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Relationship reality: When do you leave?

Before he became a published author, my friend Panama Jackson, co-author of “Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm” was a guest of this blog! Here is when we discussed the reasons people don’t end bad relationships when they should:

Panama: I admit that I’ve firebombed a relationship or two in my day – we all have. However, over the course of time, you just get fed up with dating the wrong person. You finally accept the fact that maybe, just maybe, you two aren’t meant for each other.

Wise Diva: Yeah well, it only becomes crystal clear to some of us after a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, and maybe a few restraining orders. It seems as if we end up trying to fit a round peg into a square hole, not a good fit. So maybe it takes awhile to figure out that you are square and he is round.

Panama: I’ll never understand, for the life of me, why a woman will sit in a relationship for seven years with a man who has made it clear he’d rather marry a panda bear than her.

Wise Diva: You want to know why we wait for seven years? Because we just INVESTED a solid six of those years in you – someone we actually thought we loved. No, we probably shouldn’t have. Yes, you most likely weren’t really worth the wait, but we hold on in hopes that you are. So when it becomes painfully obvious that we were all wrong, it’s a tough reality check. We definitely can’t place all the blame on you, because sadly, we let it happen.

Panama: That’s a hard realization to make for some people because we all get caught up in that bogus ideal of how much time we’ve invested in a situation or person. Newsflash: Just because you’ve invested time into somebody doesn’t mean it was a good investment.

Wise Diva: Well, you got me with that one! So, why do we do it?

Panama: People are afraid of being alone. Terrified is probably a better term for it. So that fear will have you looking past red flags or making excuses for men who probably aren’t bad people, but aren’t being forced to be good men either. It’s really a messy situation.

Wise Diva: I wholeheartedly agree with you on that point. So would you say that this is applicable to men too?

Panama: It goes both ways. I don’t want to make it seem like women are the only ones making excuses or sticking around too long. People settle everyday, and its a shame that we end up settling because we’re afraid of being alone.

What do you guys think, do we sometimes hang on longer because we want a return on our investment? When do you cut your losses and bail out?

Is it about the time invested in a relationship or the actual relationship itself?

By Wise Diva, Misadventures in Atlanta Dating Blog

157 comments Add your comment

COME ON NOW

April 7th, 2011
7:41 am

Good morning,

Well when you’ve been with someone for a long time there tends to be that investment mentality. But I think for the most part people stay in dead end relationships out of fear. Fear that they may not meet anybody else. My mom always tells me, “Don’t be like those silly women who think that a piece of a man is better than no man at all. Those type of women will take any old thing.” She’s right. What is the point in settling? Just to say that you have somebody? Please. Anybody can have somebody. I know it’s cliche to say, but I’d rather be single than to be with someone and be absolutely miserable. And I know this because I’ve been in relationships where I was miserable but I was scared to leave because I wasn’t sure I could do better. People with low self-esteem tend to think that way. Then there’s the whole staying in a relationship because you’ve sold yourself the dream of what the relationship could be, when in reality, what you actually have is nothing short of a nightmare.

PrincessNik

April 7th, 2011
7:53 am

What do you guys think, do we sometimes hang on longer because we want a return on our investment? When do you cut your losses and bail out?

I will admit, I have definately been guilty of hanging on longer than I should have, mostly during my early to mid 20’s. However, like the saying goes you live and you learn. I like to think that at this point in time I’m a lot less likely to hang on. I’ve learned to be honest with myself and honestly assess the relationship and the other person. Sometimes we get stuck in the comfort zone, comfortable with the other person, not wanting to “try again” when if you scratch just below the surface you know that overall you are not a good fit for each other. Sometimes you have to say “boo I love you, but we are no good together”. My thing is I Love ME more. At this point in my life its about the actual relationship and not the time invested. I’ve stayed in the past, and at the end looked back and felt like I had wasted a couple years of my life. NOT a good feeling.

Good Morning!

Simple Man!!!!

April 7th, 2011
8:08 am

Morning Ladies….

