How to Know When It’s Time to Break Up
The end of a relationship is never easy and it can be very difficult to say goodbye to someone who you have shared so much with. There are circumstances that make it more difficult than others and it can be hard to know when it’s time to break up, especially if you don’t want to hurt the other person or go through the turmoil of a break up. It can often be tempted to avoid the hurt and put off the inevitable ending for the sake of an easier life or not wanting to deal with the bad stuff. We take a look at how to decide whether to stay together or whether it is time to say goodbye.
Should I stay in my relationship?
Some people like to bury their head in the sand and avoid the obvious issues, choosing instead to ignore the bad stuff and distract themselves with other things. Deciding whether it’s time to call time is difficult. Life is too short to waste on something that isn’t going anywhere or something that makes you unhappy. If you aren’t married and you don’t have any children together then it is much easier to walk away and start again. Of course, that’s not to say that you should stay in a happy relationship, no matter what the circumstances and it can be tough deciding whether to break up. It’s knowing when and why you are breaking up and having the courage to do it that can be tricky. But how do you know when it is time to call time and is there any point in trying to salvage it?
Signs you should break up
For a while you may brush the signs that you should break up under the carpet, ignore those things that make you question your relationship and carry on as normal. It could be that you have now been together for a while and the honeymoon period is definitely over, at which point you start to notice the differences between you and the obvious cracks in your relationship. If it has only been a short while and the cracks are already beginning to show then it is definitely time to reconsider your options. It may take time for the problems to manifest themselves but there are some key things to look out for:
Having very little in common
A sure sign that perhaps you are in the wrong relationship is when you have very little in common with your partner. Perhaps you want to do different things of a weekend, your idea of a good night is wildly different and you simply don’t enjoy the same films, sports, activities and social events. Having to endure a night out with his friends or having to watch her paint her nails for the umpteenth time while watching repeats of her favourite Netflix series can become wearing. You start to resent spending time together and unless you make drastic changes, it is only going to get worse.
Having different life goals
This really is a significant sign that you should break up, if one of you is ready to buy a house and settle down while the other ones still wants to behave like a teenager enjoying life then you are obviously not on the same page. Having different life goals can be irreconcilable and if you aren’t prepared to compromise then sadly, you are in the wrong relationship and it’s time to re-evaluate.
There is very little or no chemistry
Stop right there! If you aren’t getting it on in the bedroom then it is time to re-think. Unless there is a specific health related problem or you have a valid reason for not getting jiggy with it then what are you even doing? Put an end to it, you deserve to be happy and have a good sex life and not stay with someone that there isn’t a spark with. In fact, this is definitely a reason to break up.
It’s not going anywhere
If it’s not going anywhere and you can’t see a future between the two of you then it is time to do yourself both a favour and move on. It may be that you started out as friends with benefits and are stuck in some kind of obligated sort of relationship. Rip off the plaster, sit down and call time on it. Give yourself both the chance to move on. An unhealthy relationship can do more damage than just the feelings you have for each other. They can lead to self-doubt, confidence problems and a lack of belief in yourself. They can damage not only your current relationship but also future ones.
Other reasons could include:
• He/she ignores you or doesn’t pay you the attention you deserve and takes you for granted
• The other person is too career focused and you barely spend any time together
• He/she is not ready to settle down and bins you off for their friends at the drop of a hat
• They have some sort of issue that you can’t move past
• Then there’s the biggie – one of you has cheated! This is very difficult to get past and is the cause of many relationship breakdowns
Deciding to break up and then doing it
If you have got to the stage where a breakup is the only option then you need to move on to the next step of actually breaking up with your boyfriend or girlfriend. There will be different circumstances to consider and you will need to assess the practicalities and have a plan before you actually end it in the heat of the moment. Come up with a plan that works for both of you first.
If you have a home together
You are going to need to decide who gets to stay. It may be that neither of you do. Perhaps it is too much of an expense for one of you to keep on. You need to be grown up and work together to come to the best resolve. If you are renting then you are going to need to make sure that everyone pays their equal share and that the responsibility is divided. If you own a property together then that is a bit more of a responsibility that is going to need a very diplomatic and fair approach.
Your other connections
Perhaps you have the same friends, the same social circle or you work together. Are you going to have to see one another every day or at least on a regular basis? It is unfair to involve mutual friends so if you are going to seek counsel then make sure you go to someone that is neutral and this is just a friend of yours rather than a friend to both of you. Discuss how you are going to remain civil in front of others or at work and how you can make it work so that it is not awkward. It may take time, especially if the other person is not happy about the breakup.
Explain your reasons
Don’t just sit someone down and tell them it’s over without an explanation. If you haven’t been getting on well, they may find it fairly obvious and be expecting the conversation but if your unhappiness is not shared by the other person then the right thing to do is explain how you feel, how long you have felt like this and your reasons for the break up.
Is it really time to break up?
Perhaps by discussing things and talking it through in a grown-up manner will bring to light some things that neither of you had accounted for. Perhaps the other person has been distracted by issues that they haven’t shared with you or perhaps there is a reason that they haven’t been the kind of partner that you wanted. Maybe they have changed recently and it wasn’t always like this. Ask yourself if your relationship is beyond repair before you end things. Give yourself the chance to discuss things and see if it can be fixed.
Tell the truth about your feelings
It is unfair to break up with someone and not tell them why. Giving them some weak speech about how it is you and not them is not fair. Walking away without a fair and proper explanation will not help them to process the end of the relationship or you for that matter. You need to be honest about your feelings and explain why you are ending the relationship. Don’t do it by text, email or messenger. Sit them down and tell them face to face. If you aren’t honest, you are just setting them up to repeat the same problems in a future relationship.
Moving on can be tough
Once you have ended a relationship then it is time to move on. Give yourself time to get over the breakup of your relationship before you go out looking for the next partner. Be yourself, hang out with your friends, make the most of your independence and have some fun. Don’t rebound from one relationship to the other. Also, consider the fact that you have the prospect of hearing about their new relationship or seeing them together. You need to be prepared for this and understand that this is going to happen.
It is important to understand that the end of a relationship, whether mutual or not, is going to be tough. If you have lived together you are going to have to get used to life without that person. If you used to text them stuff about your day then you are not going to be able to do this. Your day to day life will almost certainly change and you need to be prepared for this. That said, don’t see is at the end of an era, see it as the start of something new and exciting and the next chapter in your life.
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