My 21-year-old New Zealand icon Lorde has a lyric about relationships ending that keeps me up at night, "When you've outgrown a lover, the whole world knows but you." Of course, in a relationship, the "whole world" doesn't really know sh*t. Only you and your partner know what's really between the two of you, and any onlookers' opinions operate externally to your relationship. From the outside, your friends and family may question why you would stay with a partner you’re not in love with, but the truth is, for most people in this situation, there is not an easy answer.
From comfort to stability, to just enjoying your time together, the "reason" people get in or stay in relationships is never easy to pin down. It's hard to navigate your own feelings with your own boo, and can be even harder to give support to a friend that's dating someone they're clearly not that into. Yet, when trying to understand other's experiences, it's important to listen first, and hold off on making judgements (which is way easier said than done!).
In an effort to widen the conversation around the complexities of staying in a relationships, I spoke with five people who knew that their special someone was no longer their "one," but chose to stay anyway.