My take on this is a little different…I tend to believe that people stay in bad relationships not so much out of fear, but out of pure laziness….Starting a new realtionship or even just dating takes a lot of work…Work that some folks just have no interest in doing. Its just seems like it so much easier to ride it out and hang on to whatever good times you can salvage…..

Dan - Simply....Superior

April 7th, 2011
8:11 am

We should really be careful about how we define “investment”.

In a relationship where the person you’re seeing shows no signs of changing or wanting to change (beyond the platitudes), the moment you realize that – be out.

However, if the person you’re with is genuinely adapting (and that process takes time), then your investment is worth it.

Take it from someone that has given this advice – albeit for stocks – an investment is a long term committment. There will be peaks and vally’, hi’s and low’s, and if the fundamentals of the business [read: person] are sound, over time they will reward you with dividends.

Where, I think a lot of people get caught up is, not analyzing those fundamentals. You’re looking at name recognition (clothes) rather than a steady BoD and senior management (does he/she know there is a problem). You’re looking at how the market is defining them in this moment, as opposed to past performance.

It sounds cold, but when I was looking, I looked for signs bad management (nothing was EVER her fault), poor past performance (I’ve dated a bunch of jerky guys), and then market share (because of those bad experiences, I’m doing x,y,z now).

PrincessNik

April 7th, 2011
8:20 am

Dan,

Your last paragraph, I don’t think its cold, its what i consider logical.

Reggie

April 7th, 2011
8:42 am

I think most people hang on out of familiarity and laziness. At least you already know what you have (good and bad) and it’s not like no one else isn’t complaining about what “they have”. It seems most people with a SO, when they are in quiet circles, all they do is run them down with the “I don’t know how much longer I can take this” moniker. I have rarely heard “This person is just AWESOME and does ______ and ______ for me.” Sorry, I don’t hear it from either men or women Men say things like “If it weren’t for sex, there would be a reward on every woman’s head.” and the women “I swear he gets on my nerves SO much and driving me CRAZY!.” But when they are around that SO, they put on the mask and smile all the way home.

Laziness comes from just starting over at square one and having to, once again, do the things that made us seem pleasant and “quite the catch”. People will say that they aren’t changing for ANYONE, but they always do wherever there isn’t a horse in the stable. Just my two cents.

MC Hammock

April 7th, 2011
8:44 am

I hope we get a better attendance than we did yesterday. Talk about hearing CRICKETS….

Lana

April 7th, 2011
8:49 am

Most of the time, Reality is such a far cry from what you had always imagined it would be. Call it self centered or what you will, but I’ll be DANG if I’m going to spend my time with someone that isn’t a round peg in a round hole. I enjoy men immensely, but since men are from Mars and women are from Venus, we think, value and prioritize things differently. Not that either is wrong, it’s just the nature of the beast. If I feel like that we are not on the same page financially, socially and sexually, no point in kicking the dead animal when they have glassy eyes and no pulse. Good bye, good luck and best wishes to you, but I’ll be seeing you later….not.

Jen64

April 7th, 2011
8:55 am

I can deal with most things, but not being consciencious about others, leeching off my bank account or a dry as a bone libido is a ticket out the door. Been there, done that. I think about others, have a good enough job and then there are my “needs”. If you drop the ball and after being made aware of it, you continue down that path, there are too many fish in the sea to swim with. NO ONE is that important that you just trudge through life wondering What if or WHY.

MC Hammock

April 7th, 2011
8:58 am

DAYUM….seems like we have some trolls that should have read that article as to “Why You’re Not Married”…lol. Particularly the part about “You’re angry”…. Lot of animosity and anger in here, so far.

Dan - Simply....Superior

April 7th, 2011
9:02 am

@Lana

So, have you signed up for the “other team”?

Lisa Ann

April 7th, 2011
9:05 am

My b/f better be able to do it twice a day, whether he wants to or not. You can’t fulfill that and ta ta!

Lana

April 7th, 2011
9:06 am

Dan, what are you referring to? You lost me there.

Mo (aka Moeisha)

April 7th, 2011
9:08 am

Morning All!

okay so far so good, looks to be a good discussion today.

