Dr Ricky Arenson

Deciding whether to stay together or break up is a massive life decision fraught with emotion and risk. What if you end up lonely and alone? But maybe you deserve better? Here are some easy considerations to help you with a difficult decision.

  1. There is no “I” in “TEAM.

If your partner always talks about themselves and their own feelings to the exclusion of yours, you are probably dealing with a narcissist and may be better off on your own. At least if you spend time with yourself, you’ll be with someone who cares about your feelings! If all you ever hear is “I,I, me” from your partner, tell them to pick an individual sport and fly solo.

  1. You don’t feel valued.

If your partner makes you feel unappreciated, it may be time to show them the door. You should feel loved, appreciated, and your relationship should make you feel good about yourself. Otherwise, why are you bothering?

  1. You invest but don’t get much return.

If you feel like you keep giving without receiving much in return, then it may be time to find an investment that pays higher dividends. Ask yourself what you are looking for in a relationship. Are you getting what you want, or is the price too high?

  1. Your relationship doesn’t make you happy.

Ultimately, we enter the game of love to find fulfillment and existential happiness, and maybe a bit of good sex as well. If you’re not having fun, and if thinking of your partner fills you with a heavy heart, then it may be time to switch them off and switch on Netflix instead. It’s more enjoyable and the subscription is much cheaper.

  1. Your partner makes you feel that you are always to blame.

Abuse can be subtle. If your partner makes you feel guilty about all the problems in your relationship, that’s an issue. A healthy relationship brings problems to the negotiating table and both partners take responsibility. Sharing is caring.

  1. Your relationship makes you feel worthless.

A loving relationship should provide strength, and build confidence and security. If you feel belittled privately or publicly, then that is the opposite of what you want. Love should inspire us and make us feel fantastic about ourselves. Otherwise, why not eat a giant box of chocolates? It will make you feel bad about yourself, but it tastes better than a bitter relationship.

  1. The sex is great, but you have nothing to say to each other.

In principle, this sounds like a dream relationship. Unfortunately, in most cases, you are going to end up spending more time conversing than having sex, so best to choose someone whose company you enjoy. Many studies show that being best friends is the most important factor in a successful marriage.