It’s never easy to end a relationship with someone, especially if it’s a romantic partnership. After all, suggesting to someone that your intimacy and closeness no longer serve you is hardly a positive perspective to communicate, and it can sometimes be a little insulting to dress it up as that.
That said, ending a relationship can genuinely be the healthiest outcome for both parties, and it can absolutely be processed in a mature, mutually supportive manner. After all, there are great friends out there who have children together and move on to separate partners later on, while still fulfilling their parental duties and ensuring the arrangement works.
If you’re concerned about whether you really end your relationship or not, it can help to have an understanding third party talk you through your options. That’s what this guide is designed to emulate. Using some of the pointers in this post, we hope you can more easily come to your own personal decision, be that giving the connection another go, or knowing when to fold and move on.
Without further ado, let’s begin:
How Is Your Communication?
Ultimately, communication and trust are two of the most important assets to have in any relationship. That doesn’t mean your partner needs to be highly educated in the latest therapeutic terms to try and communicate their emotions, and in fact, this “therapy speak” can feel so corporate and detached from actual emotive expression that it feels hollow to hear.
That said, partners do need to communicate, have similar values (though not necessarily the exact same), and have a willingness to talk through issues. If you don’t have that in your partner, or you believe that your complaints or discussions often go unheard, it’s up to you to what degree you can handle that.
A good method of testing it is to discuss the issues you’ve been having in the relationship and what their take on that is. If you’re continually brushed off, ignored, or even belittled for your opinion, and if you find it hard to generate any kind of consistent, productive dialogue, then it can be much better for your own health to leave.
What Are Your Goals For The Relationship?
It’s easy to see a relationship as a state of being, perhaps you’ve been with this person for some time and find it hard to picture life without them. Of course, in some respects, this can be a lovely outcome, such as old married couples that are joined at the hip and bicker in love all the time.
That said, a young relationship needs to have plans and goals, even when you just spend time getting to know one another. You might not pursue them now, but no one is getting any younger, and it’s good to know you’re on a similar trajectory to the person you’re building your life around.
For example, do you both want children? What about moving in together, or moving on from where you live now? What about career goals? Do you have friend groups, and do you explore the world or have time for your hobbies? These questions can help you understand if you’re aligned with what you want. You can get on perfectly well with a partner and appreciate them as a person, but sometimes a relationship needs to be looked at with a clear view, and if your trajectories in life are completely opposed then that can be an issue that manifests itself later.
How Are You Treated?
So far we’ve talked about terms you hear in couples therapy like communication and mutually shared goals, but the truth is that what matters most is how you’re treated from day to day. Are you made to feel like your opinion matters? Does your partner contribute as much as they give to the relationship, and how balanced is that?
How about when you’re in the proximity of other people, would your partner defend a joke at your expense or laugh along with it? Note that you shouldn’t overanalyze every social misfire or be so brittle as to take a lighthearted joke to heart, but if the broader trend of how you feel in the relationship includes discomfort, unease, a sense of continual arguing, or needing to tread on eggshells, it can be much healthier to leave when possible. After all, relationships thrive on mutual respect and a willingness to make that person feel important and nurtured. You’re not overdramatic or entitled to expect that.
Do You Regularly Consider Leaving?
Sometimes, the question itself is an answer. It’s not easy to leave a relationship, but sometimes if you’ve been questioning it for weeks and months, have told your partner that you’ve been thinking about it if their behavior doesn’t improve, or if you’re simply not happy, you’re entitled to leave.
Remember that relationships are entirely consensual and you don’t have to persist in them just because of obligation. If you have children together, it may seem as though staying together for them is important, but putting them through a toxic household isn’t healthier than splitting up amicably and designing managed custody between both parties.
If you’ve found yourself searching how to find the best divorce lawyers near me, or you’ve read a number of guides similar to this one in the past, then it may be your subconscious habits are informing you of a path forward.
Can You Leave Safely?
It’s terribly unfortunate to say this, but some persist in difficult relationships because leaving would otherwise be unsafe. In some cases, being open to domestic abuse or other mistreatment can cause some to worry about reaching out for help.
It’s very important that you do this if safety is an issue. Finding a quiet means of contacting charitable services designed to escalate issues and to be protected by law enforcement as you leave can make a massive difference, and having that pathway available to you can help you finally seek the safety you deserve.
In these cases, it’s absolutely best to contact outside help as well as trusted family members or friends, as opposed to breaking off the relationship in person where you may not be safe. If this is in any way in doubt, know that you deserve to reclaim your right to be respected and to avoid that kind of abuse. In many cases, the perpetrator can be prosecuted for such acts.
Can It Work Out?
With the exception of domestic abuse as discussed in the last heading, it’s worth considering if certain issues laid out in this article can be recovered from. So far we’ve been quite pro-leaving your partner, discussing advice and tips for doing that correctly and wisely.
That said, sometimes it’s good to take a clear-headed view of your relationship and really see it for what it is. If your partner has a track record of improving or working with you to help overcome issues, if your personal flaws are also contributing to the difficulty and you’re happy to work on them, or if you find outside help like relationship counseling, it may be that the connection can continue on and even thrive.
We simply say this, because moving on after the smallest mistake is not necessarily the best option forward. It’s good to be very sure of your reasons to leave (even if you can absolutely leave without reason, it’s your right to), as this will help you move on more cleanly and comfortably, your decision made and your future pursued.
With this advice, we hope you can be clearer about if you should end your relationship or not. We hope you can take that step in your best direction, no matter what outcome you end up choosing.