If You're Thinking Of Breaking Up With Your Partner, Ask Yourself These 8 Questions First
It's not always easy to decide what to do if you're thinking about breaking up with your partner. On one hand, you probably care about them, and have lots of great memories together. But on the other hand, there might be real issues in the relationship that make you wonder whether ending things is the best choice. Whatever you decide in the end, it's best if you stop and ask yourself a few questions first, so that you can be sure that it's the right decision for you, according to experts.
"Breaking up with your partner is the best thing to do if you feel like you are not happy anymore, and the relationship is just pulling you down instead of pushing you up," dating and relationship expert Celia Schweyer, from DatingScout.com, tells Bustle. Life will require you to wise up and grow. Sadly, you can’t expect everyone to keep up with you— romantic partner included. If you’re going towards a different direction, it may be time to assess your relationship. Outgrowing each other is bittersweet, but holding back your dreams for the sake of staying may bring irreparable results. Best leave while you still love and support each other rather than ending it all on a very sour note.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself before ending your relationship, according to relationship experts.
1. Is There Anyone Influencing My Decision?
If you're seriously considering breaking up with your partner, it's wise to take a moment to really think about what — or more specifically, who — might be influencing you toward this decision, Schweyer says. Is your mom insisting that you'd be better off without them? Does your best friend swear that breaking up is your best option? While the opinions of people around you can be a good guiding force, at the end of the day, this is your choice, not theirs.
Or, you could even be daydreaming about meeting someone new. "Sometimes when you think about breaking up with your partner, it’s because you’ve experienced something you might have not experienced for a long time (especially if you and your partner are together for several years already) with another person," Schweyer says. But generally, this kind of momentary crush passes, so think carefully before you make a permanent decision.
2. Would I Want My Hypothetical (Or Real) Child To Be With Someone Like My Partner?
It may seem like a strange question to ask, but questioning yourself about whether you would be OK with your child (real or imagined) being with someone like your partner can be effective. "This will trigger a reality check — would you want your children to spend the rest of their lives with the same kind of person as your partner?" Schweyer says. "If your answer is no, then take it as a sign that you are heading in the right direction ending the relationship." It can be easy to fall into the routine of a relationship and just decide that it's "good enough," but taking a moment to look at them through other standards might bring you some clarity.
3. Am I Still Happy?
"Being in a healthy relationship doesn’t mean that everything is OK," Schweyer says. "You will meet challenges along the way, but together, you will overcome those things and become stronger." But these challenges shouldn't cause you so much stress that the good times are no longer worth it to you, she says. So ask yourself if you are actually still happy being with this partner. Just because you are good at working through fights or support each other through difficulties does not mean that you have to remain a couple. If the partnership no longer brings you joy, that might be a sign that you should go your separate ways.
4. Is This What I Want Right Now?
If you're thinking about breaking up with your partner because you want to be alone, take a moment to consider whether that means that you just need more time to yourself in the relationship, or if you actually want to be single. "There will always be those times when you’ll feel like you’re getting tired of the relationship because there’s nothing new anymore," Schweyer says. "You feel like you can do more if you’re alone." But these moments happen in every relationship, and will likely pass. If this is your only complaint with your partner, try to bring some new life into the relationship by testing new things together or shaking things up in bed. If you still would rather be single after that, then maybe that's the right choice for you.
5. Do We Hold The Same Core Values?
When you and your partner first got together, one of the things that might have brought you closer was similar interests. But if you're now at a place when you're reconsidering whether to continue on together, try asking yourself whether the two of you really hold the same values or if you just have similar preferences at this time. "Preferences in daily life will change but core values will likely not change," certified relationship expert Adina Mahalli, MSW, tells Bustle. "You could feel like it is time to break up with your partner because those core values are showing themselves."
6. Is This A Pattern For Me?
Are you someone who starts thinking of breaking up with your partner a few months in each time you're in a relationship? Do you start losing interest at about the one-year mark? When you begin to think about ending a relationship, stop and ask yourself whether this is a genuine impulse, or if it's just a pattern for you. Ask yourself, "Is the reason I desire to break up with someone unique to this person, or would it apply to multiple people?" Clara Artschwager, a modern dating and relationships coach, tells Bustle. "If it applies to more than one person, this is often indicative of a larger limiting pattern in relationships," she says. "Before jumping the gun on ending things, one would be better served to explore what this pattern is and work to understand if this is something that can be resolved with this individual." Are you scared of getting too close to someone? Are you afraid of commitment? Reflecting on these things can help with your decision.
7. Is Something Big Going On In My Life Right Now?
When you find yourself considering making a big choice like whether or not to end your relationship, you should also take the time to think about whether there are big challenges going on in other parts of your life, Artschwager says. Did you just change jobs? Was there a recent death in your family? Are you struggling in another relationship in your life? If you reflect, you might gain a better understanding of if you're projecting the stress and frustration of those onto your romantic relationship, she says. Of course, it could be that thinking about breaking up has nothing to do with other parts of your life, but stopping and thinking can help you be sure.
8. Am I Just Bored?
"Culturally speaking, we have a tendency to create problems or kick things up if our relationships grow dull, tiresome, or seem to be in a lull," Artschwager says. "But all relationships are constantly going through cycles of newness, excitement, stability, slow period, and so forth." Instead of jumping ship the first time you begin to feel a little bored with your current relationship, it's worth checking in if that lack of excitement is at the root of the issue and how you might shift that energy, she says. If you think you might just be going through a bit of a lull, reignite the spark by trying some role play or pick up a new joint hobby with your partner. That might be just what you need to shake things up.
If you're considering ending your relationship, just make sure to take some time to check in with yourself about whether it's the right choice for you. If the situation is toxic or abusive, then it may definitely be time to leave. But if something can be salvaged, and you want to work on it, it's worth considering. Breakups can be difficult, so having peace of mind about your decision can help.