It’s difficult to navigate love, but it’s especially difficult if your relationship feels unstable. Perhaps you are feeling anxious and insecure toward your partner’s intentions. You have significant time, energy and love into building a life with a person. There may be a strong connection and shared interests, but it feels like your journey towards forever has been stalled out for some time now.
This could be due to an array of situations where their feelings have been hurt and require substantial time to heal. Your partner could be navigating a swath of physical and emotional impacts that has cause you to feel more distinct from them rather than a unified front. You may be wondering if your relationship is even worth it at this point. How do you know if you have been waiting long enough for them to make a firm commitment to you and your future together?
The answer is as unique as every person. Although you want a finite answer, the fact is a number of factors must be considered before you can make a decision. You must take a step back and breathe. Trust your intuition, you will know deep within you when you have become so tapped out that your must end this affair. You will sense that the costs of waiting are becoming greater than the benefit of your idealized scenario together. Your decision will depend on your values, expectations, goal and sense of self-care.
To have a happy and healthy long-term relationship you must first assess if you are compatible enough to grow together, rather than apart. Consider each of your life and relationship goals. Then investigate how your goals mesh or conflict with each’s others. If they are in conflict, then neither of you will be happy long-term in the relationship.
Think about how you have been feeling while you have been waiting for them to commit. How long can you continue managing these feelings and the impact this waiting has on the rest of your life? What are the costs and the benefits to this pattern, and how they will impact you long-term? Consider your expectations and behaviors surrounding love, dating and relationships? What matters to you, and have you been unwitting settling for less than you deserve? Do you feel like you deserve more, or less than you are getting currently? When you settle for less, you get less. How do you value your time? Think about how frustrated you may get when waiting for an appointment versus how you feel waiting for your next phone call or date night.
You may feel frustrated waiting for a table at a restaurant or to see your doctor. But in relationships, this frustration becomes anxiety because you are paying not just with your time investment, but your whole well-being. Waiting for a potential partner to commit robs you of opportunities to meet a fabulous new person who can love you with their whole heart the way you deserve. Every opportunity has both costs and benefits. When you wait for a commitment, your needs are delayed getting met and you risk sadness, pain, and insecurity both in the relationship and your life. How long you are willing to continue waiting will depend on your relationship with time, your needs or goals, and desire for stability.
What happens when you truly love each other?
You both verbal and nonverbal express love and affection for one another. You feel a strong bond and enjoy being together. You both may be in love, but your timing might be off. You both need to step back and consider if you are individually healthy and ready enough for a serious relationship. Although you might desire a life together, you each must be ready to tackle all that comes with a lasting relationship, including emotional availability. This includes being able to process baggage from previous relationships and a receptive heart for a new love and partnership. If there are any unresolved feelings for an ex, there will be insecurity in the current relationship. Insecurity will create hurdles to cultivating safety, intimacy, and loyalty, all of which threatens the healthy and satisfaction of any long-term relationship.
Should you wait?
Only you can answer this question. Your time and emotions are precious commodities. Waiting can delay you achieve your dreams and living the life you have envisioned for yourself. Listen for any excuses that might be giving you about waiting, and see what is causing them to be so passive. You deserve to be with a person who is forth coming about their intentions with you and why timing might be currently off.
You have a plan for the life you dream. The longer you wait, the longer you delay that dream. If a person truly cares about building a life with you, they will want to make sure they don’t delay you achieving your goals. Instead they will work with you to help you reach even loftier heights. They will show their care and concern for you in both words and actions. If they want to truly be with you, they will work to all they can to move on from previous relationships and set healthy boundaries with their ex. If they don’t, this is a clear sign they aren’t ready for a committed relationship. Ultimately, the decision to wait or move on comes down to you and what you prioritize. We all are gifted with free will. Making choices aren’t always easy, fun, or comfortable. But you are deserving of having a satisfying, healthy and long-term relationship, even if you must have a difficult conversation with your current “partner.”