Many of us (if not most of us) reach a time in our lives when we have to decide to end a relationship with a romantic partner. But how do we know if we are making the right decision to terminate what we thought was a dream come true?
One way to approach the decision making is through creating a list. In this list, write down all of the characteristics of your dream partner and your dream relationship. You will have to be honest with yourself, or this exercise will not work. On the list, include information such as:
- What would your partner look like?
- How old would your partner be?
- How would your partner treat you?
- Would you share political views with your partner? If so, which ones?
- Would you share the same spiritual beliefs as your partner? If so, which ones?
- Would you and your partner have children? When? How many?
- How and where would you live?
- How would you eat?
- How would you spend and save your money?
- What would your sex life be like?
- What would romance look like in your relationship?
- What would your conversations be like?
- How would your partner speak to you in general?
- What would your social life be like?
- Where would you vacation with your partner?
- How would your family feel about your partner?
- How would your partner’s family feel about you?
- How would your partner support you when you are down?
- How would you support your partner in the relationship?
- What would your partner do for a living?
- How would your partner influence your career?
- [Any other things that are important to you in your life with a partner.]
After you've made this list, go back and check off all the things you are getting in your current relationship. From there, evaluate whether or not you are getting what you need to be happy in a relationship. If your Prince/ss Charming has blond hair and your current love has dark locks, that's not such a big deal. If you want sex weekly and your partner wants it monthly, that's a bigger issue. If a large percentage of these items that you want in a relationship are missing from your current relationship, then you are very likely not in a great relationship for you. It's time to move on.
If you are accepting something less than you want or deserve, it is likely because you are afraid to keep looking or because you don't realize you deserve better that what you have. I know from personal experience what it's like to settle. I realized I was settling for my ex-husband when I married him, but I did it anyway. And now, after four years of being single, I can attest that it is better to be single than to be in a relationship that is not meeting your needs. It is very hard to leave, but once you leave and do some healing work, life gets better much faster than you could imagine.
© 2015 Elizabeth Galen, Ph.D., Green Heart Guidance, LLC