Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Dependency Factor

Sometimes, when you least expect it, you just outgrow your relationships. It's not something we're thinking about in the early stages of when we're in them. But it happens. Instead of growing together, you grow apart.

But then the question is, how do you handle it? Do you hold on in the hopes it becomes something... Or, do you let it grow and worry about starting over on your own?

I started thinking about this earlier in the week when my cousin told me about a good friend of hers who's been with a guy since college and has moved out to the city that he lives in to be together... And somehow, seems to have a "crush" on another guy. See, she loves her boyfriend. But somehow, the formula isn't working the way it used to.

The story was further magnified when a friend I'll call Amy (who I actually met through her boyfriend, an old colleague and pal "Charlie") sent me an e-mail to tell me that they had broken up early this year, after several years of being together. However, the thing I found interesting is that this past summer, at her birthday party, they were there -- together -- and other than their usual small bickering, seemed quite cute.

As Amy told me, they were trying their hand to make it work but at the end of the day, couldn't get past the hurdles of their relationship. She's since started seeing someone new, and while she seems happy, she's still reminded of the love and dreams she shared with Charlie.

What these two relationships have in common is that they both tried hard (or are trying hard) to hold on to what they had with the ones they loved - with the goal of saving something that's become a part of them.

Admittedly, when I broke up with my first love, it was something I couldn't let go for a while -- although I acted out by dating and flirting up a storm just to forget my broken heart. But that was me lashing out the only way I knew how. And I knew it was because I felt for him more than he could ever feel for me.

As I thought about it, I realized that I've heard this same story happen with a lot of friends -- and one half of the relationship seems to feel a little stronger about saving it. And I wonder if that's because, in every relationship, one person may love a little more than other. A very good friend -- whose husband spoils her rotten -- told me something like that once, and I'm starting to believe it. I mean, think for a second: Have you ever just been in something that's so much a part of you, you would do anything to keep it?

When it all comes down to it, there's no predicting how we'll handle the changes that happen in a relationship. Do we want to hold on to it? Or do we want to let it go and grow away from it?

Every couple's different. But all we can do is hope that somehow, whatever choice we make, we're making for ourselves and not just to hang on to something. I mean, how healthy is that.

There's a large field out there, and maybe someone new that will suit us. If it's not the one you're with, maybe -- just maybe -- the next one will be waiting.

I mean, moving on can be a lot of fun... If you're ready.


  1. this makes me sad...i agree--sometimes, even when you've been happy with someone, there comes a point in the relationship where it's just NOT working. although i'm ok with letting go, i've come to the realization that i might start to bug out as i start to get older. i hate letting people in and to have to start all over again with someone new is just scary...

  2. True. It's scarier to hold on to something just to hold on. But, the hope is that as we get older we start picking and choosing a little more carefully which makes letting go easier... In theory.