4 Questions To Ask Yourself About Whether To Stay Or Leave Your Relationship
Anyone who listens to me knows that I will talk until I’m blue in the face about making relationships work.
That’s because at my core, I believe that commitment is something to be taken seriously. But no matter how committed you are to someone, not every relationship is meant to last.
So if you’re on the fence about whether you should stay or leave your own relationship, I want to share a few questions for you to consider that might help you make the best choice.
1. If nothing ever changes, are you okay with being in this relationship as-is?
I work with a lot of individuals who’ve recently broken up with their partner and there seems to be a common reoccurring theme. I hear them often say: “I waited x amount of years for my partner to change so we could make the relationship work, but they never did”.
Sometimes, it’s because they know their partner’s potential to be a great girl or great guy, and they want to help them grow into that person. Other times, it’s because they’ve temporarily experienced the best that their partner can be in the past and so they wait around for their partner to return to that old self.
The current state of their relationship sucks, but day after day, the thing that keeps them going is the hope that things will change either into what they dream they could be or what they used to be.
The fact is, “waiting for your partner to change” is probably the least effective strategy to a better relationship. It’ll most likely lead you to constant disappointment and resentment down the road.
On the other hand, you have the folks who go and rush into marriage, thinking doing so will change their relationship, and they’re met with disappointment as well.
The truth is, the only change you have control over is yourself. If your partner chooses not to change, you can either change how you view what they do or take it as a sign that it just won’t work out and move on.
2. Have you really given it your best shot?
A lot of people approach their relationships with this idea that, “If it doesn’t make me happy, I’ll just get rid of it and replace it with another one that will.”
And while this approach works well when the latest iPhone is involved, it’s a habit that leaves folks not knowing how to commit once they’re faced with any difficulty times in a relationship.
When you’re not yet married, commitment can be vague. But regardless of how you define it, the bottom line is that being committed means giving it your best shot.
That means you’ve put in your best effort to fix the problems. It means you’ve researched the issue to find new ways to approach it that might help. It also means you’ve sought help from a mentor or professional that can give you the insight you need to make it work.
It’s not all that different from what you’d do with something like your car. You don’t junk it after the first time it makes a sound you don’t like. You either learn how to fix it yourself or take it to someone who knows how.
Now, if you’ve exhausted all your options for improving the relationship to no avail, then it’s time to walk away knowing you’ve given it all you’ve got.
3. Does this relationship make you a better version of yourself or leave you worse off?
A healthy relationship is one in which you can not only feel safe being yourself, but be encouraged to be the best version of yourself. That’s the kind of relationship worth fighting for.
On the other hand, if your relationship only brings out your insecurities, fears and anxieties, it’s no longer a healthy and safe place for you to be.
Every relationship has it’s peaks and valleys. That’s to be expected. But if your relationship constantly brings out the worst in you, it's time to reconsider what’s keeping you there.
4. Is there any respect left?
We all screw up from time to time. Any long term relationship requires a bit of grace, forgiveness, and patience with our partner’s imperfections.
But the key question is, are grace and forgiveness being used as an opportunity to do better the next time around? Or are they being taken for granted by continuing to make the same “mistakes” over and over again?
You deserve a relationship where you’re respected. Where you’re admired and appreciated. Where your boundaries, needs and concerns matter and are treated as such.
Without respect being at the center of a relationship, it won’t last. And respect isn’t something you can force someone to do either. Either they respect you or they don’t. If not, respect yourself enough to walk away.
At the end of the day, leaving a relationship you’ve invested so much in is never an easy task. But sometimes, it’s the best thing for both partners involved.
If you’re on the fence about whether to stay or leave your relationship, what’s making you want to stay? What’s making you want to make the jump? Leave a comment and let me know.