Should I end it?
How do I decide if I should end my relationship with my boyfriend?
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.
- 362 views
Breakups are hard, there’s no two-ways about it. The emotional toll is enough to send many people into the fetal position with one hand wrapped around a spoon and the other around a pint of ice cream.
The problem with reaching for comfort foods in times of crisis is that they set us up to feel even worse. Yes, sugar absolutely gives us an initial rush. We feel energized and happy. Guess what happens when you eat sugar? Your brain produces more dopamine, a feel-good chemical. Before long, you are eating more and more ice cream to keep your dopamine levels up.
When you experience a breakup, it’s important to fight your urge to self-medicate the sadness away through unhealthy foods or alcohol. Here are some things you can do instead to feel better:
Create a New Space
It’s time for a fresh new start, and there’s no better way to do this than by giving your living space a makeover. Move the furniture around, give your living room a new paint color. Get some new sheets and linens. You want to remove obvious memories from your home and create the kind of space that makes you feel excited for your future.
Reconnect with Loved Ones
Often when we’re in a relationship, all of our time and energy goes to the other person and we see old friends and family less than we’d like. Now is a great time to reconnect with those people who will love and support you through this hard time.
Try Mindfulness Meditation
And speaking of connecting with loved ones, it’s time to connect with yourself. Mindful meditation is a great way to quiet your thoughts and just be with the REAL you. Meditation also helps to alleviate stress. Five to 10 minutes a day is all you need to start feeling calm and balanced, and this is a much better headspace to begin making choices and decisions for your future.
Breakups will never be easy, but they are a part of life. Do your best to stay away from binging on junk food and instead focus on self-care and compassion.
If you find your feelings of sadness are not going away, it may be helpful to talk to someone. When we don’t know how to navigate our strong emotions, we can become depressed and anxious. Speaking with a therapist can help you work through your pain.
- 56 views
- 74 views
I’m sorry you’re having this dilemma. I wish I knew a little more about the situation to give a better answer. Have you discussed what is causing you to consider breaking up with your partner? Based on the information given, I suggest starting off making a pros and cons list. Pros for staying in the relationship and cons for staying. See which side has more. Follow your gut. Hope this helps as a start.
- 72 views
This can be a very difficult question to answer. Without knowing anything else about the situation - it makes me wonder - what makes you feel like you should break up with him? What brought up thinking about ending things? It will be important to decide if the relationship is safe, if it is healthy, and if it makes you both happy. Are there reasons you are staying in the relationship that don't make you feel good? It might be helpful to write things out or talk to a trusted friend about what each of your choices means. What would it be like to end things? What would it be like to stay? Are there issues that the two of you can work on to make the relationship better?
- 81 views
This is a very personal decision that you make when you have evaluated the issues in your couple that you feel are affecting your happiness and well being in your couple. I recommend completing a compatability checklist to evaluate which areas are making you unhappy. It is important to discuss these feelings with your partner and determine if together you want to work on these differences. If there is no agreement to working together to resolve the issues and you cannot accept the issues as they are then a break up may be best.
- 62 views
This is a tough decision to make for anyone that has ever been involved in a relationship. My advice is for you to consider what is making you unhappy in this relationship. Sometimes we think we are ready to move on but don't know the reason why and then we regret it. The worst thing you want after the fact is to have regret. Take time to do some soul searching and imagine your life without this person before you make any decisions. This will also help you understand what it is you are looking for in a romantic relationship. Best of luck in your love life.
Image and Likeness Counseling
- 76 views
This can be a very challenging decision, and it may take time for you to sort through all of your feelings about the relationship and its possible end. Therapy can help you have a space to be completely honest with yourself about your relationship as you grapple with your decision of whether to remain with your boyfriend. Your therapist can ask questions to guide you in uncovering your true feelings about whether this is the right relationship for you, and he or she can support you in whatever decision you come to.
- 58 views
That's a loaded question. Typically, if we are contemplating if we should or not, it is for a reason. To really come to a place of decision, you need to know where you are right now, what is not working, what the potential resolution would be and if it is realistic. If you can answer those questions, you may gain some insight. If it is realistic and your boyfriend is on the same page, seek help putting a plan in motion for resolution. And I mention him being on the same page because if he is not, then it will never come to fruiting. Without much other information, this is this is a solid approach.
- 62 views
The decision to end a relationship is difficult. There are a few questions you might want to ask yourself like, "Why am I asking myself if i should end it?", "What else am I looking for in a relationship that this one doesn't give me?", "is my boyfriend willing to discuss my doubts and willing to work at making this relationship better?", "Is he abusive in any way?" These are just a few questionsto think through in order to make this decision. Also talk to a trusted friend and see they're point of view of your relationship. Sometimes talking it over can help you think out loud and you're friend can point out details you can't thought about. Talking to a therapist is also a good option as a therapist can hello you figure out what you are looking for and address any issues that need to be addressed.
- 312 views
The decision to end a relationship is often very difficult. It is important that you are aware of your personal "deal breakers". Some common deal breakers are abuse of any kind (physical, verbal, sexual, or emotional) or substance abuse; however, anything that is detrimental to your well being can be considered a deal breaker. I know of a young woman who broke up with her boyfriend because he decided to adopt a pet cat and she is highly allergic. For her, having a cat was a deal breaker !
Healthy relationships enhance personal growth, and we enhance our spiritual and emotional wellbeing by collaborating with our partner to work through problems and overcome challenges. My guess is that you would not be questioning whether or not to end your relationship if things were going smoothly. Are you both equally invested in finding a resolution to whatever is troubling you?
An excellent book on relationship ambivalence is "Too Good to Leave; Too Bad to Stay" by Mira Kirshenbaum. By the last chapter you will have the answers that you seek.
- 241 views
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.
- 131 views
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.
- 111 views
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.
- 127 views
- 113 views
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?
- 114 views
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.
- 106 views
Submit your own question
- Relationship Dissolution
- Workplace Relationships
- Domestic Violence
- Anger Management
- Sleep Improvement
- Grief and Loss
- Substance Abuse
- Family Conflict
- Eating Disorders
- Behavioral Change
- Legal & Regulatory
- Professional Ethics
- Career Counseling
- Human Sexuality
- Social Relationships
- Children & Adolescents
- Military Issues
- Counseling Fundamentals