Your partner hasn’t cheated on you, you don’t argue all the time and you still have a lot of fun together from time to time. And yet: you won’t really be happy with him or her. How do you know if it’s better to end the relationship?
These six questions can help you, writes a therapist on Psychology Today:
Does the relationship dip come from the period we are going through or because of who we are?
We all experience unpleasant things from time to time. Maybe your partner is depressed or the kids are eating up all the time. So ask yourself if your relationship problems are because of external circumstances or because of who you are.
What would I advise a good friend?
Would you say: you should be happy with what you have, you fit together perfectly. Or would you advise to leave anyway because there are insurmountable problems.
What have I tried to save the relationship?
Ask yourself what role you play in the problems and what you have done to solve them. Have you communicated enough about the situation? Is a relationship therapist still useful?
How much quarrel do we have and how do we solve it?
Having a lot of arguments can be a reason to end the relationship, especially if you feel bad for a long time afterwards. It’s not like you can just say everything. Sometimes an apology is no longer enough. And if that happens once in a while, it’s not so bad, but it is if it’s almost daily.
Am I staying because I’ve already invested so much in the relationship?
Economists call it the sunk cost fallacy : you keep investing in something because you already have so much money/time/effort into it. Meanwhile, revenues lag far behind costs. If you regret not breaking the relationship sooner, then now might be a good time to do so.
Am I happy with who I need to be to keep this relationship good?
If your partner hates certain sides of you that you can’t or don’t want to change, if you’re better off keeping your opinions to yourself, or keeping your interests hidden, then you might be better off breaking up.