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10 Things You MUST Consider Before Breaking Up

You’re not done ‘til you’re done and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, because only when you know you’re done will it really be over and when you’re done, you’ll know it.

Here’s the obvious truth – breaking up is hard to do. The decision to call it quits is never an easy one, even if the writing may have been on the wall for days, weeks, months or even years! Of course, the painstakingly slow and gut-wrenching process of taking an exit is revved up if there’s an instance of abuse or similar red flags staring you in the face, but even so, more often than not, the decision to hit splitsville is stretched out by our own hearts. Wrestling between holding on and folding up is a delicately deceptive fight and a decision to makeup or breakup comes at a huge cost. In each case, one makes a choice – either to face the ‘rocky relationship’ in an attempt to head toward greener pastures or quit trudging up the rocky terrain altogether and face the uncertainty of what’s next. Either way, the decision to stay or walk away, by virtue of its self-interested rationale, has an inherent danger – the danger of aggravating one’s suffering. Coz either can be the wrong choice.

Suggested read: Breakup or makeup – 15 signs to help make that choice

So, how do you know which is the right choice? How do you know if it is, indeed, the time to break up? How do you know if the strong urge to end the mess, after another endless fight, is the correct basis to end what you’ve built? How do you know if it is time to finally bid adieu?

By reflective introspection. Ask yourself the following questions and journal your honest responses, and those shall be the things to consider before breaking up:

1. Does my partner make me truly happy?

woman introspecting

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This is a question only you can answer. Find a truthful response. Do not consult the self who keeps making excuses for your partner or posits justification for his/her inexcusable behavior, unpardonable offences or hurtful reactions. Assess if you are truly happy with him/her or if you’ve been deluding yourself with the false image of what the relationship ‘could be’ instead of seeing it for what ‘it is.’ This self-deceptive and rather destructive pattern is fatal to your own self and is as harmful as the perennial mistake of loving ‘the potential’ of a partner than the partner himself/herself.

Suggested read: 10 invaluable lessons only your first breakup teaches you

2. Am I in a temporarily unsettling phase or is the disillusionment a consistent feeling in the relationship?

sad woman

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If factors external to the dynamic between the two of you are causing some rough patches, it would be okay to keep journeying across the bumpy paths until the ground levels off again. However, if you know that the tedium, monotony and sterility of your relationship are ever-present factors that create an overwhelming feeling of confinement, it might be time to take off.

3. Is my partner going through a difficult phase that is causing him/her to behave/act differently than he/she used to?

talking outside the bedroom

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An awareness of the situations in each other’s lives shall help you make an informed decision. If an imminent circumstance such as a recent job change or the loss of a dear one or an added responsibility is causing your partner to behave differently, it would serve you well to be patient and hold on. He/she would appreciate your support and once the swathes of dark clouds clear away, the sun would come out bright and beaming on your lovescape again. However, if pure laziness or procrastination is the reason behind your partner’s lack of interest, you might try to ‘fix’ it through honest communication about the same. If he/she still fails to follow up, you may choose to drop the axe.

Suggested read: Invaluable lessons to take away from breaups

4. Is the relationship bringing out the best in me?

woman angry with man

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Seek really honest answers here. A relationship that stunts your growth isn’t healthy. If the relationship is damaging your self-esteem, breaking you down, and making you lose your own self, it is WRONG. A healthy relationship exhorts you to be a better and happier version of yourself. It builds you up, edifies you and bolsters your confidence to do better. If your relationship is doing all of these, you might stop and rethink your decision of breaking up, by taking into consideration other factors at play. Else, the red signal is blaring bright!

Suggested read: 20 stages of breakup everyone has to deal with

5. How huge is the gap between me and my partner?

couple disagreement (11)

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Often, the cracks that seem to be widening in the relationship owing to a lack of open, direct communication or an unsatisfying sexual relationship or contrasts aren’t irreparable. Unless all attempts to ‘fix’ the situation have failed miserably, it isn’t wise to take the hasty decision of breaking off what you’ve lovingly built. Of course, everyone has deal-breakers that may include anything from long-term goals that are out of line, disagreement over faith or something serious like infidelity, but unless there are rifts that have infiltrated the fabric of your relationship owing to such grievous offences, it would be okay to pause at ‘the-repair-and-redeem’ junction before you drive down to splitsville.

Suggested read: How to put your life back together after an intense breakup

6. How would I feel about my little sister/brother/daughter/son being in this situation?

This might surprise you. But there is, oftentimes, a huge disparity between the things we tolerate/put up with as against those that we think our loved ones deserve. If there is indeed a wide gap between the two, you know what to do.

7. What am I truly afraid of?

man sitting idly by while woman is crying

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Analyze the fears that are keeping you on the fence. List them out – is it the fear of being alone, the fear of judgment, fear of making a mistake or something else. Assess how realistic those fears are and seek out actual reasons, steeped in fact (instead of feeling and opinion/perspective), that validate any/all of these fears. After that, analyze how your decision might be impacted if the fear was not a constraining factor. You shall get honest answers, if only you listen closely to your inner self.

Suggested read: 10 things NOT to do at the start of a relationship

8. How big will the ripple effect be?

sad woman

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Not that this should impact a decision that is crucial to your mental, physical, and emotional health, but breaking up, especially after a long relationship, comes with a cost. If you work at the same company or have a common group of friends or/are involved with their family/friends in any kind of personal/professional relationship, it might get very difficult to cope with the sudden changes. One can brave all that comes when one is taking the ‘right’ decision but the awkwardness and discomfort and your ability to deal with it might be important things to prep yourself for.

9. What is inducing this decision?

woman outdoors

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If you are leading separate lives already, there is a consistent feeling of estrangement in your relationship, are experiencing a perennial feeling of disillusionment or are attempting to fill the lacunae in your vacuous relationship in vain, waking up and smelling the coffee might serve you in good stead. However, if you are jumping ship because there’s a better prospect or because you’ve grown weary and bored of the relationship, you might want to pause and rethink if this is a familiar pattern in all your relationships until now. This question shall really probe intrusively and challenge any ulterior motives or degrees of complacency. It can give you a real sense of perspective by telling you if you’d do things differently if you knew you hadn’t had any external reason to break up.

Suggested read: What to do when the woman in your life is hurting

10. Am I sure?

woman distressed

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Sometimes, people continue to stay in unhealthy relationships that drain their life’s vital vial far beyond the bond has crossed its expiration date. On other occasions, people end their relationships prematurely because they cannot handle the pressure of a transient and temporary rough patch. You should be acutely aware of where you are at and what is inducing your decision. You have to be sure if breaking up is the only option ahead as once the decision is taken, second thoughts shall count for nothing.

Always remember to trust your inner voice because deep down you know what is best for you!

Featured image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Article Name
10 things to consider before breaking up
Breaking up is hard, for you as well as your partner. But before you do so, you need to go through this list of things to consider before breaking up.
Sejal Parikh

Sejal Parikh

"I'm a hurricane of words but YOU can choose the damage I do to you..."