How to Decide Whether You Should Break-Up

A general feeling of disconnection can be a sign that you should break up.A general feeling of disconnection can be a sign that you should break up.

Your relationship started off great. You enjoyed spending time together, and went out of your way to do nice things for each other. It's been a few months or years now, though, and the spark is gone. The trouble is, you still care about the other person, and you're not sure if you're ready to let the relationship go just yet. If you're contemplating a break up, there are some points to consider before you make the decision that will help you make the right choice for your romantic life.

Imagine yourself with the other person for the long-term. If you cannot imagine spending the next few days with him, never mind the rest of your life, then you are probably better off moving on.

Look back on the recent history of your relationship, and how much time you have spent together. If you have been spending a lot of time apart, whether by choice or by necessity, and you do not miss your girlfriend or want to make an effort to spend more time with her, then consider ending the relationship.

Pay attention to how you interact with each other. If you are constantly bickering or arguing, putting each other down or avoiding difficult conversations -- or no conversations at all -- you may be happier with someone else. In a healthy relationship, you have positive communication and feel good when you're with the other person, not anxious or angry.

Examine your behavior, or your boyfriend's behavior. Cheating, lying and abuse are generally good signs that your relationship is over.

List the qualities that attracted you to the other person in the beginning of the relationship, and assess whether you still see those qualities. For example, your boyfriend's sense of humor may have cracked you up in the early days, but now his corny jokes make you cringe. An inability to find positive attributes in your partner -- or a longer list of annoying traits than positive -- means you should probably break up.

Monitor your sex life. If you feel disconnected during sex -- or avoid it altogether -- assess your relationship. Lack of sexual compatibility can indicate larger problems in the relationship and a need to break up.

Ask yourself whether you feel supported by your partner. If your girlfriend tends to be jealous of the time you spend away from her, or fails to support your career or outside interests, you may need to split up and find a more supportive relationship.

Assess how you will feel if you break up. If you believe that you'll be happier, or feel a sense of relief, by ending the relationship, it may be time to say goodbye.

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  • While any one of these signs can be enough to spur a break up on its own, take the time to honestly assess your entire relationship. Sometimes couples can have one or two issues that they can tackle together and make the relationship stronger. Only you can decide what is a "deal-breaker" and what you're willing to work on.

About the Author

An adjunct instructor at Central Maine Community College, Kristen Hamlin is also a freelance writer on topics including lifestyle, education, and business. She is the author of Graduate! Everything You Need to Succeed After College (Capital Books), and her work has appeared in Lewiston Auburn Magazine, Young Money, USA Today and a variety of online outlets. She has a B.A. in Communication from Stonehill College, and a Master of Liberal Studies in Creative Writing from the University of Denver.

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