The Love You Deserve: Finding the Courage to Walk Away from “Situationships”

by Dee Rene

How many times does someone have to tell you they don’t want you?

“I am not ready to be in a relationship,” is the polite way of saying “I do not want you.” Whether that is true just right now or forever, that person does not want you. Occasionally people lie and conceal their intentions, but we aren’t talking about those people. This is for those of us who find ourselves involved with someone who has explicitly said, “I am not ready,” and yet we continue investing our time and energy into them anyway.

I’ve been there. I’ve talked myself into believing otherwise because of what the person said or did. I picked out things they said or did that lined up with what I wanted, and clung desperately to that hope. Who would take me on so many dates if they truly weren’t ready? Why would they tell me these things? Why would they share this kind of time and attention? As if I knew this person’s heart better than they did. But there I was, waiting on somebody to choose me, as if this was my last hope at love.

Despite the time spent, friends met, plans made, and love and sex shared, there is still someone saying they are not ready for you. Be grateful for their ability to be self-aware. Be grateful they are not purposefully deceiving you and wasting your time. No one forces us to stay in these situations, yet we cling to the hope that all this must mean something. All the time, sex, and love you’ve shared with that person MUST mean something. We rationalize that this last step, this being ready, is just a formality and doesn’t matter because his/her actions say otherwise. But a mutually beneficial relationship requires both, beloved. Both actions and words must align. Someone can enjoy every bit of you and still hide their heart.

Going through the motions is not a change of heart or an indication of being ready. Someone can go through the motions of a relationship, because they enjoy your companionship and still not want a full-on relationship with you.

No matter what it feels like or looks like, someone who says, “I am not ready,” is telling you the truth. They know the consequence of what they’re saying: you may decide to leave. They are okay with you leaving, because their desire to be free of commitment is greater than their desire to be with you. You think the more you invest, the more they will be ready to be with you. That is false. You cannot parade your emotions and love around to convince someone else to be ready for you… And why would you want to?

We camp out for love like big screen TVs on sale at Best Buy. We invest, we spend, we stick around. Because when the light bulb goes off and that person decides to choose a mate, we want to be first in line. Waiting worked for a friend of your cousin’s, so it surely will work for you.

Do you hear how you sound waiting around for someone to love you as you deserve and need? As though no one else will. Your self worth is on the line when you allow anyone to love you in a way that causes you pain, confusion or asks you to be on stand by until they are to be with you.

Maybe you fear that if you leave now, the next person will come along and scoop up your potential partner and benefit from all the hard work you’ve put into the situation. That may be happen. However, if that person wanted you, truly, they would be with you and would not just jump to the next person in line because you decided to draw some boundaries.

The additional plot twist is that the person may never reach that point or when they do, you may not be the type of person they want. Perhaps you are just what this person needs while in transition. Once the transition is complete, they no longer see you as a viable option. Instead, you are someone to be shed like dead skin.

Anger will set in then. Anger at wasted time, energy, and love. Self-esteem plummets as you wonder why they didn’t choose you and why investing in someone didn’t yield the results you wanted.

But who put a gun to your head and made you stay? We have to stop blaming other people for their honesty when we choose to stay in confusion.

There is a love out there that sees you and wants you, totally and completely, right now. You do not need to sit around and wait for someone to love you. You do not need to convince someone of your worth. You do not need to keep pouring into someone who is unwilling to offer up an equal amount of themselves.

So how do you leave a situation like this, when you’ve invested energy and time so deeply? The first step is realizing you are responsible for the confusion in your life and you have power to stop it at any time. You always have a choice. Stop waiting on the other person to give in to your desires for a relationship. Confusion over where a relationship is going or what you’re doing together is stressful and hurtful. When boundaries are blurry, your real needs aren’t being met. Choose to give yourself the gift of peace and leave any anyone who makes you question your worth, challenges your sanity, or is simply not the best partner for you.

The second and biggest step is understanding that what you may potentially “lose” in the short term is not greater than what you can gain in the long term. It’s true that you may lose short-term companionship, but you will gain self-respect, peace of mind, and freedom to find the love that’s right for you in the long term. Over time you’ll see that the short term loss was minimal compared to all the good you gain in the long term. Taking the steps to walk away won’t be easy, but you’ll find the courage to do so in hopes of something greater: finding the love, relationship, and partner you deserve.

Remember to ask yourself how many times does a person have to tell you they don’t want you? The answer is once. And once is more than enough. If this person is meant for you, they will find you when it’s time. In the meantime, you must go on living and loving. There is no need to sit, wait, and hope for them to realize your value. Releasing them to love themselves first, find themselves first, and return to you is the way you honor their process and your own worth. There is love that is ready for you. That is the love you need.

Photo: Shutterstock

Dee Rene is a connoisseur of snacks and brunch. Her focus is holding onto faith in all the things that make us laugh, cry and cuss. Follow her on Twitter: @deerene_ or check out more writing at

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