Should You Stay Or Should You Go?


How to decide whether a relationship is worth further time and effort is always a challenge.

How much time should you invest in a relationship before deciding it’s time to move on? This is always a difficult question. Give up too soon and you may miss out on something that could be really good. Stick around too long and you feel foolish for investing so much time and energy in someone who didn’t turn out to be worth the effort.

I’m not talking about the obvious bad choices-someone who is aggressive or very bad tempered,, self-centered, has issues of substance abuse or can’t make a living. Let’s assume you are smart enough to avoid these relationship losers. It gets trickier when some aspects of this romance are terrific and some just don’t seem to work.

Time is a big part of the problem. Everyone is pretty wonderful in the beginning. When we are newly in love we are so happy we tend to be at our best. That’s not necessarily a deception. We smile more, we’re most enthusiastic about sex, we’re more forgiving and more generous in the throes of a new romance. That newness can last from six months to two years but usually by the one year mark we start seeing the things we don’t like about the person. Even then, we tend to make excuses or rationalize the things that disappoint us in the hopes of making things work out.


There will always be things we don’t like about our long term partner or spouse. It’s important to be self-aware and understand the things we don’t think we can live without. It’s impossible to compromise on whether or not you want children and a family for example. When there is money conflict, some strategies can make those issues easier but too many couples face these differences realistically and head on.


If you don’t bring up things that bother you because you don’t want to spoil the good times or don’t want to risk getting the other person angry you will never really find out if the relationship can work. If you really want to find out if this is a relationship for the long haul, tackle the area of differences and conflict. Your ability to resolve these and come up with solutions is the best test of whether this person is the right one for you!


Sign Up for the YourTango Newsletter

Let's make this a regular thing!

More relationship advice from YourTango