I was talking with a friend of mine over drinks the other day. He’s in a relationship with the mother of his daughter’s best friend. He said it was bad. I didn’t ask what exactly was bad about it. I did ask if he loved her or could love her. He said he didn’t, couldn’t. But he also didn’t know how to get out of it. He told me he’s staying in the relationship for his daughter.
He and this woman are both single parents, so I imagine it’s easy for him to continue the relationship more out of convenience than anything else. Being a single parent is lonely work. So what the two of them have is really an ideal situation when it works out. But when it’s not right, it’s got to be a difficult situation to disentangle yourself from.
To complicate matters, my friend is attracted to someone else, so now there’s another woman involved. And while he and this other woman do have feelings for each other, he’s not sure exactly where that’s going or even if he wants it to go anywhere.
How do you end something when you know that by doing so you’re going to hurt the one person you wouldn’t hurt for the world? I didn’t have an answer for him. I still don’t. Love can be messy and selfish and inconvenient. And I don’t really feel as though it’s my place to give advice here, but I do know this…
The person you need to worry about first is you. If you just take care of you, everything else in your life seems to fall into place. No matter what we think is expected of us, ultimately, the people who love us really just want to see us happy. If you’re not happy in a relationship, and you honestly don’t see it turning around, you’re not doing anyone any favors by staying in it. It only prolongs the inevitable, and like someone very wise once told me: the deeper the hole, the steeper the climb.
How many of us stay when we know that what we really need to do is go? And for how long? How many of us let the right person pass us by while we’re with the wrong one? At what point do we realize that convenience is not enough? When do we finally lay down our shovels and start to climb out of the hole we’ve dug for ourselves?
You know, there are much worse problems than having two women interested in you, but it sure can complicate things. Despite the fact that I just want to thump him on the forehead and tell him to figure it out already, I know my friend really is a good guy, and, like all of us, he deserves to find happiness. Whether he finds it with one of these two women or with another, I hope he finds it.