There are few things that feel worse than being stuck in your relationship.
You’re experiencing a feeling of being trapped, unexpressed, and unfulfilled, and the one person you should be able to turn to is the person who feels the most distant– your boyfriend. This is not what you pictured your relationship to look or feel like!
Being stuck inside a relationship is awfully lonely. I get it. I was struggling in my relationship for many months before I chose to walk away. And the choice was not an easy one. We lived together, we were thinking about our future, and I loved him. But I wasn’t happy and I was no longer willing to sacrifice my own happiness for his comfort.
So how do you know if you’re ready to break up with your boyfriend?
I have some good news and I have some bad news.
- The bad news: there is no checklist to tell you the exact circumstances under which you should break up with your boyfriend.
- The good news: the answers are not out here on the internet– everything you need to know is already within you. I call it your internal compass. It’s that “gut feeling” that will give you the right answer.
But it’s nearly impossible to tune into your internal compass when you’re in the fog of your relationship. Inside that fog, it’s hard enough to see the next small step to take, much less the distant future. As a breakup coach, I never force or require anybody to break up with their boyfriend. I help them to clear the fog so they can see the next step and confidently take that step toward their future.
The one caveat to this is if you are feeling unsafe in your relationship. If you feel your safety is at risk, please seek immediate support to walk away from the relationship.
Otherwise, keep reading about how to get the clarity you’re looking for.
There are many paths you can follow on your journey to get clear on your breakup. Like peeling an onion, follow these steps, and, little-by-little, you’ll start to feel more confident in your choice to stay or go.
- Step away from the relationship. One of the best things you can give yourself right now is space, especially if you’re feeling suffocated. If possible, take a break from the relationship so you can step back and get some perspective on your situation. If taking a break isn’t possible, treat yourself to a solo vacation or just start building some more “me” time into your schedule. The spaciousness and breathing room will make a big difference.
- Journal. Journaling is like relationship medicine. It’s a way to process your thoughts and feelings about the situation. Make sure you keep your journal somewhere safe where your boyfriend won’t read it. Honesty and safety are essential for getting to the root of your situation. Create a daily practice around it. I like to set a timer for 10 minutes, put pen to paper, and let my thoughts flow. If it helps, answer a prompt each day. Or just allow your stream of consciousness to take over. You’ll gradually uncover the right next steps.
- Talk to a neutral party. Connect with someone outside of your circle to help you reflect on the situation. This can be a coach, therapist, sponsor, or mentor. I hired a therapist and a breakup coach before my breakup, and it was the most helpful thing I could have done. It’s so valuable to have people support you who are completely unattached to the outcome because they can reflect your own blindspots back to you. When you’re seeking out a breakup coach or therapist, it’s important to find someone you vibe with and fully trust.
- Love yourself. Practice self-love daily. We often lose ourselves inside of relationships, giving everything we have to the other person, bending and contorting ourselves to protect them. By the time we walk away, we’re completely drained of our power and we forget who we are. I felt like a shell of my former self when I walked away from my ex-boyfriend. I dimmed my light so much that I forgot who I was. When you practice self-love, you can regain your power while you’re still in the relationship. Taking ownership of your journey and personal power will bring more fulfillment to your life, despite what’s going on in your relationship.
Each of these tools will help you get closer to a clear answer on whether you are ready to break up with your boyfriend. Be gentle with yourself through this process.
And keep in mind, if you’re still in the relationship, there’s probably a reason you’re still there. It’s likely you’re not fully ready to walk away, perhaps there’s something more for you to learn or get out of this relationship. Once you are completely clear that the relationship is over, you’ll be able to confidently walk away without a question.
It all comes down to trust. Trust in yourself and trust that you’re on the right path.