5 things to ask yourself before you end a relationship
It is never easy to end a relationship, and the worst thing that can happen is that you break it off and then regret your decision so here are 5 important things to ask yourself before you give them the red card
1. Do you mean it?
Sometimes people say it is over as a way of showing the other person how hurt, upset or angry they are but in their hearts they know that they will get back together when they have learned their lesson – or because they love making up after a big fight. This is a dangerous game to play. Like the boy who cried wolf – there might come a time when you really want the relationship to end and your partner won’t take you seriously because you have said it so many times before.
Be impeccable with your word and make a pledge with yourself that you will never use emotional weapons like this to try and get what you want in the relationship – there are better ways of expressing your hurt and anger than dumping someone – that should be the last resort not a frequent occurrence – on/off relationships make everyone feel insecure.
2. Are the difficulties you are going through temporary?
Every couple goes through rough patches at times – life and love can’t be all hearts and roses but it can feel like things are never going to improve if a rough patch turns into a rough month or year. Before you break it off ask yourself if the situation has any chance of improving in the future? Maybe you are struggling with situations like job loss or financial insecurity and there is a chance they could improve. Ask yourself if external circumstances improved whether you would want to stay in the relationship? It may be they are an excuse to go rather than the reason.
3. Can you forgive?
The majority of relationships end because trust has been broken in some way. There is no denying the depth of the pain in these circumstances, particularly if it involves infidelity, but it is still advisable to take a few days before you make your final call on the relationship. In this time ask yourself whether you can forgive the person for what they have done. Maybe they made a genuine mistake and you believe it won’t happen again or perhaps they have hurt you so deeply that no matter what the reasons are you could never trust them again. You need time to work out in your own heart if forgiveness is possible. If the answer is no then the relationship is over.
Lots of people use the three strike rule – someone can make a mistake once and be genuinely sorry and the relationship can recover; if they make the same mistake again the relationship will seriously wobble and if it happens a third time it is over.
4. Is this a pattern?
Some people feel compelled to end relationships as soon as they start to get a bit deeper or when they hit a few problems – they love the beginning rush of romance when it is all high passion but as soon as it starts developing into something serious they begin looking for reasons why its not so great after all and excuses to end it – maybe even creating a crisis themselves to justify their decision.
This pattern can be a sign that you are afraid of intimacy and commitment. Next time you feel like this maybe, instead of ending the relationship, talk to someone about how you are feeling and see if you can stick with it past that stage. This will give you a chance of having a lasting relationship rather than a lifetime of short, intense romances.
5. Have you got a plan?
Ending a relationship in the heat of the moment can often leave you surrounded by devastation and, when emotions die down, unsure of where either of you go from there – maybe you live together and neither of you has anywhere else to go. When you are calm and focused sit down and try to look at the whole picture – where will you live, what will you do? If you are serious about ending the relationship then all the areas of your life which overlap with your partner’s will need some consideration. Making a plan will also help you get perspective and you may decide that there is still a lot holding you together after all.
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