Knowing when to leave a relationship


Sometimes the decision to break up with someone is a very simple one. You may realise you have fallen out of love with them, or they may even have cheated on you

Perhaps there is just something completely insurmountable in your relationship, such as a huge physical distance. The decision may be painful, but it will be clear cut.

Other times, things aren’t so black and white. A ‘pretty good’ relationship can be the hardest thing of all to break up. How do you know you’re doing the right thing? Your head might be saying ‘I’m just not sure where this is going’ while your friends are telling you ‘She/he is the best thing that’s ever happened to you!’ Your next decision is crucial – you don’t want to spend the rest of your life wondering ‘What if?’

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Is the relationship right for you?

Feelings are amazing things. Without us having to even think about it, they let us know our state of well-being at any moment in time. Fear, sadness and frustration tell us that something is not right. Happiness, calm and joy tell us our situation is very right. Sometimes we can experience all of these different feelings in one day, and often our shifts in mood are caused by our personal relationships.

The tough thing with feelings is that it can be hard to work out if they’re here to stay, or if they represent a temporary blip in a relationship. However, if you find that these blips become more regular, then this could be a sign that you’re dealing with something more serious. The most important thing to listen to is your inner voice, the one that says things aren’t quite right – it will always be true to you.

On the other hand, if your relationship is healthy it should first and foremost bring both of you happiness and contentment. Problems will occur (such is life) but overall you will be satisfied with your life together.

Having the courage

A relationship can feel like a big messy ball of emotions, and it’s often much easier to trundle on blindly rather than face up to any problems you might have. It takes real courage to look at your relationship without the rose-tinted specs and say ‘Is this making me happy?’

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4 ways to build up that courage:

•    Be acutely aware of your feelings and tune into them on a regular basis
•    Listen to your inner voice – it never lies to you
•    Ignore the other voices in your head that try and bring you down with fear and worry. They will never lead you to make good decisions
•    Work out what is important to you in a relationship by writing a list of the qualities you must have and can’t stand in a partner. Then work out where – or if – your partner fits in with those qualities.

If you can have the courage to look at your relationship clearly and you don’t like what you see, then you’ll have the courage to make the changes you need. Remember, it’s your life and you owe it to yourself to have the best possible experience.

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