Should we break up: 10 things to consider when ending a long-term relationship

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By: Naveen B

When you’ve been with someone for years, ending your relationship can be one of the hardest decisions you’ll ever make in your life.

Ending any sort of long-term partnership means you’ll go through some difficult emotions and struggles, so you want to make sure you’re doing it right.

Breakups can be extremely difficult and painful if you aren’t prepared or don’t take the right steps to make sure you and your partner are on the same page and handle things respectfully and maturely.

But knowing what to consider before ending a long-term relationship can make this difficult time easier and ensure that everyone involved will be better off in the end.

If you think, should we break up? Here are 10 things to consider when ending a long-term relationship that will help guide your decision in the right direction.

Recommended reading for you: When is it time to leave a long-term relationship? (13 Signs)

Should we break up?

things to consider when ending a long term relationship Should we break up: 10 things to consider when ending a long-term relationship

So you’ve been dating someone for a while, but you think it might be time to end it. You want to move on and see what else is out there, but don’t want him or her hurt.

The first thing you need to ask yourself is why exactly you think it’s time to break up. Are you feeling stifled? Maybe he or she never lets you be yourself? Or maybe your needs aren’t being met anymore.

No matter your reason, it’s important that both of you feel happy and fulfilled in your partnership and know that there is someone out there who will fulfill those needs as well as his or hers.

There are many reasons why couples decide to break up, and many ways people break up. There’s no one way, and there’s no one time that makes it right.

So, when you decide that your relationship is over, that doesn’t mean you don’t love each other or care about each other anymore — it just means it’s over.

Also read: How to say goodbye to someone you don’t want to leave? (10 ways)

But if you really think about it — and can be completely honest with yourself — do you want to stay together?

If yes: Then why?

Do you really want to spend another 10 or 20 years in a dead-end relationship?

If not: Then maybe breaking up is for the best.

However, before you let your emotions take over, it’s important to keep track of everything that has led up to your decision. Before taking that final decision, here are 10 things to consider when ending a long-term relationship.

10 things to consider when ending a long-term relationship.


1. Mental Health:

When you’re in a long-term relationship, breakups take on an emotional level. The feelings of failure and loneliness can really get to you.

This is why it’s important for you (and your partner) to be open with each other about how you feel during this transition period.

If emotions begin to conflict, reach out for outside help immediately; mental health should not be ignored.

After all, your mental health is important both now and in your future relationships.

Also read: How to know when to leave a relationship? (complete guide with 25 signs and questions to help you decide)

2. Communication and conflict:

If you’re in a long-term, committed relationship, there are several factors to consider when deciding whether or not it’s worth it to break up.

Before calling it quits on something that has been with you for several years, make sure you communicate your thoughts and feelings with your partner—don’t just assume they know what’s going on inside of you.

One of the most important factors in making relationships work is communication. If you aren’t clear on what you want and need, how can anyone else be? Poor communication always results in conflicts.

Be honest with yourself about your needs and desires and communicate them clearly. Not doing so will only cause problems and resentment.

The more open you are with each other, the easier it will be for both of you to live your lives happily while also maintaining balance in your relationship separately.

If one of you is harboring anger or resentment over something, let it out; don’t bottle it up inside because there may come a time when such emotions boil over and make their way into your interactions together.

3. Mutual consent and clean break up with respect and trust.

Endings are always sad, but having mutual respect and trust will make them go smoothly.

You don’t want to live with regrets or resentment, so it’s important that both you and your partner view the breakup as an opportunity for positive change.

Focus on seeing each other with new eyes, rather than rehashing all of your failed hopes and dreams.

A good breakup is like taking off weight—you can be excited about losing something you didn’t need anymore!

If possible, it’s best to mutually agree upon your breakup.

This is particularly true when children are involved, but even in situations where they aren’t, mutual consent will help ensure you’ll both be able to hold your heads high and be comfortable with how it all went down.

Also know that mutual consent doesn’t mean one partner can force another to let go – that’s abuse. Mutually consenting also doesn’t mean you can’t move on immediately if you’re not on good terms.

Also read: How to get the strength to leave someone you love? (16 steps to break up with someone you love)

However, it does mean waiting for some time after your former partner has had some time to heal emotionally.

