Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

Giving Up is Hard to Do

But first, because I can’t help myself

I know that many of my readers are way too young to get the reference, but it’s one of those random songs from my childhood, forever playing on the oldies station in my head.

So yeah, breaking up is hard to do. But for me, giving up is even harder.  Once I’ve started a new relationship, any of relationship (romantic relationship, friendship, business relationship) I have a hard time admitting to myself that it’s time to walk away. I am, as I’ve admitted here many times before, a very stubborn person. And I hate to give up. I hate to fail. I hate quitting. And for me, admitting that it’s time to walk away from a bad relationship feels a lot like admitting to failure.

Which is stupid. Because it’s not the same thing. Not all relationships are meant to last. And I am not in control of the success or failure of every interpersonal relationship in my life. It takes two people to form a relationship, two people to make it succeed or fail.

But knowing that doesn’t make it any easier for me to give up.  It still feels like failure, each and every time.

Which leads me to wonder (the way I wonder about everything) is this something other people do? Do other people stay in relationships way too long because they hate to give up?  Do other people have that pit of their stomach ache that ineffective relationships are a personal failure? Or is this highly irrational and a sign that I am mentally unstable?

Do you hang on to relationships longer than you should?

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8 to “Giving Up is Hard to Do”


  1. The beginning of a relationship can seem so forgiving, working clay. Why is it that the end of a relationship should feel so much like an end? Are we that brittle? Do we fire the work to quickly? Perhaps over-work the clay? It pains to dash a failed vase to the ground. We dash a bit of ourselves along with it; what we put in, comes out. We invest ourselves, make personal our work. It is not irrational to experience loss in the pit of the stomach, dear. In my humble opinion, the real failure comes when we let the kiln go cold, blame our pain on the clay.

    • Simone Grant says:

      It’s a lovely metaphor although I’m not sure it works, for me. Some relationships, I believe, are not meant to last. Or maybe that was your point? I’m really not that bright.

  2. Sandy says:

    I think it is so interesting that you have trouble letting go of relationships and yet the attachment style test characterized you as “dismissing” — someone who values independence over relationships. What do you make of that?

  3. G/W says:

    God, I don’t even give up on crushes. I’d hate to see how that would play out in a relationship.

  4. Ann says:

    I completely understand the feeling like a failure when a relationship ends situation…I used to not even bother telling people about a guy I was dating until a while into the situation because if it ended right away, I felt like I had failed, and I’d really rather that people didn’t know that I am failable if I can help it (although I’m sure that most of them wouldn’t have seen it as a failure the way I did.).

  5. Rain says:

    I give up and let go usually after 3 months, knowing very well that they are not good for me from the first week, i stay and doubt my instincts for three months which gets me aggressive and moody and really a shitty person. Then i walk away guilt free…..weird….the longest relationship i had was with my ex husband with lasted in total two years, 8 months of which we were married.