Should I end it?

How do I decide if I should end my relationship with my boyfriend?

Rafael Morales
Rafael Morales
24/7 Integral Support Online

Previous counselors have discussed very good points about your situation so I would like just to confirm what seems essential to me on this topic. 

When you ask yourself this question, it shows you are not happy or have doubts about the way things have evolved so far. Relationships require time and work for them to develop, grow and flourish as healthy and fulfilling ones for both partners. This is a key factor, "reciprocity". Without both of you sharing the same core values, beliefs, expectations and lifestyles; without you having a good level of compatibility in your personalities and feeling understood, protected, cared by, supported and loved by each other, there is no way you could truly feel and experience a mutually healthy, meaningful and fulfilling relationship for the long run. 

What has attracted you to each other is good and meaningful enough to empower and support you for the long run? Many people focus too much on looks, financial benefits or other external factors, which are important but cannot build a healthy, mature and fulfilling lifelong relationship. This does not mean many couples do not willingly choose these types of relationship since truly believing those are their top priorities. What they ignore, is that with time, life challenges, issues and pain, temptations and appealing alternatives around those external factors, their relationships would not cope very well but would get gradually or suddenly undermined. 

Be honest with yourself, reflect on what you truly need, want, and expect from a boyfriend and life partner. Ask yourself if this person has what it takes to meet those expectations and satisfy those needs and if you are also a very good match for him, since there is no way the relationship works unless it does for both of you. So while one person could feel blessed by having such a wonderful partner, the other could feel frustrated, or just not truly fulfilled, passionate or happy with her/his partner. 

Long-term relationships require a lot, and when I talk about sharing same core factors, I mean truly feeling being a good match to each other at the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels, and around all the other roles life  involves, related to lifestyle as social life, habits, dreams, preferences, etc.

Then there is a lot to reflect on by yourself, to carefully evaluate in yourself based on what you already know about you and this person. Then you would be able to tell yourself if you truly want to continue or not with this person. If you feel you do, then you have to talk to him and make sure he feels the same way. In a scenario where you doubt if you should tell him about this or that, as another counselor suggested, out of fear of any form of abuse or retaliation, those would be serious enough to show you this could never truly work. If your fears are more about being misunderstood and judged, then you still have to work on developing open and honest communication with him, as long as what you expect is something truly healthy and worthy. 

Many people look for and stay in relationships because they prefer that to be alone, by themselves, thus they end using relationships to feel better about themselves and their lives, to bring some feelings of happiness and company. The problem, is that if those are the initial core reasons to start or stay in a relationship, this can never truly evolve into anything healthy and mutually fulfilling, unless the person works on herself/himself to meet those personal needs and resolve those personal issues, which would enable her to work on self and with the other person in the relationship. 

Finally, I want to mention what I shared in a past article on this subject; namely, you need to assess if your boyfriend has been really consistent in his words and actions, otherwise, lack of honesty, accountability and/or respect, would never lead to anything worthy in any type of relationships. Also, we are all human beings, and that means we are no perfect, and we need to work on ourselves to make improvements. Relationships are a means to keep growing as individuals supporting each other to become better versions of ourselves, without manipulation, neglect or abuse. Thus while on one hand, healthy love means embracing the whole persona with strengths and weaknesses, on the other hand, it is fully incompatible with tolerating and/or enabling what is distorted or dysfunctional against that person or against ourselves. This is why both persons need to be willing and ready to work on making changes and improvements as necessary. Without this, it would be hopeless and helpless to expect things would be just fine with time, they would not, they would just get worse. 

So let's take one step at a time, reflect on what you feel, need and want now and for the future, assess how well this person is able and willing to work on that, and dialogue to make sure you are both fully aware, understood and clear about your relationship and how well it could make your lives better. If professional support is needed, and both are willing to take it, please do not delay it. If one refuses necessary support, then face reality and come to terms with what it is showing you. Trust more actions than words, set and keep healthy boundaries, and take into account what life experiences show you, as well as feedback and counsel from those mature and truly caring people who know you while pushing away what is superficial, biased or too rushed.

