If there is one scenario that is just as bad as entering into a committed relationship too quickly, it is rushing to the relationship 'exit door' prematurely. Just like there are 'right' and 'wrong' reasons for being in a relationship, there are 'right' and 'wrong' reasons for breaking up.
What is the #1 sign that you may have broken up with someone too quickly and/or for the wrong reasons? Anytime you find yourself severely missing your former companion physically, emotionally and sexually within days or weeks after a recent break up, and for the most part, you're ready to reunite with them at any moment, this usually means you pressed the 'break-up button' way too quickly.
What are the most valid reasons for breaking up? What are some of the wrong reasons for breaking up? I'll offer my take on each.
Here are some of the RIGHT reasons to end a relationship:
1) Irreconcilable and/or Intolerable differences
Comment: This is when you have arrived at a point in the relationship when you and your spouse or companion have mutually concluded that you two are just flat-out incompatible.
I have always maintained that each of a person's qualities, behavioral quirks, personality characteristics and individual attributes are going to generally fall into three categories: a) those qualities that you like or love about your companion; b) those qualities that you don't particularly care for, but can easily tolerate; and c) those qualities that you just absolutely, positively cannot tolerate over the course of a long-term relationship.
When most of your companion's qualities and attributes fall into category "C," this means you two are simply incompatible. Anytime your moments of frustration, antagonism and misery in the relationship far exceed your moments of harmony, happiness and romantic bliss, it's time to end the relationship. For good.
2) The level of mutual trust and/or respect in the relationship has reached the point of no return
Comment: If there are two components that you must have in a relationship to make it work and allow the love to flourish, it is trust and mutual respect. Once these two factors are gone for good, the feelings of love for each other will soon permanently diminish as well.
Are you or your companion perpetually paranoid and distrustful that the other is cheating? Do you talk to your companion in a condescending manner as if they are your son or daughter instead of your romantic companion? Have you and/or your companion violated boundaries that were initially indicated as "lines you should not cross?" When your relationship has reached this point, you are well within your rights to call it quits.
3) You and your companion do not share the same general morals, values and principles.
Comment: I discussed this in one of my other articles about romantic chemistry (Click Here). In order for a relationship to last for year after year after year, you and your companion must have similar values, principles and moral character. This is a must.
For example, If money is the most important factor in a relationship for you, then ideally, you need to be with someone who generally places the same degree of importance on financial stablity and security as you do. If sex is very important to you, then you need to be partnered with someone who generally places the same degree of emphasis on erotic satisfaction as you do.
If you are frugal, but you are currently in a relationship with a spend-thrift, there is a greater than fifty-percent chance that your relationship is not going to work in the long run. If you place a high value on health and fitness, but you are dating someone who is a lazy couch potato, then nine times out of ten, your relationship is going to fizzle out at some point in the future. If you believe that "honesty is the best policy," but your spouse or companion believes "the only thing worse than lying is dying," then your relationship is doomed.
Okay Alan ... enough of the right reasons! What are some of the WRONG reasons for breaking up?
1) Your companion hurt your feelings and/or bruised your ego
Comment: I have seen many men and women break up with a companion simply because their romantic partner did something or said something to "hurt their feelings," or that left a dent in their ego. This is a very invalid reason for breaking up with someone.
I can't name how many times I have witnessed a couple break up, only to get back together days later, weeks later, or months later, because both realized they just needed time to get over hurt feelings or a perceived insult to their ego.
The next time your feelings are hurt ... just spend some time discussing what comments and/or what actions caused this, and offer heartfelt apologies if needed. No need to push the "break up" button over petty disagreements and arguments.
2) Your companion won't act the way you want them to
Comment: I say this in my second book, Upfront and Straightforward: You cannot enter into any romantic relationship with the expectation of your companion always allowing you to have your way and exhibit the exact behavior that you want them to. This is usually the result of a 'spoiled ego' on your part as well as unrealistic expectations of what a true relationship really is.
The biggest mistake you can ever make going into a relationship is trying to get your companion to make drastic changes in their behavior for the sole and specific purpose of pleasing you. Once a man or woman is in their early-to-mid 30s or older, 90% chance they are going to be set in their ways. You have to either accept them "as is," or decide to pursue another companion who has more similar interests and tolerable differences.
3) Your companion gained some weight, got laid off from their job, or experienced some other "temporary setback"
Comment: One of the worst things a man or woman can do is "kick a person while they are down." With the exception of extenuating circumstances, you should never break up with your companion when they are facing some sort of unexpected episode of adversity or in the midst of one of their lowest points in their life.
I've known women to break up with a man within days after he lost his high five-figure or six-figure job. That's cold. Why not help him send out resumes in an attempt to get a new job? I've known men to break up with women simply because they gained 30, 40 or 50 pounds of added weight. That's even more heartless. Why not buy your girlfriend or wife a treadmill, a stationary bicycle or a membership at the local health club and work out with her?
Nine times out of ten, if you break up with a companion for temporary, superficial reasons like these, the minute your former companion rebounds back to normal, you will be ready to grovel your way back into their life. You might meet another man or woman who seems better looking, sexier, and has more to offer, but more than likely, once these new entertaining distractions reveal their wide array of flaws and shortcomings, you will find yourself reminiscing about the good ol' days with the partner you abandoned.
The decision to break up with someone you feel you are in love with is always challenging. Just make sure that when you make the decision to end a relationship, it won't be a decision you will find yourself regretting in both the short-run and the long-run.