Ending relationships can be the right decision

Kim McKinney

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I am typically the instigator in ending most of my romantic relationships. When I see there’s no long-term potential, I want to end it before it gets messy and when we’re still at the stage where it ends kindly.

There are always armchair psychologists who want to get me to delve deeper into why my relationships don’t last. Often these critics have a personal history of many messy relationships, yet they feel as though I am running away from the joy of experiencing the same. They think my running away from bad (or lackluster) relationships is worse than staying in a miserable relationship.

Some people love that messy part of relationships, but I’m not one of them. I have a low tolerance for drama. I have dated mostly amazing men, but when I detect we are not compatible for the long term, I end it before all the good goes away.

I simply want a relationship where we are better together than we are apart. I have no long list of demands and am not high maintenance.

Note that I’m not afraid of normal human relationship-chaos. Love is often a bit messy, but it’s a good kind of messy. It’s the dramatic or miserable kind of messy I want to avoid.

I want a partner. A partnership. I want laughter and great conversation and passion. I want kindness going in both directions.

I love to travel and have observed over time that many people say they love to travel but when you watch them take a vacation, they don't appear to be enjoying much about it at all. I appreciate it when someone travels for the adventure of it all - and instead of being a tourist, they enjoy the culture, the differences from their normal life, and meeting people not exactly like them. I need a relaxed traveler for a partner. Things happen when you travel. Flights get canceled, luggage lost, cell phones are misplaced. It can ruin your vacation, or you can resolve to enjoy your time anyway.

This quality also translates well in real life. I want a relaxed traveler in life.

I’m an introvert who often acts like an extrovert. It’s difficult for some people to cope with that dichotomy. I don’t need to be alone to slip into my shell. There can be chaos around me, and I won’t notice — I have the hyperfocus superpower of someone with ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyper-activity Disorder.). I get quiet at home, and it's not because I am mad at anyone. I am just regaining my energy. Many don't understand.

A few “sages” have decided to give me a “talking-to.” They start putting my relationships on parade and make that profound statement, “the common denominator in all your relationships is you.” (Insert eye roll here.)

Well, that certainly is true. It used to make me feel insecure about myself. It’s difficult not to when so many judge so much of who you are in your love life.

Then I realized something. My relationships with friends and family are typically really good. Even my dating relationships have been better than most.

No, I have never married, and romantic relationships haven’t lasted long with me, but neither have I ever had a messy divorce or hated someone after we broke up. I haven’t had one relationship that ended that shouldn’t have ended or that ended with a lot of drama.

Maybe being that common denominator isn’t so bad.

I have many long-term male friends who love me well and tell me any man would be lucky to have me. Yes, they exaggerate, but it makes me smile, and I prefer to believe them. Everyone should have this type of friend. (In return, I usually tell them their partner is a saint. I keep my friends humble.)

I don’t fit in boxes well. In some ways my mindset is what is thought of as traditionally male — I run by logic (thanks, Dad) — but then there is the other side that is traditionally female. I am the nurturer of all (if that nurturer is the type that kicks your butt and makes you be your best) and I feel the problems and the triumphs of others strongly.

I’m a dreamer and a romantic, to the point that I may sometimes be unrealistic. I probably want Prince Charming, but not the fairy tale Prince Charming. I like a few flaws and I don’t need someone to rescue me all the time. I’m not looking for perfect. Just right. And fun. And supportive.

Maybe there is a reason that I have not found lasting love, but perhaps that reason isn’t that there is something terribly wrong with me or anyone I have dated. I know there aren’t many people I could be with in a long-term relationship, and of those fewer who could also survive me. I haven't found the right man at the right time. I am still holding out hope for my golden years. I’d love the security of a loving relationship. Someone to join me for travel and adventures, and a partner to join me in trying to outrun the deterioration of our bodies.

But whatever happens, my life will be good. So far, it has been, and I have no intention of changing that for anyone. Alone is not the worst thing that can happen to a person. Love is not a gift bestowed upon us because we have gotten closer to perfection. Sometimes it’s dumb luck or a huge blessing or two people just needing someone and falling into each other. Sometimes it may even be a curse.

The common denominator in all of our lives is ourselves. That is an important point — we are the only person we control, the only one we can change. But overall, I am pleased with the person I have become and the one I am becoming.

I don't consider me being the common denominator in all my relationships to be an insult. Even if “they” mean it to be.

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I love stories of people and places and enjoy telling these stories. I live in my hometown of Statesville, NC, in the Charlotte area, and love to show how lovely life is here. More is going on than may meet the eye. I also enjoy expanding throughout North Carolina to show the places and activities and people that make me believe life is fascinating and travel as much as I can, so write about that, too. I also have a passion for justice and a special interest in accessible healthcare, including treatment for drug and alcohol dependency. I am a woman of faith, joy, laughter, adventure, and live life to the full. Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/kimmckinney719 or my blog KimberleyMcKinney.com or https://kimmckinney719.medium.com.

Statesville, NC
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