One of the biggest reasons breakups suck is that you’ve invested so much time and energy into something and end up feeling like you have nothing to show for it. That’s why it’s so hard to walk away and why so many people stay in toxic situations. However, if you find yourself constantly wondering if your relationship is worth it, that’s pretty much a sign that it’s not and it’s time to call it quits. Here are some things you can do to help yourself process the reality of the situation.
Ask yourself how often you’re feeling this way. Having the occasional doubt is different than doubting your relationship at every turn. All romantic relationships have their ups and downs, but when there are more bad times than good ones, it’s time to reconsider. Try tracking your happiness. When I was questioning my last relationship, I began a counter in my phone. I added a point every time I felt happy and took away one every time I was unhappy. This method isn’t for everyone, but it helped me to see the bigger picture. In the moment, it can feel as though you’ve felt a certain way for a long time, but keeping track will allow you to see the forest from the trees. When my counter continuously dipped below zero, I knew it was time to end it.
Consider whether you’re ready to be single. If the prospect of being single is exciting, it may be time to explore that, especially if you find yourself flirting with or imagining yourself with other people. If your love with your partner isn’t keeping you going, then you’re not with the right person.
Look for the signs that it’s over. Getting to a point where you can clearly say you’re ready to break up with someone is hard. I’ve been there. It can be difficult to know when a relationship has reached its expiration. However, if you’re constantly in disagreements with your partner or feeling drained by your relationship, you should definitely consider a breakup. You should be excited at the prospect of being with your partner, not dread spending time together.
Journal. Write down your thoughts. Ask yourself some questions and be honest: When you think of your partner, do you smile? Do you love spending time with them or has it become a chore? Are you working on your relationship problems together? Give it a few days and then read it back. Maybe try looking at it from an outsider’s perspective. If your friend said any of the things you wrote down, what would you tell her? You’ll know if it’s time to end it.
Imagine yourself a year from now. Envision yourself with this person. Would you be happy about the time you spent together or would it feel like a waste? Asking this question allows you to focus on yourself and your own needs. There are two ways that a relationship could go: it either lasts forever or it ends. If you don’t see this as a forever, stop holding on and let it go.
Consider your own health. A worthwhile relationship isn’t made up of two halves but two wholes. If you’re struggling with yourself, you won’t be a good partner. It’s okay to focus on yourself for a while. Being in a relationship takes a lot of time and effort and it isn’t easy. Taking time to figure out who you want to be is important, and if you’re not in the right place emotionally for a relationship, you’re not doing either of you any favors by keeping yours going.
Think about your goals. A partner should help you grow and make you a better person. In a good relationship, both of you should feel like you’re capable of growing and support each other through that growth. Your partner should want you to succeed. If you feel like they’re holding you back, let them go. If you’re looking for someone long-term, you should consider whether your goals align. Love is a powerful thing, but it won’t help you figure out the important things like whether you want to get married, have kids, move, etc. Having a similar idea of what your general life direction is is essential.
Figure out what’s keeping you from ending it. Something is keeping you from pulling the trigger, and that’s understandable. Ending a relationship can be terrifying. There are so many unknowns. You may worry that you’ll be lonely or that you’ll never find someone as great as your current partner. Any concern you’re feeling is normal, but none of them are reasons to stay with somebody you aren’t happy with.
If they’re not adding to your life, they might be taking away from it. Don’t let fear keep you from happiness. If you have to ask whether your relationship is worth it, it’s probably not. Change is scary, but it isn’t as scary as looking back on your life a year from now and realizing you wasted another year being unhappy.
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