There comes a point in every relationship when a man thinks, should I stay or should I go and search for another woman who might be better?
I always chose go. Like most guys I know, I had a pattern: Date a woman for six months, maybe a year-then dump her. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the women I dated. I did. I just didn’t want to commit to anyone. Until one day I decided to stay.Once again, I had been with a woman for more than a year. But something was about to come between us; specifically, two of my college buddies announcing their engagements on the same weekend. After receiving the happy news, I did what every guy would do. I freaked out and did what I had always done-I went to Nancy’s house and told her it was over.
Fortunately, instead of throwing things or kicking me out, she made a simple suggestion: “Why don’t you try committing this time and see what happens?”That question in the midst of emotional turmoil triggered an immediate answer: “Yeah! Why don’t I?” What if, this time, instead of leaving, I decided to commit? What would happen? I didn’t know. I had never done anything like that before. I promised to try and, after I’d held Nancy long enough to let her know that I was serious, we did something suitably romantic: got burgers and saw Russel Peters on YouTube. (Sigh)
The next time you reach a fight or flight moment in your relationship, consider these common triggers, like I did to know whether to bail or not.
Not a reason to dump your girlfriend #1: Other women
Stay if…. The grass looks greener
“Thinking about other women is to be expected and extremely normal,” says Delhi-based psychologist Dr Pulkit Sharma. But if you think you are going to break up with your girlfriend and stumble into the arms of your soul mate, you’re probably mistaken. “People are package deals,” says Michele Weiner-Davis, author, The Sex Starved Marriage. “If there are 10 things you love about them, there will be 10 things you hate about them too,” she adds.
Sure, I’m not crazy about how she makes me do all the cooking and never does the dishes, but I have learned to deal with it. And how do I know the hot girl in office has six toes and practices some weird religion? “One easy mistake men make is comparing the middle of the relationship with the beginning and losing out on the passion,” adds Sharma. So before pulling the plug on a good thing, make sure it hasn’t just mellowed into something less electric but more enjoyable.
Go if… You are standing on your neighbour’s lawn
If you are cheating on your partner there’s a problem. Before you dismiss me as the master of the obvious, consider the many ways you can cheat. As there are more insidious types of adultery as well. Cheating is rooted in deception, not penetration. “Affairs can be both physical and emotional,” clarifies
Sharma. And both can be equally damaging. Ask yourself these questions: Is there a person to whom I tell things I wouldn’t tell my partner? Is there someone I’d feel guilty about having my partner meet? “And the biggest sign is, if you find yourself thinking about the same person all day,” he says. If you answer yes, you may be having an affair, you didn’t know about. And my friend, if you are having an affair and not getting any sex, you definitely have a problem.
Not a reason to dump your girlfriend #2: Fighting
Stay if… You fight right.
I used to think that when I started fighting with a woman, the relationship was over. Not so. “Conflict is inevitable in a relationship,” says Weiner-Davis. “It’s how couples learn about each other, and, if handled appropriately tends to deepen and strengthen the bond,” she says. If you are fighting with your partner, it means there’s still passion. So how do you make sure you have beneficial kind of fights? “The best thing you can do is listen to your partner than plan on what you are going to say next,” says Sharma. “Simply saying ‘I understand’ and repeating back what you just heard can defuse a fight very quickly.
Go if… You fight wrong.
There’s a limit to the amount of fighting a couple should endure. Sometimes, you can simply do the math: Are there more bad days than good days? It may be time to go. Another way to have non constructive fights is not arguing at all. “Holding everything in can be actually worse than having it out,” adds Sharma. “When both partners no longer care, there isn’t much to hold on.”
Not a reason to dump your girlfriend #3: Commitment phobia
Stay if… you want to try.
Just because you have thought about a breakup, doesn’t make it the right move. Do you want to try to work out the problems? “If the thought of leaving causes pain, there’s a chance for reconciliation,” says Dr Ashish Mittal, psychologist, Columbia Asia Hospital,
Gurgaon. When Nancy made her proposal to me, I asked myself, “Will I change my life for this person?” When I realised the answer was yes, I had to take the chance.
Go if… you want to try a separation
If you want to attempt a trial separation, you might as well just end the relationship now. It sounds harsh , but it is true. “Time apart is just a way to ease into a breakup,” says Mittal. You’re trying to rebuild a relationship by minimising the relating. That just doesn’t make sense. These signs aren’t easy to read. But they may prevent you from getting stuck in a dead end relationship, or pining over the one who got away. You might even find crazy/beautiful love. Just like Nancy and me, By the way, we are now engaged. I asked her on the same couch where I first decided to commit to her. After that, we did something suitably romantic: We got burgers and saw Russel Peters (sigh)
2015 Kashmir Despatch