Do I stay or do I go? How do you know if your relationship has a future?

Is it true that these days we give up very quickly?

“Before marriages lasted, now almost all end in divorce.” Surely you have heard a phrase like this at some point, or you yourself have wondered why today so many couples who planned a life together are breaking up. Those who marry hope not to be part of the group that “fails” and therefore have increased reading, courses and alternatives that promise any couple, to guarantee their union forever.

At the same time, Generation Xers and millennials have a bad reputation for “letting go” too quickly, being very hedonistic and seeking only pleasure, so when they feel the slightest drop of pain in a relationship, it’s is already that we should not continue, because it does not make people happy and so-called in these generations, the belief is that the couple is always there to make you happy.

Despite these prejudices against “the youth of today”, I meet in my practice many people and couples who come to therapy in search of a solution that allows them to rediscover their mutual love, to improve communication or to overcome the wounds of the past. They have reached a point in their relationship from which they do not know how to continue, however, the hope is to maintain the relationship and come out of the crisis stronger.

    Key Ideas for Knowing When to End a Relationship

    Knowing when it’s time to end a relationship is not so easy, there are not always clear indicators that “justify” a separation. You know as classic reasons for separation betrayal, violence, vices or constant fights and strong discussions that occur in the daily life of a couple. But what happens when none of these factors are present in your relationship, however, you feel bad, insecure, sad or fearful? Should you just stay with your partner and believe that everything has a solution?

    We cannot compare our parameters of being in a relationship with those of previous generations

    Marriage 50 years ago had another function in society that we relate to today, whether or not it was a marriage. Marriage itself has a historical trajectory that can in no way be linked to our human mental health needs as we know them today.

    ’60s Marriages Didn’t Last Because People Were “Healthier”, but because social oppression was stronger, marked by traditions and predetermined gender roles. What should a man do in his life, what should a woman do, everyone should have children, get married, start a family, etc.

      Today we enjoy more freedom and this is a step forward and an advantage for our psychological well-being.

      Currently, we are no longer a couple because it is a mandatory step in our course. You don’t have to be married or have children to be socially accepted. This is why we cannot compare our relationships with those of our parents or grandparents.

      However, having more freedom does not completely free us from relationship problems, but creates new questions and dilemmas. When you move away from outdated parameters, you have to build your own ideals and actively ask yourself how do you want to live as a couple, what does love mean to you? What sets a couple’s relationship apart by your own parameters? What are you ready to fight for and where are your limits?

      Then you should also ask your partner these questions, to clarify that in this story both are on the same path. It is important and ongoing work to establish one’s own parameters, to identify important beliefs and assumptions that may be outdated for the relationship or in turn need to be redefined.

        When can you continue despite the difficulties?

        The million dollar question is: How to know when something that upsets you in your relationship is a challenge to grow en conjunto y cuando te encuentra con decisive indicators of separation? It’s the art of differentiating opportunities from red lights that tell you “go away, there’s danger here”.

        There are couples who can definitely improve their situation by working on the relationship, getting to know each other better, taking more time as a couple, learning new forms of communication and intimacy and above all letting go of assumptions and implicit rules, opting for more dialogue and transparency

        The couple goes through different crisis situations throughout the relationship they test the presence of each piece: the first cohabitation, the arrival of children, the loss of employment, the physical or mental illness of one of the two, the agreements made on relations with the families of origin, the management of money, the sex life after honeymoon, etc.

        Differences and arguments are normal, your partner doesn’t always make you happy, and you certainly need a lot of willpower to endure the moments of pain. Being in a relationship means leading with an individual’s needs and it involves a constant dance of calibrating when it’s your turn, when it’s the other’s turn, how they get in the middle and how to make sure that both voices are heard. Overcoming these challenges leads to an even stronger relationship and deepens the union and commitment on both sides.

          Conditions that indicate growth opportunities exist

          Overcoming different challenges is a process that can make them better companions and it’s not the circumstances, but how they are resolved. before that it is useful to ask yourself:

          • Despite the differences, are there shared principles and do they agree on the most significant aspects for everyone? Shared values ​​are like a ship in a storm. A relationship based on shared core values ​​is contained despite the circumstances.
          • There is opportunity for dialogue and co-construction: Your partner really cares about what you have to say, even if they may not agree, but they respect you enough to listen to you and want to understand your point of view.
          • There are no taboo subjects: As long as something is communicated with respect and not as a complaint, you can talk about absolutely anything, including the possibility of a separation, of not feeling happy with the other (at this time), to feel attracted to otras personas, practically everything the couple needs to know, they can know without running the risk of being judged for it.
          • Your boundaries are respected: They don’t have to agree on everything, but points of disagreement must be respected, nothing can be resolved by mockery or contempt.

          The aspects mentioned can be summarized in two principles for nurturing healthy relationships:

          • Trust: I am convinced that you are doing what you are doing for good reasons, I know you have no intentions against me, I feel safe to share intimate issues with you because I know they are safe with you.
          • Respect: You recognize me as an adult, coherent person and you are interested in what I have to say, you listen to me, even if you do not always agree. Don’t make fun of me or disqualify me for anything I say or do.

          red flags

          There are relationships that last, even if they are really very toxic. They last because they give something to each party, but in the long run they do more damage than they bring, to either or both.

          In this sense, it is important to understand the dynamics in which a relationship operates: what patterns repeat themselves, what happens when the same fight is repeated over and over again and one or both parties feel that they going around in circles without reaching an agreement. What happens when you feel the need to solve a problem, which the other denies or does not see as such? What role does each party play in the relationship? These are aspects, not always easy to identify and which can be known and discussed in therapy.

          But apart from therapy, there are also key indicators; the so-called red flags that appear on the road as a signal of danger. Below you will find some red flags that I have repeatedly identified with queries in my practice:

          • When you realize that nothing is built together in your relationship, everything is already said, defined, predetermined by implicit rules like, for example, socially imposed beliefs and there is no flexibility, but rather fear change.
          • When your principles and beliefs and those of your partner, on significant aspects of life, completely contradict each other: honesty vs. loyalty, conservative vs. progressive, environmentalist vs. consumer etc.
          • When there is no real listening or interest from your partner in what you are thinking or feeling: your pain or fears are minimized or mocked.
          • When there is no trust and you feel that you have to give explanations and justifications all the time, when your partner suspects bad intentions in everything and does not recognize that he may be the one who can be mistaken.
          • When nothing changes, although they have talked about it several times. Supposedly, they recognize important aspects to change, but in reality everything is the same and you have the same discussions over and over again. When you feel like you’re going in circles and getting more and more confused.
          • When your partner does not take responsibility but tends to victimize himself, he makes excuses and changes his mind at his convenience in order to win the fight instead of understanding the common goal.


          In conclusion, a lot of romanticism must remain and reflection and dialogue must be added to quality couple relationships. Human beings do not only seek a partner for love. How we choose and be with someone else has a lot to do with intimate needs and childhood imprints.. When you don’t deal with your bosses, you can do a lot of harm to others, the same goes for your partner, whose past schemes you can’t deal with. The continuation of the relationship has to do with both working in the relationship and in themselves as individuals.

          When they manage to become accomplices and companions in individual stories, their relationship can be an opportunity for growth; because there are challenges you won’t face if you’re not in a relationship, and there are aspects of yourself that you’ll never know if you don’t want to work on your relationship. But that doesn’t mean you have to stay with someone no matter what, the quality of your daily relationships and conversations greatly defines your quality of life and your mental health.

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