Stop Being Okay With Crappy Relationships

In Advice and Encouragement, Dating, For the Guys, For the Ladies, Relationships, Single by Debra Fileta28 Comments

Dear sweet, precious, amazing person reading this article,

Hi, there. I don’t know you, but I’m glad you’re here. Even though we’re connecting through a screen instead of sitting face to face sipping on a latte, I’m thankful for the opportunity to connect with you through this article today. Because it means something that this title caught your eye.

Maybe you’ve been there. Or maybe you know someone who has.

Maybe you find yourself in a dating relationship in which things aren’t the way you had hoped.

Maybe the disappointment has just started settling in — or maybe you’ve been struggling for years.

Maybe you’ve even spent your energy trying to block out the still, small, voice telling you that something just isn’t right. And now, here it is again.

Whether a newbie to crappy relationships, or a veteran….you’re here because there’s a relationship in your life that’s just not the way it should be. Something is wrong.

Maybe it’s that guy, who doesn’t seem to be as interested in you as you are in him.

Maybe it’s the girl who never seems to take initiative in your relationship.

Maybe it’s that person who keeps saying “I’m going to change” and then never does.

Maybe it’s that nasty argument you had last night, that keeps happening again, and again, and again, like a bad song on repeat.

Maybe it’s those lies and secrets that you keep trying to pretend don’t exist.

Maybe it’s the fact that you’re not, and never have been, on the same page spiritually.

Maybe it’s because you find yourself always having to be someone you’re not.

Maybe it’s that on again, off again, emotional roller coaster ride that you’ve been dealing with for God only knows how long.

Or maybe, just maybe, it’s even more severe.

Maybe it’s abuse.

Maybe it’s addictions.

Maybe it’s betrayal.

No matter what it is for you, crappy relationships exist when there’s a pattern of unhealthy behaviors, feelings, or interactions in a dating relationship. Things that keep coming up, time and time again. Unhealthy patterns that aren’t changing and aren’t going away.

Sometimes, you can be in a relationship for so long that you stop seeing how unhealthy it really is until someone points it out. And even then, you try to make excuses. You try to ignore it. You try to pretend that it’s all okay. But deep down, in the silence and quiet of the night, you find yourself struggling with that sinking feeling.

How did I end up here?

I wish I could answer that question for you. I wish I could sit down with you, and hear your entire story from start to finish, and help you work through that important question.

But what I will tell you is this: the more you love yourself, the faster you’ll notice when something in a relationship just isn’t right.

The more you love yourself, the easier it will be to recognize a relationship in which you’re not really loved.

Because LOVE isn’t a feeling. It’s not an empty word.

Love is a decision.

Love is not just something we feel, love is something we see. It’s an action played out day in and day out that portrays patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control. It doesn’t display envy, it’s not rude, and it’s not arrogant.

Love is a choice someone makes to treat you the way you deserve to be treated.

Anything less than that, is not really love at all.

And maybe you know that. But maybe, just maybe, you just needed to hear it again. Because the truth is, relationships don’t just magically change when you get married. What you see in dating, you will ALWAYS see in marriage…multiplied by a factor of one hundred. Because marriage is like a pressure cooker, and everything you put in there get’s magnified and intensified. So if there’s something in a relationship that’s not changing…maybe it’s time to let it go. 

My prayer for you is that this coming year you learn to see yourself for what you are TRULY WORTH. Loved, valued, and worthy…because of a God who made you in His very image. That same God looks at you and longs for you to seek out a relationships that reflects the deep and ferocious love HE feels for you. Because love like this….well, it’s all part of His plan.

Whoever you are, whatever you’re going through, and whatever you’ve done…May this be your year of new beginnings. May this be the year that you finally LET GO of crappy relationships once and for all, and open your heart to something greater.

*If you find yourself struggling to let go of a bad relationship, or constantly involved in unhealthy ones, I challenge you to pick up a copy of this book and read through it before the New Year. It’s time to make some changes in your life, and there’s no better time to start than RIGHT NOW.

tld-3d-book cover

Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, speaker, and author of True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life21 Days to Jump Start Your Love Life, and 21 Days to Pray For Your Love Life – where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love. You may also recognize her voice from her 150+ articles at Relevant Magazine or! She’s also the creator of this True Love Dates Blog!  Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter or book a session with her today!


  1. Thanks for this Debra – I’ve been wondering the past while whether I was too fussy in my last relationship and walked away too soon, but this has reminded me of that sense of unease I had at the time. Though it’s been over 4 years since that break-up and there hasn’t been anyone else since. I’m praying that through getting to know and love me for who God has made me, I will be able to better discern God’s best for me. In the past, I never thought I was good enough to receive love from anyone – so any relationship was doomed to fail!! Praying that God will bring someone along who understands my struggles and doesn’t ignore my pain, but wisely points me to God and not himself!

    1. Author

      Amen to that, Rachel. Praying the same for you, today!! Thank you for sharing such insightful thoughts….God is working in your life in a really powerful way. Continue to trust Him!

    1. So needed this article today! Just over the last few days I took two steps back, hoping that this person I had a fantastic friendship with had finally seen what I did in our relationship only to learn that he’s dating someone. Over the last couple of years I’ve pretty much given up hope of ever having the good type of relationship you write about. Have decided that I’m going to earnestly pray for that relationship this coming year. Thank you for always telling it like it is!!!