Simple Man – I agree with you on the laziness part. That is how I knew I wasnt ready to date after my divorce. I rememeber telling a friend “Im not ready for all that work again yet! I dont want to start from scratch AGAIN!”

Dan – “In a relationship where the person you’re seeing shows no signs of changing or wanting to change (beyond the platitudes), the moment you realize that – be out.” Love this and co-signing 100%

MC Hammock

April 7th, 2011
9:08 am

@Lisa Ann. Look, we know you’re a male troll, so stop posting and go back to your “websites”.

However, if you’re not……..lol

Dan - Simply....Superior

April 7th, 2011
9:10 am

Well, if men are from Mars, and women Venus, and you’re not interested in a man on the same page….then what about a woman?

Because the logical ending to your post is that men and women will never get on the same page…just askin

SlimNumeroUno

April 7th, 2011
9:19 am

Moring…Happy Thirsty Thursday

Will be peeping in and out

Lana

April 7th, 2011
9:21 am

Dan, Oh heck no. I LOVE men. It’s just that when in a situation where ideas, tendancies and priorities come into play, we value different things, react different ways and treat things differently. I just don’t want to be in a situation where there is constant conflict of those ideas. In certain venues, I love men and love being with them. But the reason I’m divorced and staying that way is that at my age, I like to have certain things and do certain things a certain way. If it’s not your cup of tea, I’ll just go elsewhere and don’t mean it in a mean or bad way. I admit that men and women are different and always will be. But as far as company and doing a lot of things, I wouldn’t trade men for anything.

Joe Mama

April 7th, 2011
9:31 am

Lisa Ann — “My b/f better be able to do it twice a day, whether he wants to or not. You can’t fulfill that and ta ta!”

Just wait until you’re married and 50. You’ll be happy with twice a week. :D

Dan - Simply....Superior

April 7th, 2011
9:32 am

Then Ms. Lana, if I may:

If you’ve reached a stage in life where you’re not willing to compromise, then your chance (if you even have that desire) of finding a good mate are infinitely decreased.

The sheer mathematical odd of finding a man that thinks like you, acts like you, does things in the way that you do them are, well, let’s just say you’ve got a better chance of hitting The powerball lottery at it’s highest value twice in your life.

However, if that is not what you desire, then more power to you. In my heyday, I’da shot you the email addy and made you prove it. Now, I will wish you well in your search.

Dan - Simply....Superior

April 7th, 2011
9:35 am

@Mo

Don’t think of it as “starting from scratch” because you’re not. You’re building something new with a new person, using experience and a new set of tools.

MC Hammock

April 7th, 2011
9:38 am

@Joe Mama, Obviously, Lisa Ann isn’t married. If she were, she would just be “going through the motions” twice a month with her hubby to keep him quiet. That’s the difference between being single and being married. Single women act like nymphos. When those same women become married, things……..change.

kimmie

April 7th, 2011
9:39 am

Morning Good Blog People!

For those of you that have been reading me awhile, you may have heard me speak of how I’ve been guilty of hanging on too long in the past. It actually is the number one regret of my dating life. I didn’t really have that “investment” mentality. It was truly that I had sold myself on the IDEA of what the relationship COULD be, not what it really WAS. Also, I started listening to others. The old me right out of high school and college would KIM in a heartbeat. But well-meaning folks started telling me to give dudes more of a chance because no one is perfect. I was fully aware no one is perfect, but I should have stuck to my guns.

Simple, I agree about the laziness too. It is not easy starting over and getting back out there trying to meet someone you can deal with. To make an honest assessment of yourself and what you might be doing wrong. The people you are choosing to date. It’s easy to settle.

It was only when I woke up and just got plain tired of being miserable that things changed for the better with me.

Everything is working out in the end. I am set to marry a great man. But the journey to this point was not without its bumps. That’s life though.

PrincessNik

April 7th, 2011
9:40 am

That’s the difference between being single and being married. Single women act like nymphos

:lol:

Lana

April 7th, 2011
9:42 am

Dan, you are correct in what I desire. No marriage for this chick. And as far as a “search”, there is no shortage of dates out there. All a woman has to do is be presentable and be pleasant. The men will come to you. It’s up to the woman to weed out the selection. It’s actually quite fun and a blast.

