So sorry to state the obvious but breakups suck, they are REALLY hard and for some people breaking up is so complicated that they just avoid it all together.
Unfortunately it is a side effect of dating and some times breaking up is totally necessary. I’ve said this so many times to friends and clients, and even experienced this in my own life: breaking up when you love someone is the ultimate challenge.
So I’m hoping to offer those of you out there who are in love but suspecting that you’re not in a great relationship some guidance and some reassurance that you’re doing the right thing. So here it tis my friends, 5 reasons why you should break up even when you’re in love.
1. YOUR PARTNER IS ABUSIVE
To some, this may seem like a clear-cut reason for breaking up. However, the abuse cycle can be incredibly difficult to escape. If you are experiencing any type of abuse be it verbal, physical, mental or sexual—then get out!
So often, abusers are very charming and they use this charm as a way to gain power and control back in the relationship and to help rectify all their wrongs. Do not be fooled—this is NOT a healthy love, this is damaging, confusing and crazy-inducing love. If this sounds familiar, love or not, this relationship needs to end.
2. YOU’RE COMPROMISING YOUR DEAL-BREAKERS
We all have deal-breakers when it comes to dating and relationships. But then there comes along someone so smokin’ hot, or so charming that they erase those deal-breakers right from our memory.
The thing is we have them for a reason, and if you haven’t outlined your deal-breakers then do it now! These are the qualities in a partner that are most important to you, and the beliefs and values that you want your partner to share.
If you don’t jive in this area and it was important enough to be one of your deal-breakers then I’m sorry to tell you that love will not change some core differences that you and your partner may have and this is, ah, well…a deal-breaker.
3. THERE ARE PROBLEMATIC PATTERNS
A pattern, by its very definition is something that repeats over and over. If your partner does something that you’ve wanted them to change and you’ve explained it, provided them some time and given them a few or more chances…yet the pattern resurfaces, then it’s likely this person will not be able to make the change you are requesting.
This is a really hard one when you are in love because these patterns aren’t always clear-cut. And when we’re in love its totally natural to want to offer up more and more forgiveness and chances and to see little bits of progress as a sign that things will be better. I get it…really!
So let me suggest this: if you see a problematic pattern then address it, see what he/she does with it. If they receive your gripe well and then make efforts to change (i.e. visible efforts to gain new info, insight and real changes), give them some time and see how it goes. Expect some missteps along the way. If they hear your gripe and then do some grand gesture or change overnight for a week or a month but you didn’t really see any effort, then consider the change superficial and not likely to stick.
Let me sum that up for ya….if you’ve confronted these problematic patterns yet they are seemingly here to stay, then it’s time to face the facts that despite being in love this isn’t the best relationship for you.
4. YOUR PARTNER IS INCONGRUENT
I’ve written about incongruence before and I refer to it as crazy-making. You can check out the post here. This is basically when the person you’re dating says one thing and then does another. Or does one thing and then says another. You get the idea.
If you’ve ever dated an incongruent partner, you will never forget it because they likely made you feel like you were losing your mind and you probably fluctuated between bliss and pissed.
Love is very blinding in a relationship like this because this type of partner either says the right things and does the wrong things or vice versa. But the point is that sometimes they are doing or saying the right thing and that is very confusing.
So, if you feel crazy in your relationship, stop and think about how congruent your partner is. If this is an issue, no matter how much you love this person, this is not a healthy relationship to be in.
5. YOUR PARTNER DOESN’T TAKE YOU INTO CONSIDERATION
So, this one really hurts. When someone you love doesn’t seem to really be all that thoughtful of you, it stings…and it stings badly. This issue can creep up on you and can occur in little doses over time, but will leave you feeling invisible, frustrated, hurt and/or unimportant to your partner.
When someone doesn’t take you into consideration, it can appear with little examples—like they don’t call/text you when they say they will; or, they don’t remember important things going on in your life; or, they don’t respect your time. Or it can be big things like they are considering a job in another town and aren’t factoring you into the decision.
Whatever the examples may be, being with someone who doesn’t take you or your perspective into consideration will typically not improve over time. We refer to this as their conscience. I wrote a post on how to tell if your partner has a well-functioning conscience here. So, add up both the little and the big expressions of consideration… if you are not happy with the pattern that emerges, then you may be in #3—so go ahead and try for change, but be sure that the pattern really changes in ways that you would like.