One of the most popular relationship advice products at The Relationship Gym is our ‘Should I Stay Or Should I Go?’ quiz. In the years since I wrote it I’ve been asked many times for my opinion around the correct time to leave a relationship. I’ve given this a lot of thought and study and here’s the best relationship advice I can give you.
There are only ever two things that can be wrong in a relationship. The first is poor communication and the second is poor compatibility. That keeps it nice and simple and in my mind simple is good. As a result a colleague and I put together a quiz to test the current level of fulfillment in your relationship. It expands all the areas contained in communication and compatibility. Give it a go and see what you think, it will let you know what kind of relationship advice you need. It’s also worth testing out some of your past relationships and working out whether they were better or worse than you current relationship.
Give your relationship a score out of ten for each category, thinking about your relationship over the long term and not just during a bad patch. This is a really important point. Even in a healthy relationship there will be times when some people feel like they couldn’t tolerate another moment of their spouse’s company. My Gran gave me a great piece of relationship advice when she said ‘sometimes it’s better to take a walk than walk out on the relationship’.
The total will give you a score out of 100 and indicate the health of your relationship – is it worth resuscitating or is it time to switch off the life support? This exercise will identify the weaknesses in your relationship and allow you to make a realistic assessment of whether you’re both willing to work on those weak areas to push your score up. Personally, my time and energy is precious and I would only put them into a relationship where I could expect at least 80% happiness in the long run. A score of 100% is totally unrealistic and if that’s what you want then your perfectionism is probably ruining your life. What are you prepared to shoot for?
The version on our website is much prettier and will do the maths for you. Just in case your work web browser won’t let you have any fun I’ve written it here too.
- Sexual fulfillment.
- Fun – Sense of humour, shared interests, how much do you laugh together?
- Shared values – Do you have a similar philosophy of life and moral code?
- Common goals – Are you heading in the same direction? Do you want the same things or is there room for compromise?
- Social life – Friends and family. How happy are you with the level and quality of interaction?
- Conflict resolution – How well do you both do? Do you respect each other’s boundaries? Are you able to ask for what you need?
- Communication – Do you know what’s going on in each other’s life and are you both interested? How would you both do on a “Mr & Mrs” style quiz?
- Chores – How happy are you both with the way chores are shared?
- Emotional support – How supportive is your partner especially in times of stress and illness?
- Career support – how supportive is your partner of your career or other aspirations?
I’ve found this test to be really useful and I would love to hear your feedback about it. Remember – you can always post a comment at the end of this newsletter. If you’ve got any relationship advice you can pass on please feel free.
Should you stay or go?
If you’re seriously thinking about leaving your partner I’d ask you to at least take a look at this video where I talk about how not to make the classic mistake so many make. Filling out a quick quiz as a way of determining your future is just not big or clever.
More Stay Or Go Tips.
When it comes to leaving any relationship that was special to you it’s important to be sure that you’ve done all you can to save it. Relationships are places that force us to grow and that’s not always comfortable.
Have a ‘Break-up Agreement’. Between you pick a space of time within which you can’t break up. So even if one day you are totally convinced your relationship is doomed you’re not allowed to leave for a month. The longer you’ve been together the longer that period should be. This removes any fear of being abandoned due to a healthy heated discussion or what we in the business refer to as ‘throwing a fit’.
All relationships have times when it’s not so great. It’s even possible that both people feel so hurt that they fear they’ll never get back to loving each other. This is normal, just try to avoid doing any lasting damage by not threatening the relationship in a heated moment.
A great rule of thumb is that if you feel the need to walk away then now may well be the time. If you have to run away (unless of course your safety is in question) then there is something to be worked out between the two of you. You may want to get some professional relationship advice.
The phrase of today is relationship advice. If you spotted it then you’re welcome to go to our website where you can find all kinds of relationship help including marriage guidance and dating advice if that’s more relevant to you.