Our love lives are full of uncertainties. If we’re single we wish we were in a couple, and if we’re in a couple we’re wondering whether we’re with the right person. But do these feelings indicate a real desire for change? How do we know if we should try to make our relationship better, or walk away?
Questions to ask yourself
- If you are in a couple, are you happy with the situation? Do you feel it was your choice?
- Do you listen to your partner? Does your partner listen to you?
- Do you look forward to going home to your partner? Do you make plans for the future together?
- Do you think you make a good couple? Do you like going out and meeting new people as a couple?
Analysis and advice
‘When we question our relationship, our feelings and our partner’s feelings, we are really questioning our own identity,’ explains couples therapist Robert Neuburger. ‘We’re asking, “How does the other person see me? What makes them love me?”’ You’re not going to find answers to all these questions, but you can look at the problems and try to identify the cause.
Talk about it
Once the real problems have been identified, you can start to work out your responsibility for them and focus on ways you can improve things. Once you have figured this out, broach it with your partner. To avoid the discussion becoming a settling of scores, you should both suggest ways you might be prepared to change. ‘In cases where a couple are finding it hard to make a decision, and communication is breaking down,’ adds Neuburger, ‘you might find it helpful to talk to someone impartial – a relationship counsellor is probably ideal – before deciding whether to split up.’
Sarah Abell is an author, speaker and relationships coach. Find out more at nakedhedgehogs.co.uk. To buy her LifeLabs Practical Wisdom online course How to Save Your Relationship, please click here. You can try a free 3-day taster trial first too.