7 Ways to Deal with a Complicated Relationship

Do you remember when facebook had that option to change your relationship status to “complicated?”  What’s more, do you remember how it used to alert any of the “friends” on your newsfeed when that status inevitably changed to single?


I hope that karma hits whoever invented that feature.  Preferably, with a semi-truck. 


Complicated relationships aren’t automatically doomed for despair, but they are destined to at some point change.  Whether that be for good or ill entirely depends on how you and your partner choose to handle it.  The options may feel unlimited, but really, it boils down to a few simple choices.

  • Figure out what makes this complicated.
  • Ask yourself: deep down, do you like the complications?
  • Talk it out with a friend.
  • Talk it out with him.
  • Examine what this relationship adds to your life.
  • Know your worth.
  • Pack those bags.


Handling a complicated relationship is never fun, but it is a necessary part of growing up and maturing in your own partnership.  Read on to see a few ways you can maneuver this rocky boat onto smoother sailings!


1.Figure out what makes this complicated.

So what is it about this relationship that makes it so complicated?  Is it a coworker he seems just a bit too close to? 

Does he keep “accidentally” calling you by his ex’s name?  Is he virtually glued to his mother’s side?  Can you just not quite decide whether or not you hate him?

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Whatever the source of the problem is, identifying the core issue is the first step to fixing it. When you are staring down the barrel of the gun, it can feel as if you have no idea what the problem is, but that’s not true.


Deep in your gut, you know.  It’s just a matter of narrowing all  those complicated emotions into a narrower, easier to handle shape.  


If, that is, fixing the problem is actually something you want.


2. Ask yourself: deep down, do you like the complications?


Admit it.  Sometimes, whether we say it out loud or not, there’s a reason we keep ending up in these situation-ships.


We like it.  We like the tension of never knowing when he’s going to call.


We like the passionate, always followed by such sweet make-ups.  We like those precious highs so much that we are willing to put up with the lowest of the lows. 


Until we aren’t.


Maybe you’re one of those precious few who are actually capable of separating your heart and head in the long term; if so, good for you.  Enjoy your blissful, wild complications.


For the majority of us, even if we love those ups-and-downs in the short term, they are ultimately too exhausting to keep up forever.  Ultimately, we have to make another choice.


3. Talk it out with a friend.


Or a therapist.  For real, for some people and relationships, that might be the best case scenario.

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Talk it out with a friend


If you are in a situation where you can afford it, seeing a therapist may help you understand not only what you really want, but what got you into this situation in the first place.


Either way,  you are way too close to the subject to get an objective view on it.  You need to take some time to sit down with someone who truly sees you and is honest enough to tell you what you need to know. Are you overthinking a good situation or diving headlong into the biggest mistake of your life?


Regardless of the answer, just be sure of one thing.  You absolutely must listen, judgement free.


Please, do the world a favor and decide in advance, no matter what, you won’t get angry at your best friend for offering you the advice you asked for!


4. Talk it out with him.


It’s revolutionary, I know.  


Maybe it’s time to have an actual, face-to-face, real life conversation with the person you are sleeping with/ trying to sleep with/ staring at through the bushes. 


If you’re nervous, try framing this conversation around a fun date. There’s no reason that you need to discuss this in tears at 3:46 in the morning if, instead, you could have it over pastries at brunch.


And for the love of all that’s holy, don’t treat this talk like it’s a bigger deal than it is!  This same conversation has been had millions of times by millions of other couples.  It’s completely doable, and it’s only going to snowball into a major problem if either of you let it.

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5. Examine what this relationship adds to your life.


If even thinking about this situation is stressful enough to give you a stomach ache, it might be worth taking a second to ask: is it worth it?  Is it worth the confusion, the late nights, the self-doubt?


Your answer to those questions may very well be “yes.”  If so, that’s absolutely fantastic!  Good for you, truly. 


Even if you know that this person is worth the stress, however, that’s still just the start. Even if he really does make you feel as if he hung the stars, this relationship is destined to end in hurt until you sort out whatever is causing you to feel so terrible in the first place.


Roll up your sleeves, talk to him about your feelings, and prepare to put in the work.


6. Know your worth.


Know your worth


Regardless of whether or not this relationship is worth it, you definitely are.  If this guy is worth the long-game, he’ll understand that too. 


7. Pack those bags.


I know the idea of starting over again is scary, especially the relationship that is causing you such heartache is also a comfortable one. The fact remains, you cannot allow complacency to keep you trapped in anything other than the happiest relationship of your life.


Don’t allow self-doubt, nervousness, and fear to hold you back from the happier future you deserve. 


It’s not that complicated…


We all want to feel like our situation is special, that our relationship is different from all others in the world, but the fact is…. It just isn’t.  Every situation, even the most complicated, has been done before, which means the answer to our complication is out there.  It’s just a matter of finding which is the right answer for us. 

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