It can be tricky to decide if a relationship is working or not, as with time, there's bound to be dips and highs that can bring about confusion. However, determining if you're breaking up for the right reasons can help you figure out what your next move should be and if you'll likely be happy with your decision in the long run.
As a certified health coach, I work with clients on figuring out which relationships are healthy and toxic, as it's likely that we find ourselves heavily influenced by the people we surround ourselves with each day. Especially after a long time dating, it can be confusing as to how to feel and whether or not the relationship is interfering with or enhancing your wellbeing and confidence. Everybody and relationship differs, and so it's important to look inside yourself and ask yourself what your expectations are and what you need in order to feel secure and comfortable with your significant other. Sometimes breakups are tough, but they can be for the best. Here are eleven things to look for to determine whether or not you made the right decision in cutting ties and moving on in order to start feeling more like yourself.
1. Trust Your Intuition
Oftentimes our intuition is spot on, and it is beneficial for us to go with it, rather than questioning each move. "Be mindful of your 'gut feelings,'" says Chicago-based licensed marriage and family therapist Erika Fay, over email with me. "If something doesn't add up consistently, you are probably on to something," she adds.
2. You Can't Seem To Commit
"What are the reasons you would give for breaking up with someone? I believe it depends on what you want out of the relationship. Are you interested in just having fun or are you looking for a potential mate for life?" asks Fay. If you can't picture this person as your perfect "mate" going forward, or you are just hoping to casually date, this might not be the best relationship or person for you to be with.
3. You Have Different Longterm Goals
Having a disagreement over long-term goals, such as where you both might see yourself in the future regarding work, living arrangements, familial obligations, kids, and of course, the timeline, can introduce a problem that could get in the way of you working out, suggests Fay. "Have you talked about what your goals and dreams are? If you are looking for a relationship to go the distance, these are important things to have in alignment," she says.
4. You Don't Want A New Relationship
"Being with someone just to be with someone is very different than being in a mutually supportive and caring relationship," says Fay, and so it's important to decide if you are looking to just be in a relationship or if you could use some time alone to focus on yourself and your own priorities. If you are not rushing to meet someone else, you probably made the right decision.
5. Speaking With A Therapist
Sometimes talking it out with a therapist can help you better understand and come to terms with your decisions, as it introduces an objective voice that can listen and help enlighten you on your choices and patterns. "Figure out why with therapy you were with that person to avoid the same mistakes," says Dr. Judith H. Tanenbaum, a psychiatrist in New York City, with me over email.
6. You're Just Plain Not Happy
If you just aren't happy in the relationship, it's definitely something to pay attention to and to take seriously in order to seize control of your life and start feeling happier and more satisfied each day and in your intimate relationships. Assess your levels and ask yourself what could be done to boost your wellbeing.
7. You Keep Considering A Breakup
If you've been questioning your relationship and whether or not a breakup would be beneficial for a while now, then it might mean that making the move and breaking up is the right decision after all and should not be something to look back on with regret. Feel confident in your decisions moving forward.
8. Your Partner Was Abusive
According to the Domestic Violence Hotline, abuse should be taken incredibly serious, as it can have traumatic effects on a person in an abusive and violent relationship and it should be stopped immediately in order to allow the person to heal. While it might be scary to pull the plug, tell someone or to be alone, it's important to remove yourself from the relationship and start working on building yourself back up.
9. Someone Cheated, Or Wants To
According to Tina B. Tessina, PhD, psychotherapist and author of Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting about the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, in interview with Prevention, cheating or having the urge to cheat can be due to sexual or emotional dissatisfaction and it can change a relationship so much so that there is no going back. If these feelings or an incident have occurred, it might be best to cut ties.
10. You Don't Trust Your Partner
If you find yourself unable to trust your partner, whether due to a cheating incident, his or her other relationships, or personal jealousy, then it's wise to consider if sticking in the relationship is a good move or not, says Ian Kerner, PhD, LMFT, a psychotherapist who specializes in sex and couples therapy and author of She Comes First, in interview with Prevention.
11. People Are Worried For You
According to experts at eHarmony, if your network of friends and family are concerned for you and your mental and/or physical within a relationship (that they may consider to be toxic), then it should be noted that breaking up could be the right decision after all. If other people notice drawbacks to a relationship, then it's more understandable that it's time to break it off.
If you are dissatisfied in your relationship and feel that a breakup might be best, you should go with it, as it could make a huge impact in your life, your future goals and wellbeing. Consult with others for advice, trust your own instincts, and weigh the pros and cons to come up with a decision that is aligned with your values.
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