Knowing when to end a relationship isn't always obvious, but it is always important.
Knowing when to end a relationship can vary by circumstance. How do you know when you should try to fix a relationship or let it go? Sometimes, the signs are subtle — you're sort of unhappy, he's sort of unhappy. Other times, the signs are more overt; your Boyz II Men CD refuses to play "I'll Make Love to You" and insists on playing "The End of the Road" instead.
But, more times than not, the signs of when to end a relationship are neither subtle nor overt; they simply lie somewhere in between.
This is because relationships — at least the vast majority — are salvageable. This isn't to say that Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky should have bought another cigar and vowed to stay together forever and always. Instead, it's to say that while relationships are salvageable, it's up to you to determine if they're worth saving.
So, how do you do this?
Unfortunately, it's not always written on the walls in black and white. Rather, it's about weighing several different factors. And three of these factors are often most important.
Can What's Broken be Fixed?
The first step in knowing when to end a relationship has to do with figuring out why it's broken. Once you know the reason, you must decide if you can get past it or if you'll bring it up any chance you get — when your boyfriend gets mad at you for something else, during any times you're under stress, while the two of you are in a very crowded elevator.
For example, if your boyfriend went off and slept with another woman, you must decide if you'll ever see past his betrayal. Maybe, maybe not. Only you can decide. If it's something not quite as serious — your boyfriend's mother insists on stopping by each night for dinner, for example — you may be able to fix what's broken without a ton of effort to change.
Can You Admit Your Role?
If every separating couple could wear t-shirts that said exactly how they felt, they'd probably walk out in public with his and hers: it's his fault and it's her fault. But, the truth is that in most relationships, things come to an end because of both people. Rarely is it only one person harboring all the blame.
Your boyfriend may have done plenty wrong for you to be reading an article regarding knowing when to end a relationship, but you probably did stuff wrong as well. If you can't admit that — or are unwilling to see it — then the relationship you're trying to save may be a dead man walking.
Do You Still Love Him?
If leg warmers, MySpace, and hyper color t-shirts taught us anything, they taught us that people fall in and out of love all the time. Love may be patient and kind, but it is also fickle. This is why — as you wonder when to end a relationship — it's vital you look to see if the love that, that relationship was once built on still exists. If it doesn't, then there's little sense in salvaging it. But if it does — even if all the proverbial walls have been torn down and the foundation is all that exists — you might have enough to reignite a flame.
Ultimately, to breakup or keep up is only something that each person can decide once they've evaluated their relationship. But, however your answers to the above three questions can help you make your decision — it can help you decide if your love is worth fighting for or, in honor of Bell Biv Devoe, it's merely Poison.
To learn other ways to know when to end your relationship, click here.