Long-Term Relationships: Break Up or Hold On?

It is a rather difficult place to be when you have been in a relationship for a long time and are not sure what you want out of life just yet. I understand the feeling of being unsure about the next step. When it comes time to decide, make sure you know for certain. I know many people are okay with on-again/off-again relationships, but for a long-term, committed relationship, that doesn’t fly. If you end it, end it. There is no going back and forth. If you want to end a relationship with somebody, you better expect them to move on, so don’t go getting all upset that he or she didn’t wait for you to come back. If this is what you are contemplating, there is one of two reasons: you’re either selfish, and therefore not meant to be in this particular relationship, or you don’t actually want to break up, which means it is not the relationship that is the problem – it is something else in your life that is bothering you. To figure out why you are having problems and eventually reach your ultimatum about the relationship, make sure you do the following:

  1. First of all, make sure you are doing things to better yourself. Do not put anyone else before yourself. You only have one life, so make sure to live it happily. For example, I’m studying in Germany for half a year. Yes, this will put much tension on my relationship, but I have worked hard to go and I decided to put myself first. If it’s a good relationship, your beau will back your decisions and tell you to go for your dreams.
  2. Secondly, think about why you are in the relationship in the first place. Reflect. How did this relationship come about? What have you two gone through in the past few years? Think about what this person means to you. Is s/he just somebody you keep around for company? Does it feel like you two are just friends or good roommates? Think about the relationship and how it makes you feel. If you are overall unhappy, you need to talk with him/her to figure out where the problems lie.
  3. Just remember that you cannot “fix” this person. Never expect anyone to change. If your problem is that your babe is a little too this or that, you need to ask yourself if you can live with that forever. Can you personally handle it? And when you’re thinking about this, remember that nobody in this world is perfect. Yes, there may be someone who is better for you than the person you are currently with, but there is still going to be something that bothers you about this person that will not change. It comes down to accepting him/her as is or letting go and hoping it works out with someone new (remember, if you let go, s/he is gone and you have to remember the fact that there is no guarantee of you two ever being together again).
  4. Most importantly, do you love this person? Love is impossible to describe, but when you are really deeply in love, you know it because you care about this person, not just about the romance or the company s/he gives you. It stems much farther than that. Can your love handle the obstacles that life will throw at you?

If you want to stay in the relationship to make your partner happy, you’ve had a really bumpy road with this person, you cannot handle his/her flaws or you do not actually love him/her for who they are, then maybe it’s time to end it. On the other hand, if you are staying with this person because s/he makes you happy, you have pushed through obstacles together, had an overall happy relationship with this person, accept his/her flaws and you are honestly deeply in love with him/her, then you can probably make it work. Nobody can actually tell you what to do about your relationship because you and your partner are the only ones that are in it and can fully understand it. Listen to your family and friends’ advice, but remember it all comes down to what YOU want out of life.

Now if you have decided to make it work, figure out why you were questioning the relationship in the first place. Think about what your life looks like right now and what his/her life looks like. If you have a lot happening in your life or your partner has a lot going on, then maybe your problem is that you are simply stressed! In this case, focus on the real problems. If it’s school, focus on school; if it’s a problem at work, try to solve that particular problem. There are times when committed relationships are not the center of your life. If you are so stressed that you have considered ending your relationship, then you need to take a step back and de-stress. Focus on your issues, resolve them and then you can focus on your relationship again. If you are both deeply committed to each other and both love each other, then you should both understand that other things in life have to be the focus sometimes and you will get through the hard times. Remember that during these hard times, you and your partner can lean on each other and lift each other up. Do not take out your frustration on your partner and try to keep a clear head, so you can once again feel that love that brought you two together since the very beginning of your long-term relationship.

Mikayla is a student at Temple University in Philadelphia studying strategic communications with a concentration in public relations, along with a double major in German and a language certificate in Spanish. She is currently studying at the University of Hamburg in Hamburg, Germany. She enjoys all genres of music, cooking and learning foreign languages,

1 Comment

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