So you've been in a relationship with someone for a number of years. Does that mean you're tied to spend the rest of your life together? Absolutely not. If you're unhappy, if there's a problem that can't be fixed, or if you're being abused in any way, it's not worth it. Let's end the stigmatism that all long-term relationships should end in marriage, because it is trapping people in an unhappy relationship and ultimately giving them more pain in the long run.
I was in a relationship for four and a half years with someone who I thought I would be with for the rest of my life. We had talked about marriage consistently, and even almost moved in together. Throughout those four years, I always had been told to take the good with the bad because that's how all relationships worked.
The words and advice of others held me to the standard of that relationship for too long. When I realized things weren't right, I was terrified to make the decision. We had been together so long and I knew it would be a big change. Everyone had been asking me about engagement for at least a year at that point.
The way I felt started to not matter anymore, to me or to my significant other anymore. I thought that since it had been so long that not getting married was out of the question, or at least it would be crazy to wait any longer. As I let things continue on, my mental health became worse and my family and friends started to take notice. It took me weeks to work up the courage to even begin to talk about things with my S.O. Even after the topic was brought up, it was shut down just as quickly.
I finally ended my long-term relationship. The change was drastic, to say the least. This person that I had spent time with every single day suddenly was out of my life. I had to learn how to do things alone, and I started to come out of my shell with more people.
It's been almost three months since our breakup and I'm still working on myself. Even though change doesn't happen over night, I can't begin to explain the positivity and hope I have felt since then. I never want anyone to feel trapped just because they feel any sense of obligation due to the amount of time that has passed.