Is it time to break up?

March 4, 2000

We know dumping someone sucks – may not quite as badly as being the one who’s dumped – but it’s right up there. But like tax returns and pap smears it’s one of those things we hate doing but are life necessities. So if any of our list of cop-outs has a familiar ring, it might be time to reclaim your single status.Your partner doesn’t have to be a convicted murderer or be sleeping with you sister to be deemed Mr-Not-Quite-Right. In fact, he’s probably a really top guy who happens to be unable to meet your needs. No crime there. But playing the lame excuse game to avoid pulling the plug (he can’t live without me or I’m going to grow old and die alone and be found weeks later in an advanced state of decay or Who’ll get custody of the cat?) is a crime, one that sentences you to wasted months or years in relationship limbo. Stop making excuses and get on with your life!

Excuse #1: “It’s not over, it’s just a bad patch”.

Falling out of love is a slow, subtly creeping process, one that at various stages can easily be confused with any number of ordinary relationship lows such as complacency lagging libido, never-ending arguments, and boredom. When you’re living in a healthy, non-threatening situation it makes sense to do everything you to can to maintain a relationship that still holds the promise of love, passion, compatibility and security. But if your “low patch” has being going on for months and months, it’s time to get out.

Excuse # 2: “No one will never ask me out again – and even if they did, who wants to go through the horrors of dating again?!”

Even if you are perfectly hideous (which I am sure you are not!) there are sure to be plenty of equally vile creatures simply dying to make your acquaintance – the world just works that way. Even so, putting yourself back “on the market” can be a really terrifying prospect, especially if you’re lugging around a bruised ego, guilt, a sense of failure, or are broken hearted because you still love your ex but it just wasn’t working out. When you are going through this poxy stage just remind yourself that the fun and lovable babe your ex first met and fell in love with is still inside you, she’s just been emotionally bound and gagged. You’ll know when you’re ready to let her loose again. We owe it to ourselves to take risks and not realise at 90 that life is very short.

Excuse #3: “He’s not that bad.” Do you really want to spend the next 75 years with “not that bad”?

When was the last time you thought about what you’re getting from your current relationship? Do this: make an actual list. If the pro and con sides are relatively balanced may that’s good enough for you. Remember that no relationship is perfect and you can’t expect to get everything you need from one person. “He’s not that bad” is a also an excuse uttered by a terrifying number of women bearing the black eyes and fat lips of domestic violence. If you are being abused, verbally, emotionally or physically, bolt first and ask questions later. Understand this: when choosing our partners we never get more than we think we deserve.

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