We've all been there; you and your boyfriend have been together for what seems like forever. You've even mentally designed the ideal wedding, kitchen island counter-top and the kids' school graduation. But lately, the relationship is hitting the skids and getting through an average day feels like wading through knee-deep Mississippi mud.
You thought you'd found "the one," but recently you've been left second guessing. How can you tell when your relationship has gone on too long? I've outlined four ways to knowing when it's time to hit the road.
1. You want different things from life or you are at different points in life. Many say relationships are all about work and compromise.You can expect negotiation to a point. It is to negotiate on the color of the dining room wall, which movie to see on Friday night or who's going to fold the laundry. But it's a whole different ball game when it comes to more significant matters such as: a home in the suburbs or condo in the city, children or no children, the "when" of marriage and children or how money should be spent or saved.
If you and your man are on opposite sides of the spectrum on these topics or the timing of these issues, you will probably be unhappy if you stay together. I emphasize timing because often both partners can want similar things but have very different time frames for them.
For example, she might be thinking she wants to be in a relationship that leads to marriage in the next 18 months while he is thinking he wants to be in a relationship that leads to marriage in five years. Don't let the fear of possibly being single prevent you from hashing these matters out early on. It's a proven fact that relationships have higher success rate with couples who share similar values and goals. Make sure the odds are in your favor.
2. You find yourselves arguing over the same heated topics. You can love someone and still not be suitable life partners. If you've broken up and rekindled the romance multiple times and you're still having the same gut-wrenching, insomnia-inducing fights or slightly different versions of the same problem. You have already exhausted therapy and every self-help book, CD and relationship seminar, it's probably best to end the relationship. Promising each other that "you will work on it" and actually taking action by changing behavior and demeanor are two different things. One is empty words and the other is true commitment and growth.
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