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Together for love or convenience?
Comfort, convenience and fear of the unknown are common reasons why some couples don't break up when they should...

Relationships aren’t always smooth sailing, however when you find yourself fighting with your partner more often than not, and you are not nearly as happy as you’d like to be in the relationship, it may be time to ask whether you are in the relationship for love or for convenience.

Once settled and comfortable with a partner it can be hard to realise the difference.

Comfort zone

Fear of the unknown could cause one to stay in an unhappy, loveless relationship. Having grown comfortable in the relationship, we will naturally be afraid of the change that will ensue if we break away from it.

Some may even be afraid that they won’t find the kind of comfort they have in another relationship. Sometimes, especially in cases of staying in the relationship for comfort and security, a step out of the comfort zone could be scary.

Once the step has been taken, many things can happen. Thich Nhat Hanh said it well when he said, “We rather stick with suffering that is familiar than pain that we don’t know."

Living in the past

Do you replay the happy moments of the relationship to make you feel good about it? Do you use them as reasons to continue the relationship? If so, it’s a sign that the current state of the relationship isn’t how you want or need it to be.

The more we live in the past, the more we are living in a self-created reality. You have to remember that your relationship with the person exists in the current moment. Past memories should remain as memories and not as a reason to stay together.

Your decision on whether or not you should remain with your partner should be based on your current feelings and the actual state of the relationship.

More pain than joy

If your relationship leaves you frustrated, upset and unhappy for the majority of the time; if you are left in tears every so often then it may not be worth it and you may be sticking around for the wrong reasons.

Family

When children are involved then it is always more convenient to stay in a relationship 'for the kids’ sake', however in the long run, if you are bitterly unhappy and there is a lack of love between parents – the kids will feel the tension. A fighting, unhappy environment is not the best place for children and eventually your stresses will become their stresses. It is always better for children to have both parents around while growing up – but you have to find the right balance for them, whether that be together or apart.

Effort

Every relationship requires effort from both parties. If you think about it – when you truly love someone you would want to put a lot of effort into making them happy and doing the little things to keep the relationship interesting and exciting.

Phone calls, spending time together, talking and even surprises form part of the effort that is required. When all these things disappear and little or no effort is made from either or both of you, then it is time to review the relationship and what it actually offers you. The reality is that everyone wants this effort, so when there is lack of it, the happiness levels do suffer.

Comfort, convenience or fear may seem like reasons to stay in a relationship – but in the long run you are only doing yourself an injustice because love and happiness are two vital elements that everyone wants out of life. If the signs are there then it may be time to review the real reasons for still being in the relationship.

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