Should I Go or Should I Stay? The Ultimate Relationship Checklist

Updated on October 25, 2018
Dr Billy Kidd profile image

Dr. Billy Kidd researched romantic relationships for 15 years. He held focus groups in various cities across the nation.

It's important to regularly evaluate your relationship and make sure that it's working well for both of you. This checklist will help you do just that.
It's important to regularly evaluate your relationship and make sure that it's working well for both of you. This checklist will help you do just that. | Source

It's the age-old question: Should I stay or should I go? All relationships have their ups and downs, and at times it can be difficult to determine if you and your partner are not compatible or if you're just going through a rough patch. Luckily, science can give us a few insights into how to identify and build a healthy romantic relationship.

The checklist below is based on new discoveries about how our biological systems create all the different feelings that hold our relationships together. If you feel confused or ambivalent about your relationship, this will give you a reasonable second opinion about whether you should hold on and try to make it work or whether you should just leave.

The Healthy Relationship Checklist

Study each statement and think about how it applies to your relationship. Then, mark each one true [T] or false [F].

  1. I trust my partner.
  2. I consider my partner to be one of my friends.
  3. I’d say my partner generally thinks about me without getting angry or jealous.
  4. I can talk about my ideas without my partner trying to shatter my dreams.
  5. Sometimes it feels rewarding just to be together.
  6. When I think about our relationship, I generally don’t get angry or jealous.
  7. My partner usually doesn’t criticize the way I spend money.
  8. Sometimes my partner looks excited when we meet.
  9. My partner is OK with discussing his or her personal problems with me.
  10. When I talk about my sexual needs, my partner usually gets it.
  11. I sometimes enjoy helping my partner.
  12. My partner has occasionally tried out new things when we are in bed.
  13. I can kick back, relax, and talk freely with my partner about the events of my day.
  14. I am generally satisfied when the sex is over.
  15. I usually think my partner does OK when it comes to spending money.
  16. My partner often seems to be content after we’ve had sex.
  17. My partner can kick back and relax when I’m around.
  18. I don’t gossip about our relationship all over town.
  19. Rather than holding it inside, my partner generally talks to me if there is a problem.
  20. After I get angry with my partner, I am able to cool off and let it go.
  21. My partner generally forgives my mistakes rather than constantly reminding me of them.
  22. We occasionally have our differences, but we don’t call each other names or fight in public.
  23. My partner seems to want me to achieve my goals.
  24. I can discuss my personal problems with my partner without it becoming a big hassle.
  25. My partner generally loosens up after talking to me about stressful events.
  26. My partner will generally help me when I really need assistance.
  27. I don’t feel isolated, anxious, or depressed because of our relationship.
  28. It’s important to me that my partner succeeds in life.
  29. I would do it all over again because it’s hard to imagine being without my partner.

Are Your Relationship Needs Being Met?

Count up the number of times you answered "True" to the statements above. The score you get will reflect how well you and your partner’s emotional needs are being met. Use the chart below to help you figure out what your score means:

Score
What It Means
24-29
Great! Your partner's a keeper.
18-23
OK. Discuss this questionnaire with your partner.
12-17
Troubled. Counseling could make it better.
6-11
Not Really Worth It. Get ready for the breakup.
0-5
What Relationship? It's time to go.

Should I Stay in the Relationship?

If your relationship falls in the Great category, you're in luck! If you've made it this far, then you two probably already have what it takes to communicate with each other in a healthy way when problems do arise.

If your score fell into the OK category, don't fret—your relationship is just fine. Though you and your partner have many strengths, you might want to work a little on your relationship in order to bring more excitement and meaning into your lives. Choose a good time and talk things over with your partner. Start working on one thing at a time build from there. Remember, no relationship is perfect—there will be times of happiness, times of hardship, and even times where it's just okay. Even if you have some issues, it's worth working together to resolve whatever few problems you may have.

Make sure you take time to yourself so that you can think about your relationship and get your thoughts together,
Make sure you take time to yourself so that you can think about your relationship and get your thoughts together, | Source

How to Fix a Broken Relationship

Most people who are seeking relationship help have scores that fall into the Troubled category. But what does it mean to have a troubled relationship, and how can you fix it?

Your relationship probably has its beautiful moments, but you might also have some things that are bothering you—maybe your partner doesn't listen to you when you talk, or maybe you don't like the way they spend money. Whatever the problems are, there are steps you and your partner can take to patch up them up and work towards building a healthier relationship together.

1. Recognize the problem areas.

Use the checklist above to help you identify in what areas your relationship could use some help. Avoid thinking about the nitty-gritty details and focus on the bigger picture. What would you like your partner to work on, and what are some areas that you can work on yourself?

2. Take the time to think about how you feel.

Before blowing your fuse at your partner because you've suddenly noticed a problem, take a bit of time to think about what it is that you want. It can help you see the situation in a different light and sort your thoughts. This will help you avoid being too heated and miscommunicating when you hash things out with your partner later.

3. Communicate your thoughts.

Don't go to bed angry. Setting aside a specific amount of time for you and your partner to talk these problems through.

You don't want to come off as pointing fingers; this is not a blame game. Start each point with "I feel that..." or "I think..." so that your partner knows that you are not blaming them for everything. You never know—they might be doing some of these things without even being aware of it.

4. Listen to your partner.

A relationship is a two-way street. Make sure you listen to how your partner feels. Try to practice "objective listening"—this means listening to what your partner is saying without interpreting it with your own feelings. Focus on the words they are using and do not influence them with your thoughts. It's important to be able to see things from your partner's point of view.

5. Keep the love alive.

You don't want your whole relationship to turn negative—it's still in a salvageable place. Continue to make an effort to show how much you love them. Give your partner compliments and little gifts, take them out on a romantic date, text them sweet messages, or do something special for them.

6. Consider speaking to a relationship counselor.

If you and your partner cannot talk about your problems without getting angry and heated, it might be time to bring in a mediator to help you sort out your problems. Couples therapy can help you two understand each others' point of view and work together towards solving your problems.

Should I Leave the Relationship?

If your score fell into the Not Really Worth It or What Relationship? categories, it seems as though your current romantic relationship might be a big hassle. You have picked a partner who creates stressful and chaotic situations for you. If you feel that to be true, make an appointment with a relationship counselor or psychologist and take this list with you. Use this chance to learn more about yourself and to enhance the meaning of your own life. It’s time for you to work on you!

This exercise might lead you to believe that it’s time to leave your partner. If you are married and have children, remember to think about them first before you make any big changes. Whatever your situation, it’s important to realize that it takes two people to create a great relationship. You cannot change it and make it exciting and meaningful without your partner onboard.

I Want Out! How Should I Leave My Boyfriend or Girlfriend?

If you’re actually getting ready to cut your partner loose, here’s something to think about: You don’t have to put someone down or scold them in order to go. You can just leave and move on.

When ending a relationship—whether it went on for many years or was for just a few months—you should be respectful of your soon-to-be-ex and be honest with them. Set aside a time to talk in person and let them know of your decision in a direct manner. Try not to insult, blame or belittle them—instead, use "I" statements and explain how you are feeling.

Afterward, they will surely have something to say. Listen to them respectfully, but don't take back your decision. You decided to break up with them for a reason, so don't get caught up in the heat of the moment and take them back.

If You Are a Victim of Domestic Violence

Your personal health and safety are most important. If you suspect that you are in an abusive relationship, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) and seek help.

How Do I Know If I'm in an Abusive Relationship?

Domestic violence and abuse is a serious issue that can affect anyone regardless of race, gender, or economic status. It is not restricted to acts of physical violence—partners can be emotionally and economically abusive as well. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, domestic abuse is "a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship."

Here are a few signs that you are in an abusive relationship:

  • Physical Abuse: Your partner punches, slaps, or otherwise physically harms you.
  • Sexual Abuse: Your partner performs sexual acts with you without your consent.
  • Verbal or Emotional Abuse: Your partner yells and curses at you, or threatens and intimidates you. The latter can be either verbal or written.
  • Stalking: Your partner shows up unannounced when you go to events alone or tracks you with a GPS.
  • Isolation: Your partner prevents you from leaving the house or from communicating with other people.
  • Economic Abuse: Your partner doesn't let you work or doesn't give you access to funds.

You might be a victim of one of these forms of abuse, or you might be a victim of all of them. It could even be that, at certain times, your relationship seems perfect—you go on dates, you compliment each other, and you have fun with each other. These positive moments, however, don't cancel out the physical and emotional toll abuse has on you over the longterm, and it's important that you recognize the signs and get out of the relationship as soon as you can.

Whatever your score and however you are feeling, please keep searching for ways to simplify, dignify, and enhance your romantic relationship. We all have ways in which we can improve and there's help everywhere, so don't stop now.

Whatever you do, remember that we are born to love and have relationships. It's instinctual. However, sometimes people who were mistreated while growing up take bad habits with them into their love lives. This is why generations of families are dysfunctional. With all the information available today, people do not have to go on making the mistakes their parents made. You can get help, move on, and stop having disastrous relationships.

© 2011 Dr Billy Kidd

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    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      12 days ago from Sydney, Australia

      You're not stupid, selahbela. You got sucked in by a liar. You should forget all your feelings for him. He's just a loser.

      Make a clean break. I suggest over the phone because he is violence prone. Narrow the reason down to something clear and quick. For instance, "I don't love you anymore." Or, "You and I are too different to be together." Don't let him argue. Stick to your point and then say goodbye.

      You have a hard choice. If you go through with the pregnancy you'll be reminded of him for years. I don't know where you live. But in many places a RU486 pill is available for an abortion--if you're between 5-10 weeks pregnant (before it's really a child). I know this is hard to hear, but think about it. The pill is taken at home.

      Can you really raise a child by yourself right now? It's a hard choice and I hope I have not offended you.

    • profile image

      selahbela 

      12 days ago

      I'm wondering if anyone could give me some guidance.

      Basic facts: I'm 29, female. Boyfriend is 41, male.

      My boyfriend and I have been together for about 6 months. We started as a casual hook-up, he "caught feelings" much faster than I did. Originally I tried to keep it logical and straightforward, "this is just sex and we both know it" kind of attitude. I was convinced he was just spinning the "soulmates" line so fast and dropping the L word because he was convinced I needed to hear those things to keep me around. The sex was great, so that was really unnecessary. However, over time, I started to develop feelings as well. We decided that we would become exclusive. That same week, he was calling a coworker at 3am for a booty call. He didn't know I had already blocked her number on his phone. It's the only reason he didn't cheat at the time. A pattern of behavior began to emerge: when we would have serious arguments he would seek the attention of other women. He is a self professed player, so none of this really surprises me in retrospect. He uses women like a security blanket. For comfort. The way I use food. Anyway. We found out about a month ago that I was pregnant. Again, that same week, he left his phone in my car when I dropped him off at home (that's right: he lives with his mom and has no car because he crashed it drinking and driving) and of course being the insecure, jealous and now paranoid woman I am, I went through the phone. Found he had made plans with another woman to go on a date that weekend. I called her and had a pleasant chat, i explained who I was, she said nothing had happened between them yet, they had just talked a few times. He got her number at work and said he wanted to get to know her better. Logically, I know that these are all just his ways of letting me know he isn't ready for a serious relationship, he's not really interested in me, and he's still looking for something better. He claims that he doesn't know why he did it, why he got her number. But ever since I haven't been able to trust him at all. Every text noise makes me cringe, every time he touches his phone in my presence - my skin crawls. I started demanding to see the phone. Even tracked him with Google accounts to see if he was where he said he was (spoiler, he lied! ...a lot!) I know that's not healthy.

      You may wonder why I assumed he was lying in the beginning when he said he loved me, and why I question it even now. He's an obsessive compulsive liar, it's like he MUST lie. When we first started up he told me he worked at a blood donation center. He was lying. He would tell elaborate stories about his supposed day at work, and honestly most of the time he was just at home drinking and playing Xbox. He said his lawyer told him to maintain appearances to look good for court, which obviously means like through your teeth about employment, I guess? The court date came and went with little fanfare, he didn't even have to go, charges dropped. So I don't buy that excuse. I just don't get why he'd like about that.

      Reading this you must think me very stupid or desperate to stay as long as I have and I would answer, perhaps. He is slick as a can of oil and can sweet talk his way out of just about any situation. Very charming. Very manipulative.

      Last week we got into a physical altercation over his phone, and refusal to stop smoking and drinking and he slammed me into a brick wall. I was 7 weeks at the time, and I ended up going to jail because the police were called and I was determined to be the primary aggressor. I've never been arrested up to this point in my life. I tried severing contact with him after I got out but found myself too weak. I kept imagining us as a family with the baby, him getting his life together and being the man I need him to be. But now, just a week later, I find myself sick of him. I hate his voice, his presence, his excuses, his lies. Luckily we don't live together and I can have some space when I want it because he can't drive over here and harass me.

      My request for guidance is basically, I know he's a piece of shit: he doesn't love me, probably only is trying to make this work due to the baby, and that I need to end it for good. If he does love me, it's way less than he loves himself, booze and his xbox. The problem is I have used the break up card too many times and now he doesn't take it seriously.

      How on Earth do I initiate a clean break up with someone I'm expecting a child with?

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      3 weeks ago from Sydney, Australia

      Hello Hannah,

      I'm glad I could help.

      Weather you are "innocent or guilty" doesn't matter. What matters is that you are not happy in this relationship. Make up your mind and tell your partner exactly what's bothering you.

      Dwell on it and find the main reason that bothers you. Like, "I'm just not in-love with you any more."

      Hope all goes well,

      --Dr. Kidd

    • profile image

      Hannah H 

      3 weeks ago

      Dear Dr. Kidd,

      Thank you so much for listening to my deepest thoughts and share with me all the tips and tricks. It means a lot to me.

      The only thing I would say is that I am not totally innocent, I always think that if I had treat all those indifference and problems wholeheartedly and find a way to use our joint effort better to tackle those problems, things should have turn out differently.

      Thank you so much Dr. Kidd

      Hannah

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      3 weeks ago from Sydney, Australia

      Hello Hannah!

      What Guilt? You are the innocent party here.

      Vows? That was a different time and place. Everything has changed.

      Lack of respect for your partner? This is really a deal breaker and negates the vows you have taken and the guilt you feel.

      If I was you, I would talk to people who have taken the initiative to get out of a dysfunctional marriage. Believe me, most all go through these feelings of guilt and fear of cutting the ties to a long term partner.

      I know it's hard to break the news the you're unhappy in your marriage--especially to those people who think all is well with you. But you've got to start talking about this thing.

      I know there is an urge to stay in a dysfunctional relationship that lots of people have. They tell themselves: Maybe if I give my partner another year things will work out. But no. Things just feel worse.

      I admit it takes a strong motivator for calling it quits with someone you've known for years. But if there is no love and respect, the time has come to part.

    • profile image

      Hannah H 

      3 weeks ago

      Hello Dr. Kidd,

      Thank you so so much for your prompt reply this means so much to me.

      All the negative thoughts were on my mind for such a long period of time. At some points I really hesitate what I'm doing and why I still let myself to stay at such a bad position that I actually don't want it. After being together all these years I am unwilling to accept my husband as he is and as his family is. This thing is... Although I no longer love him, I feel responsible for the vows we made when we get married. I think this is the only things that really keeping me here is guilt. The more time goes time, the more I begin to dislike my husband and his behavior. When I am about to be around him, I get an empty feeling. The fact is I would love to leave but feel too hooked and addicted to the relationship, primary reason is the long time we have been together and also because we are married. There are no major conflicts and fights between us, however, my respect for my partner is practically gone. I want to want our relationship to continue but I cannot say that I do want it to continue. Feeling very indifferent towards my other half that I have little motivation to try and work things out. I cannot understand why I put myself into this difficult position. Can I get some advice from you Dr. Kidd? I really want to clear my mind and get out of the blue.

      Thank you so much.

      Hannah

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      3 weeks ago from Sydney, Australia

      Hello Hannah!

      It sounds like you've just about had enough of being controlled by your partner. You've "lost your power" in this relationship.

      You feel you and your partner are not in sync. I agree. But this spoiling your vacations is nuts. Vacations are a time for couples to travel and explore new situations and environments.

      You have to decide: Do I want to settle for this? Or do I have too many needs that are not being met?

      Remember, your partner is not going to change. He came from a dysfunctional family, like your mum said. This leaves the weight on your shoulders to change your life--if that is what you need. Maybe you should go for a fresh start. Other people do it. You could too.

      --Dr. Kidd

    • profile image

      Hannah H 

      3 weeks ago

      Hi Dr. Kidd

      I scored a fair score at 18

      although I am feeling lost at the moment, I have been in a relationship for almost 13 years of which 4 and a half year married. I am currently 33 and my husband is 37. There are two major reasons drive me to hesitate whether I should keep the marriage on-going, first one is the way we value and the way to spend money, my husband spend money very consciously which is a good thing so we work towards the common goal of buying an apartment. But he is reluctant to really spend money on me, not a travel not any surprised gifts and he has no idea of treating meals for my family. I'd say he is not generous at all.

      We usually argue a lot when we travel abroad, mainly because we cannot align on the expenses goals. Literally we let my husband to be in control of money keeper and he decide the way of expenses during travels. However, when it comes to very limited budget for hotels and meals, then I become upset and have a upset face. I know this is really bad but I just cant' help as I have an image in my mind that he is super discipline on money spending which makes me feel we are not sync and going different directions.

      The above also related to his relationship with my family. My husband does not have the initiative to talk to my family aka my mum and my brother. I have always encourage him to feel more relaxed at my home and got to get into some conversations with my mum and brother. But it just didn't happen over these 4.5 years of marriage. Not just not to interact but he just say hi and bye literally. When I talk to him about this weird situation then he just pissed me off by saying that he is tired. I am regret that I didn't manage the big family relationship well when we were dating, they didn't see each other often. Maybe this is the reason why the relationship between them just didn't work well. This is also based on my mum's idea that he is from a broken family and his character is not sociable enough to be good enough to take care of me.

      Quite a lot of time that I feel like I didn't give it a good thought about how to manage our marriage before we got married. Cause these all years I just want a stable relationship and didn't think clearly if I am happy. I don't want to hurt him but part of me really want to get a fresh start of my life cause it's been so hard at times to get along well with my husband and also, the big family relationship.

      Can I get some advice from you Dr Kidd? I will be really grateful about it.

      Thank you so much

      Hannah

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      4 weeks ago from Sydney, Australia

      Hello vivianphan!

      If you do not feel like being your boyfriend's caretaker, get out of the relationship. But if you do not mind baby sitting your partner, stay in. This will of course go on for years.

    • profile image

      vivianphan 

      4 weeks ago

      I scored a 28 on the test.

      I am 20 years old and my boyfriend is 19. I understand we are young and relationships this early in your life typically falter. However, my boyfriend and I have a lot in common. We listen to the same music, we have a very similar sense of humor, and we are both adventurers. We both are impulsive thinkers and have the same mindset and values when it comes to being in a relationship. He notices when I am upset, even if I do not mention it.

      I love him and he loves me, but all of my friends think I am "too good" for him. I've also had a few of his friends tell me that as well. "Too good" in the sense that on paper, he doesn't seem like such a great guy. He was in rehab for a while, he has mental issues, and he has a lot of tattoos. I do not mind any of this, because he treats me very well and he is one of the sweetest guys I've ever met. How lightly should I take the advice of my friends?

      I am thinking of breaking up with him because he smokes a lot of weed and drinks a lot of alcohol. I do not have a problem with this morally, but I am in university and I am not sure if I should surround myself with someone who is under the influence so often. He is not in school at the moment, but he is studying to get his high school diploma.

      One of my best friends is a guy and he often gets jealous of him a lot, which is understandable, but I specified early in the relationship I am not one to get jealous easily and I expected him to do the same. I will not get jealous unless he gives me a reason to be.

      I have a car and he does not. I drive him and his friends around quite a bit. Typically, this bothers people, but it only bothers me sometimes when I've been driving all day. They are all gracious about it and make sure to say "please" and "thank you" or buy me food every once in a while. I'm not sure if this is a problem, but a lot of my friends tell me to make a note of it. He also doesn't have a lot of money so I buy food for him very often, but he isn't able to return the favor very often. He makes sure I know he is grateful for my actions though.

      I believe I have been spending too much time with him and my friends miss me. I live with three other people and our friend group is mixed pretty evenly with guys and girls. When I try to spend time with my friends at my apartment instead of interacting with them my boyfriend goes up to my room and waits for me. Since he is in my room, I don't want him to be lonely so I spend time in my room with him whilst my friends are downstairs. I spend a lot of time with his friends, also a mixed guy/girl group, and all of us get along just fine.

      I am not sure what to do. I've never met anyone like him. He is nice and patient with me when I am upset. He stops at nothing to make sure I am feeling okay. We are attracted to each other physically and we compliment each other all the time. I know he would do anything for me, but a lot of people are telling me he is not enough for me. I'm not sure what I should do or what I should be looking for.

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      6 weeks ago from Sydney, Australia

      Hello Cassidy,

      Jealousy has many factors that are learned while growing up. It then becomes the most tragic of all parts of a relationship.

      Don't let your boyfriend monitor your phone and website. That just empowers him more and makes him more demanding.

      You cannot change your boyfriend, as you've already found out.

      If I was in your position, I would start backing out of this dysfunctional mess.

      Dr. Billy

    • profile image

      Cassidy 

      6 weeks ago

      I scored a 20 on the test but...

      I realize that there are a lot of conflicts in our relationship. Granted I'm 16 and he's about to turn 17, I do know this will be something people see as "too young" or so on. He tends to get extremely jealous. A LOT. I have given him reasons not to, and I realize the consequences, but he tries to gain it back and I try to help and let him do what he wants to to get through it. I can see he genuinely does want it to work, but he struggles terribly. When we are together, the first thing he does is pick up my phone. I trust him 100% I have no reason not to. I'm his first serious relationship, for his others have been off and on. He finds retailers and salespersons that call me, and automatically thinks it's someone I'm having relations with. Its gone on from once a month to once a week. From once a week to a day. Now he looks for things and constantly asks "Who was it?" If he hears my phone go off, and it could be and email or a game alert, and his only reply is "You could just be saying that." This has all gone way to far and it isn't healthy for either of us.He makes me really happy, and we have spoke about this multiple times. It's a reoccurring conflict (as well as our only conflict, ever) and he tends to keep things bottled up but always swears to me nothing is wrong. He has called me names out of instinct in an arguement but also kind of hurts my feelings. He says things as a joke, but they hurt after time and I have told him about it and he does try with all his heart, but he's said it on accident and it would make me believe that it was true for a short moment. He says he wants to be with me and he does care. He's everything I want and this is his only big flaw that I won't accept. I've deleted all social media, let him delete people off my contacts that I had past relations with (I tend to get along with my past exes because we both understand that we would be better as friends) that I quit talking to years ago, and I let him ask his questions and look for his things and go on. His father was never around, and would only pop up when he needed money. My boyfriend has sworn to himself, God, and his family that he wouldn't be that kind of man, and he will accept the fact that it where he came from but he won't continue it. He lives in a home where he is the only male, but he sees his uncle frequently. (His mom, his sister, and his grandmother.) His grandmother runs everything, his sister won't do anything,refuses to ever move out and she's 19 and his mom constantly works to keep everything together. His mothers relationships with men haven't been too great either. My boyfriend does his best to help when possible, sometimes working two jobs but he can never balance school too. The only person he ever was close to emotionally had a tragic accident at work and didn't make it. As you can see, we talk about a lot of things and our problems together, but he won't ever tell me what's wrong with him. (Please understand the difference) I try to give him the benefit of the doubt, as he is everything I've ever wanted and I confide in him, but it's gone really far but we both only want to make it work and fix it together. Is there anything we can do or anything we can try to gain back the trust that's been lost?

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      7 weeks ago from Sydney, Australia

      Rowan, Hello!

      You need to examine yourself.

      Ask why I would help this person who will not change and will be in a crises for years to come?

      What drives you to be jealous?

      Why are you afraid to end this frustrating relationship?

      Open your heart and try to love yourself more and discover what your true needs are.

      You surely do not need this man.

      Sorry about my bluntness. But it's time to start working on finding what you need to do to meet the challenges of the post-graduate world.

      Dr Billy

    • profile image

      Rowan 

      8 weeks ago

      Dr. Kidd,

      My boyfriend and I have been together for about 8 months. I'm in love with him, and I love him, it's the same for him. But... we've been having problems for...weeks and really months now. (and I scored about a 13 on your website) I feel like it's gotten worse since I moved to finish school and now we are in a very long distance relationship and are unable to see each other until probably December. We're both 22, I graduate in May, and I am going to need to make some serious decisions where I will move, where I will work, etc whereas he once again has failed a year and will be in school for at least another three years because of a case of severe panic attack disorder where for a long time he was unable to attend classes and function normally, except that since starting our relationship he has started to feel much better. Some of the problems now are that I am extremely jealous, I feel like I cannot 100% trust him, especially when he is around girls and his female friends, I feel like I can never tell him how I feel and what problems I think we have without him freaking out and getting stressed out and wanting to avoid the subject, even recently he said that yes we are in a serious relationship and that he wants to see where the future will lead us but that he is unable to say that we will be together forever because he is still young and he wouldn't even want to think about marriage for another eight years and to not expect that he's put a ring on me in the next couple of years. He has a really hard time talking about the future, even talking about the near future as in three months from now. He has feelings for me, he loves me, he cares about me, but I wonder whether I should stay in this relationship or not especially when he says that talking about staying together forever is "a scary thing to think about". He even had a female best friend for years who eventually abandoned him when he got sick and eventually stopped talking to him and it seems as if he cares way too much about her even when it is obvious that she doesn't care at all about him, and they even had nicknames for one another "man of my life" "woman of my life" that apparently "meant nothing" when he ended up still using it after we had already been dating for a couple weeks. I was getting more and more aggravated by this girl whom he hasnt seen in over a year because it was like he couldn't let go of her and finally I put down my foot and said it was either me and her and that he had to choose which one to keep in his life especially since he kept saying that he didn't care at all about her and so I said that in that case he shouldn't have any problem cutting all ties with her on social media and via text since they hadnt exchanged any words as in texts since 6-7 months ago and so he threw a huge fit and eventually afterwards promised me that this one girl would disappear completely from his life but also said that I didn't deserve him doing this for me, although it has been me who has been there for him these past 8 months while he's been going through his mental health crisis, his various problems with school, appartment, etc. I have been there for him every day, I have supported him and cared about him, tried to help him and encourage him, have done nothing to make him jealous etc. I know that my own extreme jealousy and controlling nature are my own bad qualities and that I need to work on them but I cant help but ask myself what is the point of me continuing in this relationship if he doesn't know if he wants me for the long run. I would want to be able to move in with him in about another year or so, but at this point I'm not even sure what his answer would be. Sometimes I wonder if it's just the fact that his present and future are so uncertain and because hes under a lot of stress because of school and his mental health and not that he's uncertain of me. But I don't want to, for example, be with him for another year or 5 and then have him say that in fact I'm not the one for him. I'd be left feeling that I have wasted my time and life for him. I feel so hopeless and desperate, and I just don't know what to do. Without him I would feel brokenhearted and extremely hopeless and sad. I just want our relationship to advance and to not argue every single day over the phone and to not stress out every single time he leaves his house, sees his friends, goes to school, etc. I know he loves me and I dont doubt that and he has done a lot for me but I think I love him much more than he loves me and I am willing to sacrifice a lot more than he would for me although he vehemently disagrees that I love him more than he loves me... Is this relationship worth it ? How do I/we make this work?

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      2 months ago from Sydney, Australia

      Pauline, hello!

      The biggest relationship problem is the woman you are working for. She wants to keep this relationship ugly. That's her relationship style.

      The tears and the pain you feel so often can only be resolved by quitting this job. Yes, it will be a very painful breakup with the horses. But it's better to go through that. At least you'll be in charge.

      I've had horses, and yes, they are like dogs that one gets attached to. But I still suggest you move on with your life.

      --Dr. Billy Kidd

    • profile image

      Pauline Eichner 

      2 months ago

      Dear Dr Kidd,

      I have a relationship of a different kind but I feel like you are the right person to give me advice on this and it is still fitting for the test.

      I've been caring for a horse (his name is champ) for the past 5 years that is now very old and sick. We trust each other a lot and we know each other very well.

      I love him with all my heart but sometimes I am scared that I've just convinced myself that I love him that much because i am afraid of change.

      I don't get a lot out of this relationship because i cannot do anything with him anymore because of his arthritis. We only go on walks together that usually have some very short moments of enjoyment for me, tho.

      I do not believe that he owes me anything or that I should want anything more from him at this point than just his company.

      I do enjoy his company a lot, being with him feels like home and familiarity.

      There is a big problem, though.

      His owner is very abusive towards me. One day she showers me with love, the next day she gets very angry with me for small mistakes.

      just now she accused me of lying that i saw he was lame so i could get out of going on a walk with him.

      She doesn't trust me at all.

      She has people spy on me regularly that report back to her exactly what I've done and when I've done it while I'm at the stable and she has the ability to watch me through cameras that are set up at the arena.

      i also care for another one of her horses but i honestly really hate that one.

      Whenever I'm at the stable I cry several times and this has been normal for at least 2-3 years now. I don't enjoy anything about being there besides some very short and fleeting moments with champ.

      But i also know that the owner will never EVER let me see champ again if i quit or even just change anything about our arrangement.

      I will probably move away early next year and if i stay in this arrangement tis then i could probably still visit him but i think the mental breakdowns that i have every time I'm there (twice a week) might not be worth it.

      Do you think it is worth staying in this relationship? Do you think I really love champ? Is it worth putting up with all of this?

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      2 months ago from Sydney, Australia

      Brandon,

      You are having the typical problems teenagers have as they move into adulthood. This is a confusing time for a lot of young adults.

      In school you will find people like yourself who want to discuss the deeper aspects of life.

      As I see it, your number one priority is the study of neurology and neuroscience. I've done this, and I could not do both having a stormy relationship that interrupted my thoughts and do neurological studies at the same time. Therefore, you would not be an "asshole" for ignoring this young man.

      Your second priority is establishing a social support group. If it is possible, find people in your classes to work with on problems together.

      And remember, you're on a road to discovery. Don't let anything hold you back!

      Dr. Billy Kidd

    • profile image

      Brandon Caudillo 

      2 months ago

      Hey Dr. Kidd,

      I need some advice.

      I have been in a long distance relationship with my boyfriend for 2 months now and things have been very unstable.

      I met him at my high school during the first days of June. We flirted with each other for weeks before beginning to date, but then I graduated. I went off to New York to study neurology and neuroscience while my boyfriend stayed in California. I also recently turned 18 while my boyfriend is going to turn 16 in 4 months.

      Before leaving, I asked him if we wanted to be in a relationship, despite having to go off to college in New York. He said yes and I agreed to endeavor in our experiment.

      However, I am currently lost.

      I noticed that while I spent my final days in high school, I found myself being perpetually annoyed by his persistent lack of focus and constant mental fixation on a video game we both played. The only thing he wanted to talk about was leveling up in this video game while I wanted to talk about more deeper, philosophical conversations.

      This made me feel that we were incompatible despite respecting and loving each other through the long distance process. When we spent time together in school, we would be funny and joke around. I feel that he never got to see the more relevant side of me that is more focused on reality and questioning the world. I spend a lot of my time excavating tough problems and/or being creative in numerous projects. This largely differs from his perspective that I'm a socialite who keeps things simple. I'm pretty complicated and like complexity in things I do.

      I found myself getting bored of our conversations during the summer long distance because all he wanted to talk about was the video game. When I wanted to discuss my day or other things I was interested in, he would largely seem uninterested. I recently discovered he's interested in science and can talk hours on that, but he suppressed this interest to fit in with his friends. Aside from talking science, it frustrates me when he doesn't pay attention and at times can be really immature. I could be trying to explain something to him when he goes off on a tangent, completely forgetting what I was saying.

      It's also important to note that he has ADHD and is 15 while I am 18 and have MDD and GAD. I am medicated as he is too, but we both have our moments when we get moody and can't control what we say or do.

      In large part, my frustrations came about from long distance and not being able to see him. It felt so much more exhilarating to talk to him in person than over the phone where things are lost in translation. I took the quiz and nearly got a perfect score (subtracting the sex questions out, though). In short, I feel lost because I know the things that annoy me about him are related to his age and disorder, but I don't want to be an asshole and leave because I can't handle them. Also, I want to be able to communicate about other things, but it's a lot harder for him to focus on the phone and therefore I get angry. What do I do?

      Sincerely,

      Brandon Caudillo

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      2 months ago from Sydney, Australia

      Hello Lella,

      You are relying on a decision you made at 14. That’s when you narrowed your young love down to one man. But now you have entered what is called “transitional adulthood.” That’s the stage of going from a teenager to an adult. Sometimes it takes 5 or more years to feel like an adult.

      Right now, you’re holding yourself back by playing mother to your high school boyfriend. He has no interest in growing up. This leaves you emotional and sad. That’s because you’ve accepted your new life stage, moving into full adulthood. And he hasn’t. Now he’s holding you back. But you want to break out of this teenage relationship and explore all the possibilities! He doesn’t want you to. Mothering is all he wants from you. Be honest with yourself, you really are tired of this whole thing.

      This stage of life brings new questions. You need to make a list of what you want to achieve in college. Are you studying the right things? Or is it time to find a more fitting major?

      Now stop for a minute and think about this: being afraid you’ll never find some one as good as him is just an excuse for doing nothing. I hope this doesn’t upset you, but you’ve only had this one boyfriend. Now is the time to discover who you are and work on your goals. It’s a waste to and energy to hold onto this dysfunctional relationship.

      I realize it seems like I’m asking a lot from you. But all young adults are facing the same thing.

    • profile image

      Leila 

      2 months ago

      Hi dr. Kidd

      I scored a pretty high score...

      although I am feeling lost at the moment, I have been in a relationship for almost 4 years. I am currently 18 and my boyfriend is 19. we went to the same I high school and we were always on and off during that time because I was always unsure.... although he means the world to me and I love him more than myself. he is perfect, he is caring, he is sweet he is everything I could ask for. But now that we are in college and work together and are majoring in the same major, I feel so emotional and sad. I keep feeling as if I am always there to push him to always want him reach his goals to want him to succeed to make him happy. he is very inconsiderate at times. I have to wake him up for work I have to pick him up to go to school. I feel like a parent rather than his girlfriend. I get to work late due to the fact that he really doesn't care much for being early to work when in fact I do. I just feel like there is so much for me to do, to experience with my life and being with him holds me back so much. I love him! everything about him I am more than myself with him I feel as If can be anything I want to with him. his family is great, his parents. everything is perfect. but Ive always felt like even though we are so similar we are so different at the same time. ive grown tired and even though ive talked to him and he apologizes he never truly makes a change. I just I feel like if I leave I won't ever find someone like him again. someone that I can be myself around that knows me for who I am. I just feel like I am depending to much on him to be happy and to succeed. I don't know why im feeling like this.

    • profile image

      Beca 

      2 months ago

      Hi Dr. Kidd

      Thank you very much for your fast advice

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      2 months ago from Sydney, Australia

      Beca,

      I held discussion groups about romance with young adults. Once I asked why I hadn't heard the word "commitment" so far in our 90 minutes of discussing it. One participant yelped back, "Commitment to what? Waiting 5 years for my boyfriend to grow up?

      That's where you are at. Why waste 5 years trying to change yourself to accommodate your partner?

      Plus, people go through changes when starting college. It often gets a person to face some hard realities.

      Your hard realities include stop trying to change yourself to accommodate your partner. That's all wrong. It shows you two are not compatible.

      He argues and he hit you. That's a deal breaker.

      It's time to look at your future at college. Will your degree lead to a job? Will you need a masters degree? And a bunch of other things.

      Call it quits with your non compatible partner. Go forth without this relationship distorting your thinking about who your are. Set yourself free.

      Dr. Billy Kidd

    • profile image

      Beca 

      2 months ago

      Hi Dr. Kidd

      I scored quite high on the test, but im still very uncertain. We've been having a rough time lately. I used to think we will move in together, I imagined my life with him. He's 23 and I'm 19. My problem is that he still lives at home, and it doesnt look like he's going to move out yet. He could have done it multiple times, but always found something that was more important. Also, I can't think of him as a manly man, usually I'm in charge in the relationship. I really loved and adored him before all of this, I don't know what have changed...It's like the certainty have gone. Altough, I'm not perfect either. True, he is not very independent, manly, he can be very stubborn and hard to put up with. But I can be very critical and agressive. There was a time when I hit him as well. We had serious problems with sex, and he didnt want it as much as I am. He sometimes turn me down even halfway. I felt ashamed, and cried a lot. I really regretted everything I've done wrong, I changed so much thanks to him, and my efforts, but we seem to run the same cycles over and over again. I try my best to make things right altough I don't have much faith in this recently. The arguments, lack of passion and effort....It seems everything falls apart. Im going to college this September, and we won't have as much time together aswe used to have. Could you please give me some advice on what do to?

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      3 months ago from Sydney, Australia

      Emily,

      You're tired to being with a romantic partner who does not love you. You are also tired of playing the role of the perfect partner.

      Do not wait any longer. Get out. Some day you'll get over your anger about his not loving you.

      Get single and someone will come your way. Remember, a man must be able to look you in the eye and discus his feelings or he is not the right person to start a new relationship with.

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      3 months ago from Sydney, Australia

      Hello A, stop overthinking this. You are lucky. You can watch her grow and be proud of her when she does.

      If the relationship is going as well as you say it is, consider yourself lucky.

      Just be careful you don't slip into jealousy as she changes and your relationship changes over time. Remember also that you have more growing up to do too.

      May you find wisdom in all of this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      3 months ago

      Hi Dr. Kidd,

      I scored very high on this test, but I still have questions about my relationship. Both of us are kind, empathetic, respectful and caring towards other people and each other. I'm 31 and she's 21. We both are in nontraditional fields--I'm a musician and she is a ballet dancer. She's very smart, driven, and passionate. She does have quite a bit of life experience having already travelled to other countries and worked as a professional dancer. However, sometimes I feel that she's quite insecure about herself and that our age dynamic might perpetuate that. She is still immature in some ways, though I think she's self-aware enough to know that.

      I know that she will blossom into an amazing person, but sometimes I feel that she might need to do some of this discover some things about herself on her own. I sometimes also wonder if I was with someone closer to my own age would give me more perspective about life, etc. But at the same time I know that she will grow in great ways and I don't want to lose her for that reason. We are very happy when we're together the vast majority of the time, but when we're apart I sometimes worry about how right the relationship is.

      Do you have any advice?

      Thanks

    • profile image

      Emily 

      3 months ago

      Hi,

      While I scored quite high, couldn't fault our relationship, people around think we are a perfect couple. Though, we are going through a breakup now.

      We've been in a relationship almost three years, but he cannot say he loves me, avoids any conversation about feelings, our relationship or the future.

      By no means I didn't try to pressure him.

      If there is no love, what is the point of relationship? To wait another three years in hopes he will love me?

      I'm in my early thirties and very introverted.

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      3 months ago from Sydney, Australia

      Confused, your partner isn't interested in marriage. And it sounds like you're not happy with your this situation.

      Time spent together should have some joyful moments. It doesn't matter how many years a person has put into a relationship. Sometimes we just have to let it go when we're not happy.

      You and he argue and he thinks he's always right. This singles out a non compatibility issue.

      Don't be afraid about being single at 50. Many do it and it brings some new things and enjoyment, as well as emotional growth.

      Take Care,

      Dr. Billy Kidd

    • profile image

      confused 

      3 months ago

      I have been in a relationship coming up on 12 yrs. He has been previously married and I have not. We both turned 50 this yr. I planned for a year to go on vacation for our 10 yr. dating anniversary in hopes that he would propose. Well it was a disaster. He brought a second hand ring but never gave it to me. He lamely put it under a napkin at dinner the day after we got back and no real effort into it. We had set a date of Nov this year however he never talks about it so I didn't go through with save the date invites. The conversation came up about going on vacation to Vegas or somewhere to tie the knot this year but I feel he doesn't really want to. I feel its out of obligation. I don't know what to do. When I try to talk to him he's very defensive and I always end up being in the wrong. We do have love and desire for eachother but we have not really progressed financially or emotionally over the course of 10 yrs. We have a good routine down, but don't do alot socially together. We hardly ever laugh, he doesn't really have a good sense of humor and takes everything literally. I guess I have already answered my own question.

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      4 months ago from Sydney, Australia

      Elsa,

      It appears that you need to start looking for a new arrangement. Contact me if you'd like to discuss it. The contact button is in the left hand corner at the top of this article.

    • profile image

      Elsa Wood 

      4 months ago

      i have 13 points

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      4 months ago from Sydney, Australia

      SimplyMe,

      Correspond with me directly by using the Contact Author button at the left hand corner at the top of this article. It's right next to my picture.

    • profile image

      SimplyMe 

      4 months ago

      How can I chat with u privately? My story is like no other n right now I need some advice from a person who is not my friend. F-37y-Married 11y-boyfriend 3y- short sum n must make a decision in two days time is of the essence. Plz help :-(

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      4 months ago from Sydney, Australia

      Ram,

      You are feeling the pain of a broken relationship.

      You must muster your courage, lose your fears, and find a support group to get you through these sad times. You need female friends to say "yes" to the changes you might envision.

      Stop worrying about finding another mate. I know a woman who was restricted to an electric wheelchair. She found a wonderful, kind loving man. They were married and are happy together.

      Stop worrying about what your families will think when you leave this man. Let's face it: He doesn't care about you anymore. And you tried your best. No person should have to put up with a partner who gets angry all the time. You've given all you got now it's time to focus your energies on yourself..

      Your immediate need is to move out or tell him it's time for him to leave. He probably won't understand. He just doesn't get this.

      --Dr. Kidd

    • profile image

      Ram 

      4 months ago

      Dr Kidd,

      This article is exactly what I needed at the moment and this couldn't be more relatable. I scored 16 but most of it were related to my thoughts about my partner and our relationship. We are together for 5 years but the last two have been very different. He just changed to the point that I have few to no recollection of who he was when I first met him. Despite these changes, I tried to cope up and continued to do my best to keep it together. I would relive the same arrangement from our past unforgettable dates to the next ones, I would ask him out to his favorite restaurant every now and then, I would surprise him with simple little things but I just couldn't see any results. He would distant himself and would say that these kind of stuff are more of a "new lovers" thing and are not appropriate for us - which I don't agree. These simple things are often overlooked but usually make a difference in the long run.

      Before reading your article, I listed down the reasons why I should leave him and I'm surprised that the list just goes on and on; he doesn't trusts me with his personal struggles, he wouldn't sleep with me for months, he shows no interest when I bring marriage and kids into the discussion, he gets angry for the simplest things and won't talk to me for days, and I can barely feel his excitement anymore of being with me at the end of the day. For fairness' sake, I also tried to list down the reasons why not and I only came up with two; one being the length of our relationship and the good memories we've had and the other is our familiarity with each other's family.

      With what I shared so far, I guess it is pretty obvious that I should get going but I am really scared about the gravity of pain I would surely get once I lose him. I also fear not finding someone else ever again. I am the kind of person who can and is willing to endure as much pain and sacrifice for the one I love but at the same time, I do acknowledge the fact that everything has an ending, good or bad. Your thoughts on this will be highly appreciated. XX

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      7 months ago from Sydney, Australia

      TooAmbivalent,

      I was not notified about your post like what usually happens automatically. Sorry for not getting back to you sooner.

      Being in-love is selecting one person to be with. This is a instinctual reaction. The in-love obsessive phase passes in about 3 to 6 months.

      You're not in-love with this person. Rather you probably have either feelings of friendship where you treat each other as good friends. Or you feel like family. Or maybe you do not.

      You have to live in the present. Right now you feel ambivalent. That may never go away. You need to back off and slow down. Do not make decisions on a whim. This is someone you care about, true. But if you're feeling ambivalent this is no time to try and move the relationship forward and deeper.

    • profile image

      TooAmbivalent 

      7 months ago

      Dr Kidd,

      Thanks for the great article. I score high with my bf of one year (26-27), but I'm concerned that the reason is more because we are both caring, mature, well-adjusted adults rather than the strength of our love for each other, and it's really hard for me to know whether to stay together. I haven't had that stage of falling in love with him (I have with a couple exes), but I do think we are compatible and we do love each other. I'm worried that I will always have these feelings of ambivalence and feel like I 'missed out' on falling in love with my life partner if we move forward together. What should I do? If I break up with him I might miss out on a life with an amazing person, but if I stay with him I feel like I might be plagued with these doubts and uncertainties for the rest of my life.

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      7 months ago from Sydney, Australia

      Helen,

      That is an amazing story!

    • profile image

      helen shawn 

      7 months ago

      After being in relationship with him for 3 years,he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that never believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I mailed the spell caster, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened, that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem and who is different from all other ones out there. Anybody who need his help, should contact his email, DROGBEMUDIANSPELLHOME@GMAIL.COM.

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      7 months ago from Sydney, Australia

      weirdvibes,

      When someone says constantly that you stress him out, don't feel guilty. You are not responsible for his feelings, he is. If he sulks in his room and skips work, you both need some space, some time apart.

      I say that for many reasons. He needs to deal with his own depression and you can't help him much on that. When desire and sexuality are gone, romance fades away.

      Don't think he is going to suddenly come around. Where his head is at it would take a long time to change.

      Maybe it's time for you to get a condo again for yourself. You need time on your own to figure out what you feel, what your career goals are, what kind of partner you really want. He is not cutting it right now and may never be the man you really want--the husband and caring father

      .

      Remember--you cannot change him. So think about what you said, that you have basically given up your life. It's time to be on your own and find your life again. Only then can you think about continuing your relationship with him.

      Dr. Kidd

    • profile image

      weirdvibes 

      7 months ago

      Dear Dr. Kidd

      Thank you so much for your blog. I love reading.

      I scored 17 which seems right for what I am going through with my bf. Although a lot of the important questions I answered ‘T’ to however most of the sexual questions I answered ‘F’. We have been together for 1.5 years and I have always been a lot more sexual and affectionate that him. Recently we moved in together and I moved across the country to a new job, living in a huge house and having room-mates coming from owning my own condo living alone and basically giving up my life. Over and over I have tried to communicate that I need more intimate time together and we came up with a compromise and it (once again) was not happening. Along with this I decided after many complaints and discomfort that I could not deal with having roommates and I told him I was going to move out if we didn't get rid of them. He said that we could live alone and I felt excited.

      Recently he got a terrible cold and our basement flooded at the same time and now needs total reconstruction. He decided to start sleeping in another room (we also struggle to sleep together being both light sleepers which is a whole other issue). He started getting very frustrated, depressed (rightfully so) and complaining about how he doesn’t have any time to do his own thing, ever. My advice was to stop committing to so much and that he brings these issues on himself when he could easily simplify his life in many ways. Not the flooding, but he seems to ALWAYS have something on the go making him too busy to be affectionate or really stressed out.

      On the weekend I felt really frustrated and very upset and drank A LOT of wine and was very drunk (not the first time). I broke down screaming and crying and hit him multiple times across his body, said nasty things to him how he is a terrible sexual partner, would be an awful father and husband because if he can’t handle things now, how could he handle being a father! he said nasty things back and I broke up with him (second time doing this). The next day I regretted the entire thing feeling totally guilty and horrible. (I got very defensive during that fight and only slightly believe some of the things I said).

      After a long conversation we decided to take some space and he has been sleeping in a separate room and missing days of work, playing video games and clearly quite depressed. He says I am the one to stress him out and that I am the reason I don’t get sex as often as I want because I am a stress in his life and nagger and he can never make me happy because I will always find something new to complain about or drop all my emotions on him. I am now after everything taking most of the blame. I am trying to lighten things up, move forward but he just stays in this room most of the time depressed. I am so confused as to what to do so I am just leaving him alone to sulk in his man-cave. Is this a recipe for disaster and should I be leaving him or do I continue to work on making things better? It should be exciting moving in together, help!

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      7 months ago from Sydney, Australia

      Hello CL,

      Yes you should feel confused, sad, grief stricken, hurt, and angry. Your boyfriend has made his emotional/work problems your problems. And that's no fun because you never know when he's going to break down again.

      You have to understand your boyfriend has a serious mental illness. Better communication between you and him is not going to make your problems go away.

      If I was you, I would break it off for a set period of time. That would give you some space to feel the freedom to work on your own issues and see what life is like without this madness. I know you don't want to hear that but you need a break from this craziness. Your boyfriend doesn't seem to understand that the stressors in your relationship all relate to him.

      I say this knowing that you cannot help him straighten his life out. He needs a psychiatrist. Medications and talk therapy with a psychologist go hand in hand some times.

      My concern is with you. You really need a break for this madness. It has you all stressed out and your relationship is not going to be fulfilling until you both are more relaxed.

      Dr Kidd

    • profile image

      CL 

      7 months ago

      Dear Dr Kidd,

      Thank you for this great article, I'm currently going through a tough patch in my relationship and it really helped give some perspective.

      However, I'm still feeling confused and would really like your thoughts on what I'm going through.

      I've been with my boyfriend for about 18 months. We score high on your questionnaire. However, the past 6 months have been really rough, and it started when my partner graduated from medical school and started working. Work has been really really tough for him with long hours and overnight shifts. One month into his job, he was diagnosed with MDD with symptoms of anxiety. He could hardly bring himself to go to work and he often felt like quitting. He eventually took a three month break, during which he got better, but when he resumed his work again things just starting deteriorating. He's been seeing a psychologist very regularly, and while he's trying to change, progress is slow and sometimes it seems like we're back to square one.

      I feel like his troubles with work has really affected our relationship, because it has been a large source of unhappines in my life. People around me tell me that it's because I love him that I hurt so much to see him struggle, but the hurt is real and intense for me. Perhaps it is also because of my perspectives of his troubles. I view them as a symptom of poor stress management and low resiliency in the face of adversity (because his mom tells me he struggled similarly in a previous episode before he met me, and also because many people go through the first few years of being a doctor without struggling as much). With this perspective, sometimes I really worry about our future and how he might react to future stresses. Which only adds to my grief and confusion over whether I should stay in this relationship.

      In addition, we very recently argued over a small matter. I left the house to get some space, but I made the mistake of not telling him I was leaving. He saw it as a rejection and he started to feel like he could never make me happy (I'm not very sure what exactly he was feeling, but this is my idea). In his desperation/anger, he tried to take his own life.

      He is physically fine right now, but yesterday he suggested taking a break from our relationship. He felt like he couldn't deal with the stress of our relationship in addition to his work. From my side, I actually don't agree with this point. I feel like the troubles in our relationship are very solvable with good communication, but I wanted to respect his choice so I agreed to the break.

      This is also actually not the first time that he self-harmed. He previously threw himself down the stairs during work. After that, he felt so guilty over his actions that he broke up with me over the phone. He called the next day to apologise and we got back together. I was very hurt by his actions, so we spoke about this issue with the therapist and he agreed not to take our relationship so lightly again.

      And right now, I'm feeling a mixture of many emotions. Sadness over the loss. Anger over the unfairness (I feel like he does not value our relationship as much as I do, and that he does not appreciate the things I do for him). Confusion over whether to stay in the relationship etc.

      Thank you for reading, if you have the time, I will really appreciate your thoughts on this.

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      8 months ago from Sydney, Australia

      Alice,

      Many adults just don't feel the urge to take a relationship to the next level right away. They often feel like they are not fully an adult. Adulthood no longer has a set path or plan. It's subjective now. That's because it takes so much more time to feel one can take on the responsibilities of living together or getting married.

      You sound like you've had enough waiting. But don't feel alone. Even people living together feel uncertain about the future. It's a brave new world of love for so many people.

      So his hesitation may be about how he feels about himself and not about how he feels about you.

    • profile image

      Alice 

      8 months ago

      I've scored very high, about 27-28, however one of the F's was I often feel depressed about our relationship.

      We are in a relationship more than two years, he is amazing, caring person and love him very much. However he wants to keep things as they are, doesn't want to bring our relationship to next level, as moving in together, marrying, creating fallmily. The idea of leaving him breaks my heart, but I don't see an other option.

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      8 months ago from Sydney, Australia

      Garrick,

      You need to heal, with her or without her. You need to be with family and friends right now. Don’t run back to her, not when you’re hurting so much. It might only get worse. Try for a day not to dwell on your relationship. You’ve got to give your heart a break.

      She holds all the aces in this relationship as it currently stands. One day she wants to get together, and the next day she is unsure and wants to be alone. She’s in a flip-flop mood. To be with her now would only hurt you more.

      Your partner has a lot of things to sort out. This will take time. She also must be honest with you about why she left you in the first place. Regrettably, you have to wait until she is done sorting and invites you back.

      You just want to disappear, you say. Then do it a day at a time and wait for her to text you. And don’t let the 4 years you’ve been with her be the deciding factor. The time we spend in a relationship is always a learning experience. And maybe you have some sorting to do too.

    • profile image

      Garrick Watson 

      8 months ago

      My girlfriend, after nearly four years of being in a committed relationship, felt dissatisfied enough that she started talking to and eventually left me for a guy she had only known for two months online. I really loved her and was, of course, devastated. She was my first date, my first kiss, my first time, my first real love. Since then she left the guy, and has been on and off with me over text for the past 3 weeks. Unfortunately when this all happened I attempted suicide and had to fly out to Mississippi to be with people who cared about and would take care of me, so I can no longer physically see her. She promised she wouldn't leave again, but has repeatedly been telling me she's "Unsure" and thinks she wants to be alone. She says she loves me and cares for me, and I'm offering her a sound future, the one she had asked me for in the first place. But she still seems unsatisfied with it, to the point of the only reason I found this site is because she was reading your forum. She repeatedly tells me she still loves and cares about me, and wants to be with me. And for me, she ranked extremely high, getting a perfect score on the above questionnaire. I'm unsure of what I should do, I care for her so much, more than I've ever loved anyone else, but she's jerking me around like a yoyo and i'm unsure of how to proceed. I want to be there for her, I want to take care of and love her, but I'm just not sure my heart can hold up. I've tried to communicate this with her repeatedly and she continues to reassure me it won't happen again each time, but then she's right back to being unsure and discontent. I know it's because I can't get her out here right now, and a text relationship isnt fulfilling, but I just have no possible way to fly her out for at least a month. How do I deal with this situation, how can I possibly keep her happy? I continue to pay her as much attention as I possible can, calling and skyping her, but even though she's happy during the video calls right afterwards she's even worse than she was before.

      I just want to disappear, I feel so useless and used but she's still my best case scenario as far as I can see, I've spent a lot of my life on her and don't want to give up just because she's making a couple of mistakes in the present...

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      9 months ago from Sydney, Australia

      Andrew,

      Your post leaves a lot of questions for me.

      When you say you would not do it again, does that mean it just was not worth it? No great memories? Little satisfaction today? You look back with regret?

      Are you staying in the relationship because you do not think you can find someone better?

      You say that desire has left you. What changed? Can you figure that out? Is it you that has changed or is it your partner or both of you that has changed? If that is it, remember partnerships take work to get through the changes.

      That leaves me wondering if you have any desire for women in general.

      You say you do not care much if your partner succeeds or not. Does that mean you do not care about what her goals are? Or have the two of you stopped communicating and you do not know what she desires in here life and her hope for you are?

      Remember, love and desire are actions. They propel us. If we do not keep up with it, we are in danger of losing it.

      As advice goes: you two would benefit from a vacation together where you explore something new. I say that because it sounds like you are going through the same old paces, with no new life coming into the relationship.

      You also might get a blood check to see if your testosterone level has dropped.

      I kind of get the feeling you want to leave this relationship. Do you want to live alone? The fact remains that regardless of what I say or what you do, some relationships have a time limit.

      If it were me, I would put some effort into communicating with my partner. And I'd take an interesting trip together. I'd also join a fitness center and work out. That raises ones desire for life and love.

      I'm left wondering if you are bored with her or with your life in general.

      I hope this gives you some new thoughts that might lead to new actions. I cannot say whether it is time to get up and move on.

      Dr. Billy Kidd

    • profile image

      Andrew 

      9 months ago

      Dr. Kidd,

      I really appreciate that you continue to log on and answer questions. You also answer with genuine care. Thank you

      I scored very high. 27 out of 30, but I seem to have chosen [F] for the most important ones. I get a little depressed sometimes because our relationship, it honestly isn't too important that my partner succeeds, and I wouldn't do it all over again.

      On paper she is fantastic and I can't really complain. I guess my attraction to her has faded? I want someone new, but I feel it will be highly unlikely for me to find another person that will fulfill the criteria like she does.

      I'm not even sure what to ask. Stick through it, shes worth it? It's an issue I need to work out? Attraction is attraction and if its gone, its gone?

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      9 months ago from Sydney, Australia

      Emily,

      There are two stages to being in-love. The first is when you select a partner as the One and Only. That passes within 18 months. It’s a hormonal thing, both for men and women. Then in-love changes to feeling rewarded sometimes about being with your partner. And a person sometimes feels excited to see one’s partner—like when you meet someone coming in on a flight at an airport.

      If the partners did not move into the second stage of being in-love, the romance of partnership withers away. So people stop thinking about exploring the world together—doing new things together. Or doing romantic things. Nor do they care too much about one another’s future. That may be because the two of you do not feel like a family in a good way. You know, feel secure around each other. And you don’t kick back and relax together like two good friends. So the romantic things don’t come up.

      Remember, you cannot suddenly get your partner to move out of the relationship habits he has gotten into. So you probably have to take the partnership as it is or let it go.

    • profile image

      emily foster 

      9 months ago

      I scored a 18. My boyfriend and I have been together 4 years and we have a two year old.we argue all the time. He is emotionally detached but he says he loves me. Sometimes I feel like he is just with me until he finds someone else. When I tell him these things he says im acting insecure and I have noting to worry about. But he is never romantic with me and doesnt really go out of his way to make me feel special. I love him and I don't want to leave but I also dint anna waste my youth on someone who doesnt really love me.

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      9 months ago from Sydney, Australia

      Toospoiled??

      After you read my previous post maybe look at my article: Romance Without The Drama at

      https://pairedlife.com/love/kidd-love-code

      It explains the 5 independent feelings that create the way we love our partners. You are stuck on number 5: caring for your partner's future and fulfillment of his or her goals.

      I've met people who have no goals, but I do not understand them. It may be a way (or defense mechanism) to deal with today's you're-on-your-own society. Maybe your partner cares about you meeting your goals. Maybe he could under stand that one of your goals is to have a partner who works to fulfill his or her dreams. Maybe not. One of your goals is to have a goal-oriented partner. I'm sorry to say that this may be a deal breaker for you.

      And believe me, you are not spoiled. Women today do not settle for a partner as easily as they used to.

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      9 months ago from Sydney, Australia

      TooSpoiled??

      It sounds like your boyfriend does not have the same drive for success as you have. Have you discussed this with him?

      I do not understand how someone can work hard but not have any goals to further his career. But that's because I'm goal oriented.

      Maybe ask him about his goals. If he says "no, l don't have any", ask him "why not?"--since he is working hard anyway. If the conversation gets this far, ask him about possible, achievable goals. You know, "trouble shoot" it with him.

      And then again, maybe he is too young or immature to understand: It's become a goal oriented world.

      What about fulfilling his dreams? Doesn't he have any?

      I'll think about this a little more, and get back to you if there is something I missed.

    • profile image

      TooSpoiled?? 

      9 months ago

      I scored REALLY high. only 4 falses and even one one them was not really 100% false. He is just a great boyfriend, that loves me above everything, treats me great, is honest, loving and kind. Why am I not happy? I focus & get annoyed over little stupid things. And even though he is sometimes out of line and we fight, he usually just wants to apologize eventually and get back to being in love. His lack of goals and business drive are frustrating although he works super hard, he's not interested in advancing and thinks material wealth is unimportant. I'm not materialistic but its hard to feel safe about growing old with someone that only wants to do ok.

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      10 months ago from Sydney, Australia

      Hello xxx,

      He probably needs professional anger management training. It often works.

      Tell him that this is the end. If he hits you one more time you are leaving for good.

      Personally, I think you've taken enough abuse. I would go now. But the decision is up to you.

      Just remember, once more and you're leaving for good. Let him know you are very serious.

    • profile image

      xxxx 

      10 months ago

      He hit me many times before in fight and after each time he apologized and said will change. When I tried to leave he said he will change. I see he puts effort in changing himself. But usually fails. And realizes after.

      I told him I want to leave but he begged me for 1 last chance.

      How much time should I wait before i conclude anything

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      10 months ago from Sydney, Australia

      Tootsieandnick52, you need to talk to your partner about his lack of communicating with you. Perhaps, couple's counseling would help.

      Also, it's possible he can't relax around you, doesn't feel like a family, doesn't feel rewarded sometimes just to be with you, and doesn't care about your future. That's the stuff of the second stage of in-love love.

      Dr Billy

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      10 months ago from Sydney, Australia

      Tootsieandnick52, you need to talk to your partner about how you feel. Perhaps couple's counseling would help.

      There is also a chance he is not in-love with you anymore. I'm talking about the second stage of in-love. That's where partners relax around each other, feel rewarded sometimes just to be around each other, feel like family, and care about each other's future.

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      10 months ago from Sydney, Australia

      First, it would be best if you talk to him about not communicating with you. Tell him how you feel. If he says he has nothing to say, remind him that you're in a relationship. Happy couples share their thoughts.

      Second, true social anxiety is a mental health issue. People with it are afraid in public and they often withdrawal. Find out if there is any place where he feels comfortable. If he has the real social anxiety, he could be helped by a psychiatrist.

      Was there a time when the two of you did communicate. If so, tell him you want to go there again.

      If I have more thoughts, I'll let you know.

    • profile image

      tootsieandnick52 

      10 months ago

      only complain I have is that he has social anxiety and is very quiet at time. he doesnt communiciate unless i initiate....makes me feel insecure....not sure what to do

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      10 months ago from Sydney, Australia

      Shandia, yes being in-love can really hurt. When a person is dumped especially. This hurt happens because with in-love love a person has selected someone as the one and only among all the possible people. When that person leaves, it triggers an unconscious feeling that the person has died. That conflicts with the fact that the person is still alive and simply doesn't want you around no more. This creates an emotion mind funk.

      In today's world, people generally go through 2 or 3 of these. And like the song says, "The first cut is the deepest.

    • profile image

      Shandia 

      10 months ago

      Love hurts

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      11 months ago from Sydney, Australia

      Anyone who wants ideas about a complex relationship can click on the "contact author" above. That way you can say more via an email to me.

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      11 months ago from Sydney, Australia

      Latrice, yes you must take care of your needs. So it was a good decision to leave your boyfriend.

      Stop thinking about it. Don't dwell on him. Make peace with your losing your mother. If it lingers, talk to some one about it.

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      11 months ago from Sydney, Australia

      Synthia, it took 12 days for me to be notified about your post to me. Sorry.

      If you know in your heart that your partner does not love you--it's time to leave for good.

      He will never change, not for you. It is his Love Style that stops him for doing anything else. What he does is a life long habit and way of living.

      Go. Don't Worry about him. He'll carry on.

    • Miss Liberty31 profile image

      LaTrice 

      11 months ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I just finished writing down the answers from the checklist and scored four points. I made the right decision by ending the relationship with my ex-boyfriend, because my needs were being neglected. It's a shame that he wasn't emotionally available when my mom passed away five months ago. I'm unable to forgive him for all of the heart ache that he put me through.

      I'm not going to lower my standards anymore. Those days are officially over.

      This is an excellent and informative article. Thank you so much for sharing, Dr. Kidd.

    • profile image

      Synthia 

      11 months ago

      What would you suggest In a situation where.. I got a 4 and the only t's were some things that i do, but they werent full t's i just moreso fell to that side than the other. And ive tried to leave multiple times over the coarse of 3 years, I've been in this relationship for 8, and just don't feel.. loved I guess. Do you have any advice as to go about this? By me trying to leave and not being able to, I mean it's as if I'm not aloud to, because when I do they threaten themselves and I don't know what to do because I do care, but I also know I'm waiting my life caring for someone who obviously doesn't love me...

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      18 months ago from Sydney, Australia

      Swasp, thanks for the ideas in your comment.

    • profile image

      swasp 

      18 months ago

      I find your checklist to be quite helpful towards my issues at hand but quite moving towards your on point analysis of character and the choices made.

      Thank you for doing this.

    • Ebonny profile image

      Ebonny 

      21 months ago from UK

      A great read. I like that you emphasised that there doesn't have to be masses of destructive drama and that a person can choose to simply leave without additional, unnecessary negativity.

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      21 months ago from Sydney, Australia

      Thanks, k,nn!

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      3 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Buddy, sorry it took so long to respond. But your kind response did not come up on my comments list until now.

      This post follows scientific guidelines. That's why it looks honest. I wrote what the research said, putting it into a checklist format. So, it's not about me. So many writers are really writing about what they think, coming from their past romantic experiences. This is quite different, following not what I think but what I learned from the research on romantic relationships.

      Thanks again.

    • profile image

      Buddy 

      3 years ago

      I was struck by the honsety of your posting

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Thanks, crissalina! Yes, sometimes we have to walk away from a relationship.

    • profile image

      crissalina 

      4 years ago

      relationships have to bring out the best in us. staying in a relationship that doesn't offer emotional support, satisfaction can have a strong negative impact on how you perceive yourself. sometimes it's better to walk away eve if hurts. great advice dr. kidd

    • soconfident profile image

      Derrick Bennett 

      6 years ago

      Great hub, relationship is helping each become even more happy than they already are

    • carladominique profile image

      Carla Dominique 

      6 years ago from Philippines

      I'll try applying some in my situation. thanks for sharing.

    • cbpoet profile image

      cbpoet 

      6 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Post divorce- I have to agree with your checklist. They are essential to a healthy, long lasting marriage or divorce ..

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Sorry it took so long to get back to you on this. But I was thinking, we not only carry toxic relationships behaviors from partner to partner, but it's a family thing. Toxic relationship behaviors handed down from generation to generation. That's why it takes so much work to get one's head above water sometimes.

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Thanks. A lot of work went into making the check list line up with what goes on inside of us.

    • profile image

      patricia bubash 

      7 years ago

      Excellent suggestions, Dr. Kidd- So very true, that rather than learning from those relationships that were negative, toxic, dissatisfying, we carry over our "stuff" into the next relationship. On to the next relationship without taking time to examine, assess, evaluate the contribution you made, will lead to more failure. Again, insightful writing.

    • ubanichijioke profile image

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 

      7 years ago from Lagos

      Great hub. I concur with your reasoning

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