Do you have what it takes to be in a committed relationship or are you always finding ways to break up? Here’s why and how to figure out if you should stick it through.
Be honest, there are times when a relationship reaches a point where either or both of you feel you simply cannot go on. Enough is enough, you reckon. The triggers can be anything – an argument in the supermarket, a lack of affection, not enough communication, trust issues, commitment phobias … the list is endless. It’s in these darkest moments that you need to take a step back, take stock and decide whether you really want to be in it for the long haul or whether it’s time to move on. Only you can decide if you want to save your relationship, and it all comes down to two simple questions: do you love him and does he make you happy? If your answer is yes and you’ve got your whole heart and soul invested, it is worth taking the steps to rescue your relationship and pull it from the rocks. Here’s how to do it:
1. Acknowledge why you are in the bad place. Often when you ask someone why they broke up with a person years ago, they’ll say, “it just didn’t work out ”, or “we grew apart”. Very seldom will you actually hear the real reason for the breakup and it’s not necessarily because the person won’t share, but rather because they do not know. In breakups, couples rarely acknowledge what the true problem was. So, in your relationship, it is important that you both know what the root of your conflicts are so that you have a clear idea of what is going on, where it all came from and why.
2. Be rational and reasonable. Let’s face it, there’s nothing rational about emotions – they can obliterate all logic and render us completely useless. Although it can be very challenging, it is essential that you make a real effort to stay calm and think (and speak) rationally. Your partner may be completely uncooperative but you still need to be patient and hear everything he has to say before you speak your side. Make sure you do not say things that you will regret later.
3. Distance is not necessarily a bad idea. If you can’t be rational and you notice that the two of you are getting nowhere in trying to communicate, take some time apart. It may be hard for you but it really would be doing your relationship good. We tend to get overly emotional when we’re having problems with our partners and often feel that we need to fix things right away, causing undue pressure. Time apart gives you both the space to think on your own and to set your emotions and thoughts in order.
4. Agree to disagree. This is a valuable skill to master in relationships and in life in general. Make an agreement with your partner that being two different and unique individuals means that you will at times have contradicting viewpoints. Respect and embrace your differences, don’t fight them.
5. Work together as a team. Saving a relationship and maintaining it requires effort from both of you, not just one or the other. If your partner shows no interest or doesn’t put in any effort in making your relationship work, you’ve got no foundation to build on and you’re better off without him.
6. Patience is key. Don’t panic or go into overdrive mode. Relationships are fragile at the best of times and difficult times naturally put more strain on things. Don’t be afraid or depressed if things don’t go at the pace you expected. You will only get real results from time, patience and effort. If you truly want this to work out, it will be worth the wait.
Nothing worth having in life is easy. The strongest and most successful relationships have endured difficult times and the secret to what has led couples to achieve milestones such as silver or gold wedding anniversaries is nothing new. It all boils down to open communication, respect and as author Stephen Covey so eloquently puts it, “the most important ingredient we put into any relationship is not what we say or what we do, but what we are.”