      1. Author

        Thanks for sharing Kimberly!! I’m so thankful this met you right where you are at!

  2. ThankYou, Debra. I do believe this new year, will be a year, god will push me out of my comfort zone and big blessings and breakthroughs will happen, and may find the one i’m meant to be with. I really do. I always feel god’s hand on me.

  3. Thank you so much Debra, this is a very unique article that has touched me so deeply, it has also made me to rethink again about my dating relationship and not settle for anything less….

    1. Author

      Carol, I’m so thrilled to hear it!!!!! I really encourage you to read through (and do all the reflection questions) the book True Love Dates if you haven’t already. It’s important to take this information to the next level and really do what it takes to change the future! Blessings to you dear!

  4. Wow. How timely. I (unfortunately) have met a woman who is separated and has filed for divorce. She and I have been communicating, but have decided not to communicate with each other further until her divorce is over and her accountability group and God has given the green light to proceed (we both attend the same church). This message is so timely and relevant to her situation! She knows all of this and has suffered through a 28-year marriage with an abusive, unchanging man – coming out of the divorce, she needs to learn to grow to love herself rather than seek validation from others, including me. Only God and time will tell us whether there is an opportunity for us together, but a lot of work needs to be done in the interim. Please pray for “Grace!” Signed, “Peace.”

  5. What do you recommend to the old-er woman (59) who is starting all over again. There doesn’t seem to be much in the way of available, genuine Christian men. On top of it, I have health issues that can’t be seen, but they are always there. I feel the need to be up front with this and wow do they run fast.

    1. Does your book have any advice for the older single who has been through the crappy and abusive relationships?

  6. Debra,

    I’m just affirming what Lucky has already said. Your encouragement and words of wisdom are the best! Thank you so much for continually sharing your heart with us! It is so appreciated!

    1. Author

      It’s my sincere pleasure, Elizabeth!! Thank you for your encouragement!

  7. I don’t get into relationships women don’t seem to care if i Exist. I don’t understand my life and why my whole 34 years of life have been hell from Women, sometimes i get mad at God

  8. Keep it up Debra, you inspire me everyday and I’ve come to realize the difference between the crappy relationships I’ve had before and the True Love I got now.Thank you

  9. Debra,

    I agree that people should definitely not stay in “crappy” relationships. What I’ve found though from conversations with people, and what I’ve observed in marriages that actually lasted until death was this: Nobody is perfect, and no marriage is perfect. So in order for it to lasts, you must be able to endure the hard times. I’ve seen within my family marriages survive lying, and cheating, and miscarriages, and other things. A coworker just told me a true story about a woman whose husband told her he was led to switch to Islam and become Muslim after 5 years of marriage and children. There is a line in my fav movie “Love Jones” where the guy says, “anybody can get together and get married, and give me advice, but somebody please tell me how to stay there. How do you keep it together?” I think that’s what people really need to know, and be educated on more than anything else. I mentioned this also because I’ve seen where it’s difficult for people to find that “perfect balance.” Even though we’re not perfect people, and we don’t live in a perfect world, I believe that we can achieve perfect balance in our lives; and we can learn to best handle adversity, and trials and tribulations. There is a gospel song that says, “God doesn’t always move the mountains, but he does give us the strength to climb them.” I agree that people should not stay in very bad relationships, but we also need to understand that everyone will have flaws and imperfections; and we won’t always agree on everything, and we may meet some wonderful people, but they’re not at the same maturity level as us. However we don’t know how God may be working in someone’s life, and/or what he wants to do in their life. All through the bible, Christ went to, and chose some of the worst people and helped them change for the better. Even at the end, Christ was betrayed by Judas, and Peter. However he showed his unconditional, and everlasting love by forgiving them for their sins, before they committed them, but knowing that they would commit them. I think half the problem with relationships is people being extremely picky, critical, and judgmental. Too often we look for absolute “perfection” in other people, put them on pedestals, and have extremely high expectations; and as soon as the person falls short, we walk away. Many divorces end based on the grounds of “irreconcilable differences.” This simply means there was a difference of opinions, and no compromise or sacrifice was made. However, imo this can be reconciled, but many people don’t even try to because they are set in their ways. If we are overly critical of everyone, and set our standards too high, and there is no balance, or room for error, we’ll remain single for a very very long time.

  10. So my question is – How do you teach people to have the right balance, and know when to trust in a person, and stick with them, and when not to? Some people have no idea that they’re even in a “crappy” relationship because by their definition, it’s perfectly fine, and they’re happy. Other people think a relationship is “crappy” but the reality is it’s really not. They may want to end a relationship with the perfect person for them simply because they don’t get their way all the time, or the person isn’t available to them 24/7, or they take the person for granted, or they don’t have enough money for them, or whatever the reason. Quite often I’ve heard stories from men who have been told by women that they were “too nice.” They didn’t find the man to be “manly” enough and masculine enough and found him to be “weak” all because he was a gentleman, nice, kind, loving, and somewhat sensitive.
    So I’m curious on how you help people to achieve the right balance for them, so they’re not entertaining the wrong people, and at the same time, they’re not letting perfectly great people go because they have some flaws, and are imperfect.

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