If you feel yourself being strung along in a relationship, I think the first things to ask yourself is why?
What is it that is keeping him from moving forward, and what is it about this individual that allows you to wait for what you want (and likely deserve)?
In every relationship we have to accept the fact that we cannot control our partners, and so with this knowledge in mind, we have to remember that we cannot change someone else, or push them to be where we are in the relationship, we have to let them be where they are… but what if that brings up uncomfortable emotions in us? Or what if we have been waiting a very long time?
It then may be a good time to take stock of who that person is, how you feel, and if there is a fit between the two. Often people say things that they either do not mean, or mean but cannot achieve, and so it is important to consider if what you want, and are waiting for is something this person realistically wants to and can give to you. Instead of going by a person’s words, it is important to look at their actions and values. If it seems realistic for you to get what you want, then patience is key. If it seems like this person may not mean what they say, then it is important to look to yourself and your reasons for being in a dynamic that may not live up to your needs and wants.
We don’t want to make assumptions, jump to conclusions, or project our realities onto others as that can be damaging to a relationship, but we also do not want to stay blind to the realities of the situation remaining in waiting while what we want never comes to fruition.
A quick discussion about what you want can clear up any miscommunication, however if the person you are involved with is unable to express themselves, or gets defensive, sometimes knowledge about what to expect can be hard to achieve. Sometimes it takes a confrontation to help someone truly understand what you want, but what if you’ve expressed it and are still waiting around?
Look to yourself. Are you really patient? Are you being considerate of your partner? Are your expectations realistic? How does this relate to your relationship patterns and dynamics? Are you attracted to unavailable partners and if so how come? How do your emotions relate to the (negative) things you usually tell yourself about love and romance?
We often unintentionally go after a person that will recreate difficult relationships from the past. We are often guided by our egos in relationships, and need to check our motivations and wants. We also make assumptions about others that are inaccurate, so it is important to be aware of these things and to know how they may play out in your current situation.
With this awareness it can then be helpful to know what is your part of the situation and what is your partners. If this individual feels like the right partner, appears to fit your needs and acts in ways that live up to your expectations, than considering patience may be of crucial importance. If this individual does not appear to fit your wants and is unable to live up to your realistic expectations than you may want to question your ongoing involvement in a relationship that does not live up to what you need. Often we remain in an unsatisfying relationship for many reasons, and it is important to look at if this is something you may be doing. The evil we know can be more comfortable than trying something new, but remember that staying in a relationship that does not fit you (and where there are no signs or possibility of progress) keeps you from finding the relationship that will nourish and fulfill you.
That said relationships are complicated, in no way simple, and unique to each couple. Take what fits you from above, but remember that your relationship is yours and only you know the goods and the bads within it. There should be more of the good than the bad, but at the end of the day it is your decision about what you want that is all that matters. Treat yourself well by making good decisions, respecting yourself, and by managing struggles as they arise (because they will even in the most compatible relationships).
Published online here.