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You Asked: Has Our Relationship Run Its Course?

Dear Sugar,

My boyfriend and I have been together for five years and we’ve been through a lot already. Lately though, I’ve been contemplating whether or not we should keep this relationship going or if we have come to the end and are just denying it to ourselves. Love is not the problem because we really do love each other, but sometimes I feel that it's the only reason I want to stay with him. First of all, he has a job, but it is not stable so I fear that I won’t I have a financially stable future with him. Secondly, we fight three out of the five times we see each other. Usually it’s just about the small things, but sometimes I end up questioning our compatibility.

With our relationship, the saying “when it’s good, it’s good but when it’s bad, it’s bad” applies. We have broken up many times in the past few months but we keep getting back together because we love each other so much. While I don’t want to lose him, I don't want to continue on this path of doubt. Do you have any advice? — Cautious Caroline

To see DearSugar's answer

Dear Cautious Caroline,

Many people feel that love conquers all, but that's not always the case. