Is Your Relationship Worth Saving?

When to Keep Trying and When to Let Go

Young couple arguing at home

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If your relationship has been faced with hardships, you might find yourself focused on a key question: Is your relationship worth saving? Relationships can be tricky. One moment you can be on the highest euphoria cloud, and the next second it can feel like you're alone in the relationship.

However, when you're in a relationship and questioning staying, there are some key things to consider before calling it quits. The questions you might ask yourself that will factor into your decision include:

  • Does this person add value to your life?
  • How long have you been together?
  • Have you been through hard times and made it out together?

In this article, you'll learn what you should consider before breaking up with your current partner. It also provides some questions you should ask yourself during the decision-making process and urges you to reflect on how your actions may have affected the relationship. Additionally, you'll learn what makes a relationship worth saving and ways to rekindle the spark that once was.

Questions to Ask Yourself

Before you decide to end your relationship completely, it's a good idea to take a step back to reflect on what's working and what is hindering the relationship. Here are some questions to ask yourself that will help determine if you're going to stay on the boat or swim to shore.

  • Why did you get into the relationship to begin with?
  • How does this person make you feel? How did they make you feel in the past?
  • What's changed to even make you question if the relationship is worth saving?
  • What are your deal breakers?
  • What aren't you doing enough of?
  • Are you worth saving or fighting for?
  • Are both you and your partner making sincere and sustainable efforts to hear and understand the other's needs and feelings, repair from disconnect and conflict, and do your best to meet each other's needs?

You and your partner need to be able to honestly answer these questions separately. Though relationships are about being a pair, true fulfillment and happiness start with oneself. Therefore, taking a look at your own actions and facing your contribution to the relationship will help you both get closer to a final decision.

What's Going Wrong in the Relationship?

All too often, it's easy to point the finger at anyone but yourself, especially in relationships. However, if you think the relationship is headed to destruction, you'll need to sit down and have a serious conversation with your partner.

If you both believe the relationship is worth saving, then you'll equally put in the work. Communication is the foundation of every relationship in life; this is where the real work comes into play.

Start by asking each other the following questions:

  • How did we get here?
  • Are you willing to work to save what we have?
  • What can we do differently?
  • Are we communicating enough? Effectively? Really hearing and understanding each other?
  • What are some things we can change?
  • Can we bring in professional assistance?
  • Do we bring out more of the best than the worst in each other?

Relationships can be hard to manage. When you think about it, since birth, you've been in countless relationships and juggling them to the best of your ability. You have your parents, grandparents, sibling, cousins, aunts and uncles, friends, teachers, and associates—that's a lot of relationship building. And then you bring in a boyfriend or girlfriend to the mix, which only adds to your collection of people.

The key is never giving up. If you feel you've fallen short with communicating or being present in a family member's life, you don't just end that relationship.

If you have a quality person in your life that you love and care about, it's best to try and figure out if there's potential to salvage the relationship.

How Do You Know If Your Relationship Is Worth Saving?

It can be easy to walk away and avoid conflict because staying takes hard work. However, both parties have to be willing to do their part in any relationship, or it just won't work. Here are some clues to know if staying is a real possibility.

Your Partner Won't Give Up on You

No matter how tough things get, how estranged you all are, or if it seems the love is fading, they still are there to fight together. That's when you know you have something priceless and ultimately have something worth fighting for.

Having a partner who won't give up and is committed to continuing to try their best is wonderful. However, it is also important to acknowledge and be honest about whether the differences are too great to overcome such as major differences in values and life visions.

Also, if active, continual harm is happening, that makes the relationship too damaging to continue. For example, in the case of emotional or physical abuse, if the abuser is willing to keep trying but the partner being abused is continually hurt, sometimes trying isn't good enough. If this is the case, it may be the most healing and helpful to end the relationship.

You Can Be Vulnerable With Them

It's hard to open up to people and share your complete truth with someone; that's the epitome of being completely naked. Sharing your fears, your flaws, and secrets are not something that should be taken lightly. Opening up in this way can be scarier than skydiving.

If you have someone you trust enough to know you from the inside, keep them close because they know your heart, and love you still.

You Both Understand That We're All Just Human

If you're mature enough to understand that we're all just human, love is capable of lasting. Of course, humans will fail, make mistakes, and stumble. But if you have someone willing to take accountability and work on their downfalls, you have a gem worth keeping. Forgiveness will set you free; holding grudges will leave you stuck and bitter.

You Still Care

No matter how much that person gets on your nerves or makes you mad, you still care about their well-being. If you care, there's still hope for the relationship. It's when nothing they do phases you, and when you don't complain or press an issue that you know the relationship isn't worth saving.

You're Still Best Friends

It's been said that the best relationships start from friendship. Whether it begins as friends or gradually becomes a solid friendship, a relationship is worth saving with a friend. Losing a relationship and a friendship would be detrimental.

Sit down as friends and discuss the issues at hand, and settle them respectfully. If you've already found a lifelong friend in your partner, never take them for granted.

Oddly enough, this generation is wired to throw people away like yesterday's trash. We are extremely eager to move on to the next new "thing" just as quickly as technology is produced. As a result, there is a lack of value and appreciation.

Signs That a Relationship Is Over

When should I stop trying to save my relationship? Some signs that it is time to end the relationship include:

  • You've both stopped trying
  • There is no emotional or physical connection or intimacy
  • You have differing goals in life
  • You no longer trust each other
  • You can't imagine a future together
  • There is constant conflict or abuse in the relationship

Fun Ideas to Get the Spark Back

Just like a candle, when the spark goes out, it can be relit. Try out these suggestions to rekindle the old flames.

  • Go on spontaneous dates often
  • Handwrite a love letter
  • Run a bath for your partner
  • Recreate the first date
  • Plan a vacation to a place you both have wanted to go
  • Turn off technology, sit in the middle of the floor, and talk, but really listen
  • Get dressed up and cook at home, then help each other undress for dessert

Being fully present with another is one of the greatest gifts you can give and receive.

A Word From Verywell

A relationship worth saving takes a lot of work from both people. There will be trying times, and you may want to give up, but that's when you are tested the most.

If you have someone of quality then you'll do anything to keep them around. The payoff will be worthwhile and appreciated because you'll have gone through the fight together.

If you love someone unconditionally, it is worth it to put in the work it takes to keep the relationship. As long as you both stay connected and communicate through it all, the relationship can weather the challenges life brings.

By Candis McDow
Candis has been a mental health advocate since 2014. She has written several articles about mental illness, and her memoir Half the Battle (available on Amazon and encompasses her journey of living with bipolar disorder.