You feel it… the time has come where you’ve reached a crossroads in your long-term relationship. You’re not blinded anymore and you have concerns – is he (or she) the right one, or is it time to say goodbye?
It’s a difficult question and faced with it, you’re probably struggling to find the right answer. You love this person, the way you feel in their embrace is familiar. And yet something just doesn’t feel right. Secretly you may even be planning a way out.
You know the The Clash song (Darling you gotta let me know/Should I stay or should I go?), and there may be many reasons it’s playing in your head. Let’s start at the top of the list: Abuse, violence or the discovery of an affair. In any situation where you’re compromised on this clear cut of a level, it’s almost always a given – you should go. On the other hand, your problem could be less obvious. Perhaps what started as a fling is now something much deeper and you have to re-assess how you got here. Or maybe you’re considering leaving because your lover is putting pressure on you. Perhaps the two of you fight like wild warriors and you feel that this is not the connection your spirit dreamed of. The scenarios are endless.
Whatever your situation, here are some tips to help make up your mind:
1. Find someone to talk to
Friends and family are likely to be biased. You need to clear your mind, so choose someone who is trained to help you take a long hard look at life and your relationship. Ideally, pick someone who has been in a long-term relationship themselves. You wouldn’t go to a gambler for financial advice, same applies here. Also, consider – if you were counseling someone dear to you and your life was theirs what would you recommend?
2. Look inward
In your heart, you know what the right answer is. “People underestimate the power of their intuition,” says relationship expert Janice Hoffman who has worked with John Gray (of Mars and Venus fame) since ’96. “When it’s time to leave, there will be no doubts, you’ll know it,” adds Hoffman who is also the author of the soon-to-be released, Relationship Rules: 12 How-To’s For Him & Her. Acting on that belief is what is difficult; people keep stalling hoping things will change or work themselves out.
3. Assess the situation in practical terms
Consider leaving if you can’t go two days without arguing. Your mate may be wonderful in many ways, but constant conflict is not healthy. Along the same lines, does your partner support or sap you. Are you investing more time in your pain or in pleasure? And how do you feel around them?
4. Pay attention to your body
It’s time to say Sayonara if you have physical symptoms of stress when you are around your significant other, believes Debbie Mandel, relationship specialist and author of Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul. Remember, the body doesn’t lie! “Where you feel your discomfort signals the spiritual component of what is wrong,” says Mandel. For instance, I knew a woman who slept better when her lover wasn’t beside her. In the end, she didn’t feel “safe” enough around him to completely let go.
5. Identify your partner’s behavior patterns
From the get-go, a partner will treat you as though you either ‘good enough for now’ or marriage potential. How serious is your lover? Are they in it for the long haul or are you simply wasting your time, wishing they would change? Look at the facts. For example, does your lover only see you during the week or does he want to spend the weekend with you as well? Does she speak about the future? Take an honest look at the relationship.
6. Notice your disposition
Another tell tale sign that it’s time to vamoose is if you easily get irritated around your mate, adds relationship specialist Debbie Mandel. What you used to admire now drives you crazy. You used to find it sweet when he called you ‘baby doll’ and now it makes you cringe. Or her frequent phone calls that were once upon a time endearing, have now turned into neediness. With that said, you need enough room to grow. You are not clones and therefore you need independent breathing room to expand your identity and remain in touch with your ever changing spirit.
7. Go back to basics
Finally, some would argue that your answer lies in your question. If you are asking if you need to part ways, you should go!