The truth is, there are no hard and fast rules about compatibility, and whether you should stay or go. Unless, of course, you’re in an abusive relationship—In which case, there is NEVER a reason to stay if you are being physically or emotionally abused. But what if you’re experiencing challenges in your relationship and are still unsure if you should wade into the deeper levels of commitment with him, or leave the relationship?
What it really comes down to is thinking about, “what do you really want” — in life and in a life-long partnership?
Commitment, and taking your relationship to the next level—whatever level may be—can be a beautiful thing. But will it be a fulfilling relationship for you?
Only youcan answer that question.
Now is a better time than ever, to be completely honest with yourself about whether this is the right relationship for you. It will be way more painful to start thinking about these questions once you’re sharing a mortgage and three kids.
Why does being honest about whether he’s right for you matter? It matters because, ultimately, your life and relationship will suffer if the relationship isn’t a good long-term fit for you.
So consider these questions when you’re trying to decide if you should stay or leave. They are in no particular order.
I encourage you to write about each of them in your journal, and be both honest and present to what truly matters to you.
- Is he available to commit to a relationship with me?
- Do I love him for who he is right now, who he is today?
- Does he blame his ex, kids, other people, or circumstances for his life situation?
- Is this what I really want?
- Would I want to spend the rest of my life with this man (and his kids and ex) exactly as they are?
- Am I afraid to be alone?
- Does he talk too much (especially about himself) and tend to monopolize the conversation?
- Does he appear to be poor listener?
- Do I find myself wanting to “help” or rescue this divorced or divorcing man because I see his potential?
- Is he emotionally distant?
- What kind of effort does he make to really connect?
- Does he walk his talk? Does what he says about himself appear to match reality?
- What am I most attracted to about him?
- Do I find myself focusing on one important quality (sex, fun, humor, money, etc), while ignoring unmet relationship relationship requirements?
- Do we share values?
- Is he pessimistic or negative about things that matter to me?
- Does he appear to still be pining for his ex or another past relationship?
- What do this man and I have in common?
- What are the glaring differences between me and my partner?
- Am I avoiding looking at the differences, because of the important things that we have in common?
- Does he appear to accept feedback, take responsibility, and be willing to self-examine?
- Is he honest in dealing with people, money, etc?
- Does he appear to lack integrity?
- Am I trying to change this man to fit what I want, instead of accepting him for who he is?
- Does it feel like I’m on an emotional roller coaster, and that there is regular and recurring emotional drama in this relationship?
- Does this man tend to react to frustration with anger, rage and/or blame?
- Does he try to control everything (including me)?
- Would I want this man to raise my child?
- Is this man looking to me to make his life better (especially if his life is particularly problematic?)
- How is his attitude?
- Does he appear to be overly judgmental toward himself or other people?
- Does he have an active addition (or addictive disposition)?
- If he has an addiction or addictive disposition, does he rationalize it as “not a problem”?
- Can I depend on this man to keep agreements?
- Does this man tend to be immature, impulsive, and/or irresponsible?
- Would I want my child to be exactly like my partner?
(Questions adapted with permission from the Relationship Coaching Institute)
What comes up for you when you are considering the questions above? Based on your answers to the questions above, what does your intuition say about whether you should stay or go?
Deciding to stay in, or leave a relationship is a very personal decision and, in my opinion, no friend, counselor, or coach should tell you what you should do.
Coaches and therapists can help you process, offer tools, and hold the space for you to arrive at a decision.
But only you can determine this important resolution.
You’re the best judge of what matters to you: in your life and in your relationships.