In this post we will be talking about how to evaluate the good and the bad of your romantic relationship.
This is no ordinary pros and cons post. We will be doing some thorough evaluations here.
Hopefully you’ve been following my advice from my two previous posts and have been taking notes. We’re going to need them here.
Grab your pen and notebook and get ready for some writing.
Let’s get started.
In this post you will come across links to books I recommend you read. I have carefully selected these for you. They have helped me in my journey and can help you in yours. When you buy from these affiliate links, I may earn a teeny-tiny percentage. There is no extra cost to you, but the tiny revenue helps me afford rent.
*That’s a picture of me sending you a kiss for your generous purchase.
How I learned this method
Back when I was in middle school (this is a long time ago- I’m in my 30s now), I had a teacher who told us about how she chose her husband. It was completely unrelated to course material. I don’t even remember why she told her story. But I haven’t forgotten it to this day.
Back to the story. She wasn’t sure if he was the one for her. Back then, being in her 30s, she didn’t want to just rely on her heart to do the job for her. She made her decision using the method that I will describe here for you.
She chose him. They remained married for over 30 years- they’re probably still married.
You may find this method goes against your values on love, and that may be true. We will be taking the logical route to making a decision.
If you prefer the logical route like me, then keep reading.
Read your notes
You’ve been taking notes on your relationship red and green flags.
It’s time for a refresher.
Go back and read them carefully.
On a new page in your notebook make two columns: Pros and Cons
Think about which of the red flags in your relationship really upset you and you can absolutely not deal with or correct them.
Also, I want you to think about which of the green flags really matter to you. You can decide this by thinking about which ones make you smile, feel relieved, and that you value most.
List the pros and cons under the corresponding columns
Write down the chosen red and green flags here. This is a process that should take you several days or maybe weeks. Don’t rush it. Write your list, close your notebook and don’t think about it for a while.
I want you to come back to your notes once every few days and edit. Don’t feel pressured to keep what you’ve already written. Remove items from your list if, on second thought, you don’t feel they are important to you.
Keep in mind not to act on what your list has opened your eyes to. Your decision isn’t final yet.
On a blank page in your notebook write down what you value in a relationship
Think about what’s important to you and you need in a relationship. Try to be as objective as you can and forget about your partner for a minute. Imagine they don’t exist, otherwise you will be listing their characteristics instead of what you want. Trust me, that has happened to me.
A wise woman with a very successful marriage once told me to look for these characteristics in a partner: Respectful, patient, and responsible. This can be a great place to start.
Circle the items of utmost importance
You’ve already created a narrower list of important red and green flags.
Go back to your list of values and needs in a relationship and if you find any of them in each column, circle them.
I don’t want you to just count how many items you have under each column, although that would seem like the right way to do this.
But I want you to see if there are any items on your Cons list that are circled. These may be the deal breakers based on the values you wrote. Even if you have one item circled under Cons and 10 circled under Pros, Cons could still win because that one item can be something you can’t deal with.
So, evaluate your circled items carefully and make your decision based on your deep values.
Will you leave your relationship? Or will you stay?
Share your answers in the comments. Let’s talk about this.
You have probably made your decision by now, if not, leave a comment for me and we can work through this.
If you’ve decided to stay in your relationship, that’s great! You may have things to work on to help bring you peace and calm. Stay tuned for more posts on how to work on making your relationship healthier.
For now, we have to help those of us that decide to leave their relationship. Heartbreak is not easy. Check my post on mending a broken heart.
While you wait, there are some books I recommend you read. They are written by my favourite writer and thinker: Alain de Button.
His books have helped me through my breakup but aren’t limited to just that. He has founded ‘The School of Life’ and has much to say on many important life topics.
You will notice that 99.99% of my book recommendations will be his books. Just saying. Get ready for more.
If you must choose one book to read, I’d recommend Relationships because it exclusively talks about them.
But if you finish that and want more to read, get How Proust Can Change Your Life. It’ll tell you all about reviving relationships, recognizing love, and how to be happy in love among other things- good skills to have.
If you are going through the breakup route, I have a specific recommendation for you too: HeartBreak.
These are all good books in my opinion. Read the previews and let me know what you think about them. Have you already read these? Let’s discuss them.
As always, please leave your comments here. I’d love to hear from you.
See you again very soon in my new posts.