DreamsMaterialize "Free Me-Lo"

April 7th, 2011
9:42 am

Morning

We definitely can’t place all the blame on you, because sadly, we let it happen.
Actually, you can’t really place ANY of the blame on the other person. Only YOU can choose to leave or stay. No one else is to blame for your decision pro or con.

do we sometimes hang on longer because we want a return on our investment?
This is investment mistakes 101. Actually, seasoned vets do it too. Invest in a really good prospect that eventually starts to nose dive. Your best bet is to get out early, but many people don’t cash out because they’re hoping the investment will recover…but it doesn’t. By then their investment is almost worthless.

kimmie

April 7th, 2011
9:47 am

Don’t think of it as “starting from scratch” because you’re not. You’re building something new with a new person, using experience and a new set of tools.

Dan – I like that!

Tom C

April 7th, 2011
9:47 am

I know that we are all supposed to want and SO. We are supposed to want the security, the companionship, the friendship, the deepening of the relationship (*throw up), the commitment. I’ve just decided through trial and tribulation that……..life is so much easier, simple and grand staying single and just date someone steady. That way if (the topic) happens, it’s not such a dang hissy fit/mess when you do it.

AmazonRed™ - back from vacay

April 7th, 2011
9:47 am

Morning all -

I’ll never understand, for the life of me, why a woman will sit in a relationship for seven years with a man who has made it clear he’d rather marry a panda bear than her.

I’ll never understand it either.

I tend to err on the side of bailing too quickly. Not every hesitation doesn’t mean things won’t move forward. Still trying to find the right balance there….

ERGO

April 7th, 2011
9:54 am

It can’t possibly be that the priority of every single date, every single kiss and every single person that we meet is always steered towards “Is he/she someone that I would marry?” TELL me that this isn’t true. If it is, I stopped at the wrong table. Sorry, but if that is the underlying reason for all of this….I don’t need a man to complete me, inspire me or take care of me. If it’s someone I enjoy and have a great time with, great. But not every date is me checking off a list as to whether or not he is “marrying material”.

Dan - Simply....Superior

April 7th, 2011
9:54 am

@Dreams

You’re right, we all do it. But that’s where the “buy and hold” strategy comes into pay. You can jump out at the first sign of freefall (like everyone else) and then watch the stock rise from the sidelines.

@Lana

More power to you in your search.

Dan - Simply....Superior

April 7th, 2011
9:58 am

Ergo

It depends on what you want. If you’re out for “fun and numbers” get it in; and every person you meet is an end unto acheiving that goal.

If you want someone to share your life with long-term, then yeah, every kiss, every date, every step they take, every move they make, you should be watching.

Purple Rain

April 7th, 2011
10:00 am

You leave when all means are exhausted or your desire is gone. No need to hand around where youa re not wanted or you have no desire to be. I keep reading about sex…sex should be a by product of everything else in the relationship. I am not a flighty person so I don’t run at the first sign of trouble, but I am a realist and I know myself and when it is the begining of the end in my mind.

Off Topic: I was at the gas station this morning and this woman’s body was sooooo perfect that it reminded me of an old flame. I mean so fine that your loins start tingling. I grabbed my phone and almost called the old flame to say hello. Still fighting off that urge. Just venting, I am not going to call her. Whew glad I got that off my chest.

PrincessNik

April 7th, 2011
10:05 am

I tend to err on the side of bailing too quickly

@Ared

I gotta agree with you, seems I have gone from one extreme to the other. I’m really trying to find balance with that also.

Purple Rain

April 7th, 2011
10:10 am

Why does it seem that when one is ready to go that guys tend to just start picking up jumpoffs until they get caught or women start making an exit plans and have another man lined up?

kimmie

April 7th, 2011
10:11 am

Purple – That’s just the way folks roll.

