Most women’s articles that center around the dilemma: “To break up or not to break up in an LTR (long-term relationship),” will focus on why you should break up with your partner.
Because these articles usually use the following reasoning: “Hey, you came to this page seeking advice on whether or not to break up with this guy … that’s a red flag. You should do it.”
We’re going to offer a slightly different perspective.
What if it’s you? What if you’re spending your days and sleepless nights convincing yourself to break it off with this guy, and it’s really not the right decision?
Hey, it’s possible, and it’s definitely happened to people in the past. The only thing that follows is regret.
But before we go any further, let’s get real: There are scenarios in which breaking up is obviously the best idea—a few deal-breakers that women just cannot ignore.
(If These Happen, End It)
- Physical or Mental Abuse
This is the number one deal-breaker because it simply does not fly no matter how you slice it. Being physically abused means your partner or someone you’ve been dating has touched you in any way that hurts you or makes you feel uncomfortable. Being mentally abused is when a partner puts you through scenarios that make you feel depressed, anxious, scared, or any other strong, negative emotion.
It can still be difficult to cut ties with someone who you may still have feelings for when abuse and violence comes into the picture. So it’s good to see someone like a therapist if you need to in order to make the transition out of the relationship easier.
Once a cheater, always a cheater is definitely a saying that’s up for debate. Maybe they’ll reform?
Even so, if you’ve caught your long-term boyfriend, fiancé, or husband red handed with another person, we can’t in all consciousness say that it would be a good idea to just stay and try to work it out. Blatantly screwing you over like that can easily be seen as an offense your partner won’t be able to come back from.
In other words, most of the time, cheating’s a deal-breaker.
- Completely Different Values
It’s difficult to imagine how a relationship would ever be able to work when you two have completely different outlooks on life or values. For example, if he’s convinced that he never wants to have kids, and you simply cannot wait to become a mother, you gotta a big problem, hon.
It’s important to keep in mind that some differences on values can be dealt with. For example, if you two are faithful to different religions, but the two religions aren’t too terribly contrasting, you might be able to work it out. The bottom line is, however, there are some contrasting values that will simply set you up for failure and it’s better to get out while you can in many cases.
When It’s More Complicated Than That
Now that we’ve got those deal-breakers out of the way, let’s move on to some situations that may appear a little more grayish.
When there’s been no abuse …
When no one has cheated …
And when your values line up pretty well …
What do you do if you’re still thinking about breaking up with him?
Well, you’ve got to do some mental digging to either locate a real problem or realize that there may be something else going on. And maybe it’s not actually a problem with him. And maybe you should stay together.
To get you started, here are some prompts to ask yourself. Their answers may help lead you to the real reason you want to break up. Which may not be a good reason at all.
- What’s going on in your life right now?
Are you stressed? Got money problems? Worried about lots of things all at once?
Other problems in your life may be flooding your head and making you think that things are worse than they really are with your boo.
- When is it that you find yourself thinking of breaking up?
Again, if you think “Ugh! I am breaking up with him!” when he’s chewing over-zealously at dinner or when he leaves beard hairs from shaving all over the bathroom sink, just chill for a bit. You’re overreacting. It could be from stress or something else in your life.
- Do you always end up thinking about someone else in particular?
It’s not that meeting someone new and perfect while you’re still in a relationship isn’t possible. But it’s not a great plan. And if you’re stuck on a flame from long ago who’s married now and messaged you on Facebook … likewise, you’ve got to wake up. Your life should be moving forward not backward.
Being obsessed with this other person is not realistic even if you do actually want out of your current relationship. Any way you slice it … No, once you break up with your partner now, “things won’t magically snap into place with this new person.”
Not a good line of thinking.
- Have you ever had a good, quality relationship in the past?
Those who have never had a good relationship often get scared when presented with one that is … actually great. Then they self-sabotage. Don’t do this.
- How’s your self-confidence and self-esteem doing?
Often women also self-sabotage by trying to break up with their guy before their guy can break up with them. This stems from low self-esteem and low confidence. If he tells you you’re hot and he loves you, believe him and be happy.
- How did you feel about this guy when you first started dating?
Were you head over heels for him when you first met? Did you get all the butterflies and daydream about him? That’s a good sign, and it usually means that with a little elbow grease, you can get back to that.
- Picture it (no really): You’re broken up and you see his new Facebook profile pic. He’s smooching a new girl and she’s beautiful. How do you feel?
Yes, you can leave room for the little ounces of natural jealousy that every person has about someone they once dated … but really. How does that make you feel?
If it’s that you want to throw up and “you’re such an idiot for losing him,” maybe breaking up isn’t the right thing.
Now that you’ve gone through these prompts, try to stick with the ones that resonated with you throughout the next week or two.
The focus here is not to rush into a breakup if there’s nothing threatening in the relationships (no deal-breakers). You may be thinking “Dang, I’m already 95% ready to hit the road! I’m gone!” Or “I’m in the prime of my life, and I’ve got to get back out there right now!” But hold your horses just one sec.
If you really are considering this breakup from a long-term relationship, like for real, taking a few extra weeks to make sure it’s the right decision, is worth it.
Because remember, once you say it’s over to this guy … you might not be able to get him back.
Make a good choice.