One of the reasons some people have a difficult time letting go, is they are looking for the mythical happy ending.
It’s not to say they’ve watched too many movies or read too many love stories, it’s innate in many of us to have and hold onto hope.
Hope is what keeps us going when things look impossible. Ask a survivor of a deadly disease what one of the mainstays of their fight was and they’ll tell us hope. The problem comes when we apply hope to our intimate relationships. The ones that are difficult, if not, impossible to get along in peacefully.
The idea that we are owed a happy ending as human beings is played out in more than relationships, it can be seen as a sense of entitlement. The belief that suffering should have an ultimate payoff is drawn from the perception of the sufferer that it should be rewarding. There is almost a stamp our feet sort of reaction when we’re denied the reward or recognition.
The same can be said in a relationship, in which one party is devoting everything they have and their partner doesn’t notice or engage at the same level. The giver may feel owed, or entitled to some sort of reciprocity or reward for their giving and their suffering.
This person may conjure up a fantasy for the relationship, which includes, a happy ending—so they don’t have to leave or get outwardly angry. It never works out with these sort of expectations. The giver will feel shortchanged and inwardly angry, perhaps, victimized and often, only able to heap blame on their offending mate.
The attachment to the happy ending may keep someone engaged far longer than they might otherwise have, had they looked at what was actually going on between themselves and the other person. There are so many people who think if they act in a certain way it will inspire their partner to do the same. Frustration and anger set in when we’ve ignored the signs and chosen the route to Cinderella’s ball instead.
Some of us cannot handle disappointment, and as we get older—it’s harder to not worry that we may have entered another relationship with an expiration date.
We may try everything we know to make it work, so we don’t have to feel bad and get back out in the market for a new mate. We may mold this unwilling mate into our dream version of prince or princess charming.
How is it possible once we reach adulthood to harbor a fantasy about what a relationship can do or what it will become?
It’s easy to do.
People tend to feel “someday,” will be better than today. Things will change in the future and of course, the partner we have is supposed to improve with age and become more of what we desire.
We base this off the potential. Many people don’t like to admit how true that is, but we see a spark in the beginning, perhaps a familiar one and we automatically think this person is it—we stop questioning things. We don’t look inside at all—we just keep the fantasy going, until disappointment knocks on the door, probably multiple times.
There are those who refuse to settle down unless they meet their fantasy partner. They can go from relationship to relationship when things become challenging and keep believing that once they meet the one, all will be well.
All the delusions many of us have around relationships are what create many of the problems.
If we were to look at our partner realistically, as a whole person with aspects that we like and others that we just tolerate, we’d realize we’re already living a happily ever after.
Being drawn to the familiar in someone for all the wrong reasons is painful. Lack of awareness means the reasons are outside of ourselves and around our old crappy beliefs. This draws in someone whose energy matches our old stuff. We can always stop, connect to our inner sense of knowing and ask some very clear questions about our choices.
Once we get clearer on the truth inside and out, our relationships will change to reflect it. There won’t be the need to live in a fantasy about what we want to happen—we will be loving the present moment in it’s fully colorful breathing moments.
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Editor: Travis May
Photo: elephant archives