How do you decide when to end a relationship? If your relationship is good in some areas and bad in others, or just mediocre all around, do you stay committed to the relationship or find out if the grass really is greener away from it.
You might be unsure about certain parts of your relationship and trying to decide whether to abandon your relationship to look for something that you may never find. Equally though, you could stay in a relationship and miss something that would be truly fulfilling for the remainder of your life.
One way to make the decision about when to end a relationship is to use a balance-scale approach and list the pros and cons of the relationship. This seems like a logical approach, but all relationships have these good and bad points, so how do you decide if yours are tolerable or not. Not only that, you will need to predict future pros and cons that might arise and whether the problems are going to be temporary or permanent.
An alternative method is to use a diagnostic approach instead. Instead of using a scale to weigh up your relationship, you try to diagnose the true state of the relationship. This can help you evaluate what the problems are and whether to work on them or leave. If you are ambivalent in your relationship, it suggests that there is a problem and you need to find the precise nature of the problem.
One diagnostic test, found in the book "Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay” by Mira Kirshenbaum, uses a series of questions about the relationship that you need to answer honestly. Each of these questions, and there are 36 in total, is like a filter on your relationship and if you use the wrong answer to the question then it recommends you end the relationship. The only people who it recommends to stay together are those who successfully pass all of the tests.
Many of these questions should be easy to answer in the right way. Very few people should fail questions like "Does your partner beat you?” or "Is your partner leaving the country permanently without you?” Most people will not need a book to tell them they have major relationship problems if the answer to either of those is positive.
The tests and recommendations in the book are based on the experience of many couples who made the decision after being in the position of one of the questions. Over several years, these couples answered questions on their decisions and the resulting relationships analysed. The conclusions are not guaranteed, but likely to happen based on the experience of many couples and statistically offer the best choice for long-term happiness.
If you are considering when to end a relationship, there are many things to consider. Some of the main ones include:
Religion – Is your religion keeping you together?
Needs – Are your needs met?
Partner – Do you genuinely like each other?
Attraction – Are you still attracted to your partner?
Behaviour – Does your partner’s behaviour make it difficult to stay?
Compatibility – Are you both compatible?
Respect – Do you respect each other?
Forgiveness – Can you forgive each other’s mistakes?
Fun – Do you still have fun together?
Ambitions – Do you share the same ambitions?
If the answer to any of these is no, then your relationship is probably doomed to fail in the long term. This does not mean that it will fail, but most relationships in the same position do not last.
It can be difficult to know when to end a relationship. It is a major life-changing decision that affects you, your partner, your children and any mutual family and friends, but your happiness is more important. Remember that you only live for a short time and are dead for a long time, so you need to be as happy as you possibly can be for as much of your life as you can.