Why do we stay with people we don’t like?

Every since I was a little, I found the interactions between boys and girls incredibly interesting. I was fascinated by how they manipulated each other to acquire a desirable outcome. What struck me the most was when I grew older, I couldn’t figure out why certain couples stayed together when it was clear to both parties, they weren’t good for one another.

From unsatisfying relationships to ones involving domestic abuse, it boggled my mind trying to understand why anyone would want to stay in such an unhealthy environment and put themselves and others at risk. With divorce parents and growing up in less than ideal relationships, I guess you can say, I’ve witness a lot of unstable relationships. I’ve been in relationships with guys who left at the first sign of commitment, ones who wanted me to obey his desires and give up my identity, and even ones who tried to change almost everything about me to fit their idea of a significant other.

What is it that makes us stay?  Why sit through the abuse, whether it was emotional, psychology, or even physical? Why stay with someone when the fights seem to last longer than the happy moments? And you only break up to make up and start the emotional roller-coaster all over again?

Is it because you love them? Or because you think they love you? Is it because you’re afraid of being without them? Or are you really afraid of being with yourself? Is being on your own that much worst than being with this person who makes you unhappy? How did we deny all of the signs and every, single red flag? Did we really think they were going to change just because we love them?

So why stay?


Inspired by my own dating experiences, hearing about others talk about theirs, & conversations with Alex Tran



2 Replies to “Why do we stay with people we don’t like?”

  1. “Or are you really afraid of being with yourself?” you head it right on the dot with that question. In our generation, people in their early 20’s are already getting engaged, moving in with each other, even having babies! I don’t think i can even keep track how many people i know who, once got out of a relationship can’t even go a month without “talking” to someone, jumping in another relationship or even back into the one that was dumped. Society now a days is based on the security of always having someone around. Maybe its the media that subliminally portrays being lonely as the unaccepted. Maybe just the fact of mere scrolling on your fb news feed and seeing everyone else with pictures of couples and “i love you” as wall posts that hits the heart deep while you are by yourself reading it.. My friend and I have had this conversation before and we came to the conclusion that people are afraid to be alone. People want that security of knowing they have someone to lean on or share something with. It could be for personal reasons, could be a shallow reason just to show off to everyone else on IG or FB. Whatever the reason is, people just want that accepted feeling. Now im not saying this is for everyone in a relationship, I see happy couples all the time, and yes arguments happen, but when it comes to the extent of what you mentioned above thats where my theory comes in place. Individuality is bliss, and it should be accepted more often. Ok, im done ranting, back to duty.


    1. Thanks Peter for your comment. I think you touched on a lot of points that I wanted my readers to think about when they read this post. I agree with you on the fact that people jump into relationships too often and too soon. There rarely is a “break” in between relationships for people to reset and reflect on their experience. Very often, people jump into either a new relationship or a new bed in the hopes of filling in the void. It is unfortunately to see the lack of self-love and self-respect people have for themselves and the outcome, whether it’s repeating the same mistakes, projecting emotions onto their new partner, or other unhealthy relational habits, is often self-destructive. My goal writing for this post was to provoke thought and acknowledgement on the topic as well as encourage dialogue and self-actualization on one’s habits and actions and how it affects not only ourselves but others around us. Again, thank you for your comment and I hope you can discuss this with someone new 🙂


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