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When Should You Walk Away?

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When Should You Walk Away?

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"I've been afraid of changing because I built my life around you."

-Fleetwood Mac

It's hard enough to find someone attractive and intriguing. When I finally find someone, she usually has a boyfriend. And it's extra frustrating when the girl's friends tell me how lame the boyfriend is, or how he mistreats her.

And there's nothing I can do. She's going to have to get out of it on her own. It's impossible to try to "save" someone from a bad relationship.

I have heard the following from friends of the last few girls I've been interested in:

  • "Her boyfriend has hit her before. But she lives with him and she says she loves him, and she doesn't think there's anyone better out there for her."
  • "Every time I see her boyfriend with her, she approaches me later and apologizes for his behavior."
  • "I met her boyfriend once, and that night he beat up some guy outside the bar."
  • Her sister is so crushed that she's marrying this guy.

Doesn't sound like a great crew of boyfriends, does it? But these girls continue to date these guys. All I can do is sit on the side and hope that the boyfriend will screw up. But, even when the boyfriend screws up repeatedly, it doesn't matter.

It got me thinking about the different levels of offenses guys commit. Here are a couple of examples of bad behavior and their level of severity:

One & Done: You should get out of the relationship if it occurs once

Physical Abuse - It's not just because men are stronger than women; if a woman hits her boyfriend, she should go too.

Cheating - Taking someone back after they cheat on you will probably end up burning you. If you forgive too easily they might continue cheating because you took him back the first time.


On Thin Ice: These offenses are a big deal, and if they do it consistently, you should end the relationship

Verbal Abuse - This is not One & Done because, as humans, we make mistakes. But, the first time someone verbally abuses you, you should hold on to it and be vigilant when looking out for more instances. If it's consistent, and not just one isolated mistake, then you should break up.


Disrespect for Your Friends & Family - Your friends and family are extensions of you. Perhaps it takes everyone a while to warm up to one another, but if your significant other can't get along with your friends/family, you'll be forced to choose. If someone loves you, they should make an effort, even if they are not compatible with your loved ones.

Drugs & Alcohol - I believe that, ultimately, people are responsible for kicking their own habits. But support from loved ones is imperative. If your significant other is using drugs, you must decide if you want to be there to help them rehabilitate, or walk away. Neither choice is necessarily the wrong choice. Some people can't kick the habit, and it becomes more important to them than their love life. But people who overcome drug addiction are stronger after the experience and they can rediscover their love life.

We Can Work It Out: Annoying things that can be worked on and improved, but don't warrant a breakup

Forgetfulness - Yes, it's annoying when we forget your birthday, and even the anniversary, but it's hard to keep things in order all the time!

Accidental Instult - Men and women speak a different language. "I didn't intend to hurt you by what I said," is not a good excuse, but sometimes we accidentally say hurtful things. Most guys eventually learn what bothers their girlfriend, bu there are growing pains.

It is astounding to me that women stay with bad guys. I hear the same thing from most women: "girls are stupid." I would like to put a more positive spin on it: I think girls are just loyal and determined to a fault at times. If it was working before, they want to make it work again, and it's hard to walk away from something you've worked hard on.

Women stick by a guy through thick and thin, probably because the bar has been set so low for guys. Perhaps women don't believe there's any better guy out there than their bad boyfriends, even if he's abusing her. Or, she blames herself for his behavior.

But ask yourself: isn't it be better to be alone than to be with someone that mistreats you or doesn't give you what you deserve?

Why do women stay with bad boyfriends? Do you agree with my list of offenses above and their severity? What would you add to each list?

Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/richravens

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