Walking away from your relationship can feel confusing and scary, but there are times when saying sayonara can be best for you both. If you’re not feeling happy, open and understood by your mate, you might have to make some tough choices. Love covers a mountain of obstacles, yes -but there are some things that probably aren’t going to resolve themselves without a total commitment. If you have your partner’s best interests in mind, as well as your own, you’ll want to do what is ultimately best for you both.
It may sound old fashioned, but there is a reason that human beings tend to pair off into groups of two – we’re designed for intimacy. In order to feel truly safe while being vulnerable, most of us prefer the cushion of a commitment. If you or your partner do not feel safe enough to be open and vulnerable, you’re also not safe enough to grow together. This is not just about fidelity – this is about trusting that your partner has your best interests at heart. If you are having a tough time making a commitment, it may be because you can’t see yourself with this person some years down the line. If you already know it’s not going to work out long-term – what are you still doing there?
Surprisingly most relationships are not started with a fireside chat about core values. In the beginning we are blinded by our similarities, but as the relationship matures we begin to see our differences, too. Having different backgrounds and different belief systems may work out for some, but it can be a challenge for others. If you cannot live with a behavior pattern or belief that your partner holds, resist the urge to try to change them. If you come across an issue that is a deal-breaker for you, honesty is the best policy. Remaining true to yourself might be hard – but selling out is harder, and rarely works out well. It may be tough to walk away, but the rewards of living by your own rules will be worth it in the long run.
The good news here is that good communication is a skill that is learned. The bad news is that once you’ve learned to communicate a certain way it’s pretty tough to change that. Since your partner has had prior experience – with teachers, parents, and probably other lovers – you may be getting a done deal in the communications department. Therapists agree that the main reason communication falters between lovers is simple – you may not really be hearing each other. Finding a partner who is easy to talk to and really understands you should be a requirement at the top of your list. If you find that you or your partner often feel misunderstood, you might want to consider relationship counseling, or ultimately moving on – before you stop listening to each other altogether.
Trust is a slippery slope, and there are infinite things that can make it go awry. Perhaps you’ve been hurt before and are not able to fully trust another person right now. Or maybe you have been untrustworthy, and you are projecting that onto your lover. It could simply be that you feel like your partner isn’t being totally open with you. In this case, the reason doesn’t really matter – if you cannot trust your partner for whatever reason, walk away as quickly as you can… and then deal with this issue alone. A therapist or friend can be of great help in this case, but a mistrusting partner cannot.
If you find yourself in a situation where you have been wronged by your partner and they are un-remorseful or you just cannot forgive what they did, that may be another reason to make a break. You absolutely do not deserve to live with insurmountable hurt. If you cannot forgive your partner, you will not be able to give them your trust – ever again! A relationship without trust lies on a very shaky foundation that should never be built upon – at least not without professional help, a huge dumpster and the proper permits.
No one is suggesting that you throw in the towel at the first sign of trouble, but when you get to the second or third red flag, you might want to re-examine whether or not this person is right for you. If you’re not willing to get down and dirty and do the hard work with your partner – and resolve outstanding issues – you may want to re-examine your need to be in this relationship at all. And trust us, if you’re on the verge of walking out the door, you’re probably better off!