When I was single, friends would often suggest online dating was the way to go. I was against it at first because I believed (and still do) that the Universe brings forward the right person at the right time. But having heard success story after success story , I dared to dip my toe in the online water of finding a mate. It’s fair to say I got metaphorically soaking wet, and not in a good way.
The first date took me to Sainsbury. Okay, not the ultimate picture of romance you might think, but I like quirky, so I stuck with it. He then played a game around arranging our next meeting, so that when he eventually asked to see me again and I said no, he got nasty. Strike one.
The next fella, despite saying he was looking for Miss Right, proceeded to tell me during our first meeting that he was seeing as many women as possible because he wanted to get his money’s worth from his online monthly dating subscription. Strike two.
The next date, I liked. A lot. We dated for a while … and then cracks started to appear. Within a month I’d had an email from his girlfriend of several years, stating she was a bit frustrated to discover there was (yet) another woman on the scene. As well as me, there was at least one more she knew about and needless to say, for me, that was strike three and out. I took the decision that whilst it really does work for some people – and I genuinely wish those all the best – there are just times when it’s better to walk away from something – or someone – that’s not working for you.
…the Universe brings forward the right person at the right time
This doesn’t just apply to dating or relationships. You might be struggling with making a decision to leave a job, a hobby or something else which once meant a great deal to you.
Here’s five signs it may be time to walk away:
1) Lack of commitment. It’s so frustrating when someone says they have your best interests at heart but when push comes to shove, you feel disposable. No one wants to feel that way and actually you deserve better than that. If someone is struggling to make a commitment about a date, meeting or even your pay rise, get talking about the impact this is having on you and how you’d like it resolved. If they don’t care about that, you need to ask yourself if the grass may be greener elsewhere.
2) It’s all about money. I once knew a guy who had so much expendable income he genuinely ran out of things to buy each month. He would flash his latest purchases around but soon lost interest and needed another “fix”. These purchases genuinely never brought him lasting happiness. Whilst most of us would love to have spare funds, money really doesn’t bring you peace. If someone is taking control of your money, has an addiction to spending, or if it’s all about the bottom line at work, you may need to take a step back and think how that sits with you, and what positive action you can take.
3) You’re being kept in the dark. Now it’s not always easy to know, but sometimes it really pays to trust your gut. If you have a feeling your partner or your boss is hiding something from you, playing a game or lying, one of the best things you can do is ask them straight. If you’re worried you’re over-reacting, check things out with people you trust. Don’t be afraid to say to someone “I think this is happening” and present them with the evidence as you know it. Ask them for their honest opinion and see what they have to say. If they reach the same conclusion, it may be time to put that elephant in the room if you want to be reassured. (And if they care, they will reassure you.)
4) It gets nasty. Abuse comes in many forms: physical, emotional, psychological, financial and sexual. It happens at work and at home and there’s no real justification for abuse being allowed to continue once you’ve realised that’s what’s going on. If it’s a colleague at work having a dig or someone at home picking holes in what you do and say, it’s time to get help. And if it’s getting really nasty, find yourself a place of safety as soon as possible and involve the professionals who are best placed to help. If you know someone who is being affected by Domestic Violence you may want to take a look at Refuge
5) They don’t appreciate you. As the famous words in Desiderata say, you have a right to be here. That means that what you do, how you feel and what you say all count. And they should count. If someone is repeatedly ignoring you, your concerns and even your accomplishments it’s time to have a think about what they’re bringing to your life. Life is a two way street so don’t be afraid to assert yourself and what you need from any relationship. Decide what’s acceptable (and what’s not) and take positive action to stay on track. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or remove people (and things) from your life that aren’t working for you, especially if nothing changes or it’s causing you pain. (Why not take a look at my article 5 things you should never feel guilty about…)
For me, the circumstances had to be ‘right’, as it turns out with someone I’ve known for more than 20 years, and who was there all along. We each just had to learn some lessons along the way. It doesn’t have to be complicated and it certainly mustn’t hurt. You’ll know when the time is right. Until then, look after yourself.
Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.
Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
Max Ehrmann c.1920