Sharyn Atkinson

Just your average single girl, blogging about an unusual single world

Obligated?

I broke up with my boyfriend a few weeks ago and while I haven’t made a big announcement to the universe that I’m single again, people gradually come to find this information out. Like a guy I work with.

He’s a nice guy; we chat about work, generally know what is happening in each other’s lives through the odd drinking function at work. Who am I kidding? I work for a bank; there are a lot of drinking functions.

We were chatting the other day and I told him that my relationship had ended and he was stunned. The conversation he and I had afterwards was so fascinating for me that I actually became the one who was left a little bewildered.

This is a short transcript for you (not verbatim (or a floppy disk from 1994 for that matter)):

Work guy: What did you get up to on your break?

Me: Nothing special. Re-upholstered my couch, broke up with my boyfriend, did some writing.

Work guy: What you broke up with your boyfriend?

Me: Yeah.

Work guy: Why? Oh, you don’t have to tell me why, that’s cool.

Me: Yeah, there’s a lot to it. Obviously I’m not going to break up with someone after a year for something minor.

Work guy: Nah, you wouldn’t. But you guys were organising for your parents to meet and stuff.

Me: Yeah I know. It’s a shame, but I made the right decision.

Work guy: I’m shocked. You guys were quite serious. Don’t you ever feel obligated to, you know see it through?

Me: Nup.

Work guy: I didn’t think so.  

I didn’t dismiss this relationship easily. Far from it actually. I’m still trying to make sense of a few things, which is pretty normal with any fresh break-up. He and I spoke the other night to sort some stuff out and its nice that we can still speak and have the opportunity to do that. So, it wasn’t a bad break up, it just seemed very sudden for him.

I do have a sledgehammer style about me, and its not always a great thing when it comes to relationships. This break up had a sledgehammer element with a twist of hurricane. The sledgehammer was the bluntness in my conversation, and the hurricane was the speed by which I packed up all my things and removed all traces of myself from his house. I don’t muck around!

So when this guy from work asked me if I ever felt obligated to stay with him, it made me think about why I don’t feel obligated, and why I never have. And here is what I’ve come up with…

The only obligation I have in my life is to be happy. It is sad that I loved his family, my family welcomed him in like a long-lost son, that our siblings got along, my niece and nephew got along with his kids, that we were very much apart of each other’s lives and we broke-up. It’s unfortunate and it’s uncomfortable telling friends and family too, which only adds to the sadness of the situation.

Breaking up is never an easy thing to do. And the reasons for this one are so complex that I will have to write ten separate articles to cover all of the different elements to it. But just because we had come so far as a couple, cannot be a good enough reason to stay, surely?

Yes, I want to get married and have a family, I’m fully aware that I am not getting any younger, I have family pressure about settling down sometimes and I know that being single can tough given the number of insincere people there are in the world. But I would rather be on my own than sacrifice my sanity by settling for someone.

I can’t do it and I wont. I owe it to myself to be happy and I can control the things in my life that will get me there. So if I clear up some space in my life from time-to-time to make room for new things that will help me achieve that, I don’t see how that can be a bad thing. I owe it to myself to make my life as great as it can be, rather than settling for things that are semi-satisfying.

I can have and do whatever I want in life and settling is way too limiting when you dream as big as I do. Not everyone aims high, and I understand that, but for me I’m obligated to fulfil a promise I made to myself many years ago and it’s quite simple. If something or someone doesn’t make me happy, I don’t want it or them, in my life. It doesn’t get more complicated than that for me.

Everyone’s life is shaped by different experiences they’ve had and everyone will see relationships differently. Whether staying with someone out of obligation or not is the right thing to do for the guy I work with, I can’t say. As long has he can sleep at night with the decisions and choices he makes in his life, then he’s doing the right thing for himself. As am I, and that’s what I am obligated to do.

Posted 129 weeks ago
Posted 129 weeks ago