Are you considering leaving your relationship and wondering if you will be making a mistake? Questioning where you are is a good place to start. It allows openness to what could come. And with openness, we can make decisions that come from a place of truth or something close to that.
And while it might be tempting to simply throw in the towel and start afresh with someone new, that may not be the best solution. Here are 5 things to consider before giving up on a relationship.
Talk To Each Other
As simple as it sounds, many are unable to figure out their problems through communication. Don’t assume that challenges will disappear if you ignore them long enough; in fact, the exact opposite usually happens—either issue fester until they explode without the possibility of repair, or you become so distanced from one another that there’s no way back from a breakup. Instead, talk to each other. Be honest about what you view as the problem, whether it’s your fault or the other person’s fault or nobody’s fault. Acknowledge that things are different than they once were, in a negative way, and articulate the fact that you’re feeling a little lost, confused, and disengaged.
Locate The Root Of The Problem.
Before you throw in the towel, identify what the issue is. Take a step back and try to see your relationship as a whole, and figure out if the sticky, hard parts are temporary or a signal of something bigger at stake. After identifying the problem, the next step is to ask if it is a temporary problem or something permanent. The point is that you have to acknowledge what you’re dealing with here. The answer to “what is the problem?” might take you a while to find but it takes you a step closer to being able to solve it.
Understand That Change Is Healthy
As your relationship grows, so also does the person you are with so you need to understand that the man/woman you fell in love with months or years back is not the same person. When we get into relationships, we sometimes expect the other person to not only serve as our be-all, end-all partner for all things emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental—but also to stay the same, which is completely unfair and unrealistic. There is no way to predict how your partner will evolve so be ready to embrace the idea that change is going to happen, now and later, but the goal is to continually unfold into the best versions of ourselves.
Remember Why You Fell In Love In The First Place
If you feel the spark of your relationship is gone, then it is time to remind yourself why you fell in love with this person in the first place. Real love requires attention and nourishment and work; it’s not all fairy dust and romantic dinner dates and steamy bathroom make-out sessions. Relationships require effort and you need to be willing to put in the work. When you’re going through a tough time with your beloved, try to remember why you fell for him or her in the first place. What do you like about each other? What do you appreciate and respect? What sorts of things did you use to do together? Why did you pick this person to partner up with in the first place? Can you see your partner with fresh eyes?
Couple therapy is an option if you feel your relationship is on the rocks and still worth a shot of saving. There is no shame in asking for help; it’s a mark of maturity to realize when you need a third party to step in. A therapist cannot (and a good one will not) fix your problems for you, but he or she will help identify patterns and habits contributing to the issues at stake. More importantly, he or she is someone who can and should step outside the boundaries of your partnership to facilitate better communication between you two. When it seems like you’re having the same conversation over and over, but neither of you is hearing the other person, that’s when a therapist will utilize their professional skills and experience to function as an unbiased listener.