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Are You Making the Best of It Or Settling for Less?

Love, Heartbreak

3 signs that it’s time to leave your relationship...

It’s been a rough month for Bethenny Frankel and Jason Hoppy, Britney Spears and Jason Trawick and Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez.

All three of these celebrity couples have announced that they’re breaking up.

Making the decision to end a love relationship or marriage is usually not made on impulse. It’s rare for a person to be madly in love one day and ready to pack up and leave the next. Usually, it’s something that’s been building for quite awhile.

It’s probable that all involved in these celebrity breakups grappled with some heavy questions in the months (and maybe years) leading up to their decision to file for divorce or pack up and leave.

The question of whether to stay in or leave a relationship is possibly one of the biggest a person will make in his or her life.

It can be complicated by concerns about children, financial worries, hope for change and a desire to not disappoint the other person or extended family. Complications such as these may cause you to stay in an unhappy and maybe unhealthy relationship. It can seem easier and less risky to simply settle for what you’ve got and learn how to deal with the conflict and distance than it is to end the relationship.

How are you making the “best” of an unhappy relationship?

Sometimes in life it’s necessary to make the “best” of a difficult situation.

It rains when you had plans for a picnic. You get a flat tire on the way to a concert. There’s nothing you can do about whatever is going on and so you figure out how to salvage the situation and try to have as good a time as you can.

Unfortunately, too many couples treat their love relationship or marriage in the same way.

Serious issues like lying, cheating, complete breakdown of communication or even abuse are ongoing and the couple tries to just make the “best” of it. 

There’s a time for being patient and holding on until a challenging situation eases and changes and there’s a time to realize that it would be better for all involved if the relationship ends.

The key is to know which time it is in your relationship. Are you just settling for less and hoping your relationship problems will work themselves out?

3 ways to know that it’s time to end your relationship...

#1: Your “shoulds” outweigh your “wants.”

Ask yourself this question and answer it without trying to think of the “right” answer...

“Why do I stay in this relationship?”

We’re guessing that many of your uncensored answers include the word “should.” Maybe you’re staying because you think you “should” for the sake of your kids, to be kind, to prove you can make this work, to show your family and friends that you can have a lasting relationship or for some other reason.

Your responses to this question aren’t “bad” or “wrong,” but if they are driven by “shoulds,” then we encourage you to back up and take a different approach.

Instead of focusing in on what you believe you “should” or “have to” do, think about what you “want” to do and what will help you create the amazing life you deserve.

#2: You’re in this alone.

If you’ve been having troubles with your partner, it’s likely that you already do feel alone. Distance and strained intimacy can leave you feeling isolated even if your partner is physically still very present in your life.

Assess just how alone you truly are as you decide whether to stay in or leave your relationship.

Consider not just your perception that you’re in this relationship alone, but look for observable and consistent proof to back it up. When you are truly the only one in your relationship who is actively interested in and trying to make improvements, this could indicate that your partner has-- on some level-- already moved on in energy and focus.

This might be a sign that you’re holding onto a relationship that has already basically died. Holding on when your relationship is past reviving is just another way to settle for less.

#3: You compromise your priorities and values.

There is a difference between compromising on your values and listening to find a solution you and your partner can both can be happy with.

It’s detrimental to become rigid and closed down to what your partner wants or suggests. When you and your partner have a disagreement, try to listen with as much openness as possible. Know your limits and what you won’t negotiate about, but be flexible where you can. This is good for communication and promotes problem-solving. 

Don’t make the mistake of sacrificing what’s meaningful to you in the guise of trying to get along. Many who are making the “best” of an unhealthy and dying relationship consistently throw out what is most important to them in an effort to keep peace, please or just get by.

When you compromise on your values, you end up feeling like you’ve lost yourself or you don’t know who you are anymore.  You’ve let your priorities go to try to save your relationship. This is NOT beneficial for you and it doesn’t help your relationship either.


Remember, every relationship is different. Just because you can identify with these signs doesn’t mean that your only choice is to end your relationship. Take the time to discover what the next best step is for you.

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