- I like him. He is smart, kind, and funny.
- That is great! So, what’s the problem, why are you here?
- Well, we have been discussing more about marriage and he keeps saying that he wants marriage, but she doesn’t want children… And I really want to be a mother, I actually want to have 2-3 children. I can’t imagine my life without children.
- I understand, it seems that being a mother is very important to you.
- Yes, it is. And it’s not only this, but whenever we make love, it is not that great... I mean, he is more interested in his pleasure than in mine. I always do things that make him feel good, but when it comes to me feeling good, he just doesn't even ask me what I like, let alone do them!
- I see. And on a scale of 1- 10 how important is for you to feel good when you make love?
- 10! I love sex, I don’t understand how someone else can be interested only in their own pleasure.
- Well, there are various reasons for this, however what matters is how this impacts you.
- It makes me miserable… I don’t know if I can be with a person who behaves like this in bed. And there is one more thing. He has a very bad relationship with her family, and he is not at all interested in spending time with my family. I invited him a few times so far to meet my parents and my brother, and every time he declined saying “They are your parents, not mine. Why would I want to spend time with them?”
- And how did this make you feel?
- It makes me sad. I love my family and I love doing various activities with them. I just can’t imagine not visiting them monthly and not spending the holidays together.
- I noticed you said “I can’t imagine” twice. How is it like for you to be in a relationship with a man who is not interested in things you “can’t imagine” not doing?
- Well, now that you ask me, I realize that I don’t think he is the right partner for me. Yes, I like some things about him, but there are important ones where we don’t match.
- So, why are you in this relationship?
- I guess I am afraid of ending up alone. I am already 32, all my friends and married or in a relationship, I don’t want to be the only one who is single.
What is a “Better Than Single” Relationship?
- A BTS is a relationship that is nice but not great, or great in some ways but mediocre in others.
- A BTS is a “nice” relationship with the wrong person, in the sense that your partner is not the best partner for you.
- It’s a relationship that you keep, even though it is only partially satisfying.
- BTSs are all those partners who don’t love you back the way you want to be loved. They are the people who fear commitment and whom you stay with anyway, the old lovers who have simply become a habit, the intimacy-avoiders who feel better than no sex at all.
To sum it up, you can like certain aspects of your partner, you feel good with them, you have some things in common, but your interaction is not amazing, you feel nice, but you don’t feel great, you feel that somehow you could do better, but you don’t have the courage to admit this to yourself. Yet, at least.
You can be very attracted to someone, even love them, but this doesn’t mean they are a good long-term partner for you.
The problem is not having feelings for them but staying in a romantic relationship with them.
Probably the most important mistake people make when looking for a romantic partner is not saying “no” to people who aren’t what they need and want. Spending months, or worst, years in a relationship with a person who doesn’t want the same type of relationship you want, doesn’t have the qualities you desire in a partner and doesn’t meet your needs is worst than being single.
Here is why:
- You consume time and energy that would otherwise be available for meeting new people.
- These kinds of relationships add stress to your life – if you spend most of your time fighting, being dissatisfied, feeling unloved, criticizing and being criticized, feeling unsupported you can even get sick because of the stress you are living in.
- Your self-esteem decreases – self-esteem comes from within, however when you don’t receive positive messages from the exterior, it can decline dramatically. Being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t appreciate, accept and love you for exactly who you really are, but tries to change you or doesn’t cooperate with you, you will begin to see yourself, not as who you are, but as the other person sees you.
- The very fact that you are in this kind of relationship speaks about a lack of self-confidence, otherwise you wouldn’t settle for less than what you really desire.
The secret of finding love is to clarify what you want and then to let go anyone who does not fit what you are looking for.
Why Do You Stay in a “Better Than Single” Relationship?
1. You feel secure – being in a relationship, although it’s one that kind of sucks, is something familiar which gives you security. On the other hand, being single and not knowing for sure if you are going to meet the person you are dreaming of makes you feel insecure.
2. You prefer meeting your short-term intimacy needs instead of your long-term life goals.
3. You believe you can’t have the relationship you really want. Maybe you haven’t seen anyone being in a relationship like the one you desire, or you simply think you are not worthy of an amazing partnership.
4. You misinterpret love with longing, attachment, chemistry, attraction.
5. You might have spent years in the relationship and by putting an end to it you might think that you wasted the best years of your life – this hurts and it is not something people accept easily. You prefer to stay in that relationship so you don’t confront the pain, shame and even self-hate that might show up if you break up. However, if you see that relationship as a life experience that has enriching lessons, you will feel gratitude after finishing it.
6. You just don’t know how to get out of this relationship.
How to Discover if the Relationship You Are In Is a BTS?
Here are a few tools to see if your current partner or date is or not a BTS:
1. Write down your life goals. How would you like to live? How do you want your life to look in in five years? In ten? In twenty? Will staying with this partner help you to achieve these goals?
2. Make a list with all the qualities you like about your partner. Then, write down all your areas of dissatisfaction with him or her.
3. Ask yourself: “Do I spend more time experiencing pleasure in my relationship, or pain, frustration, and stress?”
4. On a sheet of paper, complete this sentence in as many ways: “I am staying in this relationship because _____.”
5. Ask yourself: “What does my gut tell me?”
When to Say “No” to a Relationship with Somebody?
The best moment to say “No” is the first moment you realize that the person you are with is not going to meet your needs and desires — even though some parts of the relationship may be perfectly wonderful.
Saying “No” requires trusting yourself and having your faith in the future. Even though the partner you desire is not in your life now, it doesn't mean you will remain single or that you need to settle for less than what you want.
How to End a BTS Relationship?
First of all, saying “No” is not easy and can be hard to do for various reasons: it would be a big change in your life, you don’t want to hurt the other person, you are afraid of being single, the words just don’t come out of your mouth.
So how do you do it?
1. Decide what you really want.
2. Decide you are no longer available for anything less than the relationship you envision for yourself.
3. When you tell the other person – pay them an honest compliment first: “You are a great conversationalist.” “I really enjoy your sense of humor.”
4. Be clear and specific. Don’t be vague and leave your partner guessing: “I had a good time with you last weekend, but I’m not in a place right now to pursue this relationship.” “I prefer not to continue dating, but I want you to know how much I have enjoyed (your sense of humor, your dancing skills, etc).”
5. Be kind and respectful, but don’t consider yourself responsible for the other person’s reaction. Do what’s right for you.
If you read this article and you realized that your current partner is not your ideal partner, take a deep breath in, acknowledging this is not easy, you are very brave. Now, ask yourself: "Am I willing to have faith in God/Universe/Source that my ideal partner will come into my life at the right time AND am I willing to use my resources for evolving into the best version of myself?"
There are things that depend on you, things that depend on other people and things that depend on a higher power - you do what depends on you and stop worrying about the rest. As souls you two agreed to meet, so you will meet, however how the relationship will evolve depends on both of you - that is why it is very important to keep growing and evolving into your best self - this way the relationship is more likely to be successful.