Six ways to make sure your relationship is over (and that there's nothing left to salvage and/or learn)

Aug 28 / Rene Luisman
Where everything is awesome and exciting at the beginning of your relationship, there might come a moment when it no longer works. By ending the relationship in time, you prevent a lot of misery, drama or bitterness. But how do you know for sure there's nothing left to salvage or learn?
There could be plenty of reasons why it's time to leave a relationship. You or he has cheated, the sex between you just doesn't work, you're in love with someone else, your life is a drag, there's constant bickering and hassle or you just grew apart.
Whatever was between you before, it's gone. No magic, no attraction, and certainly no desire to grow old together. You would like to leave today, but something is holding you back. And often that is fear.
You are afraid to be alone
You are afraid that no one will ever love you again
You're afraid he's devastated
You are afraid of losing your mutual friends
You are afraid that you will lose your cat, dog or house
You're afraid of how your friends will react
You are afraid of making the wrong choice
Or you're afraid to start the conversation
And even though your gut says it's better to go, you stay.
What I regularly see in relationships between men is that what should actually be said is not spoken. Because it's hard to find the right words, because you don't want to hurt each other or because you've long since given up hope that things will get better. As a result, both of you are dissatisfied or unhappy. And you grow further and further apart until one of you steps out of the relationship.
No one can determine for you when the time has come to end your relationship. What helps is to step back and be realistic.
These six advices will help you:
1: See what is there and what is missing
Sometimes the desire to leave is fueled by the fear of missing out on a better option. Then realize that no one is perfect, in every relationship you have work to do together. Even the most handsome man has features that sooner or later will irritate you. Think back to when you fell in love with your current boyfriend or husband. There is a good chance that what you used to find so attractive, now frustrates you immensely. Despite everything that is missing in your relationship, can you also see what is there? Write it down and weigh it up against each other.
2: Take a critical look at your own part
Emotions cloud your vision. A quarrel becomes a real battle in your head, with your partner as a five-headed monster. And all you want at that moment is, in the least case, to make you right, and in the worst case that he suffers just as or perhaps worse than you. 
But take a critical look at your own part in the relationship. What do you do when the going gets tough? Do you walk away when things don't go your way? Possibly an old self-protection mechanism, but the mature you can do better. Is there anything you can still do that would have a beneficial effect on your dynamics? Think of the best version of yourself. How would you respond if you were reasonable, loving, strong, wise, and grateful?
3: Map out the different scenarios
Mapping out the consequences of the various actions you can take helps you to clear your mind. Describe for each action what your motivation is, what desire is behind it, what your fears are, what you have to lose and what there is to gain. Then weigh the different scenarios against each other. Which scenarios can you rule out, which need more research and which appeal to you?
4: Start the honest conversation
Stop feeling sorry for yourself or the other. Take back control of your relationship, show responsibility and start the conversation to see if there is a last chance that you can work it out together. Put everything honestly on the table and indicate what you would like to see differently. Also ask how your partner views this. Perhaps you're taking him by surprise and he needs a moment to formulate his point of view. Also discuss what the consequences are if nothing changes and whether this is what you both want.
5: Talk about it with others
Preferably someone you trust, but who does not belong to your mutual circle of friends. Because they will most likely remember this conversation, even if you have long since made up. And you don't want that. What you do want is for someone to listen to you objectively and to give you back what he or she hears without any emotional charge.
6: Take a leap in time
Imagine yourself a year later and looking back at this difficult moment. What do you wish you had done then? Go for it. Even if it is painful, confrontational or uncomfortable right now.
Remember, if you decide to go, that's totally okay. Trust your gut. And act like the man you want to be.

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