Thank you for sharing.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Heather Bradley
Heather Bradley
Helping you heal from trauma and live meaningful lives

Deciding to end a relationship is a big question that deserves your full care and attention.  One of the first questions you may ask of yourself and consider for your boyfriend is whether you are both willing to work on the relationship.  A relationship, no matter how great or hard, can't work unless both people are invested in working on it.  This means that both people are willing to take responsibility and work on their on stuff when things are hard rather than blaming the other.  If one of you is not willing or able to work at this then the relationship can't really grow or get better.  Perhaps spend some time really asking yourself if you this is the person you want to work on things with.  All relationships are hard and require care and attention and also ask us to really take responsibility for what we contribute.  This should be done in a relationship where you want to do this work for yourself and the other.  Also, if you are fully in and ready to do the work but your partner isn't.  If they say things like "this is just how I am" or "we have problems because of your issues" then you also may want to really slow down and consider if this will be workable.  You and your boyfriend need to be invested and committed to the relationship even when things are hard.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Gwendolyn Nelson-Terry
Gwendolyn Nelson-Terry
www.GwendolynNelsonTerry.com

Deciding to end a relationship is never easy, especially if there is not any strong reason or incident standing out to help define the unhappiness in the relationship, such as infidelity or abuse.  All relationships go through low periods where one or both people may feel unhappy in the relationship, this is normal.  What I tell my clients when they are facing this decision is to spend some time and imagine your life without the person in it.  What do you feel when you imagine your life without your boyfriend?  Do you see yourself as being happier, having more freedom?  When you think of life without him do you feel a weight lift off your shoulders?  Is it easier to breathe?  Don't rush into any decision about leaving the relationship.  Take as much time as you need to fully understand what it is you are feeling right now.  Ask yourself if some of the unhappiness in the relationship can change, if it is likely to change.  Only when you are confident in your decision to leave should you then have the discussion about leaving the relationship.  I hope this answer gives you some ways of thinking through how to make that very tough decision.    

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Minal Nebhnani
Minal Nebhnani
Discover Your Best Self!

Hi there, that's a big question and really something no one can answer except you. Here are some things to consider to help you make your decision.

What is leading you to ask the question? Has something happened recently or repeatedly that is making you question your relationship? If so, what is it. Can you rank it on a scale from 1-10, 1 being not a big deal and 10 being a deal breaker. What are your deal breakers and has he violated any of them? What are your reasons for being with him? How would you feel without him? How does he make you feel on a daily basis? Is there any abuse in the relationship (physical, emotional, psychological)? - if the answer to this question is yes - please seek immediate help.

In addition to thinking about your relationship on your own, have you talked with your boyfriend about how you're feeling? If it is safe to do so, honest, open communication might help you get some more clarity. You don't have to say "I'm thinking about breaking up with you," but you can say something along the lines of, "I'm having some doubts about our relationship. Can we talk about us?" If you want to stay with him, maybe you can work on your relationship together? Going to couples counseling could also be an option for you.

If you decide that the relationship is not working, think about how you would like to be broken up with and if possible, try to come from a place of kindness and understanding.  

As always, I'm happy to provide more guidance if you'd like. Good luck with you decision.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Siena Blanco, MS LCPC
Siena Blanco, MS LCPC
Be transformed by the renewing of your mind...
That you are questioning if you should end your relationship with your boyfriend tells me that you are unhappy with him. Spend sometime by yourself exploring the reasons for that unhappiness. Are these things likely to change or not? 
The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
David Klein
David Klein
Humanistic Psychotherapy for Individuals & Couples

Without knowing the details, it would be very difficult to say! But, that's also the point of my response. Because even with the details, it's very hard to say, as no one is experiencing the relationship in your shoes, except for you. It might be helpful to process this in therapy, or with your boyfriend directly and voice your concerns about the relationship. In any successful relationship, the research has shown that openness in communication is vital.

That all being said, I would also add, with a lot of curiosity...if you have to ask the question, does that say something about what you feel is the quality of the relationship?

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

If you're asking the question, then probably you are pretty close to ending your relationship.

Make a list of what you don't like and then decide whether you'd like to tell these topics to your boyfriend as a discussion about your relationship.

He may have similar feelings and together the two of you may figure out new ways to be loving with each other.

If you've presented your needs and no change results, then ask yourself if you can be happy with him, given what you now realize about him and your feelings.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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