Before putting much time and effort into it, make sure you’re both on board with parting ways. With relationships, there’s often more to worry about than just logistics.

For example, if one person was physically or emotionally abusive in any way, it’s not acceptable for one partner to end a relationship without their counterpart agreeing.

Additionally, if children are involved or debts need to be divvied up (or thrown away), both people need to decide how they want those situations handled—and how they want them divided.

If you can’t come up with mutual solutions—or you don’t want mutual solutions—it might be best for you both to cut your losses and end your relationship amicably.

4. Emotional attachment:

Breaking up with someone you love is not easy and it takes time. Allow yourself time to grieve, even if you feel sad for no apparent reason, or find yourself thinking about your ex frequently.

You may end up missing certain aspects of your ex that you took for granted and had previously overlooked. This is normal and can help you move on and look forward to what’s next in your life.

Ending an emotionally attached relationship can be extremely painful. As you’ve probably experienced, breaking up is easier said than done.

It’s tough to say goodbye after investing so much time and emotion into someone. If you’re not sure whether you should end your current relationship, here are some important questions to ask yourself:

How often do I feel happy around my partner?

Does our relationship consist of more arguments than fun times?

Do I want out for reasons that don’t have anything to do with him or her (like wanting different hobbies)?

If yes, it’s time for an exit strategy. But, if your answer is no—if you still love them—it may be worthwhile to reevaluate how invested you really are in your current partner.

Also read: 10 Questions to ask yourself before breaking up or ending a relationship (Intuitive guide)

5. Physical Intimacy

In addition to emotional intimacy, physical intimacy is often something that’s lost when you break up with someone.

That said, certain kinds of sexual activity may be off-limits after a breakup.

For example, if you and your partner engaged in unprotected sex while living together, it may be smart to get tested for STIs and discuss birth control options (if applicable) with your doctor.

It’s also possible that you’ll need time apart from one another to figure out what works best for your body and for your mental health.

When you’re in a relationship, sex is often easy. You know each other’s bodies, desires, and boundaries intimately.

When your relationship comes to an end, that intimacy can be hard to lose—and it’s important not to rush into intimacy with others while you’re still reeling from your breakup.

If you find yourself missing physical intimacy with someone else immediately after splitting up, remember what has led you here in the first place.

Take time for yourself without pressure so that when you are ready for intimacy again, it will be with someone who wants all of you—body and mind included.

If you’re feeling anxious about post-breakup sex, get in touch with friends or family members who can offer support—and don’t forget that talking with a therapist is always an option as well.

Also read: How to get the strength to leave someone you love? (16 steps to break up with someone you love)

6. Readiness

The most obvious question you should ask yourself is, Am I really ready for a breakup?

  • Are you really ready for life without your partner?
  • Are you financially prepared?
  • Have you considered how your relationship will impact family, friends, and even pets (if you have any)?
  • Do you think one or both of you might be in denial about what’s happening in your relationship, so that even if it’s time to move on, it may not feel like it is yet?

Whether or not they’re willing to admit it yet, often one person in a struggling couple wants out more than their partner does.

Once they’ve started talking about separating, they’ve already started putting emotional distance between themselves and their soon-to-be ex. And that can make endings extra challenging.

Breaking up is hard to do and it’s important that you’re 100% on board. If you’re feeling unsure about your decision, trust your gut and give yourself some time.

You don’t have to rush into anything. Don’t let others convince you that your relationship isn’t worth saving, either.

The only person who can decide if it’s over is you—and so far, all signs point towards no. It’s understandable if it takes a little while for a breakup to feel real, so try not to rush into any final decisions or actions right away.

Also read: How to get over someone you love? 5 Ways to deal with breakup, pain, loss and rejection.

7. Clarity

  • Is your decision to end your long-term relationship final?
  • Did you come to the conclusion based on your emotional tiredness or from a rational perspective?
  • Is this break-up going to be permanent or temporary just because of your constant mood swings?

People in long-term relationships usually have moments where they think about leaving and then returning back to their partners.

Therefore, when making such an important life decision, it is always better to listen to your heart and make sure that you are doing what makes sense.

For example, in case you are in love with someone else but still want to stay in your existing relationship, it is probably not worth it.

