Tuesday, November 22, 2005

[relationship] 10 Signs That It's Time To Break Up

10 Signs That It's Time To Break Up
Sometimes, good things end. That’s just the way life is. Sometimes, bad things continue due to neglect or fear. This ISN’T the way life should be!

I continue to tell people, the problem isn’t that there are too many divorces – there are too many marriages! So many people hook up with partners that are (or become) unhealthy for them, then find that they can’t bring themselves to break it off – sometimes out of fear of being alone, sometimes through convincing by their friends or family, sometimes through concern of how they will look, sometimes through simple neglect, etc.

When should a relationship break up? Simple: when it no longer provides benefit to one or both partners. In other words, if you aren’t getting what you want or need from being with someone, or if you recognize that your partner isn’t getting what they want or need it’s time to move on.

I’ve had some people say to me, “Isn’t that a little selfish – what about the person you’re dumping?” To this I answer, “How can it be good for someone to stay with a person that doesn’t want to be with him or her?” After all, how low does your self-esteem (let alone your self-respect) have to be to want to do this? It is by far much healthier to go about finding the relationship that works for you – that gives you what you need, than to apathetically cling to something that isn’t fulfilling. Life is too short for this, and you deserve better.

So, how do you know when to break off your relationship? Here are 10 signs to watch for. Note that most people encounter one, two or more of these things periodically. However if you’re finding that you experience more than a few consistently – over a longer period, it’s probably time to move on:

10. You no longer look forward to spending time alone with your partner.
You may still have a good sex life (or not!) but actually talking to your partner seems like a chore. If spending time alone with your partner seems like a prison sentence you may be up for a parole.

9. You begin comparing your partner to others.
This is particularly true when other people seem more appealing to you. We all find others – often those we don’t have – attractive. If however, you find that you’re comparing specific traits – a person’s voice, their neatness, they way they carry themselves, etc., against others; especially things your partner can’t change - you should re-evaluate your relationship.

8. You criticize or “micro-manage” your partner
If you’re always concerned that your partner’s socks aren’t exactly right for his pants, or that she wears too much make-up, or that he or she just can’t seem to take their responsibilities seriously, don’t look at them – look at yourself. People that are in love tend to look beyond minor annoyances to the bigger picture. If you’re having trouble doing this you may want to work on your exit plan.

7. You start trying to change your partner
Many people fall in love with people that excite them, but find that this excitement isn’t good for them in the long term. On the other hand, they may find someone “stable” that doesn’t provide enough variety in their relationship. If you find that you’re constantly trying to convert your partner from the person you fell in love with, it may be time to bolt.

6. You re-connect with ex lovers
It’s one thing to send an ex-girlfriend a birthday card. It is entirely another to take her out for dinner and a movie “just to catch up”. The trick here is to be honest about your motivations. If you had the chance to sleep with him or her, would you? Are you looking for approval or an ego-boost from him or her? Have you forgotten why you broke up in the first place?

5. His or her jokes are no longer funny
Of course, you may have heard them 1,000 times, but people in love tend to look beyond this repetitiveness. They see that their partner is being humorous, not how funny something is or isn’t.

4. You’re doing all the giving – or all the getting
Relationships are about mutual benefit. If one partner is benefiting over the other, the relationship isn’t healthy. This doesn’t mean that everything should be exactly balanced. For example, just because one partner spends $50 on a birthday present, that the other should spend exactly that amount. Nor does it mean that both partners should always split a dinner check. If one person pays all the time, and the other doesn’t at least cook a few meals, there is something wrong – and unhealthy about the relationship.

3. You constantly find ways to include others in your activities
Always including others indicates that you’re not looking forward to being alone with your partner. Of course, you need time with your friends, but if you never have private time, or the only time you’re alone is when you’re having sex, perhaps the problem is in the company.

2. Your friends no longer like being around you when you’re with your partner
Your friends don’t have to dislike your partner – perhaps they don’t like what affect your partner has on YOU! Consider that your relationship with your friends is at least as important in the long run as your relationship with your partner. In fact, it may be MORE important as they will see you as you really are, and will be there even if he or she isn’t – IF you treat them right!

1. You no longer feel good about yourself
At first, this seems like a strange warning sign about your relationship, but think about how you felt when you first hooked up with your partner. You felt great – about yourself and your world. If this is now lacking where it was there before, you may want to look at your relationship.

Best regards...
Dr. Neder

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