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

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.


Copy and print the list below. 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:

What It Means
Great Relationship—Keep it!
OK Relationship—Discuss this questionnaire with your partner.
Troubled Relationship—Counseling could make it work better.
Not-Really-Worth-It Relationship—Get ready for the breakup.
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.

About the Author

Dr. Kidd wrote his doctoral dissertation on romantic relationships. He practiced as a psychotherapist for 20 years. Then he devoted his time to a relationship research company. He is author of the book Low Stress Romance. The book shows how to take the drama out of a romantic relationship.

Prior permission is granted to copy and use the text of this checklist in any therapy setting.

© 2011 Dr Billy Kidd

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Comments 11 comments

Dr Billy Kidd profile image

Dr Billy Kidd 20 months ago from Sydney, Australia Author

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.

Buddy 22 months ago

I was struck by the honsety of your posting

Dr Billy Kidd profile image

Dr Billy Kidd 2 years ago from Sydney, Australia Author

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

crissalina 2 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

soconfident 4 years ago

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

carladominique profile image

carladominique 4 years ago from Philippines

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

cbpoet profile image

cbpoet 4 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 image

Dr Billy Kidd 4 years ago from Sydney, Australia Author

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 image

Dr Billy Kidd 5 years ago from Sydney, Australia Author

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

patricia bubash 5 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

ubanichijioke 5 years ago from Lagos

Great hub. I concur with your reasoning

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