Why Would a Man Date Me If He Doesn’t Think I Am the ONE?

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Evan,
I have a lot of male friends who are currently dissatisfied with their relationships. They tell me how they’re sure the girl is not “the one” and how certain things just really bother them. Yet, for some reason, they do not leave…even after communicating their dissatisfaction and attempting to fix problems to no avail. This seems to be some sort of phenomenon that both men and women succumb to. However, my question is if a man’s reasons for staying until you just can’t take it any more are similar to that of a woman’s. Why on earth are my friends staying with women they feel they are merely settling for? Why not just move on when you know it’s not the right fit? —Yuri

I can write a novel about this subject, but first I want to ask you a question, Yuri.

Why don’t you ask your friends?

Seriously. I’m a happily married dating coach whose relationships never lasted for more than 8 months because I didn’t want to waste anyone’s time. I am literally the LAST person who can claim to identify with the “staying with the wrong one” guys.

Anyone who is staying in a dead-end relationship is utterly afraid of failure. What they don’t recognize is that being in a bad relationship IS failure.

I’ll bet if you ask them, in confidence, you will hear most of the things I’m about to mention now.

So, why would someone stay in a dissatisfying relationship?

1. Fear

Really, it all comes back to fear. One of my favorite quotes is “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” Anyone who is staying in a dead-end relationship is utterly afraid of failure. What they don’t recognize is that being in a bad relationship IS failure. Failure isn’t being single and dating. Failure is waking up every day dissatisfied, annoyed, hurt, and scared to either confront or leave your partner.

2. Loneliness

For many people, anyone is better than no one.

For me (and hopefully my readers), every second you’re with the wrong person is a second you’re not spending looking for the right person.

It’s called opportunity cost and it’s remarkable how people neglect to calculate the cost of spending four prime years with a person you wouldn’t want to marry.

But when you build a whole life with someone, you live together, you’re integrated into each others’ worlds, you’ve merged friends and family, the thought of extricating yourself is positively terrifying.

Remove your dissatisfying partner and suddenly, your dissatisfying world becomes even MORE lonely and depressing.

3. Sunk Costs

I was going to call this section “inertia” but it is really more of an extension of loneliness. After you put in a year of dating, you’ve built up something real. It may not be the thing you want to keep for the rest of your life, but it’s more substantial than most of the dates you’ve been on. The grass isn’t always greener, you know?

It’s like standing in a long line for a taco. If you’ve been in the line for twenty minutes and only moved ten feet, are you really going to get out of the line now? No, you’re going to continue to wait another half-hour to eat your crappy $3 taco; otherwise you’d have to leave your line and find a NEW line to wait in. Ugh.

People stay in relationships because of the sweat equity they’ve already put in, not necessarily because they’re enjoying the relationship itself.

4. Inconvenience

You know what’s really inconvenient? Having to find a new place to live. Buying a new couch because your partner owns the old one. Realizing that all of your friends are married and hanging out as couples. Writing an online dating profile. Going on first dates with total strangers. Filling up endless weeknights and weekends that were previously occupied by a partner.

The stakes are too high, and the rewards are too great to waste your life in a dissatisfying partnership.

Sometimes, it’s just easier to stay put.

5. Low self-esteem.

If you don’t like yourself, it’s easy to put up with bullshit.

It’s easy to say you deserve this.

It’s easy to think that because you “love” someone, your relationship should thrive.

It’s easy to think that your negative, selfish, clueless partner is the “best” you can do.

It’s easy to think that all relationships are hard and that if you continue to do the work that things will revert back to the way they were in the first month you met.

Except none of that’s true.

You don’t deserve this.

Love doesn’t conquer all.

You can do better.

Relationships should not be hard. They should be the source of unconditional love, support, laughter, and ease. They are the foundation on which your life is built. And if you’re on a shaky foundation, you’re not going to have a happy life.

So please, Yuri, share this article with your guy friends and tell them to get out now.

The stakes are too high, and the rewards are too great to waste your life in a dissatisfying partnership.

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Comments:

  1. 41
    Jennie Echelberger

    I’m in a current relationship that I know is not going anywhere. 5.5 yrs together and he still won’t move in. He rarely even spends the night. Bought me a very expensive diamond ring a yr and a half ago cuz I left him cuz I was lonely. And tired of excuses. I gave him a second chance and it’s been the same as it was before I left him awhile back, for the last almost yr. He gets mad or changes the subject everytime I talk about him moving in.

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