Comedian Dane Cook has this amazing line about how women stay in relationships for the strangest reasons. Here’s some paraphrasing:
“Lisa, we’re concerned about you. He’s a (bleep). We want you to just go.”
“Karen, it’s not that easy. I can’t just go… my CDs are in his truck.”
Obviously this is meant to be a joke, but let’s be honest. Can you say that you haven’t stayed around for reasons similar, or possibly even worse, than that? I certainly can’t. I delayed breaking up with one boyfriend because I didn’t want to upset my dog.
There’s this amazing phenomenon that happens when we contemplate a break up. Even after our heart has made the decision to leave, and our brain has jumped on board, fear takes over and tosses us into the ring with our arch enemy – the Logistics Monster. He’s big and ugly, and he fights really dirty.
Yep, coming to terms with the end of a relationship isn’t just about emotion. In fact, when we really look into it, our fear of logistics (where will I live? How will I afford it? Who gets the fancy toaster?) can cloud our vision and make us doubt our emotions. This monster is so powerful that it can make you think “maybe I’m overreacting (or ovary-acting as my friend calls it). Maybe I am supposed to be with him. Maybe he is Mr. Right and I’m just being hypercritical of his drinking, lack of a job, and poor personal hygiene.”
Every time you come to terms with leaving (admit it, you have to go through that a few hundred times), that damn Logistical Monster rears his ugly head again and throws doubt into your world. When this happens, you need to identify the source of your fear and the source of your emotions. Chances are it has very little to do with how you feel about your soon to be ex, and more about not wanting to rent a Uhaul truck for an afternoon. You aren’t necessarily scared to be alone, you are scared to change your address with the DMV (and that’s terrifying… but necessary).
I’m simplifying this for a reason. Breakups, divorces, the end to any relationship can be emotionally devastating. When you add to that the possibility of finding new housing, possibly a new job, potentially moving to a different state, splitting up belongings, splitting up friends, and who gets Fluffy (YOU ALWAYS GET FLUFFY!!!), your mind will play tricks on your heart.
What’s a girl to do? You can’t stay, but every time you think about going, your brain feels like it had an allergic reaction to peanuts and is currently swelling out of your head.
Start looking at options. Take the emotions out of the equation, take your soon to be ex out of the equation and ask yourself: “Self, what do I have to do to make this a reality?” Do you need to: Look at apartments? Talk to a real estate agent? Get your finances in order? Research moving costs? What needs to be done in order for you to walk away?
If any of this seems like too daunting a task, break it down even further. Maybe the first day you just make a list of places you’d like to live. Or hop on the interweb for a few minutes and pull up some real estate agent’s numbers. It doesn’t have to be a huge step, but with every step you make, you will feel more empowered, less frightened, and more able to handle the upcoming storm.
The Logistics Monster can be tamed. Don’t let the fear of the details keep you stuck in a dead end relationship. And don’t worry, you’ve probably got all those CDs on your iTunes by now.