What I’m about to say isn’t common for a millennial. It’s not very common for Baby Boomers either since the “me” movement began with them. But, what’s happening to love? Love is an innate human characteristic we’ll never get rid of, and suddenly self care has become selfishness that we’re taking to a whole new level. With the amount of people willing to jump ship the minute times get rough it seems like love is becoming rarer and rarer to find. People push out kids then split up right after, start cheating instead of try to work it out with a licensed therapist, give up the minute it gets too hard. News flash: marriages 2, 3, and 4 won’t work unless you work on your issues. 

Once I realized that almost everyone’s solution to problems, whether big or small, was to leave, I stopped talking about my relationship, especially when the people giving me this great advice weren’t in a place I wanted to be. You’ll find someone else, someone better. And I thought, is that why you’re still single? Over the slightest inconvenience most are ready to bounce out of a marriage, out of a family, out of any type of relationship. So why even bother committing? 

I was raised by my grandparents so maybe that’s why my view on this is very different. I was raised by two people who stood by one another through thick and thin and I was around at the end after the dust settled and old wounds healed. They were still in love. My grandma said it wasn’t easy. Not at all. But people then didn’t just leave when times were hard, or when a loved one was going through a period of suffering.

That’s not to say there aren’t good reasons to leave someone. No one should deal with abusive partners whether physically or mentally. If you find yourself staying in an abusive relationship, it’s beneficial to look into why you stay. People will treat us how we allow them. Plain and simple. We all have different thresholds of what we’re willing to deal with, but it seems no one is willing to deal with anything anymore. 

What you get when you’ll deal with nothing is exactly that— nothing. No one walking this earth is perfect, so how can you expect your partner to be? And with the increase of anxiety and depression year after year, most likely the person you fall in love with will be suffering at one point or another. People ebb and flow just like love. 

There was a time I went through a period of severe depression. Through a combination of unresolved issues and seven years of estrogen pumping into my body, I didn’t have the strength to repress it anymore and I finally snapped. My boyfriend never left me even though I pushed… hard. In my mind I felt I didn’t deserve him, that I wasn’t good enough, that I didn’t deserve love. Most people would’ve agreed with me and left. All the positive qualities of myself were buried under an avalanche of negativity. Instead of drowning in it, I went to therapy before I lost myself completely. 

When you love someone, the relationship is supposed to be a support system, not a “oh this isn’t fun anymore gotta go!” Circumstances differ, but if your partner is making the effort then these are the places where love is built. Sure it’s great when it’s all sunshine and rainbows, but that’s not reality. Life is hard. Love is easy, it’s just not easy to maintain.

Anyone in a long-term relationship or marriage has had thoughts of leaving. But the next time you do, ask yourself, “Can I still see myself growing old with this person?” If the answer is yes, then maybe the solution isn’t someone else. Maybe the answer is doing what’s necessary to strengthen the relationship. Or just bounce from person to person looking for perfection that doesn’t exist. The choice is yours.