CosmopolitanWe've seen celebs and our friends get trapped in those on-again off-again romances, but when do you know for sure that it really needs to be over? Relationship coach Teagin Maddox told us the deal on how to decide whether it's worth picking up the pieces or not.
By Ariel Nagi
1. You Keep Looking For More Evidence
If you're spending your relationship feeling insecure a majority of the time, that's a bad sign. First of all, you've got to trust your gut that if something constantly feels off, then it probably is. And this issue starts early on. A lot of times when we get involved with a guy we're told to look out for so-called red flags before things get too serious. The problem with this is that we usually look for obvious things, like whether he's disrespectful or a cheater, but we disregard smaller, subtle signs. "This is a trap, because we excuse the little things and tell ourselves we need more evidence, something bigger," Maddox says. We then become involved in a relationship where we don't sweat the small stuff and keep telling ourselves it's no big deal until he makes a bigger mistake. This can be a part of the reason we continue to forgive and makeup.
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2. You're "Training" Him to Be Better
A big issue women have is that we think we can train men how to be in a relationship. "The right man doesn't need to be trained on what you want and how you should be treated," Maddox says. When we are constantly focused on trying to make him better, we lose sight of more important parts of a relationship, like communicating.
3. You're Waiting, Hoping He Will Change
Each time he makes a mistake, we sit around hoping he will snap out of it and change someday. The problem is, we'll turn into old ladies by the time that happens! "What we do wrong is we wait too long and ride it out," Maddox says. Waiting too long can get us accustomed to his actions and eventually lowers our standards for him. In the future, this can screw around with the types of men we settle for. "You will end up picking a guy who is the same or worse," Maddox warns.
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4. You Keep Breaking Up For the Same Reasons
Analyze the reason you keep breaking up, then making up. If he screws up once and makes a promise, the promise should be kept even if he has to climb mountains to keep it! Maybe your guy will change for a month, and we get so excited that when he messes up again we're convinced that he can change again and actually "get it" this time around. "The issue can be that he can't change, not that he won't change," Maddox says.
5. You Forgive Him Out of Fear
A common reason we never put a complete end to these types of relationships is because we are afraid of letting the other person go for many reasons, ranging from the fact that we'd hate to see them with someone else, we're close to their family or friends, we have children with them, or some other personal, emotional tie to that person. "Once you get past this fear, that's where your power is to let go. Become aware and look at what he was doing and what you were doing too out of fear," Maddox says. "It's easier to look at the guy and say he wasn't doing this or that. But that really isn't the whole truth."
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