According to the American Psychological Association, “40 to 50 percent of married couples in the United States divorce.” In an age that values throwing things away instead of fixing them, are we doing this to our relationships too?
The numbers certainly seem to say so as according to a piece published on Huffington Post’s site, “More than 200 times the number of couples divorce today than a century ago, despite there being fewer couples marrying.”
So what does this say about our society? In my humble opinion, this simply means that our fickleness has robbed us of our ability to appreciate our relationships.
Everything is too fast paced nowadays, even our thoughts. We need to calm down, slow down and really take time to think about what we want from our romantic relationships, and whether they are worth keeping if things get bad.
How can you tell if you should stay in your relationship?
Every relationship is different, every partner is different, everybody’s experiences are different. However, if you do not know where to start, here are 10 general signs that may indicate staying is a good idea. Keep these pointers in mind when you hunker down to weigh in the pros and cons of keeping the relationship.
#1 You have invested a lot. Investing in your relationship is a natural part of being in one. It could be time, money, tears and anything else. For example, if you were in a long distance relationship with your partner, and you finally figured out how to physically be together, then you certainly need to give your current relationship a chance. There is no way you did all that fighting and sacrificing for nothing.
Another example is having financial investments together, not just in the relationship, but in other aspects of life such as assets and businesses. Many long term couples buy property together and the same can be said of a husband-wife sort of business team. The more you have invested, the harder you should think about walking away.
#2 You’ve been together for a while. If this relationship has been a long term one, you may want to suck it up and power through. All the time and energy that you have put into making it work thus far is not to be scoffed at. In this situation, you have to think about your partner as well. There is nothing worse than dedicating love, time and effort into something, and then having the one you care about throw it all away.
#3 You have commitments. You should seriously consider staying if you and your partner have already built a life together and share multiple responsibilities. An example is kids. Unlike pieces of furniture that can be easily discarded or divided, kids are a whole different story. If you have kids together, then the pull to stay together should be much stronger.
Countless researchers and behaviorists have attested to the fact that children need a stable and loving household to flourish. Other commitments like pets and financial responsibilities should also be considered.
#4 You’re for more than just to fend off loneliness. If you are with your partner simply because you fear being alone, then it is not a good sign. However, if the reasons you are together extend beyond mere loneliness, then it is a sign that you should stay.
Being with someone is more than just filling a void and depending on another person to make you feel whole. It encompasses various levels of emotional and physical aspects and if you can confidently list down the myriad positive reasons you are with your partner, then keeping the relationship alive is certainly important. [Read: 5 ways to feel more secure in your relationship]
#5 You uplift each other. You are probably pondering whether to stay or go because you are going through a difficult time with your partner. Before making that decision, look back on all the times you spent together, and determine whether you lift each other up more than bring each other down. If negativity pervades every aspect of your relationship and support is lacking, you can pack up right now.
On the other hand, if you find that you bring out the best in each other despite all the troubles and bickering, you can chalk it up as a sign that you should keep the relationship going. Remember that being with someone is not always rainbows and butterflies. There will be ugly times in the mix, but if the rainbows and butterflies outshine the darkness, then you have a good thing going.
#6 You can be yourself. The fact that you can be yourself when you are around your partner should be enough of an indication that you should stay together. We tend to hide who we truly are in everyday life. It could be at work, at school, at the supermarket, at parties or anywhere else in public. It is apparent in the way we dress, think, converse and behave.
Whether it is leading others to believe that you make more money than you really do by driving a nice car, or letting others think that you are smarter than you really are by voicing meaningless opinions, we are all guilty of projecting somewhat of a farce around others. However, if you can completely let down your guard and still be loved and accepted by your partner, then it is a sign that you should keep the relationship alive.
#7 You still laugh together. Beloved American essayist and biographer Agnes Repplier once said, “We cannot really love anyone with whom we never laugh.” If you can still laugh and have fun with your partner after years together, then you know that the relationship is worth keeping.
Nothing is better than being able to share light hearted moments with the person you care about. If the positivity is apparent then you should be thankful for it and forge through with the relationship, despite all the hardships that you have to endure as a couple.
#8 You can’t imagine life without your partner. To be honest, I have thought about leaving my partner of six years on several occasions. These thoughts cropped up during particularly dire and uneasy periods involving negative emotions like distrust, paranoia, dissatisfaction, irritation and so on. However, these emotions are always quashed every time I imagine my life without him. In spite of the sporadic difficulties that come up, I compare what my life was like prior to meeting him and what it is like now.
I can honestly say that even though we have our differences and engage in the occasional fight, life is so much better with him around. Nothing can overshadow the laughter, good times, joy and love that we share. If you feel the same way about your partner, then you know that your relationship is worth fighting for.
#9 There is honesty and trust in your relationship. Honesty and trust are two very important values in relationships. Without them, your relationship will fail, and both parties will end up drowning in misery. If both of you think that trust and honesty are very important to the health of your partnership, then you should definitely keep going.
Relationships are a two way street, so if only one party values honesty and trust, it will not work out no matter how much you want to keep going.
#10 There’s still some chemistry between you. If you still lust after your sweetheart, then you know that it is a good sign. Not many couples are able to keep the flames of passion going after spending a significant period of time together but if you two are able to, then why not give the relationship another go? Maybe all you need is a * romp in the hay to make you appreciate just how wonderful things are.