Questions to Ask Before Ending a Relationship

Be honest with yourself.
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You have started to question your relationship. Rather than immediately breaking up, take time to think through what you want. Ending a relationship without careful consideration could be an impulsive move that you will later regret. Ask yourself important questions and take time for reflection before calling it quits.

1 Examine Your Desires

Before ending a relationship, ask: Is this what I really want? Don't make an impulsive decision when you are upset, angry or disappointed. It is better to feel confident in your decision, says Marcia Reynolds, a psychologist and author of "End Your Relationship With Dignity" on the Psychology Today website. You don't want to break up with your significant other only to decide that you do want to be with her. Once you end the relationship, it is likely that your ex won't take you back.

2 Consider How Your Life Will Change

Prior to ending a relationship, ask: How will my life change by breaking up with my partner? Consider how your life will be different without your significant other in it. Will you lose your best friend and feel lonely? Will your life be filled with less drama and become more peaceful? Will you be happier in the long run? Ending a bad relationship has been known to improve one's health and happiness, says David Sbarra, a clinical psychologist and author of "When and Why to End a Relationship" on

3 Consider Solutions to Your Problems

Another question to ask before ending a relationship: Is it possible to work through our problems? Some relationship issues can be resolved. Think about the problems you are having and whether they are resolvable. For example, if your issues stem from a lack of communication, a commitment to better communication can help resolve your issues. If you decide that you can resolve your issues, consider if that is what you want to do. If, after careful consideration, you decide that your issues cannot be resolved, end the relationship, says Sbarra.

4 Consider Your Expectations

Finally, prior to calling it quits, ask: Do I have realistic expectations? Take time to consider whether your expectations are realistic, suggests Donna M. White, a counselor and author of "Relationships: Breaking Up Without the Pain" on the PsychCentral website. If your expectations are too high, no partner will be able to meet them. Consider whether you expect more from your significant other than you're willing to give. Take a look at what you desire and what will make you happy, White suggests.

Stacey Elkins is a writer based in Chicago. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and a Masters in social work from the University of Illinois in Chicago, where she specialized in mental health.