SlimNumeroUno

April 7th, 2011
10:13 am

Hey Purp Pleasure, glad you were able to talk yourself off that ledge ;-)

Purple Rain

April 7th, 2011
10:15 am

kimmie, I think it was said earlier. I think some people are just afraid to be alone. They will go into something after a major realtionship break up knowing good and well that they don’t want to be with that person and will just pass the time with them until they find what they want. I think the older some get the more they realize that it’s not worth it.

DreamsMaterialize "Free Me-Lo"

April 7th, 2011
10:19 am

You can jump out at the first sign of freefall (like everyone else) and then watch the stock rise from the sidelines.
Dan Assuming your company doesn’t go into bankruptcy or get bought. I agree though, as a long term strategy, if your company is pretty stable, then “buy and hold” is a good way to go.

Purple Rain

April 7th, 2011
10:20 am

Slim, her whole package was perfect definetly top two I have EVER seen! I felt bad just for how seeing it made lust just take over. I had to really check myself…I still have that image burned in my mind. I am glad I didn’t act on it, but I sure will be thinking about it when I do some self love in a few hours. LOL

Celisea

April 7th, 2011
10:20 am

Morning,

I guess I would agree too that laziness has been a huge factor for me when hanging or dangling too long. Not wanting to start over has even encouraged me sometimes to sit it out because of not wanting to deal with trekking through and getting past the new. Don’t get me wrong I like the buttflies and the giddies and all that stuff that comes anew but sometimes when you reach the other side of that you could very well end up back at square one. And frankly I not a fan of wasting time…mine or yours.

SlimNumeroUno

April 7th, 2011
10:23 am

‘I sure will be thinking about it when I do some self love in a few hours.’

Purp – I always wonder if dude’s sort of loosely scheduled some ’self-love’ time or if it sort of just happened randomly in the moment. lol

Reality

April 7th, 2011
10:26 am

Purple, I kinda see your point about some people not wanting to be alone. However, when I got my divorce and it became final, I was so wanting to feel the experience of having a woman WANT to hold my hand, to WANT to kiss me, to ACT like they wanted to be around me….I went to a club with some friends that night. I didn’t want to date anyone steadily for a while, but sometimes, people are just so starved for the exact item in the relationship that they left for, that freedom is like an elephant that has been lifted off your chest. I haven’t moved in with anyone and offered no commitment to anyone. I had no problem getting back in the game that instant and it has been mind altering incredible ever since. The key is cutting the anchor that has kept you at the bottom of the lake, swim up and discover that life doesn’t HAVE to be like that. I was finally open for business and business is BOOMING.

kimmie

April 7th, 2011
10:28 am

Purple – I agree.

I’ve been the rebound woman and it is not pretty. I’ve done the rebound thing myself, also not pretty.

Learned early on to just take a chill pill after a major break-up!

Selflove

April 7th, 2011
10:30 am

@slim, it happens more often than you think. Some is planned and other times it’s like “I’m bored, I’m alone….hmmmmm, what have we HERE!” LMAO

Purple Rain

April 7th, 2011
10:30 am

Slim, sometimes it’s scheduled depending on the real life action with the wife if things are lacking os oneo f us is in a mood…. I will say hmmm I need to do that before I go to bed, sometimes I forget to sometimes I don’t.

Reality, I understand that fully. The very thing that you wanted is available to you and you just want to experience that without the other stuff.

DreamsMaterialize "Free Me-Lo"

April 7th, 2011
10:31 am

I mean so fine that your loins start tingling.
Man Purp the sights around here have been something amazing lately with all this spring weather. Yeah it’s definitely the loin tingling time of year. lol

Simple Man!!!!

April 7th, 2011
10:33 am

Slim..Followup off topic…Do women “invest” in making time for self love like men do???

Selflove

April 7th, 2011
10:38 am

I don’t think that women have the “self love” tendancies that men do. We’re just wired differently. I mean, I’m sure they DO, but comparing the two is like comparing your housecat stalking a bag of catnip and a mountain lion sneaking up on a deer. Two entirely different properties in play here.

i'm swiss™ ("FREE ME.LO")

April 7th, 2011
10:38 am

Simple — I could see Slim being a water wanker… i.e. turn on the water full blast in the tub & slide the ol’ CT under the spout… :lol: