R: Hi, Singlestalk. I’m deeply in love. The good news? I’m handsome. The bad news? He’s handsome, too. The last two years have been difficult. He’s 14 years older than I am. He’s married. I’m single. Knotty situation. And I’m left doing all the heavy lifting in terms of time, effort, patience, and understanding. He’s smart and talented. A good guy. But I also want to be good to myself. I need something he can’t give—time. Even just when things are tough for me. I wish we never met. I’ve been meaning to leave but he doesn’t allow me to. Where do I start? How can I say no to him? Can I sustain it? Please help me.
DJ: Not all relationships are meant to last forever. A one-sided affair looks like a case of Cupid shooting the arrow and hitting the wrong person. A relationship is economics, too. There’s a net positive balance of give and take. A mob dance every “week-sary” isn’t necessary. But a thoughtful gesture like buying pan de sal so you have something to dunk in your coffee helps. It’s disheartening to put effort into a partner who doesn’t have a similar investment in the relationship. You’re single. He is married. The equation isn’t balanced to begin with. More like a drain than a partnership. No wonder you’re running on empty. At least you now know it isn’t romance that’s taking your breath away. It’s because your face was like jammed against a pillow. Good realization. You can start from there.
What if you’ll not find someone like him? But isn’t that the point? No more married men. Can’t live without him? I think you can. You were born without him. These are easier said than done. I understand. But hopefully you’ll realize that they’re not facts but limiting beliefs. Empower yourself by thinking what can go right about starting life anew. If you’re loving the wrong person this much, imagine what it’s like loving someone who is right for you? You are walking away not for this dude to realize your worth but for you to live your self-worth. Engage in activities that make you happy. No, I did not mean sign-up on Tinder. Watch comedies on Netflix. Let humor be the glue gun to your broken heart. Work on your fitness goals. Spend more time with family and friends. Create fulfillment without being part of a couple.
I suggest you break the news at a location that’s nearing its closing time. Then you won’t be locked in an unending discussion. No point in letting him agree. It’s also tempting to offer friendship to soften the blow. Friendship to an ex is only possible when both of you don’t have feelings for each other. Because if you have a strong connection and an intense love affair, how can you become just friends? It’s like playing with a blazing fire. It can warm the heart but will very likely burn down the house, too.
Loving unconditionally is the most beautiful thing; Particularly in K-dramas. But in reality, a relationship between two human beings—imperfect as we all are—work when both parties participate. Sure, it’s hard to stop loving someone you shouldn’t. But if you hang on to this sad story, then you’ll keep living this sad life. The hurt will only run deeper. If he’s happily married, what you have is an imaginary ever after that’s very unlikely to happen. If he’s there because a need is unmet by his wife, then you’re essentially like his battery charger. Wanted only for a moment. Not forever. How can you win in these situations?
Teach others how to love you by demonstrating to them the way you love yourself. Looks like this dude loves you because he needs you. He doesn’t need you because he loves you.You’ll be okay. Have you heard about the three-month rule? Some 155 dumpers and dumpees participated in a research done in 2007. Result: 71 percent of them felt better on the 11th week. Who knows? You might be part of the majority! Cliché as it sounds but trust the process. Have faith. The relationship is not a net positive force in your life. He’s your priority while you are his option. Help him narrow his choices. Remove yourself from the selection. That isn’t pride. It’s self-respect. The love affair may be good because you said hello. And you can make it better, even better, with a goodbye.