Make a pro / con listLolostock/ShutterstockOK, so this isn't technically a question to ask yourself, but making a pro/con list is a good first step when deciding if and when to end a relationship. Lauren Mackler, psychotherapeutic coach and best-selling author of Solemate, recommends listing the positives (pros) and then giving each one a weight of one to 10. Once you've created a list of pros, move on to the cons. According to Mackler, examples might be, "'Poor communication," "Conflicting values around money and lifestyle," 'Lack of emotional connection.'" Like the pros, you'll want to use the one to 10 scale for your cons. If you see any of these 10 signs, your partner just might not be "the one."
Is there more conflict and pain than joy and harmony?gpointstudio/ShutterstockThis question seems like a no-brainer, but when you're in a relationship it's easy to overlook the bad times and just focus on the good, but answering this question honestly will help lead you to the right decision. "Over time, couples may grow apart, causing alienation, conflict, resentment, or incompatibility," says Mackler, so asking yourself this question frequently is a good idea. After all, most people don't show their true colors right at the start of the relationship. And yes, fighting occurs in every relationship, but it shouldn't be the norm. Here are strategies for handling the most common arguments couples have.
Do we have share interests and passions?
Jacob Lund/ShutterstockEveryone knows the saying "opposites attract," but exactly how much opposite is too much? While you and your partner certainly don't need to enjoy all the same movies, foods, and activities, too many differences may lead to a doomed relationship. Never being able to agree on what to do for dinner or where to go for vacation will get old real fast. According to experts, couples constantly argue over things like money, intimacy, and lack of communication.
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Are there children involved?Olena Yakobchuk/ShutterstockParting ways with a partner is never easy, but trying to end a relationship when children are involved is even trickier. (i.e. one of the main reasons people stay in toxic and abusive relationships is for their children). While navigating a breakup is more difficult with children, it can be done, healthily for all involved parties. "If you do decide to end your relationship, instead of making the other person the enemy, adopt a mindset that you're simply no longer a fit," advises Mackler. "This perspective lessens the drama, stops the blame game, and makes parting less painful. This is especially important when children are involved." If you do decide to split, here are the best ways to tell your children you're getting divorced.
How will we divide our shared belongings?sirtravelalot/ShutterstockThis is more of a logistics question to ask yourself, but equally important when contemplating the right time to break up with someone. Maybe you have a dog, or a house, or combined finances? Addressing and thinking about issues like these before pulling the plug will lead to a smoother breakup and transition out of one another's lives. Ever wonder why you and partner aren't on the same page? Well by nature, men and women are completely different in more ways than one, but here's how to outsmart our DNA and live happily ever after.
Have we both tried to fix the relationship?wavebreakmedia/ShutterstockHave both you and partner exhausted all options? Have you gone to couples counseling? Sought relationship expert advice? And most importantly, do you both even want to fix the relationship? If the answer is no, then it's definitely time to break up, but if you're not quite ready to throw in the towel, you and your partner should consider trying to amend the broken relationship. "When there is consistently more conflict and pain than there is harmony and joy—and you've tried everything you can as a couple to identify and resolve the root causes of conflict (including getting professional help), then it may be time to consider parting ways," says Mackler.
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