out without your paired-up friends and meet other people.

“I've been single for a year and I think it's a really important time in my life,” says Sarah Ferguson, junior at Philadelphia University. “I love being selfish and when I say selfish, I mean it in a good way. I'm concentrating on my school work more, planning my future, not worrying about impressing someone of the opposite sex and just living in the moment.”

If you feel pressured to get into a relationship, just remember you are young and have plenty of time to meet someone-besides, good things come to those who wait!

You feel bad

You can easily get stuck in a relationship that you do not want to be in if you feel like you are obligated to date them. For example, if they really like you and you feel bad that you don’t feel the same so you give them a chance. Or if you have been with them and they were there for you when you needed them, and you feel like “you owe them.” That can be setting yourself up for a disaster relationship. It can only end in resentment and a messy break up. You can’t force yourself to feel any way that you don’t, so it is best to not even try. 

You’ve been together too long

Sometimes even if a relationship isn’t working, the amount of time you have been with them can become a factor in why you stay in the relationship. Relationships can become repetitive and sometimes boring; they can also be too comfortable. If you are afraid of change because you are used to the person, just remember what it was like at the beginning of the relationship and compare it to the current situation. Maybe you have grown apart or maybe you just have become too comfortable with each other, either way maybe breaking up is the best decision for you both.

“I want to explore life and I want a guy that will constantly go on new adventures,” says Ferguson. “Also, if you're unhappy and you've been together for so long, it's hard to break it off unless you have a good reason so they're not bitter or angry with you.”

If you don’t want to be with someone anymore, then there is no use dragging it out. You never know, they may be feeling the same way as well and it will be better than trying to find other reasons to break up, which can lead to cheating. A clean break is best.

Sophomore > Journalism and Sociology > Penn State University

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