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Before You Break Up With Somebody

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At teen advice we talk a lot about how to cope with being dumped but we tend to neglect the other side of the subject - what it feels like to be the person ending the relationship. Feeling like you want out of a relationship can be confusing and upsetting too. How do you know when a relationship is all bad? How can you tell when to make up or break up? Here are some tips to help you decide.

Is the relationship abusive?

Are you wanting out of the relationship because it makes you feel bad? Does your steady put you down all the time or say things that hammer away at your self esteem? Does your steady hit you or hurt you in other physical ways, like pressuring you to have sex when it is clear you are not ready? If your gut tells you that the situation is unhealthy you should listen and get out.

Is the relationship destructive?

Is the relationship ruining other parts of your life? Are you suddenly fighting with family all the time and turning away from your old friends? Are you getting in to things like drugs and alcohol as a result of the relationship? Are you having sex when you are not really ready? If any of these things sound familiar then this relationship could be causing you to self destruct. Get out now!

Are you worried about your image?

Has something happened to make you feel that your steady is not worthy of you? Are your friends putting him/her down all the time for silly or made up reasons; like his/her fashion sense or favorite movies? Is peer pressure directing your heart? If so, you need to do some soul searching. While it is tempting to break up with somebody under these circumstances, you may come to regret the decision.

Do your parents object?

Parents can object to their child's relationships for a number of reasons. Some reasons are very good and others are very bad. However, if your parents have concerns you really should listen to what they say before making any decisions. They can often see things you do not and help you sort through the confusion. Find out about their objections before discounting them as "parental controls."

Have you grown apart?

Hey, it happens! Even the most solid relationships can end over something as simple as growing up and growing apart. Have you developed different hobbies, have you started hanging with different crowds, do you have opposing goals for the future? If so, it may be time to call it quits. It is better to leave while there is some love left than it is to stick it out to the bitter end.

Are you going to be pushed apart - physically?

Is one of you moving away? Will you be attending different schools in the near future? Is either one of you pursuing a dream that will take you far away from your love? If the answer to any of these things is "yes" you should give some serious thought to breaking things off. Maybe it won't be forever, but if you attempt a long distance relationship and fail it is very hard to ever go back.

Has trust been damaged?

Has something happened to make you unable to trust your steady? Have they cheated on you, lied to you, or done something you do not approve of that has caused you to question the kind of person they are? If so, you have to ask yourself if you can forgive, let go and move on. If you can, you have to really let go in order for things to work. If you can't, it is time to say good-bye.

Are you feeling bored?

Have you been feeling bored in your relationship? Do you find your mind and eye wandering even though you still really care about your steady? Do you seriously wonder what it would be like to be single or in a different relationship? If yes, you should end the relationship before things turn sour. It will be hard to end things when nothing is wrong but it is unfair to stay without giving it 100%.
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