The Simple Test That Shows If You're In A Good Relationship — Or If It's Time To Break Up

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Should I Break Up With My Boyfriend? This Simple Test Will Help You Decide

Answering these questions will tell you everything you need to know.

By Dr. Ava Cadell

Whether you’ve been in a relationship for a long time, or you just started dating someone new, we all face times when we feel the need to step back and evaluate our love life. Sometimes a partner looks great “on paper” at first in terms of your similar interests or circle of friends, but then as things move forward, the daily behavior and interactions between you just don't make your heart sing.

What’s happening here? Is there anything you can do to figure it all out? 

Yes, there is, and doing so is both free and easy to accomplish. Creating your own simple positives vs. negatives list can help you clarify what is and what is not working in your relationship. Sure, all relationships require some degree compromise, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for being unhappy the majority of the time!

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In the case of the woman whose inventory is shown below, she had been dating someone for three months and had sex with him after seven dates. She saw him two more times after that before she called me for help because she was feeling confused and conflicted about becoming his girlfriend. In her gut, she felt he wasn’t right for her, but at the same time, she didn’t want to be alone.

You can use the sample below a guideline for creating the same relationship inventory I walked through with her in two simple steps. 

Relationship Inventory Part 1: Make two columns. In the first, list every one of his positive qualities that you can think of. In the second, list every one of his negative qualities you can think of.

Positive qualities: 

(Note: remember that these were specific preferences of one woman. What you think of as a positive will match your own personal preferences.)

1. He's an old friend.  

2. He's kind. 

3. He's gentle.   

4. He has a good job.  

5. He's financially stable.  

6. He's intelligent. 

7. He's romantic.  

8. He has a good sense of humor.  

9. He has no ex-wife or kids.

10. Gives compliments  

Negative qualities:

1. His lives too far away.

2. He has too many health issues.

3. He hardly has any friends.

4. He goes to bed much later than I like to.

5. He doesn’t like to travel.

6. He is a pessimist and is always preparing for the worst.

7. He suffers from severe OCD and anxiety.

8. He's a homebody.

9. He doesn't satisfy me in bed.

10. He wants to talk on the phone much more than I do.

11. We have serious political differences.

12. He brags about his ex-girlfriends.

13. He complains about other people too often. 

14. He is constantly talking about his problems.

15. He isn't generous.

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In the case of this particular woman, after writing her lists of both his positive and negative qualities, she read them back to herself and had a major revelation upon discovering she'd listed 15 negative qualities as compared to only listing 10 that were positive.

Next, I asked her to think of her top 10 priorities in life, and then to note whether or not he could help her fulfill them.

Relationship Inventory Part 2: List your top 10 priorities in life. Mark each with a YES or NO in regard to whether or not your partner can help you fulfill them. 

1. Travel — NO

2. Home — NO

3. Generosity — NO

4. Sex — NO

5. Social — NO

6. Conversation — NO

7. Bedtime Compatibility — NO

8. Romance — YES

9. Compliments — YES

10. Friendship — YES

In the case of this woman, the man she was seeing could only enhance three of her ten life priorities. And on the flip side, she was easily able to find seven priorities he would actually make more difficult or her to achieve. 

Once the work of compiling these two lists is done, review the data you've collected to answer the ultimate question of this exercise:

"Is this person going to make my life better?"

As you can see, the not-so-great news for the woman in this same sample is that the negatives far outweigh the positive in her particular situation, but the good news is that armed with this information, she could now pinpoint the source of her frustrations and disappointments within the relationship.

This left her with two choices:

1. She could discuss these issues with her partner and see if there were ways to improve things between them.

2. She could create an exit strategy in order to leave this relationship and continue searching for someone who would be a more positive match.

When this woman chose the latter, I told her not to be sad because this was a way to get better in touch with her deepest wants and needs, and she therefore now has a better chance of finding a man who is worthy of her physically, mentally, emotionally, sexually and spiritually. It was the first time I saw her smile, and she told me she felt relieved, as though a huge weight had been lifted off her.

You’re better off alone than being with somebody who lacks the qualities that you are looking for in a relationship. In the meantime, be your own partner and treat yourself as if you are madly in love with you!

RELATED: If You Can't Say "YES!" To These 2 Questions, Break Up With Him NOW

Dr. Ava Cadell is America’s #1 Sexpert as a Clinical Sexologist, Sex Counselor, Founder of Loveology University and President of the American College of Sexologists International. Author of 9 books including the upcoming Sexycises by Sexperts: Intimacy Through Yoga, Dr. Ava is also a sought-after media therapist and global speaker whose mission is to empower people to overcome sexual guilt and shame so they can enjoy the benefits of healthy, sexual relationships.

This article was originally published at Sexpert.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.