The “Should I Go or Should I Stay?” Relationship Checklist

Updated on July 3, 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.

You might have asked yourself if there is a scientific way to figure out whether you should go or whether you should stay in your current romantic relationship.

The answer is yes. 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 are confused or feel ambivalent, this checklist will give you a reasonable second opinion about whether you should hold on or whether you should leave.

Source

Print the article by using "print" post on your browser. Study each statement, and then mark a true [T] or a false [F] in front of each one, according to how it applies to your relationship.

  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. We don’t hit each other.
  25. I can discuss my personal problems with my partner without it becoming a big hassle.
  26. My partner generally loosens up after talking with me about stressful events.
  27. My partner will generally help me when I really need assistance.
  28. I don’t feel isolated, anxious, or depressed because of our relationship.
  29. It’s important to me that my partner succeeds in life.
  30. I would do it all over again because it’s hard to imagine being without my partner.

Count up how many times you answered true [T] to the statements above. The score you get will reflect how well you and your partner’s emotional needs are being met. Use the interpretive chart below to help you figure out what your score means:

Score
What It Means
25-30
Great Relationship—Keep it!
19-24
OK Relationship—Discuss this questionnaire with your partner.
13-18
Troubled Relationship—Counseling could make it work better.
7-12
Not-Really-Worth-It Relationship—Get ready for the breakup.
0-6
There Is No Relationship At All—It’s time to go

These categories represent different levels of general relationship functioning. Most people seeking help have scores that fall in the middle one—Troubled Relationship.

If your score fell into the OK Relationship category, you probably want to tune up your relationship in order to bring more excitement and meaning into your life. Choose a good time and talk things over with you partner. Start with just one thing you want to discuss.

If your score fell into the Not-Really-Worth-It Relationship category, it would seem that you are prone to get into big hassles when it comes to romantic relationships. Generally, when someone is in your position, they only know how to pick partners who create stressful and chaotic situations. If that is true for you, make an appointment with a relationship counselor or a professional psychologist. Take this list with you as a conversation starter. The point of seeking help is to learn more about yourself and to enhance the meaning of your own life. It’s time for you to work on you!

If you are feeling upset right now, call someone and talk over the issues that concern you.

This exercise might lead you to believe that it’s time to leave your partner. If you 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.

If you’re actually getting ready to cut your partner loose, right now, 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.

Whatever your score and however you are feeling, please keep searching for ways to simplify, dignify, and enhance your romantic relationship. 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. Yet sometimes people get mistreated growing up and take those bad habits with them into their love lives. This is why generations of families are dysfunctional. But today with all the information available, people do not have to go on making the mistakes their parents made. Yes, you can get help, and then move on and stop having disastrous relationship.

© 2011 Dr Billy Kidd

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    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      5 days 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 

      6 days 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 weeks 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

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      Brandon Caudillo 

      2 weeks 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 weeks 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 weeks 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 

      3 weeks ago

      Hi Dr. Kidd

      Thank you very much for your fast advice

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      3 weeks 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 

      3 weeks 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 

      4 weeks 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 

      4 weeks 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

      4 weeks 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 

      4 weeks 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 

      5 weeks 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 

      5 weeks 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 

      2 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 

      2 months ago

      i have 13 points

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      2 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 

      2 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 

      2 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 

      2 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 

      5 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 

      5 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 

      5 months ago from Sydney, Australia

      Helen,

      That is an amazing story!

    • profile image

      helen shawn 

      5 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 

      5 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 

      5 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 

      5 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 

      5 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 

      6 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 

      6 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 

      6 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 

      6 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 

      7 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 

      7 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 

      7 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 

      7 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 

      7 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 

      7 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?? 

      7 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 

      8 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 

      8 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 

      8 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 

      8 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 

      8 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 

      8 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 

      8 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 

      8 months ago

      Love hurts

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      9 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 

      9 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 

      9 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 

      9 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 

      9 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 

      16 months ago from Sydney, Australia

      Swasp, thanks for the ideas in your comment.

    • profile image

      swasp 

      16 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 

      19 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 

      19 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 

      3 years ago from Sydney, Australia

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

    • profile image

      crissalina 

      3 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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