How do you know when it is time to end a relationship? On one level this is an exceptionally deep and profound question.
It is a profound question because if you decide to do the inner reflection, it helps you to gain clarity, “What is it that I want from relationships?” It is really important to know what you want from your relationship. And yet most people do not ask this question and therefore do not know the answer.
So my invitation to you if you are thinking of ending your relationship, and splitting up is to really ask yourself that question, “What do I want in my relationship?” Do you want a surface level, physical relationship or something deeper, more profound and life changing?
The 3 Levels of Love
What does this have to do with ending a relationship? To understand this better I will explain the 3 main levels of love and connection in relationships.
The first is evolutionary love. This level is when we first meet our partner. The honey moon period. Oxytocin, dopamine… it feels great…
The second level is called buddy love. This is when the chemicals of attraction have started to wear off and we connect on more of a friendship level. This generally starts to happen 3–6 months after you first meet.
The third level is deep love. This is when you start to see beyond the outer shell of external beauty and start to see deeply into your partner. You love them for all that they are rather than what they look like or the external trappings of life.
If you are at the point of wanting to end your relationship I would guess that you are between stages. Maybe the 3–6 months of evolutionary love has come to an end and the attraction has gone, or maybe you have become friends but you want that sexual connection/ spark back again. And so you start to look elsewhere…
What Do You Want From Your Relationship?
So the question what do you want from a relationship is so important to know before you start to think about ending a relationship.
If you want depth, and to experience deep love then it takes commitment on both your parts. And it is not an easy journey, which is why so few take that route. But it is an amazing, heart-opening and soul expanding route, and one that I have been on myself for 10 years since my celibate days.
If you are a man in relationship then a woman really needs to know that she can trust you before she opens fully to deep love. If she feels that you are not sure, she will feel that and therefore she will not be able to go deep.
If you decide that you want deep love then fully commit to giving your all to your partner.
If you decide that you don’t want that - you are quite happy with physical attraction only, then give your all to that. Remember that relationships are challenging but they are an amazing way to grow.
When Is It Time To End A Relationship?
Once you know what you want, whether it is a deep relationship or a surface level relationship then you can make your decision.
If you decide you want depth, and heart-opening growth then know that it takes time, effort, patience and a willingness to give of your all - your presence, your love, your joy…
The chances are that you have only just begun on your journey if this is what you want…
If you decide that you are not ready for that, you’ve not got to that stage or you are unwilling to do the work required to have that depth then maybe it is time to move on (neither is right or wrong).
But know that you will have the same thing appear in the next relationship and the next, until you decide, “Yes, I want depth and I am prepared to do the work required.”
Sometimes it is right to leave, and truthfully, your heart knows the answer to that too. Follow your heart and you will be guided to the right place.
I recently recorded a 3 video series called “Transform Your Relationship” which is accessible at http://www.anevolvingman.com. This will give you some deeper insights.
Many blessings to you,
Men’s Transformational & Relationship Coach