Sometimes we sit back and reflect on our relationship, its strengths and weaknesses, and where it’s going, if anywhere. Sometimes this is obsessive ruminating, at other times it is a sign that things aren’t going well. Of course, every relationship has its peaks and valleys. You hope for a few plateaus. When all you have is plains for a long time that could be a problem. No couple is perfect. They may seem so from the outside. But they all have their problems. Some people look for absolute perfection in their relationship, and are perpetually disappointed when they don’t get it. A more practical approach is asking whether or not your physical and emotional needs are being properly met, and if you can adequately see to theirs. Does this relationship provide happiness, or does it strip it away? If you are by and large seeing your needs met and you still feel a significant connection, than this is a rough patch, and the two of you have to put your heads together and fix things. Unfortunately there is no algorithm that you can punch information into in order to tell whether or not this relationship should be saved. That is up to each individual. But here are some ideas that will help you make your decision.
When you spend time together, do you have fun? Or do you wish you could get away from them as soon as possible? If you can no longer appreciate one another, that is a big red warning sign. If you can’t be companions, there is no point in wasting any more time. This relationship is a desert and you must get out of it. What is the trust level like? If you don’t trust your partner chances are it cannot last. It will instead become worse and worse. But if there is a solid foundation of trust, a lot of other things can be fixed. You already have secured the bedrock of any successful relationship. Do you have common interests or hobbies you like to take part in together? This is a good indicator that your relationship has staying power. When people can enjoy their free time doing things they like together, it strengthens the relationship. When one person feels dragged to this or that, it hurts it. What are your core values or beliefs? What are theirs? If you share the same religion, philosophy, political leaning, finances, and education level, chances are you can see eye to eye on a lot of things, the better to help solve problems.
How significant are small problems? If they are well taken care of, chances are you deal with each other well. If a little thing turns into a giant issue, then this relationship may be on its way out. Do you feel supported? Does your partner feel as though you support them? Emotional support is one of the main needs people turn to their relationship for. If not for their partner, sooner or later they will turn to someone else, further widening the divide. Is there mutual respect? You can’t have real love in a relationship without respect. Is there flexibility? If when plans fall apart, no matter how droll, does your partner fall apart with them? If so, then you may be nearing the cliffs and you should probably jump ship. Relationships that can’t weather small gales are less likely to be able to keep it together should a tempest come crashing along. Is each one of you invested? Sometimes one person feels as though they are towing the other one. This can really wear you down. If you have several positive qualities, but cannot seem to work through it, try a self-help book, or couples counseling. But if there is no hope of resuscitation, it may be best to just let it slip away.
For more insights into the human heart read, If the Buddha Dated: A Handbook for Finding Love on a Spiritual Path by Charlotte Kasl.