Cutting ties with someone who uses your heart like a Monopoly game piece should, in theory, be easy. Your friends certainly think it is, considering their eye rolls and exasperated, “Why do you put up with this sh*t?” text messages.
You have no good answer to their questions because you have no idea why you put up with it, either.
Except, somewhere deep down, you hope he’ll change; that one of these days, he’ll realize what a dime piece he has right in front of him and he'll stop toying with your emotions.
You find yourself stuck in an exhausting cycle of Oscar-worthy breakups and passionate makeups, with promises and declarations that this time, it will all be different.
It never is, though, for longer than a few days at least, and just when you dig deep and decide to walk away for good, he’s there with a text message saying all the right things, at your doorstep with flowers, or he’s there on the other line begging for a second chance.
He’s there. And, so, you let him back in.
Is this love, you wonder? Is this just how it goes? You begin to mistake all of the drama for passion and the fighting for “working on things.” You’re miserable with or without him, so maybe it’s time to settle and just accept that this is as good as it’s going to get.
Hell, at least you won’t be single, right? Wrong.
Some relationships, no matter how desperately you want them to work and how much potential they may have, just aren’t built for the long haul. You can’t truly love someone simply based on his or her potential.
Potential doesn’t support you through bad times; it isn’t reliable, and it isn’t secure. If it’s not working for you now, if he is messing with your heart, it might never change.
This realization doesn’t make walking away any easier, but if you say you want to be happy, and you genuinely do, it might be time to put on your big girl pants and do what’s best for you, even if it hurts in the moment.
But, how do you know when you should cut off communication with a guy for good? You’re the only one who can make that call (or no call at all, if you know what I mean), but here are some indications that it’s time to stop going around in circles and start walking a straight line out the door.
First, consider your emotions. I feel like many people might think this is too simple, but, sometimes, simple just makes sense, unfortunately. If you’re unhappy more often than you’re happy in your relationship, what’s the point?
When you break up, you’ll be bummed out, and it’s totally normal. But, if you’re just as bummed out when you get back together, perhaps it’s better to suffer through some heartbreak and get on with life alone.
At least, this way, you have the opportunity of happiness on the horizon, versus spinning your wheels and never truly finding it.
Next, consider if you’ve had any of the following thoughts:
"I know he’s not right for me."
"He will never be able to make me happy."
"He’d be perfect, IF…"
"I am so tired of being mad at him."
"I don’t want to tell my friends we’re fighting again."
"He’ll change, eventually."
"He’s my Mr. Big*."
You thought it; I didn’t. Listen to yourself.
Of course, the “when” to cut off communication is a lot easier than the “how.” There isn’t a handy dandy guide to cutting someone out of your life, especially those who have had an impact on your heart in one way or another.
The key, I think, at least, is to love yourself more than you love the person you wish he was. Loving yourself more means you realize that taking his calls, responding to his text messages or agreeing to meet him for coffee won’t get you any closer to happiness.
Loving yourself more means not giving in to the urges you have to reach out to him when you’re lonely or sad, since you know he’ll be more than happy to jump back in the game, and you’re always on the losing end of that match.
Loving yourself more means taking it day by day, and celebrating the small victories of learning to live without the high intensity drama to which you’ve so grown accustomed.
Above all, though, loving yourself more means you stand your ground despite all of the countless “what ifs” swirling around in your brain. It means realizing you can’t truly love or be loved by someone who is an IF, and it means throwing your hands up in the air and declaring, "I JUST CAN’T FIX YOU!"
It means hanging and clinging onto hope with all you have -- not the hope that some guy will stop messing with your emotions, but the hope that one day, you’ll meet someone who won’t make you feel like you’re on a roller coaster to hell.
This hope is the one thing you should never, ever let go of. Everything else? Say goodbye.
*Referring to a guy you’re dating as your “Mr. Big” is a huge red flag because basically what you’re saying is, “This guy is really treating me like crap and I know it, and he knows it, and everyone knows it, but life is a movie, so it will all be okay.” Except, no.