Pick Your Poison: I'd Rather Be Miserable With You Than Without You

by Gigi Engle

Why are all of our past relationships so messed up? Why are all of our current relationships messed up, too? Why are we always staying when we know it’s so, so wrong?

Why do we say we want one thing and never act on it?

Whenever I think about relationships, a quote from one of my favorite movies comes to mind:

“I’d rather be miserable with you than without you.”

The heroine of the film makes the decision to accept a lifestyle she doesn’t believe in to end up with the man she’s in love with. As the saying goes, where you invest your love, you invest your life.

She concludes she would rather live a life she hates than be equally as downtrodden living a life of her choosing, but alone.

We revel in the misery, don’t we? Go on. Admit it. We all do it. We all enjoy festering in the piercing abyss.

Sometimes it feels good to feel sh*tty.

When it comes to our hearts, we never think in the long term. We don’t want to think about the future when the present is so consuming.

We stay in toxic relationships because we’re so afraid to put ourselves out there for something good.

We stay with the familiar because it’s simpler than looking for something new.

It’s easier to accept bad things that are familiar than good things that are new. Can we even recognize what’s actually GOOD anymore?

We hold on because we’re addicted to the codependent dynamic. We feel like we need someone to feed off like bloodthirsty spiders.

We feel like we need someone to be there, no matter how awful the person may be. We don’t want our corner to be empty.

We put up with the sh*t in relationships because we’d rather avoid building something, fixing something or changing anything at all.

Misery loves company.

Life seems less scary when you aren’t alone. We think we’d be even more despondent if we were single. Being in a couple is comforting.

It means you aren’t lonely… or at least you aren’t supposed to be.

We want someone to be as miserable as we are to share in our dissatisfaction. Sadness is a lot more fulfilling when there is someone to join us.

It has more depth, more substance. We want someone to complain to and someone to complain about.

We don’t want to sleep alone, and we don’t really want to be happy. So we stay with a person who adds to our need for self-pity.

It’s better to have fights than to have no one to talk to.

When you argue all the time, it’s exhausting and exciting all at once.

It feels good to fight for something, even when you’re fighting more than you’re talking.

We’d rather focus our energy into arguing than we would into dating.

The prospect of having no one to talk to at all makes fighting seem like a superior alternative.

We don’t want to go through the pain of losing someone again.

The truth is breaking up hurts so f*cking much. We’d rather stay in something that doesn’t satisfy us and then have to leave it and be heartbroken.

We’d rather have something damaged than have nothing. Every single time we break up, we swear this is the last time.

We promise ourselves we’ll never do this to ourselves again.

We say we're finished making stupid mistakes, yet we always subject ourselves to them again. It just gets scarier and scarier every time.

Once we let someone in, we latch on.

We are all guarded. Letting someone in is exceedingly difficult, and we’re undeniably skeptical every time we agree to embark on a new journey of “love.”

Once we DO allow ourselves to get attached, we hang on with everything we have. We've already invested so much time in this relationship.

We’ve already pushed ourselves so far from the realms of comfort we were once so acquainted with as singletons.

To go back to that feels like a huge waste of time. We can't give up. We can't be quitters.

We’re great at giving advice but terrible at taking it.

We don’t know when the f*ck to walk away. We’re great at making excuses for staying in something that is stifling.

It’s so easy to give our friends dating advice when we can see their relationship from the outside. In fact, we give some of the best advice out there.

When it comes to our own romantic endeavors, we can never see outside of ourselves. We think with our emotions, rather than logic.

We can say we know something is wrong until we’re blue in the face, yet we still cling on for dear life.

We tend to hope the relationship will be what we want instead of what it is.

We trick ourselves into thinking we have something better than we do. We don’t acknowledge and accept what’s right in front of us.

Instead, we choose to ignore the red flags and continue on in our romances as if nothing were wrong.

No matter how many times our SO does us dirty, we just look the other way and decide we’re going to stay in the relationship.

It’s hope that drives us, the hope that he or she will change and be what we so desperately want him or her to be. We have so much faith that we end up losing ourselves to delusion.

We don’t know how to communicate.

We’re afraid to ask for what we want out of love because we’re afraid we’ll scare away the guy if we dare to speak up. If we make demands of our partner, we’ll end up alone.

So, instead we grin and bear it, only to become more and more discontent in our relationships.

As we become exponentially unhappier, we become more silent.

It may sound silly to a guy, but sometimes a girl needs to be told she’s special every single day or maybe she just doesn't want to come second to everything else in a man's life.

We don’t know how to ask for that without sounding crazy. We deserve to be treated beautifully, and, yet we settle for “barely okay.”

We just continue to tell ourselves things will get better -- and if they don’t, hey, it beats being alone.