Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

So, you’ve found that you and your partner have gone from “I love you” and “I miss you” to barely communicating and now you’re spending less time together, too.  Maybe he wants to date other people or she is just preoccupied with work; either way, it’s clear this relationship is not working out.

While it’s true that not every relationship is meant to be – you’ll kiss a lot of frogs before you find that one – it’s also not always easy to end things.  You two share history, friends, maybe even a house and pets.  Often people will stay in a dying relationship out of comfort or fear of hurting their partner.  However, if you decided that you’re in the wrong relationship and you’re staying despite what your gut is telling you, it may be time to consider what’s right for you.

Are you being asked to compromise too much?

Ah, compromise.  It’s that dirty little word we all throw around; it feels a lot like not getting exactly what you wanted for Christmas, but still getting something pretty great.  Compromising in relationships is a must.  However, when you’re not 100% willing to meet your partner’s needs because your boundary would be crossed, it’s time to decide if this is the right relationship for you.  Now, I’m not talking about where to have dinner or what movie to see, I’m saying the big things: children, marriage, or opening your currently closed relationship.  If you’re not comfortable with these things, and don’t think you ever will be, it’s probably time to move on.

Who do you love more?

This is a simple question and while the answer should be simple, sometimes it’s not.  If you love the relationship more, you probably love the companionship more than your partner.  If you love your partner more than yourself, you’ve put that person on a pedestal and created an imbalance in your relationship.  However, if you love yourself you will not only respect yourself, but also your partner.  In this situation, it will be easier to separate your rational thoughts from the emotions that are clouding the situation.  So, consider this, if it doesn’t feel right, why are you actually staying?  It might just be that you’ve placed more value on your partner or the relationship than yourself.

Do you know your worth?

I know some pretty amazing individuals who left long-term relationships because they felt like they were being taken for granted.  The difference between these people and someone who stays in a “bad relationship” is that they know their worth and value themselves.  We’re all amazing in our own way, but unless you own that, your partner will continue pushing the boundaries of your relationship to get exactly what he or she wants, all the while compromising your wants and needs.  Think about it, what’s your value and does your partner see that?  If your partner doesn’t see you for the amazing person you are, do you really want to continue this relationship?

Are you playing games?

Your heart isn’t a toy, so if you find yourself playing games, take a step back and reevaluate the relationship.  If your partner is needy and likes to feel wanted, he or she may start distancing, leaving you to pursue.  Or maybe the script is flipped.  Whatever it is, if you and your partner are using Jedi mind-tricks to get the other’s attention, reconsider your worth.  Are you really that desperate to be in a relationship with someone who, instead of clearly communicating his or her needs, finds it necessary to put your emotions through the ringer?  If you love, respect, and value yourself, the answer should be “no.”

Now, I’m not saying that if you love, respect, and value yourself, it will make the pain of the breakup disappear, that is, if you decided to move forward with it.  However, it will make it much easier to separate those intertwined thoughts and emotions and see your relationship for what it really is.  When the fog lifts, if you don’t like what you see, it might just be time to move on.

Lori Dougherty is a Marriage and Family Counselor at The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, CO. As a marriage and family counselor, she helps couples navigate the many difficulties that arise in their relationship. She also helps couples rebuild happiness together so they can have the fulfilling relationship with their partner they’ve always wanted.

3 Responses to Should I Stay or Should I Go?

  1. Great tips! I especially love the thing about loving yourself. Many women, in particular, forgo their own needs or wants, to keep their partner happy… and this is a sure sign of not truly loving oneself. Really important point!

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