Things have been going well for the two of you for quite some time. There may have even been a point when you thought he or she was the one you were going to spend the rest of your life with.
But then, you hit rocky waters.
You started to question whether he or she is the person you ought to be with. You started to wonder whether the love the two of you shared still exists or whether the relationship has peaked and is now on a steady decline.
Your relationship may have once been a beautiful thing, but somewhere along the way you two managed to lose each other. You managed to create distance, and you're now uncertain of whether or not that gap can ever be closed.
One of the hardest decisions we can make is deciding when it’s time to call it quits and move on with our lives. It's not a decision that ought to be taken lightly, as more than one potentially beautiful relationship has been ruined by someone having jumped the gun prematurely.
So when deciding whether or not to break things off, you need to take a step back, clear your head and, most importantly, ask yourself these three questions.
This is the most obvious question, yet one that's rarely thought about with sufficient due diligence.
Breakups are very emotional events -- not just the breakup itself, but all that leads up to it. Sure, sometimes breakups are spur of the moment decisions that happen after we learn information we aren’t willing to deal with or forgive, and we call it quits.
But a lot of the time, breakups happen over weeks, if not months. You feel uncertain about the decision that needs to be made, and that uncertainty eats away at you over time, filling you with a roller coaster of emotions. And you become so overwhelmed with emotions that you allow them to decide your fate.
That is the biggest mistake you can make. Emotions are not meant to make our decisions for us. They may guide us toward making the decision that needs to be made, but in the end, they’re really only good for letting us know when things are wrong or right.
And simply knowing you feel a certain way isn’t enough to make an educated decision. It’s not enough to know you feel hurt, betrayed or simply bored. You need to know why you feel that way.
So figure that out first.
2. Are the issues resolvable?
Once you get down to the true issues behind all those emotions flooding your system, you need to figure out what needs to be done to resolve the issues -- or if the issues are even resolvable at all.
Can you fix them? Or can you only get your life back on the right track by breaking things off and starting from scratch?
I know that calling it quits is the quickest way out. It's guaranteed to remove all that weight from your shoulders and make you feel like you’re standing on your own two feet again. But is it the best solution?
Relationships are never easy. People don’t always mesh well with others, regardless of how much love there is between them.
People rub people the wrong way all the time, and it doesn't usually happen on purpose. The more time two people spend getting to know each other, the closer they become and the more potential for friction there is.
Usually, the best answer is not to run for the hills but to come to an amicable solution.
Of course, not all issues are resolvable. Sometimes the only way to move on with your life is actually to move on with your life.
Sometimes the people we love aren’t willing to work with us, to compromise, to try and make things work. And sometimes we aren’t willing to make the compromises we know we'd need to make.
Figure out if there is a way to keep the love alive, and if there is, then do so. If not, then it may be time to call it quits.
3. Do you love this person?
I’m not asking you whether you feel you love this person; I’m asking you if you know for a fact that you love this person.
Again, our emotions do more harm than good because we don’t simply experience emotions and call it a day. Instead, we interpret those emotions, and often we interpret them incorrectly.
We put too much emphasis on them. We define love itself by the way someone makes us feel.
But are feelings really all love means to you? Is that the purest, most beautiful essence in the universe that you could imagine?
Love goes far beyond chemical reactions, far beyond the warm fuzziness we feel in the pit of our stomachs. It most greatly relies on what a person means to you and your life.
How much has this person influenced you? Has he or she influenced you in a positive manner, changing your life for the better and making you into the person that you are today?
If he or she has played a large part in helping you become who you are, then you do have love for that person. Because without him or her, you wouldn’t be you.
Now, is this enough to keep this person a part of your life? I don’t know. That’s for you to decide. Sometimes the parts that people play in shaping us as individuals come to an end, and it’s time to move on to keep on growing.