If fun went out the door of a relationship, you should follow


If a relationship ain’t fun, it ain’t for you. No matter how gorgeous a trophy they might be to show off to friends.

He can be handsome, with muscles that have muscles. She can be pretty as 10 peacocks with an hourglass figure you could set your watch to. Remember, though, you were attracted to that person because you enjoyed his or her company.

Well, yeah, you wanted to jump their bones like a trampoline, but that’s not anything you can count on to sustain things. You need to be getting all your jollies — emotional and mental as well as physical — all three.

Hanging in through the bumpy moments, dumb arguments and such is fine. But, when it gets to be where you’re making up two and three times a week, that’s a sign of real trouble. You’re supposed to go through your day getting a good feeling when that person crosses your mind. You’re not supposed to think about them and it ruins your mood, especially in the early going.

There’s an old song by the Eagles, “Best of My Love,” that goes, “Every morning, I wake up and worry. What’s gonna happen today?” If you’re in a situation where that strikes a little too close to home, it’s time to get your hat and hand in your walking papers.

Things are not, despite what you keep trying to tell yourself, going to get better, if the two of you can just somehow make it through rocky ups and downs. There’s not supposed to be any “somehow” in making your relationship work. You do it through things like mutual respect and communication, understanding one another. If that’s not happening, that is exactly why you are unhappy. And hoping it will all get better does not work.

And, please, spare yourself a lot of unnecessary agonizing, talking about, “I can’t just leave, walk out the door. Because” — you ready for this? — “I luuvv him/her.” Look, love don’t bring with it the b.s. you’re going through. Baggage does. Yours. Hers. That and the fact you don’t know how to get along with each other.

How does that old Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes jam go, “The Love I Lost?” “We loved each other, we just couldn’t get along.” Hogwash. Had you two actually been in love, you would have figured out how to stay off each other’s nerves, how to quit arguing so damned much.

None of this is to say true lovers don’t argue. They just don’t do it every time they turn around. And they sure don’t have the same argument over and over. If the last fight you had didn’t teach both of you at least a little something about the other one, if you didn’t, afterward, feel things that needed to be said got said and you’re on stronger ground with each other, you weren’t solving a problem, you were perpetuating it. The more you run out of patience with this person, the closer you need to get to the door.

Finally, this hasn’t told you anything you don’t already know. If you’re stuck in a relationship that isn’t working, you don’t need to be told how much fun it isn’t. But, you are, in fact, still stuck in that relationship, aren’t you? Scared to leave a situation that is making you miserable.

Here’s a heads-up. Trust me, if you never leave, sooner or later the other one will. Look over your shoulder and your history of relationships. Didn’t every failure go the same way? First, fun went out the door. Then, you could see the writing on the wall; you were just afraid to read it and step. This relationship, bet money, is going to end exactly the way the others did, in an acrimonious mess.

So, in conclusion, my friend, if you’re not enjoying the relationship, if it ain’t fun, it ain’t — what? — ain’t for you.


Dwight Hobbes welcomes reader responses to P.O. Box 50357, Mpls., 55403.