There’s no doubt that you love each other… or at least you think you do. But the drama can sometimes be too much. Just when you are sure the relationship is over, one of you reaches back out. Your heartache disappears, and you feel relieved. You may even feel euphoric for reuniting. But then the drama starts all over again.
If you’ve been on this roller coaster enough times that you are seriously considering getting off, reflect on what brought you to this point. And ask yourself, “What am I really looking for?” Some traits or elements you might want to see in your partner and in your relationship are:
Passion: Passionate emotions drive many relationships. This can lead to euphoric feelings, but it can also lead to great tension and unhappiness. If you spend a lot of time feeling the latter, you need to ask yourself whether you want that kind of passion in your life. If the negative emotions come primarily from your partner or from the kind of connection you have, consider whether you might be better off without the relationship (sad as you might be for a while). If they reside mostly in you, then you may want to consider getting therapy to help manage your emotions better and work through your underlying struggles.
Responsible: If you are considering a long-term relationship, life will go more smoothly with someone who is responsible. Those who are irresponsible are more likely to have problems maintaining healthy relationships, managing their finances, or being successful in their job. They are also often not effective at managing their emotions or communicating about difficult topics in constructive and healthy ways. Consider whether you see signs of this in your partner now and whether are you willing to accept a future with these kinds of issues.
Reliable support: Life can be hard. At those times, it is incredibly important to feel that you can rely on your partner for support. Otherwise, you will likely feel emotionally alone on life’s journey.
Shared values and interests: The intensity of your attraction to each other may keep you drawn to your partner, but you need to ask yourself whether there is more to your connection. Consider whether you have interests or values that you can share for a lifetime.
If reviewing these kinds of issues convinces you that you are no longer willing to endure the drama, then it’s time to do things differently. Relationships that have many positives might be worth saving, and couples therapy can be an effective way to make important changes. But if you decide it’s time to end your relationship, then consider making a plan to end the relationship. Think about different ways that you can help yourself through the painful process of letting go, such as:
- Setting boundaries, like no communication after the break-up
- Talking with supportive friends or family about your situation
- Planning time with friends right after you end the relationship
- Becoming more involved in activities or interests to help give you a positive focus rather than sinking into your pain.
Think about your relationship and decide where it falls between being basically healthy and being your own personal hell. Ask yourself whether you are like a moth drawn to the light of a dangerous flame. If you are, you risk getting seriously burned – or maybe you have already been burned, but keep going back anyway. Painful as it might be to do, it’s probably time to follow your mind rather than your heart. Make a commitment to yourself to end the drama, doing whatever it takes to create the life you want.