So many romantic comedies have the big crescendo ending of “I want to spend the rest of my life with you!” - cue the happy tears, fairytale ending and rolling of the credits.
But, as most all of us have learned, in the real world “the rest of my life” doesn’t always pan out as we had hoped. Plus, this grandiose gesture can be very harmful for someone who has experienced abandonment issues if things crumble over time. What is a more realistic thing to say that doesn’t detract from making a genuine commitment to someone you are in a long-term relationship with?
Let me direct you to the phrase “As long as it’s healthy for both of us.”
It’s difficult to conceptualize the concept of forever, especially when you’re in the thick of being in love. We can overpromise and underdeliver which leaves both our own hearts broken as well as the heart of the person we have made this promise to.
When someone hears “rest of my life with you” then picture you will never leave, never break up, never pass away, never detach. But if a situation is no longer serving you, it can be the best and most loving thing to break away.
If you say “I want to be with you as long as it’s healthy for both of us” it puts clear expectations up that you do want to commit your time, energy, resources, and heart to someone but it does have the condition that you will do what’s best for you as needed.
It may sound less romantic, but isn’t reality better than fiction overall? To know someone told you the truth versus an empty, weightless promise? If even hearing “rest of my life” is triggering for you and brings up pain, let me encourage you to speak to a licensed professional. There may be some abandonment trauma or break-up healing that needs to take place - and why not start today?