How to Decide When to Break Up With Your Boyfriend or Girlfriend

Relationships are often difficult when they are good, and they can be even more difficult when they are not so good. When a relationship becomes difficult, the question of whether to stay or to move on often comes up. This can be difficult, because you can love someone even when they are bad for you. Feelings can sometimes mask what you should be doing, making you stay when you shouldn't. On the other hand, it's also common to have breakup fantasies on bad days in an otherwise good relationship. At the end of the day, the time to break up is based on whether the relationship can be saved, and if so, whether it should. Here is a look at some questions you should ask yourself regarding your breakup:

Are Your Problems Solvable?
Much of a breakup depends on the nature of your problems. Unsolvable problems can include things like distance, religious differences, addiction and having a person unwilling to commit. In rare cases, one of these situations may change, but it is rare enough that you need to consider whether the relationship is worthwhile with no change at all. If not, the answer should be clear.

Who is the Problem?
In cases where the problem may be solvable with communication and perspective, it's important to understand who the problem is. This is mainly because a bad relationship often requires bad decisions on both ends of the relationship. Your boyfriend may be angry and controlling, but your willingness to stick around for round two makes this a two part problem. Take a good look at what part you both play in the bad parts of your relationship, then ask if you changed your role whether things might improve. This said, you are never at fault if your boyfriend is abusive in any form. No form of abuse is ever deserved.

What Would Life be like Without Them?
The next step is to imagine what life would be life without your boyfriend or girlfriend in it. Part of the answer, good relationship or bad, is likely to be lonely. However, you may be lonely with an otherwise similar life, or you may be lonely with a much less complicated and difficult life. If the latter is true, this is a good sign that a break up is probably a good idea. If your life wouldn't be that different outside of loneliness, then you are going to have to go past logic and into instinct. Flip a coin, heads you break up, and tails you don't. Cover the flipped coin. At the moment it's in the air, try and see what you hope the answer will be. This will give you a clue into what instinct is telling you.

Cite this page: N., Pam M.S., "How to Decide When to Break Up With Your Boyfriend or Girlfriend," in PsychologyDictionary.org, January 25, 2016, https://psychologydictionary.org/article/how-to-decide-when-to-break-up-with-your-boyfriend-or-girlfriend/ (accessed June 18, 2019).
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