Originally published on Unwritten
Unfortunately, relationships aren't always cut and dry. They change over time, just as we change. A relationship that was once healthy, thriving and stable can easily transform into the exact opposite. Sometimes, a relationship just wasn't good from the start. However, it is not always easy to identify when a relationship has run its course.
A lot of people stay in relationships longer than they should because they are undecided whether it's the right thing to end it. There really is no easy way to decide what to do when you're stuck in this position. People tend to have differing opinions whether your relationships is worth it or not and, truthfully, the only person who actually knows is you. To help you decide if you should be in this relationship or not, consider these questions to identify how you really feel about this relationship.
1. Will I regret continuing to be in this relationship in the future?
This is a difficult question, as it should be. It's hard to know what we'll think of our past self in the future. However, it's worth considering if you think this relationship will be considered wasted time five years from now. A relationship takes up a lot of time. If you think it's worth putting in the effort now, maybe you should continue to be in this relationship. But if you're worried that you will regret missing out on certain experiences (college parties, nights out with friends, valuable studying time etc.), then maybe you do need to reconsider where you're spending your time. If the bulk of this relationship is making you sad and upset, then you're not spending your time wisely. Especially when you're young, time is valuable. You need to make sure you're investing it in ways that will make you happy in the future. You owe it to yourself to make amazing memories while you have the opportunity.
2. What would your 'before-relationship' self do?
Love, lust and all that jazz can really influence how we think about a relationship. Try taking a step back and considering how you would have acted before you got into this relationship. Would you have let a significant other distract you from schoolwork or your career? Would you have let a significant other treat you that way this SO does? Would you have considered this to be a happy, healthy relationship? Trying to think the way you would have before you got involved with this other person can help you to identify what you value and what your priorities are.
3. What advice would I give to a friend if they came to me with the same situation?
This is probably the most helpful question to ask. When a friend comes to us we (hopefully) all have their best interest in mind when giving them advice. We want to see them thrive and would most likely let them know if this relationship wasn't what they needed right now. Simply consider how you would respond to a friend who asks whether you think they should be in this relationship. Taking an impartial view on your situation can really help you evaluate whether this is a relationship that you want in your life now. Whatever you would respond to them is most likely what you know is the best thing to do.
4. Would this be a relationship I would be proud to tell my kids about?
OK, so not everyone is going to have kids and probably a lot of people haven't even thought about this yet. But, consider if this relationship would be a love story you'd be proud to tell your (potential) kids, siblings, friends or anyone else whose opinion of you matters. You most likely have heard stories from grandparents who love to brag about how happy they have been those 50-plus years they have been together. Do you see yourself talking about your significant other like that? Would you be proud of how you have acted? Would this be an example of a worthwhile relationship? Would your actions be a good example of how you'd want someone else to act? This doesn't mean everything has had to be perfect in the relationship, but consider if this is a story you'd want featured in your biography when you are a famous.
Again, deciding if a relationship is right for you is never an easy task. The main thing is to make sure that the relationship is healthy and is making you happy. Hopefully, reflecting on these questions, or similar ones, can help you figure out what is in your best interest. Matters of the heart are never simple, but to love someone is one of the greatest things in this world.
Originally published on Unwritten by Alexandra Sakellariou.