Danny Ocean: “Does he make you laugh?”
Tess: “He doesn’t make me cry.”
This quote from Ocean’s Eleven highlights my belief on love, relationships and life. When faced with a decision to stay or leave, compromise or move on, suffer or shine, ask yourself one ultimately important question, “Does the good outweigh the bad?”
I learned early on the trials and tribulations that come with a relationship. I met my boyfriend when I was a freshman, and he was a junior. Our relationship started out fun and innocent, but it quickly became serious. I started losing touch with most of my friends, I wouldn’t go anywhere without him, and I would sit by the phone waiting for a call the nights he decided to go out. The second half of our relationship mostly consisted of me crying. We were constantly fighting and I felt terribly alone. My friends and family disagreed with our relationship and the way he was treating me and urged me to end the relationship, but of course, I did not listen.
The summer before my junior year, my boyfriend went away to school in Minnesota. I was devastated. We promised each other we would make it through this hard time and at the end of it we planned on getting married. Little did I know this single act of separation would be the wakeup call I desperately needed. I spent that year trying to cope with being away from my boyfriend and fixing my relationships with my friends. The first night being back out with my friends was bitter sweet. I was so happy I had such loyal friends who I reconnected with instantly; however, I realized how much fun I had missed out on in the past two years. I knew I had a decision to make.
I spent months contemplating my decision of breaking up with my boyfriend. There were both pros and cons to our relationship. Finally I realized, I had to put aside all other variables affecting my decision. The only thing I had to ask myself was, was I crying more than I was smiling? Did I spend more time unhappy than happy? I realized that when I just narrowed it down to my happiness, the most life changing decision I had ever made just became the simplest. I chose happiness. I broke up with my boyfriend the very next day. It remains the most important decision I’ve made thus far. I truly know this decision changed my outlook on relationships for the rest my life, for the better.
I encourage everyone to ask these simple questions when making a decision that seems too difficult. No matter how or what the decision is, whether it be involving a relationship, a school, or a career, I believe it could be more easily solved when you ask the basic question of happiness. So ask yourself, “Does the good outweigh the bad?”If not, do something!
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.