Should I Stay or Should I Go? Part I

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Every relationship is going to reach a crossroads, some on the second date, others after a few months or years.

Is this a relationship to continue pouring into, to keep pursuing and working at, or is it time to bid adieu, change the Facebook status and move on?

Here are three signs that it may be time to go. Next post, I’ll give you three reasons it might be worth it to stay.

1. Different expectations

You want to get married. They call marriage the ball and chain. Or they’re just don’t see the importance, which is code for never going to happen. You want a house full of kids, or at least a couple that can take care of you in your old age. They see children as a plague on their lifestyle.

Speaking of lifestyle, you have different ideas about how to spend money (charity vs. new toys, traveling vs staying put, etc), what is fun on a Friday night (club with loud music vs dinner party at home) and how your futures will play out. Your expectations on these major issues aren’t matching up. Rather than stick around trying to convince them to change, or compromising on what is important to you, it’s time to move on.

2. No Forward Movement

You’re having the same conversations you did 6 months ago, a year ago, or even two years ago, about where this relationship is (not) going.

Relationships should move in a forward motion.

The longer you’re together the more you see and experience things about that other person that should either be making a stronger case for spending forever together or making it clear that it’s time to break up. Personally, you should each be growing, being stretched and pushed forward by a relationship that makes you a better person.

3. Pieces of You

Can you be all of you? ALL of you. Yes, even the crazy you (we all have it). If you’ve been dating for a total of 4 weeks, this one isn’t for you, as you’ll overwhelm the other person if you do a tell-all session.

If you’ve been together for months, even years, it’s time to honestly ask yourself: can I be all of me, the independent, the outspoken, the moody, the quiet, the confident, the unsure, the dreamer, the neurotic, the sweatpants/no make-up and the all glammed up?

There were so many guys I would try to date where I felt like I could only express a part of me. As long as I kept certain aspects of my personality, my quirks, and my opinions locked up, we would have been ok. It wasn’t malicious on their part. It was just clear that all of me would not have fit with all of them.

In order for a relationship to have hope for long-term success, we have to know that we can safely express the whole of who we are to that other person. Otherwise, you’ll wake up one day and realize you’ve been suffocating yourself for so long that you’ll go crashing out the front door in an effort to breathe.

Breaking up can be painful, messy and plain miserable. Especially if your lives have become quite intertwined and the next viable relationship seems a thousand light years away.

But you can do it.

You can make the hard choice now in order for the long-term:           A relationship that is both meaningful and intentional.

What are some other signs in a relationship that it’s time to go?

Photo via flickr user greekadman