I remember watching a Chinese movie about a pair of twin sisters who live opposite lives.
One sister is a struggling hopeless romantic, stuck in a dead-end relationship with her live-in boyfriend. The other only trusts money as a result of a failed long-term affair.
After breaking up with her boyfriend, the struggling twin gets herself a makeover and joins her materialistic sibling at an upscale work party.
She instantly attracts a wealthy man, to whom she lies about her real situation. They date, and he plans to take her to see his mother.
But, before it happens, the struggling twin accidentally meets his mother at a social function. After enough wine, she confides in the mother about her lying, thinking they’d never see each other again.
Later, the man formally introduces her to the mother. She’s very embarrassed; however, in good faith, his mother gives her a piece of advice that has been echoing in my head for a long time:
“I think, in reality, loving money, playing tricks, or lying are not that big of a deal. The biggest mistake a woman would make is to be with a man she doesn’t love.”
Now, I don’t condone playing tricks or lying. In fact, I don’t really agree with this advice as it is.
In my head, I have replaced “a man she doesn’t love” with “a man who isn’t right for her,” as I believe choosing a man who you love but doesn’t love you and can’t meet your needs is even a bigger mistake.
Here you go — the advice for people who want to be in a relationship:
The biggest mistake a woman would make is to be with a man who isn’t right for her.
Anyway, this advice reminds me of a few responses to my article “A reminder to shut the door on your ex,” which encourages readers to cut contact with exes and move forward with their lives.
One person messaged me and asked, “Is there any way to reconcile with an ex?”
To me, the answer is obvious.
There might — or might not be — a way to reconcile with an ex-partner, but it’s beside the point.
The question you should ask yourself is, “Why would you think this ex-partner could meet your needs or your issues would disappear the second time together?”
Assuming you successfully reconcile — okay, let’s think big and say you even get married — then what?
Ask yourself, “What happens after the wedding?”
See, when you’re hung up on someone—for example, a short-lived relationship ends, leaving you with millions of what-ifs, you fantasise about getting together with this person and receiving their grand romantic gestures.
But because fantasies are only fantasies, your bruised ego becomes desperate. You’re not thinking like a rational person anymore but like a drug addict craving their next hit.
And when you’re seeking those hits, you don’t think about what happens afterward.
Imagine your life afterward.
What happens after the declarations of undying love — or even an Instagram-worthy wedding — flushing dopamine through your system is the reality of this person and you.
So, if they’re wrong for you, awaiting you is a lifetime of them being wrong for you.
It will hit you like a ton of bricks every single day.
After you’ve already got their validation, you’re not desperate anymore; you’ll see the truth that this relationship is terrible, and the object of your desire is not much of a catch for you.
Even when they try their best, your incompatibility will show up in little moments and get on every single one of your nerves.
The superficial factors that pull you towards them in the first place won’t be enough to bandaid the faults of this relationship anymore.
You’ll understand why you two didn’t end up together, and you’ll realise you don’t want to be living your everyday life with this person, except that now you can’t leave. You’re tied to them in the marriage. You’re trapped.
That’s what happens after the wedding.
That’s the hell you’ll live in when you make the mistake of being with someone who isn’t right for you.
Well, luckily, it’s only hypothetical. At least I hope so.
Every day you have one day less to live the life you’ve always wanted to live and be with the people who are right for you. So do it now.
The good news
Getting together with someone who you’re attached to but is not right for you might boost your ego and comfort your wounded soul for a little while, but there’s a life after the big moments. And that life is long.
Whatever choice you make, you’re the one who lives with its consequences. No one is going to live your life for you and make the right decisions for you.
You better advocate for your own needs and choose carefully — especially when it comes to essential matters such as committing yourself to a long-term partner.
Be grateful that the exes who were wrong for you didn’t hold you back.
Thank them for letting you go to find the right partner. Thank them for knowing better than you and not making you suffer any more than you already have.
You should count your blessings if you have never gotten as far as being in a committed relationship with them because the closer and longer you’re with a wrong or toxic partner, the more you’ll lose and hate yourself.
Now, choose someone who is right for you — or no one at all.
Have you heard of the saying, “Every day we’re one day closer to death”? It sounds depressing, but I promise you, in this context, it’s not.
It means every day you have one day less to live the life you’ve always wanted to live and be with the people who are right for you.
It reminds you that you don’t have time to waste on shitty people and relationships. You have to start choosing yourself and your happy life now.
So learn to let go. Learn to be present. Learn to do good for yourself. Don’t let external factors and short-term rewards blind you. Think deeply and play the long game.
Move forward to be with someone who is right for you.