11 things to ask your boyfriend or girlfriend before you break up

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You’ve been feeling weird with your current romantic relationship. Perhaps it’s gone stagnant and you’re unsure of whether or not it’s time to take the next step with your significant other, or break things off entirely. It’s never a fun thing to do, but at this point, it’s time to start asking the heavy questions. To aid you through this process, we have a list of 10 things to ask your partner before you decide to break up.

Communication the key to success for all relationships. That’s especially true for relationships where vulnerability and romantic emotions are involved. Tread lightly, but honestly in this territory. But remember that you owe it to yourself to get the answers you need to make the best decision for yourself in the scenario.

1Are you truly happy in our relationship?

It’s a broad question, but it can open up a conversation that could touch upon issues that have you concerned. If your partner hesitates and isn’t sure of how to answer, don’t jump to a quick conclusion and get angry with them — especially if this question is kind of coming out of the blue. Encourage them to be honest. If they aren’t happy, then it’s time to delve into heavier questions.

2What do you want out of this relationship?

Do you see us getting married and growing old together? Or is this more of a summer fling? Depending on how long you’ve been with your partner, this question can have a make-or-break answer. If you desire permanency in your relationship, but your S.O. can’t necessarily picture their future with you — or visa versa — then this relationship might need a second thought.

3Why are you attracted to me?

You might think you already know the answer to this question, but your partner’s response could surprise you. If he or she focuses on the physical attraction they feel to you, rather than on your personality, drive to succeed, ability to be your most authentic self, etc., then you might have a problem. This person may not be interested in sticking it out for the long haul.

4Where do I fit on your list of priorities?

Depending on what you’re looking for in your partner — either someone who would rather die than stay away from you, or someone who likes you a lot but isn’t obsessed with you — their answer can sway your decision to end things or not. Not everyone wants to be at the top of their S.O.’s priorities list, but others demand that they are number one. If your partner doesn’t give you the answer you want, it’s time to think about where your priorities are.

5What are your religious views and how important are they to you?

Religious beliefs can play a huge role in a relationship. Common religious views can bring two people together, and can also drive two people apart. If you’re unaware of your partner’s faith or belief system, it’s time to find out. Your future life together might be strained if you two are constantly arguing about Creation vs. Evolution or reincarnation vs. heaven/hell — and those arguments are just the tip of the religious argument iceberg.

6What are your thoughts on kids?

Kids are cute, right? No? Maybe? Having conflicting opinions on children can drive a relationship into the ground. What if you really want kids in the future but your partner is vehemently against the idea? Are you going to sacrifice a huge, life-changing goal to stay with that person? It’s something to seriously think about, even if you’re both fairly young. Yes, people can change their minds. But as we’ve all been warned — you can’t really change people.

7What is your biggest dream or goal?

Here’s a question that can tell you if your partner is the type who thinks ahead. If they show passion and drive to achieve something great in their life, then you know that they take their actions seriously and they want to succeed. But if your partner waffles or hasn’t really thought about it, then what have they thought about? It’s totally ok to seize life moment by moment. But when it comes to figuring out if this relationship is going to last long term, having some sort of goal on the horizon might be a good idea.

8Are you willing to work on this relationship?

If the relationship starts to crumble — or is noticeably crumbling at the moment — is your S.O. willing to put in the work to come out strong on the other end? And then after learning their answer, you should ask yourself the same thing. Are you willing to work on the relationship? If not, you have made your decision.

9Would you be willing to sacrifice certain things for me?

Perhaps you’re thinking about moving states to change jobs. Maybe you’re planning to stay celibate until marriage. Whatever sacrifice you need your partner to make, are they going to be okay with it? Sacrifice and compromise are all cogs in the relationship machine. But if one of those cogs isn’t working, the machine breaks down. And if you’re asked to make sacrifices or compromise, make sure that both of you are okay with the agreement — like, really okay. Harboring negative thoughts can only make a situation worse.

10Do you love me?

Don’t expect your boyfriend or girlfriend of a few weeks — or a few months — to say, “yes, I love you.” But if it’s reached the point in the relationship where it’s either love or bust, then this might be a appropriate question to ask. The L-word might be the reassurance you need that your S.O. cares about you and wants to stay in this relationship.

11 Is there anything I can be doing differently?

Usually, it’s never one person’s fault things are going sour. Maybe you’re working long hours and they don’t know how to deal with that. Maybe they prioritize their friends over you and you haven’t mentioned your frustration. How do either of you know how to mend things if you’re not communicating?

We wish you the best of luck during this stressful time. Remember to think of your own health and wellbeing first and foremost before thinking about the larger picture. And even though you can ask questions and collect answers, sometimes it helps to just listen to your gut. Instincts are usually always right in situations such as these. Don’t worry. You’ve got this.

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