Relationships. Love them, hate them. They make life so exciting and simultaneously require so much work. Last post I looked at three signs that it may be time to leave your relationship in order to make room for one that is a better fit, that is more intentional and has more staying power.
Today, here are three signs that it’s not time to throw in the towel just yet, that it may still be worth it to stay.
1. The Thrill is Gone
Ok, that doesn’t quite read like a reason to stay. But bear with me. No matter how passionate, how exciting, how perfectly matched you both are, at some point, your relationship is going to slow down and get….comfortable. Comfortable can be good and comfortable can be agony.
Every relationship is going to require work to keep things interesting, exciting and fresh. If you both still tick all the important boxes for each other, it may be that you just need to put a little effort into the thinking up new and creative ways to spend time together, to grow as a couple and to keep things interesting.
Here are some ideas:
Mail a letter to them telling them your favorite memory, date, experience
Try to cook one new meal a week, branching out from your normal routine
Plan a game night, either as a couple or perhaps with some friends
Make a date to go visit that museum, art studio, flea market or restaurant that you’ve been talking about
2. They’re Your Best Friend
Friendship is the foundation to a successful romantic relationship. Sex is great, passion is important, and romance nice but those alone won’t get you through 60 years with this person. Neither will that help you weather the storms of career changes, rebellious kids, a fluctuating economy, and more loads of laundry then you care to imagine.
Do you have fun with them?
Do you both keep each other laughing?
Are they the first one you turn to at the end of a rough day?
Do they get you better than you get yourself sometimes?
Don’t take this for granted. And don’t let it go too easily. You’d be surprised how difficult that is to find.
3. You’re more with them than without them
Think back to who you were as a person and where you were at in your life/career before this other person came into your life. Now look at where you are today.
Have you taken risks you might have otherwise avoided?
Have they encouraged your pursuits, challenged you to push yourself and generally supported you going after your dreams?
Has being in relationship with this person helped you see those areas where you need to improve (selfish, lazy, talk too much, judgmental)?
Maybe they’ve helped you become more compassionate, outward thinking or open-minded, given you an appreciation for a completely new issue or topic or helped you dream in ways you didn’t think were possible.
In other words, are you a better person today for having been with them than you were before you met them?
Equally important, are they better for having been with you?
If the answer is no, then it’s probably time to say good-bye. But if the answer is a resounding, surprising ’YES,’ then go write them a sweet card to remind them why they’re the best thing that’s ever happened to you.
Have you reached a point in a relationship where you had to decide to stay or go, and you stayed? What kept you?