This is Why Your Relationships Suck

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I’ve been back in the dating world now for almost three years.  Granted, if I’d done what my therapist recommended then I’d have said, “I’ve been back in the dating world for 2 years. Meaning, I would have taken 6 months to a year away from dating after my divorce.  I’ve yet to meet someone who did that, and that is why many of us have been or will be single for many years.  It is because we are trying to build relationships on weak foundations.  Let me explain.

First let me say I am writing not as an expert, but as someone who wants to help you learn from my mistakes.  One of the “red flags” of dating started waving when after two years I began to realize that almost the same exact people were still on the dating apps (including me). Yes, they would come and go, but for some reason these amazing men and women were in and out (mostly out) of relationships.  I kept hearing people say, “I’ve been single” for 10 years or more.  And listen nothing is wrong with that…if that is what the person wants for their life.  However, that wasn’t what I was finding.  They wanted to find “their person.”

As I stated in my previous blog post, I began to believe that many of us couldn’t find our person due to the fact our foundations are shattered.  Many of us are trying to build a relationship on foundations made of sand…including me.  In the words of Old Dominion, “Are we written in the stars, baby, or are we written in the sand?”  I want my relationships to be written in the stars so they don’t easily wash away.  It is why I hope you’ll join me in reading my blog posts so we can do our part by repairing our foundations. Remember, you and I can only choose to fix our foundations.  We have no control over others.  So make sure you choose to date or enter into relationships with others who want to put in the work as well.  Many will just want YOU to change while they remain shattered.

For some, the foundation has been shattered by a father or mother who wreaked chaos on a family.  They were unfaithful, suffered from an addiction, and or they were abusive, and we’ll discuss that in future blogs.  However, when you and I go through a divorce or breakup our foundations can be critically damaged. From this point forward we’ll just use the word “breakup” to include all the above! The damage a breakup causes is why psychotherapist tell us to take time away from dating afterward.  We have to take the time to repair the foundation!  So ask yourself, what is the longest amount of time you’ve gone without dating? Keep that in the back of your mind for now, and lets look at some things that occur to our foundation during a breakup:

  • You begin to lack trust in others
  • You feel as though you are unattractive
  • You may feel the need to control everything
  • You are lonely and will do anything to fill the void
  • You think sex will feel the void
  • Self Medicate to kill the pain
  • You assume you need to be a pleaser so you don’t lose the next “one”
  • You believe God has failed you…so you’re done with Him
  • You think you’re unlovable
  • You think you are irreversibly broken
  • You believe you need someone else to make you complete or happy
  • You rest your happiness on others
  • You assume you are unable to manage life alone
  • You think you need someone to tell you what to do
  • You believe that you need to tell others what to do
  • You must remain in control so as not to be hurt
  • If you feel as though you’ve found the one…you must run

You could add to the list and feel free to do so by making comments below.  As I continue to blog about establishing a strong foundation we will dive deeper into the above “cracks” breakups cause.  Today let’s look at one of my cracks that has caused major problems, and that would be mistrust.

What did your breakup say about you?  No, not what is everyone else (including momma) saying about you…what did it say to you? I’m still processing it somewhat, but for me I think it made me very insecure and scared beyond belief.  Many of us dating in our 40s and beyond were married for 15 to 30 years, and one day found ourselves single.  We assumed that we had met “our person.”  We assumed we had chosen correctly.  We assumed we were a great husband or wife.  We assumed a lot of things and then felt like we’d made an ass out of you and out of me. So what does this mean you find in my/our foundation?

I realized a few months back that this has caused me to run when I begin to truly care about someone. It is a decision that haunts me daily.  I have trouble trusting that someone can truly care about me, and will stick around, and thus I run before they have a chance to ditch me!  You hear how messed up that is right?  The truth is, if you want to have a  great relationship then you have to be willing to handle great risk.  There are no guarantees.  However, we have to be willing to allow ourselves to love and be loved all while knowing it may not workout.  If you aren’t there yet…then don’t start dating just yet.

In my next blog we will look at how many of us develop a need for control, and how that weakens the foundation for future relationships.  I love you and hope you’ll share my blog with others by clicking below, and signing up to receive my posts by email.  I am a guy who loves love! I want a healthy relationship and in fact…I know I will one day find it.  I hope we can do it together! Join me on the journey.

Published by

Tony Russell

Hello, my name is Tony and I have a lot of great advice, because I have made a lot of mistakes! I am a former licensed counselor and pastor, but I have learned more about life through my experiences than my education. I make my living as the host of the morning show on 98.7 The Bull in Portland, Oregon. Being a counselor didn't stop me from hitting a midlife crisis. I began questioning everything from my self-worth to my spiritual beliefs. And if that wasn't enough, surprise! I found out I would be getting a divorce. This has all lead to a journey that can be full of extreme anxiety, depression, and soul searching. I have the same questions as you do and maybe together we can find some answers. My goal for this blog is to share my journey in hopes that it will help you better navigate this amazing time in life. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me. I know life can be difficult, but I find that it is easier when we do it together!

28 thoughts on “This is Why Your Relationships Suck”

  1. Thanks for this. Great”food for thought”. Recently I was asked out and accepted . Went out a couple times, good. But all of a sudden, because of a racial response my neighbor had, we are no longer even friends. If I say hello, lm told by the person that I’m harassing them. Well , I’ve retreated. NO MORE. I DON’T NED THAT at this age.


  2. Thank you Tony for this blog. Like you, I have found myself single again after 18 years. For me, it came as a shock as I didn’t think we were having issues. Also, it came after a routine surgery that left me disabled. Now, I am trying to find myself in this new life as a disabled single 48 year old. Thank you and I look forward to reading more.


  3. I think a huge part of the problem is it’s so easy to replace people. If there is some tiny thing that doesn’t fit we just swipe and try someone else. We don’t put in the time to see if a compromise can be made or if there is more behind the mask.
    I didn’t come from a “break up” but a solid marriage,
    Where Sadly my partner passed away. This dating thing it’s a whole new world.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have been single for a little over 2 years, by my choice. I have been on dates but even that has stopped, by my choice. Every guy has either been just looking for a hook up or “is in love”way to fast! You have to treat a date like a job interview… Tell me about your last 5 partners.. why were you fired? And so on.. Of course I want to find “The one” but quite honestly I don’t think that I will in this day and age of dating.. and yes it makes me sad..But that’s ok because I have family ❤️


  5. I loved love too and just wanted to be loved. Finally I took time away from dating (5years—I had no set amount of time in mind). I had to be happy and have a full life without a relationship. Also did some counseling around some family relationships. I just started dating a wonderful man about two months ago and it been the absolute best! I feel in a much more mature place and I was truly ready to date. I am the type of person who doesn’t want to stay the same—I want to keep growing as a person. Thankful God is not done with me yet. Glad you are sharing Tony as so many of us can and do relate. I feel we help each other by sharing our stories.


  6. Your words are amazing, true and real. So many of us have been hurt to a point we wonder if the pain will ever heal. It’s amazing what time and prayer can do. I am a woman who loves love and prays to find someone someday. I look forward to more of your blogs.


  7. You are so smart and I love this article. So many valid points just coming out of a cheated on relationship I learned I was with a complete narcissist. Totally blindsided I needed to read this tonight. Great job Tony


  8. After 24 yrs of marriage, 5 yrs of trying to figure out why I was unlovable, I just lived, loved being me… kind of went a little crazy… decided in 2017 to try dating… I am onto the 2nd site… I don’t know if i am cut out for this… I love love and have so much to give, but darn it, Sex is just a small part of Love… I want to wanted, needed and cared about… Thank you for being so open… I think you are amazing.


  9. It’s so easy to point fingers and focus only on the things/people/events that have hurt us. Building a strong foundation now also requires looking at the role we played in the failed past relationship. The true healing of my failed marriage began when I took a good look at myself, then recognized and admitted mistakes I made in the relationship. Taking responsibility for my actions without blaming the other helped provide healing, insight and wisdom. Like you said, relationships take work and it’s starts with the individual.
    Thank you for sharing. I look forward to your future blogs.


  10. I’ve been single so long I don’t know if I will ever find anyone to spend my life with. I tried dating sites but always seemed to attract the dirty old men who didn’t want the same things in life that I want. Life is lonely sometimes not gonna lie. I’m looking forward to your next post!


  11. I’ve been single so long I don’t know if I will ever find anyone to spend my life with. I tried dating sites but always seemed to attract the dirty old men who didn’t want the same things in life that I want. Life is lonely sometimes not gonna lie. I’m looking forward to your next post!


  12. This speaks to me… so much… Ive been looking for my one, the one who will love all of me, for a little while now… But my fears are my worst enemies… they take a hold of me sometime and keep me at a stand still. My closest friends say I am hard on myself, and sometimes that fact keeps me from just enjoying myself around a good man. I tent to analyse too much or worst, I get scared and retreat within myself. I know for a fact that I have missed out on one great man this last spring because fear took over. I pray for the day someone will come along and stay a bit longer, long enough for me to come out of this shell I reside in. Good luck to you, Tony, on your search for love.


  13. After a 20-year marriage 13 of those years of verbal abuse because my spouse is a functioning alcoholic. I’m finding myself no other option other than to walk away I stayed too long. I wonder in today’s society in my 40s if I will meet somebody that only social drinks and doesn’t take it too far or doesn’t drink it all. Will I trust again after being repetitively lied to. Well I find somebody who will make me a priority in their life other than their friends and the alcohol.


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