Disney movies and romantic chick-flicks have set a really high bar for love.
Even the most practical of us secretly hope to be swept off our feet. We yearn for that instant connection — the spark of fireworks, the surge of passion, the fanfare announcing we’ve found “the one”.
But, all too often, we settle. Priding ourselves on being practical, realistic, and down to earth, we pack up the fairytales and find ourselves falling into relationships that are “easy”.
“Easy” in the sense that they’re conveniently there when you’re feeling lonely and conveniently okay with being sidelined when you’re not feeling lonely. They’re not too overly demanding of your attention and don’t require too much personal investment — whether it’s your time, your emotions, or even your attention.
I describe these kinds of relationships as “lukewarm”. There’s nothing wrong per se… but they’re not great. And you deserve great.
I brutally ripped the bandaid off my own lukewarm relationship. Since then, time and distance have allowed me to reflect on the year I spent “in limbo” with this relationship.
Lukewarm relationships aren’t really that easy.
When I’m in a relationship, I want to feel light and airy, giddy and happy. I want to shout it from the mountain tops and celebrate the relationship. I want the people in my life to meet my partner and I’ve never shied away from commitment.
But my lukewarm relationship left me in limbo.
I didn’t really want to introduce him to my friends and family, or even openly acknowledge to our mutual acquaintances that we were dating. Something just didn’t sit right in my gut and this nagging feeling kept jabbing me in the side.
My constant calculation of who to introduce him to or how best to avoid said introduction regularly weighed on me like an incoming migraine.
Lukewarm relationships have a hidden opportunity cost.
I don’t believe in dating a person till someone better comes along. It’s not a nice thing to do. And it seems like something that karma will pay you back for.
So when I’m with someone, I don’t have my eyes peeled on the horizon for another prospect. Economists call this an “opportunity cost”.
Opportunity costs represent the potential benefits an individual, investor, or business misses out on when choosing one alternative over another.
There’s an opportunity cost for relationships too, so choose your relationships carefully. How many relationships don’t happen simply because of timing?
Lukewarm relationships can be quietly suffocating.
There is such thing as too much patience. Patience combined with quiet, steady confidence (that’s not of your own conviction) can be pretty persuasive, but it’s not always in your best interest.
He was patient when I told him I didn’t love him. He was confident that I’d come to love him. In his kind, quiet, patience, I felt like I was drowning.
He didn’t do anything wrong. Everything was textbook correct — he didn’t pressure me, he didn’t rush me, he didn’t give me an ultimatum. I thought he was being understanding but in hindsight, maybe it was the beginning of the “boiling frog” phenomenon.
The absence of something can be just as quietly suffocating.
Lukewarm relationships take their toll on your overall well being.
I believe it’s important to live a centered and balanced life. This means different things to different people; but to me, it means feeling inherently wholesome — regardless of your relationship status.
Being in a relationship that wasn’t right for me immediately put me out of balance with my inner self. My energy levels were lower and I was lacking my usual spark. I felt dull in a way that had nothing to do with my skincare routine.
It’s better to be single than in a relationship that isn’t right for you.
When I ended my lukewarm relationship, it was tough.
It wasn’t done in a heap of anger or with righteous indignation. It was filled with the painful realization that my inner fire was slowly being smothered. I knew I was becoming a mere shadow of my former self.
After the break-up, I felt lighter and freer than I’d been in months. I was a little bit lonely at times but my spirit was healing. I was slowly but surely finding my inner balance again.
If you’re currently in a lukewarm relationship that you know isn’t right for you, I hope this gives you the courage and self-confidence to believe that you deserve better.