in: Dating & Relationships

When Breaking Up is Hard to Do: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself

Making the decision to end a relationship is never an easy one. Often times we stay too long in a relationship that doesn’t serve us; we do this because we care for our partner and desperately want things to work. But how does one make the decision that it’s truly over? How can we assess whether or not things deserve another chance? It’s never easy, but there are important questions you should ask yourself if you’re in a relationship that might be heading for a breakup.

1. Am I consistently happy with this person?

All relationships go through rough patches; you’re not always going to be 100 percent happy with your relationship. It’s unrealistic to expect non-stop happiness, but if you are at the point where you haven’t been happy for a long time and you can’t imagine yourself being happy with this person in the future, it might be time to say goodbye.

All relationships take work and it’s important to accept that sometimes you are going to go through unhappy periods. You need to be able to assess what things are worth working through and what situations you aren’t going to be able to improve or accept.

2. Does the relationship have long-term potential?

If you’re looking for a serious, long-term commitment and you don’t think your current relationship will provide what you want down the road, it might be time to move on. Sometimes we stay with the wrong person for too long because things are okay… but just okay. You don’t see yourself staying together for years, but you also don’t have any problems with your partner. If what you really want you can’t get from him or her, you should accept this and move on amicably.

3. Do you want the person to change, but that change never happens?

Sometimes we want unrealistic or unfair changes from our partners that they either can’t or don’t want to make. The best thing you can do in a relationship is accept the other person as they are, faults and all. If there are things you can’t accept, it’s unlikely that the other person will change unless he or she really wants to do so for him or herself. If you don’t see the changes that you need in your partner and you can’t accept those things you don’t like, it might be time to part ways.

4. Are you growing together or growing apart?

Everyone changes throughout the course of a relationship. Some people grow together, change, and adjust their relationship accordingly. In other relationships, partners grow at different rates, grow apart, and aren’t able to accept the changes in the other person. If you can’t grow together, you may need to grow apart.

5. Are you being true to yourself?

Relationships require a certain amount of sacrifice, flexibility, and compromise, but sometimes people go too far and end up losing themselves and what they want in the process. Have you lost your sense of self? Do you feel like you have strayed off your path? Feeling like this might mean that you need a fresh start on your own.

Breaking up with someone is always heartbreaking, even if you know that it’s the right thing to do. Staying in a relationship where one or both people are unhappy—when there’s no fixing what’s broken—hurts both people. In the end, if the relationship is not right, breaking up, though difficult, is best for all parties involved. [photo: via Laura4Smith on flickr]

About the Author:


Meghan Stone earned her Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work and Master’s of Education in Human Sexuality from Widener University. She has worked as a therapist, social worker, teen counselor, and sexuality educator. She currently resides in Buenos Aires, Argentina where she writes, teaches, and volunteers with the local community. Her passions are social work, travel, photography, art, yoga, and learning about other cultures.


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