Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Time to Sob: How Do You Know When It's Time to End a Romantic Relationship?

I have to start to with this: Ever heard Mary-Chapin Carpentar's song "Quittin' Time?" Well, if you haven't, YouTube it. You won't regret it. (And I won't digress any further by telling you that she was one of the best concerts I've ever been to).

Now, folks, let's get to the show. Knowing when to call it quits in love is difficult – and it can feel downright impossible. The truth is, however, that sometimes men and women make it more difficult and confusing than it needs to be. Understand that over-thinking anything can make a decision more complex. In this way, you can actually run interference in your own life. It’s a good rule of thumb to remind yourself that you should never get in your OWN way in making a decision. You should simply use your judgment and make the best decision possible.

One of the best ways to make sense of the past and learn from it is to detect patterns. If you’re unhappy in your relationship, how long have you been unhappy? Let’s go a step further and look at what makes you unhappy to see if there’s a pattern. First, are the issues behavioral (he comes home too late, disrespects you in public, etc.) or are the issues more reflective of personality traits (she lies to you, is overly dependent, etc.)?

Determine if there is a consistent pattern that is making you unhappy, and then determine whether the main problem is a behavior or personality factor. There is no time limit I can tell you that is healthy – no set measure that says give him “3 months to change or else!” However, the more conscious you are of the patterns - and whether they reflect behavioral or personality issues – the better you will be able to make a decision based on sound judgment. Sometimes when we can articulate the problem more clearly, we can have a better idea about how to proceed in the future. Most importantly, we can have a better sense of whether we see the problem remaining or changing.

In the end, remember that we have only one life to live that we know about. My hope is that you live this one as happily and fully as possible, and that you find a loving relationship that lasts.

PLUS: Dr. Seth’s new book, Dr. Seth’s Love Prescription: Find the Love You Deserve, is about how to stop repeating bad patterns in your relationships. Dr. Seth shows you how to stop repeating these patterns: falling for people who are emotionally unavailable, unfaithful,or wounded souls who have tons of potential but are emotionally broken in some way. With an introduction by a # 1 New York Times Bestselling author, Dr. Seth's Love Prescription is available in bookstores or at Amazon.com.

No comments: