What to Do If You Feel Held Back by Your Partner

Feeling stifled in a relationship is like a red flag. You're feeling it for a reason, don't ignore it. If you want to travel, dedicate more time to working on a personal project, or you just need space and your relationship doesn't support that 100%, then split. A relationship should be inspiring and enhance your life. Anything less than that just isn't worth it. Dedicate your time and energy to where you feel your heart is leading you!

Go with your gut

Over analyzing the feelings that are telling you to take off will make them more complicated.  Listen to your gut and be true to yourself. If the relationship doesn't feel right anymore, it's no right anymore. Don't stick around because it's convenient. Trying to convince yourself convenience is "good enough" won't last long. Don't wait to feel ready to take that leap.  Make a plan and go for it. Embrace change. It might feel scary, but it would be scarier to stick around in a dead end relationship and let your real desires die.  

Don't get stuck in a pattern

Not-so-fun fact: the brain regions that are activated in cocaine addicts when they crave their drug of choice is the same as that in people when shown photos of their lovers. That means, even if you're less than stoked on your partner, you might be hooked on the feeling you get when you're with them. Creepy. A really fulfilling relationship includes trust, respect, and also excitement – these are sustainable qualities that enhance other parts of your life. Don't settle for any relationship – romantic or not – that only feels good some of the time, but guilty or anxious other times. 

Put yourself first

Take your own advice you give your friends when they're are going through a breakup – you don't need to stick around. Even if you've been with your partner for years, you're not responsible for his, or anyone else's happiness. The only person you can worry about making happy is you. Wondering, even in the niggling, unformed thoughts in the back of your mind, if your desire to stray "isn't good enough"? Think in the grand scheme here. What do you want out of life? To live freely, be creative, have emotional support and fun? Yep – if your relationship isn't conducive to that, then your reasons for wanting to jet are good enough. Honour them, honour yourself. 

Don't act on fear

When deciding how you want to act, you can't make a decision based in fear – that is, being afraid of what might happen afterwards. Fearing you'll regret your decision, your partner will hate you, or you'll be miserable aren't helpful thoughts. You have to make you decision based in love. That is, act as if you knew everything was going to work out the way you want it to. Acting with this in mind is the only way to act how you really want. 

Tags: break ups, breaking up with your boyfriend, Dating, dead end relationships, feeling trapped in a relationship, relationship holding you back, Relationships

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