Is Plan B killing your relationship?

By Jared Osborne | Relationships

Man in relationship half out the door

So what do I mean by plan a relationship Plan B?

It’s keeping an escape hatch open in your relationship, essentially it’s the feeling of “if this doesn’t work out I can always leave/hook up with X/get someone else/etc…”

So what’s wrong with that? Surely it just makes sense?

The problem is having this feeling alive in you before you’ve given what you have right in front of you 100%.

It’s not just the thought. It’s the alive feeling of it that’s the issue.

If you have one, it’s likely you know what I mean.

What's wrong with the relationship Plan B?

Fundamentally it’s a lack of commitment, and kills relationships, intimacy, connection… i.e. Getting what you really want. It works for intimate, work and social relationships.

Whether they’re just starting or have been going on for a while.

Simply put, it means you don’t give it 100%. You aren’t willing to walk through fire to really see if it can work.

I see it in men I coach, some men even with children and family (women do it too).

Usually conceptually this escape hatch is off the side or behind, hidden.

There’s a backdoor. Energetically there’s a checkout, there’s leakage from the relationship even if that backdoor isn’t exercised.

What’s the alternative? No escape hatch.

You 100% commit to making it work. There’s no backdoor until it’s either worked or not. And if it’s really not working after giving it your all, then you work on the exit plan.

What’s different is that it’s going forwards. And you know you’ve fully explored the potential of this relationship.

What’s interesting is taking this attitude increases your ability to take risks and really be who you are. As there’s no backdoor, there’s only one way to go. It creates pressure to make or break.

It gives courage to risk it, to take chances, to say things you wouldn’t otherwise say because you’re 100% committed.

Being 100% committed to your relationship makes it more likely your relationship will work - and you'll work it out quicker if its not going to.

It's a lot like starting a business

This is something I learnt from building a business and spending time with entrepreneurs. It’s one of the reasons I love working with them on their relationships.

To make a start up business work, it’s 100% in or it will die. It’s pretty much success or scorched earth. Yes you can start another venture if this one doesn’t work out, but there’s such a massive cost, so much more than finding another job.

And it’s this that allows you to really learn and grow.

A few relationship examples

First, let’s take the example of a relationship that’s not going to work out.

If you’re in there with an escape hatch, your relationship Plan B active, then more often than not what’s not working will take longer to resolve. Because you’re not 100% committed, it drags on. You know you’ve not given 100% to see if it will work. And the extraction is more likely to be messy because you both know it even if it’s not spoken.

If you’re in there 100%? You’re more likely to work out sooner rather than later it’s not going to work. You’ll learn a lot more about yourself and what you want. You’re more likely to leave with a sense of integrity and a clean break.

What if you’re in a committed relationship with kids and you have Plan B?

In a relationship where there’s one or more of these, the relationship is so often stagnant. There’s a whole bag of unresolved ‘stuff’. The escape hatch is a place to hide. Issue lie unresolved for a lot longer (its not the only reason this happens, but it is one of them).

You’re less likely to push the relationship to either break or become something remarkable. They’re rarely deeply satisfying for either partner.

And 100% in? These are the relationships that really come alive. It doesn’t guarantee it’ll ‘work’. But it does make it a lot more likely. And if it doesn’t, again you gave your all.

Fully committing makes a relationship ALIVE

This idea is a full commitment to going forward. To going fully into what’s in front of you and doing everything you can to make it work out.

In a sense the only way is forwards, it’ll either work or it won’t but both are in front of you.

It's key to loving your relationship and your partner.

So do you have a Plan B? (I did for years).

And how would it feel to close it? (Liberating, and allowed me to find a depth in relationship I’d never experienced before).

To see instead of there being an escape hatch, simply a fork in the road ahead of you, one that comes after giving your relationship 100%.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.

facebook comments

  • Princess Warrior says:

    My last boyfriend, who was completely crazy in love with me, had this attitude going into the relationship. Right there and then I was disappointed and felt like I was going to have to put in more because he was not going to be fully committed to making it work. As as soon as he said the words, "If this doesn't work out, I guess God wants me to be alone." That upsets me because it makes no sense! God does not like broken relationships and would give you everything you need to sustain it. It just made me feel like he was so phony. This reared it's ugly head every time he would just take off and not even call or answer his phone. And it would be me giving him space and do all the calling. I'm now 10 days NC. It will not be me to pursue him. It's just sad because in the beginning he was head over heels in love with me and was my rock and strength. When life happens some people just crumble and go back and bury their head in the sand. I would have more respect if he was up front and honest about the lack of commitment and relationships skills, instead of saying: "I'm never leaving you, I'm marrying you and if you leave me that will kill me."

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