Ah, relationships. They're great, aren't they? You flirted, texted, conversed and kissed your way into one of those long-term jobbers chock full of benefits: cuddling, Sunday-night wind-downs on the couch, TGIT viewings, a perennial plus-one, best-friend status, built-in hand-holding and mind-blowing sex (we hope).
Yes, relationships are great... Until they're not. Until it becomes an amount of work and effort that you weren't sure you signed up for. Until you come to the realization that maybe, just maybe, the issue really is one of compatibility, the presence of unconditional love (or lack thereof) and you or your partner's unwillingness or inability to surrender to vulnerability and selflessness. Or some super-fun combination of all three.
When that happens, how do you know if it's time to stay or go?
My general rule of thumb is you gotta want to wake up every day and choose the relationship. The moment you know you don't want to choose the relationship, it's probably dunzo.
But, let's get more specific, shall we? I've spoken to Nicole McCance M.A., C. Psych., psychologist, TV personality, best-selling author and founder of her own practice, to weigh in on what this fork in the road can typically look like and how to come to a decision that's right for you.
Here is when it's time to make the call, according to Nicole:
Your relationship is in a rut, but can be revived if....
1. You find yourself fantasizing about when sex used to be exciting and passionate.
2. You can't remember the last time you had a meaningful conversation.
3. You keep having the exact same argument over and over again.
Your relationship is over if...
1. You don't respect your partner anymore. Respect is the basis of a loving relationship. Without it, there is tension and resentment.
2. When neither of you are willing to compromise or let go of 'being right.' I see so many couples who can't let go of their point of view and as a result lose the person they love.
3. When the ratio of bad times (arguments, silent treatment) outweighs the good times (having fun, communicating intimately).
Good to know, right? Each of the O-V-E-R scenarios is some variation of not choosing your partner and the relationship.
Don't want to forgive, have compassion or accept your significant other's flaws or choices? That's a choice -- holding on to your loss of respect for your partner and focusing on that more than the partnership.
Refuse to not be right? That's choosing you and your opinion over your partner.
Would you rather fight or ice him out than quiet your ego, be vulnerable, be the "bigger person" and speak up for what you want and need? That's choosing to stay in your comfort zone and not take the risk necessary to be in an intimate relationship anymore.
Deciding whether to stay or exit the relationship is your choice.
The most important thing to remember is: Your choice, whatever that may be, is completely valid.
Choose what you truly want and need in order to achieve the loving, caring, committed, passionate, fulfilling relationship that you truly desire -- and not just for the sake of making a point. Be open to learning that getting what you want in your love life could be as simple as speaking up in your current relationship. You might find you already have just what you're looking for.