It is normal for a couple to experience challenges in their relationship after the initial sparks of attraction have worn off. After a time, a person’s true colors will either be shown to you or your partner’s qualities which were, once upon a time, endearing to you may now be annoying you.
At the start of a relationship, it is typical to put your best foot forward. Most likely, you highlighted your best assets while you suppressed your less than perfect side. The same can be said for your partner. While deception may not be the intention, winning the affection of your partner may have called for some makeover on your part. The problem with many a transformation is in the maintenance of appearances. As you spend more time together, you relax and shed some of your inhibitions in front of your partner. While this may be part of intimacy, it can also be the proverbial ‘familiarity’ that ‘breeds contempt.’ Faced with the glaring imperfections of your partner, you ask yourself if it’s time to move on.
In dealing with personal differences, you have to draw the line between what is acceptable and non-negotiable. What is acceptable is relative, and only you can tell yourself whether you can live with it or not. Non-negotiable issues are deal breakers and need not be explored further.
Acceptable matters usually involve things that can be improved by your partner. This requires open communication so that your partner knows exactly what is bothering you. Oftentimes, your partner will propose to make changes. It would also help if you could suggest ways to make things better between the two of you. But change requires lots of concrete action and time for it to take place. A mere promise to change without any further action can be a deal breaker. On the other hand, a marked improvement that is continuous can result in a compromise for the sake of the relationship.
Other factors to consider when faced with the question of moving on include: your partner’s attitude towards your dislike for specific traits, the willingness to compromise or make changes, and a repetitious cycle of improvement and reversion of old habits. A negative reaction or development in these areas may constitute a serious reason to move on.
Problems in a relationship can test the strength of your commitment to one another. If you are both committed to the idea of keeping the relationship, then nothing can stop both of you from working things out by change, compromise or acceptance. On the other hand, if none of you can accept things as they are, or if none of you can make the changes the other expects, then it is time to move on.