It’s never an easy thing to end a relationship that you have invested in, emotionally and physically. However you may have felt about your relationship, the fact is, that you’ve given a big part of yourself to make it work. Most relationships are not without their ups and downs and consequently, we give ourselves all sorts of reasons to stay in one that might not be making us happy. This can cloud our judgment.
While some reasons are legitimate (such as when your present issues are circumstantial, a misunderstanding, a petty disagreement, or a phase), more often than not, we make excuses for ourselves.
So here is a checklist of things that you might like to consider, which may help you to assess whether you’re sticking around for the right reasons.
No love is worth keeping if these things are keeping you there:
1. You’re afraid of being alone.
It is better to be alone and unhappy than coupled up and unhappy. Before you say it’s a double whammy, think about this. You can’t make your partner happy if you are not happy in the relationship. And if they aren’t happy, then your unhappiness will only increase. You end up in an awful cycle of “I’m unhappy, so he’s unhappy. And he’s unhappy, so I’m more unhappy.” Get it?
Even if they are “happy” (because they’re getting what they want) and you are not (because you’re not) you need to ask yourself whether you deserve the raw end of the deal. Would you rather be alone and at peace, or with someone and feeling like a part of you is dying?
2. You are concerned about what people will think.
Other people are not in your relationship. You are. They do not go through the daily grind of being in a situation that doesn’t serve them. You do. So, other people have no right to voice their opinions or their disapproval. But, of course, when do people ever go by their rights? Yes, people might judge, and talk. So be it. You can’t please everyone.
The person who you’re currently with might even be a “really nice person” and this can add to your fear of what others may think. Just because your partner is “nice”, doesn’t mean that at “relationship level” they are willing or able to provide you with the things that are important to you – things that make it worth your while to give away your freedom and be exclusive with them. If it’s possible, you may be better of just being friends with this person.
3. You’ve been together for a long time.
Yes, the longer you spend with someone, the harder it is to leave them. You have to start over and face the unknown, and that is a difficult process (and, we are understating it). There will be an adjustment process, especially if there are some nice memories involved. But the length of time together does not define the quality of a relationship. If you’re not happy, you’re not happy.
4. You believe that all relationships are difficult.
You’re wrong about this. There are many great relationships. You might not have experienced one yet, but they’re out there and you deserve to experience it too. Yes, all relationships have bad phases. But, there is a difference between a rough patch and a toxic or incompatible, or suffocating relationship. Weigh up your pros and cons.
5. You believe that there’s nothing better out there.
There’s always something better out there. And if you are unhappy, there is definitely something better out there for you. This is a common fear that many of us have. Sure, maybe you’ll end up alone. But, remember the first thing we said? You’re better off alone and unhappy than coupled and unhappy.
6. You are not financially independent.
This can be a difficult one. I’ve heard many people say that they can’t afford to leave their partner. You may need to make some hard choices in order to become financially independent – and again, the bottom line will always be, what is most important to you? Do what you need to do. Hustle, if you have to.