It is human nature to find the easiest solution, the quickest route and the path of least resistance, so when life gets difficult it is only natural to cut and run in search of a softer path. But, are we considering the cost of running too far too fast?
When it comes to love, if we don’t get what we are looking for, or when things don’t turn out like we had hoped, what do we do? We run. Rising divorce rates, casual relationships, online dating and the rise of the single women are all signs that point to one of two things: first, our hopes were too high and we jumped into something too quickly only to discover it wasn’t right after all; and second, we assumed that what we want in a partner would simply appear before us, and when it didn’t, we found ourselves disappointed and ran in the opposite direction.
It’s true that some relationships need to end, and it can be difficult to decide whether things should be fixed or taken apart altogether. Therefore, when your relationship is on rocky ground, before cutting and running, ask yourself a few questions to see whether you are bolting too soon or if it is time to say goodbye:
1. Is this how I want to live my life?
2. Is it possible to work with my partner to achieve the life we both want?
3. Is my partner willing to work with me to achieve the life we both want?
4. Do my partner and I want the same things out of life?
5. Are there extenuating circumstances that have led to the deterioration of my relationship? If yes, can these circumstances be changed?
If your answer to any of these is no, start treading carefully. The bottom line is that the right partner is worth waiting for; the right partner will want to share a life; the right partner will want to work together to achieve a common life goal; the right partner will not come easily, though, as they are not part of an instant gratification world.
Do yourself a favor: don’t cut and run too early, but don’t stay too long either—especially when it’s time to split. Consider the life you want to live, and ask yourself if the life you are currently starring in is worth it.
Have you been living a gypsy life? Do you move jobs, homes, towns and countries on a regular basis? Do you find your feet itching to leave your current home behind, in search of something new? Do you find yourself dissatisfied with the life you’ve carved out so far?
In a world where travel is easy, and dropping everything to run off in search of adventure is popularized by film, literature and our friends’ Facebook pages, it’s easy to get swept up in a gypsy lifestyle. A new home every few months, a new job and a fresh start—it’s a whirlwind life that Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg made famous in their 1960s beat generation novels, poems, and stories.
At the end of the day, however, we can all too easily become nomads as time passes and a person moves from one place to another and another and another, leaving behind friends, family, and memories. Without even knowing it, we become displaced. Each time we leave, we are separated from a part of ourselves, and in doing so, we end up scattered amongst all the places we’ve been, leaving us searching for none other than our scattered self, which, of course, we can’t find because we have left it behind.
As time goes by, we search for adventure less and less, and start to look instead for ourselves. We run from place to place when we don’t find what we are looking for and grow increasingly unbalanced and unstable, alienating ourselves from our world and ourselves until we are no more than another nomad running from one place to the next, searching for something we don’t know how to look for.
Travel as much as you can, but be careful not to get caught up in a transient world, where you end up running all over the globe in search of something you left back at the beginning.
There is no shame in walking away and starting fresh. The problem arises only when you never face what is in front of you and you end up running away instead. Eventually, you may find that you are running from yourself. You may never have solidarity or comfort in yourself and, therefore, in anything else.
Give things a chance, have an open mind and, if it’s still not working out, walk rather than run away; after all, you may find something extraordinary just around the corner.