Singlestalk: Stay or leave?

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Saturday, March 1, 2014


MICHELLE: Sometimes it’s better to put a stop to things that aren’t going the way we want them to be, like a collaborative work with people who no longer get along; a relationship that’s going nowhere; a dead-end job; or a losing business. “Never give up” is a good motto. Let go and let God is at times a better choice.

DJ: A reader asked whether she’s going to give her relationship one more try or to finally throw in the towel. Let’s call her Jenny.

She’s in her late 20s and in a relationship with Max for two years now. But what they share is a pattern of fights. They fuss even on trivial matters. She’s already drained and feels like of giving up. But he’s stable career-wise, not to mention, good-looking.

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Are these reasons enough to stay? First, while attraction plays a role in every relationship, I think good looks is not really a requirement. And second, I believe there’s more to the story other than what she shared. But I’ll give her question a try.

While it’s a common practice to use the balance scale by weighing the pros and cons to figure the right decision given her situation, such tactic doesn’t always provide the right kind of information for Jenny to be able to make a decision. That’s why assessing the true status of the relationship works better instead of weighing it on a scale.

M: Well, pasta has to be cooked a certain period of time to be al dente. Grapevines undergo pruning over time to ensure a rich harvest. So is her situation. Everything changes and some good things must come to an end, even if we don’t want them to. There are things that just aren’t meant to be. When we force something that’s not meant to be, it can bring a lot of pain and misery.

DJ: Here are some points Jenny might like to consider taking a closer look on: Does she have to juggle frogs just for her needs to be met? If she has to constantly exert too much effort for her basic requisites to be met, it is likely that the relationship is doing her more harm than good.

Do they respect each other as individuals? It’s not really about the fights. It’s how they are able and willing to resolve them. Can they forgive each other’s mistakes? Being stuck with transgressions over time eventually will replace love with resentment. Do they enhance each other’s life? Do they generally bring out the best in each other. If the relationship is already like a millstone around his or her neck, it’s already dragging them down. Perhaps it’s time to severe ties and move on.

M: They all sound practical, DJ! But you know during times when I think of giving up or want to give up, I remember my decision to keep on keeping on. It’s hard but that is what commitment is all about. If we see things through the hard times, we will enjoy the fruits of our labor and savor the victory of overcoming the odds.

I’m near the end of the road for this one thing I’m thinking of letting go. I might or might not let it go. Though I see a different path ahead, I am going to continue walking down the road. Who knows what the end of this journey might bring.

DJ: There is a prayer that I remember every so often—to pray for serenity to accept the things we cannot change, for courage to change the things we can and for wisdom to know the difference.

Love is not always a feeling. It is also a decision. In the end, it is still up to Jenny to decide whether she should stay or leave. It’s been said that life is a fine mingling of letting go and holding on. And both are expressions of love.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 02, 2014.

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