It’s better to end your current marriage or partnership if you think that you are not happy with your partner or for any other reasons mentioned above.

If you are sure about ending your current affair for whatever reason may be better to choose to move on rather than feel miserable for both of you.

8. Financial Stability

Are you financially stable enough to end your long-term relationship?

It’s easy to overlook finances when considering whether or not it’s time to end a long-term relationship.

Is your partner financially dependent upon you or else do you depend upon them? You can’t just go away if you both are struggling with the expenses.

At least give each other enough space and thought to work for financial independence.

It would be unfair not to, no matter how much love there is between you both.

Once finances are taken care of, it also helps focus on what needs fixing in your relationship that’s only going to compound into more problems over time due to stress/anxiety/pressure/etc..

The aim should be to spend less time fighting because of money, spend more time doing what makes life worthwhile together!

Note: Are they capable of supporting themselves? Are you in a position to support yourself emotionally and financially? If so great! If not plan accordingly moving forward.

9. Goals and dreams

In many cases, couples can grow together as they work toward common goals. In other relationships, you may discover that your partner isn’t where you want him or her to be emotional.

Sometimes, for example, one partner wants children and the other doesn’t. Or maybe you just had different plans on how to spend your money.

It’s important that both of you are honest about your future visions—and expectations of each other—before committing yourself for life.

If you find yourself growing apart rather than closer over time, it might be time to reevaluate whether staying together is right for either of you.

Do you wonder if you and your partner want different things in life? Goals and dreams can be an excellent way of figuring out if your relationship is on solid ground or not.

Talk with each other about where you see yourselves in five years, 10 years, 20 years. Chances are, you’ll be on very similar pages—and if not, it might be time to address some issues.

It’s better to have difficult conversations now than to let resentment build until one person becomes miserable enough that they feel compelled to leave.

Think about who each of you really are deep down inside, too—do those personalities mesh well?

Also remember that goals aren’t static things: What one person hopes for at 25 may change completely by 35 or 45 or 55.

Honoring Each Other’s Life Dreams Your partner has dreams for his or her life. Make sure you honor them and encourage your partner in pursuing them.

If you have no interest in your partner’s goals, it may be wise to reconsider moving forward with a serious commitment. We all have unique skills, talents, and interests that we want to share with our partners.

In order for your relationship to grow and thrive, you need someone who is committed not only to doing what’s best for him or herself but also to what’s best for you both as a couple; thinking about ways in which your lives can blend will help guide decisions along the way.

Make sure that you have figured out how you are going to achieve your goals and have visualized yourself achieving them.

If you do not have goals, then there is no reason for you to be in a relationship with someone because your partner will most likely not contribute positively towards helping you reach these goals.

Additionally, if your partner does not know what your goals are or how they can help you achieve them, they are even less likely to contribute.

It is important that both of you figure out what each other’s short-term and long-term goals are so that if they truly do want to end it all.

At least it will be on good terms knowing that neither of you did anything wrong by staying together because it did not bring either one of you closer to reaching their dreams.

Also read: How to stop loving someone but stay friends? (10 Steps)

10. Kids involvement and parental obligations:

Are you still unmarried? Or You are married and also have kids involved in your relationship. If kids are involved think about their future, mental health, and the trauma they have to go through after your split.

  • How does your breakup affect your family?
  • Are your both parents supporting your parting?
  • And how will it affect their lives?
  • Is there any chance that they can learn how to keep up with their life after you’re gone?
  • Are they supportive of your decision no matter what the circumstances?
  • Do they trust and believe you, and believe you did right for them?
  • Do they let go easily even if it is hard for them to do so?

After all, these are our parents we are talking about here—those who brought us into existence, many of us just can’t live without parental influence.

For some, getting back together is not always possible since we might grow out of love or discover we love someone else more than we ever thought we could.

The good news is: separation doesn’t necessarily mean divorce or breaking up forever; it could mean taking a break from each other… which means not giving up on each other completely either.

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Experienced Psychology and philosophy Writer, self-help and relationship Coach and thought influencer. He has 7 years of experience in Personal development industry. His expertise as a self-help and relationship Coach has been highlighted through his articles in medium and substack to name a few. To be updated with his latest work, connect with him by following his social media accounts.

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