I’ve never had to make the decision whether to stay in a relationship because I wasn’t sure whether my partner and I were compatible enough. What must that thought process be like? If there isn’t a glaring reason to strike out on your own — physical abuse, substance abuse, infidelity — I think the choice of going back to the single life would be much more difficult. There’s a feeling of security when you’re with someone you know so well. Especially if you’ve been with someone for a long period of time, you tend to be intertwined with that person in innumerable ways.
Even if you’ve been together for a shorter period of time, questions might arise in your mind, causing you to wonder if this person is the one you should continue spending your life with. What makes the decision harder, though, is when there are so many more good things that you like about your partner than things you wish you could change about him (we all know what happens when you have expectations of changing someone). And there’s always going to be something that you don’t like about the person you’re with, right? If you give up a relationship with someone because you don’t like certain things about them, who’s to say you won’t find personality traits that are just as undesirable in the next person you’re with?
If you really like someone, it’s tough to ask yourself: “When do the things I like about this person outweigh the things I don’t like?” And if the good times are worth fighting for, how much of the bad things are you willing to look past? Or will those bad times get easier to handle as time goes by, once you learn what to expect from the other person?
Some people like to have a little bit of volatility in their relationship. A friend of mine recently went through a mutual breakup with her long-term, on-again/off-again boyfriend. They’ve always gotten along together really well, talking things through calmly and rationally whenever there was a disagreement. But one of the things my friend mentioned as a factor in the breakup was “a lack of passion.” Not rip-your-clothes-off passion, but the fact that they got along so well, the relationship was almost too effortless. There wasn’t enough happening to stir things up.
[Read the rest of this post at BlogHer]