Relationship Hopelessness vs. Compromise

It’s hard to know when a couple should call a relationship quits. Making that decision to walk away can feel so vulnerable. If you’ve been in a long-term, you might have concerns of whether or not you would find someone else. You might also feel insecure about the needs that you’re identifying in your relationship.

It’s simple, but not easy.

There’s one thing that can help you determine whether or not you should move on or stay. That one thing is hope. When there is hope, you have something to work on. However, when hope is missing, it likely means that it’s time to move on.

On the surface, that sounds simple to figure out. But when you start to dig into it, it really isn’t that easy. There are times when people think that they want the relationship to change, but in reality, they want the person that they’re with to change. In general, relationship success is more about acceptance of differences, than it is about personality changes

In these situations, people often stay more out of fear, than actual desire to stay. There is fear of future regret, fear of never finding another partner, and fear of what being single could mean.

Compromise is different than changing the person.

People who have no hope have usually lost hope in their compatibility. The compatibility that I’m talking here isn’t about compromise, but rather who the person is. As a therapist, I’m in the business of change, so I obviously believe that people can make changes in their lives. But, people have a core of who they are, and this may or may not be compatible with what you want in a partner.

On the other hand, relationships always are about compromise. Thus, when your relationship is struggling, this is an extremely important part of the hope equation. If you have no hope that there can be a compromise or acceptance of differences, it may mean that you should move on.

It doesn’t mean that compromise has to be easy to come by. Instead, it can be very complicated and deep. It is in these situations that hope can be enhanced.

So when assessing whether or not you should stay or go, look for hope. If you have some, look for compromise and acceptance.

Get help if you need it.

If you have hope, but you still struggle with compromise and acceptance, then therapy can help. You can find ways to communicate desires. You can also identify triggering things that are difficult to accept. Understanding this better will help you to open up, but also share this in a way that can help you move forward, rather than get stuck.