I once read that there are only two simple questions you ever need to ask to know if someone is ‘the one’.
1. Do I love this person?
2. Are both our lives better because of our relationship?
But what happens when the answer to both of these questions is a resounding “YES!”, but life is pulling you in different directions?
What happens when your ambitions and visions for the future are equally as exciting and bold, but right now you’re just in very different places? What happens when the longings of your heart begin to get louder than the logical voice in your head?
And what do you decide to do when you know in your bones that now is the time for you to go and focus on yourself, but the thought of walking away from the person you love is devastatingly heartbreaking?
This is the horrible dilemma I found myself facing just a few short months ago. And in the end, I made the decision to walk away from my partner and chase my own dreams, no matter how painful it was to say goodbye.
Without a doubt, I knew that walking away from the love of my life was the right thing to do.
This is my story of why.
When Staying Hurts More Than Leaving
I’d known for a long time that something wasn’t right. I’d struggled to keep up with the hectic and overwhelming life in London and I’d noticed that I’d started to put my own dreams and ambitions on the backburner for the sake of my partner.
But I loved him. What other option did I have?
And yet as time went on, the whispers of doubt started to grow stronger and stronger. Was I really chasing my dreams and expanding as a person? Was I really moving forward whilst I was living in that place, with that person?
I started to realized that the answer, “No”, could be the scariest answer of them all.
Because I just couldn’t see a positive way forward with my life as it was. There was no way that I could spread my wings and grow, develop my business and find what I was looking for whilst staying in a city that drained me, and in a setup that was more aligned with my partner’s needs than my own.
And I realized that we were unable to take those steps forward together as a couple. No matter how great the relationship might have seemed to others or how much I felt I should stay for my partner, I couldn’t fully be who I was meant to be without living true to my heart.
It didn’t matter that I was very much in love with him. It just wasn’t enough.
And so I chose to make that difficult decision and say goodbye to the man I love, despite my heart being broken into a million pieces in the process. Because ultimately I only ever wanted the best for us both and that meant giving us both the space to figure out what we really wanted.
For as long as I was unhappy, I could never really make my partner happy.
Relationships Should Never Be About Sacrificing Your Dreams
You see, every healthy relationship requires compromise and sometimes sacrifices too but not when you’re sacrificing your happiness and bigger vision for the person you’re with. Sacrifices should always be for the right reasons. It should never be the ‘convenient’ option. It should never be about fitting into someone else’s lifestyle and dreams.
Because when it comes to the crunch, making a sacrifice for another person and putting your dreams on hold is not only unfair on yourself, it’s also unfair on your partner in the longer term too.
If this person is truly your soul mate, he or she wants you to be lit up with passion, they want you to be the best possible version of yourself and vice versa.
If You Love Them, Let Them Go
Your heart, your intuition and your true calling are important and are something that you can only ignore for so long until you become frustrated, further out of alignment, and even sick. And although you might not realize it right now, your dreams are powerful, beautiful and incredibly amazing. They deserve to be listened to.
And when you’re listening to your heart, despite what your head might say, there will always be an underlying notion and a deep rooted feeling that what you’ve chosen is the right thing to do.
You owe it to yourself to listen to your heart and follow these dreams.
Because new people and great loves will always come into and out of your life. But the people who matter, the people who truly see you and love you for the brilliant, beautiful, freespirited human being that you are; they’ll support you, understand your vision, and understand the longings of your heart. They’ll give you the space to follow everything your heart desires, because they love and care for you so.
That is what true love is ultimately about.
Walking Away From The Love Of My Life
All the same, when I finally told my best friend of fifteen years and my partner of three that I could no longer fight the longings I had to travel, write, and explore the world, something inside me still expected him to put up a fight.
A little piece of me wanted him to beg me to stay, to convince me to change my mind, or have the both of us work out a different plan.
But he didn’t. Because he loved me, and he knew this was what I needed to do to further my personal development and be truly happy.
As soon as I surrendered to where I was at and how I was feeling, and as soon as he met me at that place, I felt a strange sense of relief in many ways. I felt overwhelmed by his love and understanding towards me, but even though I knew it was right, it was such a difficult and painful realization to reach.
How To Know If It’s The Right Decision
Sometimes in life we have to make decisions that are never going to feel easy no matter how much time we take to sit with them. Sometimes the answers never seem simple or clear cut even in the moments when we think we’ve reached the clarity we are seeking. And sometimes, despite our very best efforts to maneuver around it, we have to walk through and feel that deep pain, fear and discomfort in order to learn our biggest lessons and grow into who we really are.
All we can ever really know is how we are feeling deep down, and continue to ask ourselves the question, ‘Am I really happy?’ We can only stay tuned into whether or not where we are exactly where we need and want to be. And all we can ever ask is whether continuing to follow the path we’re on is going to take us to where we really want to go.
Ultimately, no matter what happens, together or apart, the best thing you can do for each other is to allow yourselves the room to grow into the people you’re destined to be.
This might mean walking your separate paths for a while, but if you can choose to trust in a power that’s bigger than you and really believe that it’s meant to be, your paths will rejoin further along the road.
And if it’s really meant to be, there you’ll stand together, in admiration for one another as friends or as partners, stronger and more accomplished than either of you could have ever imagined.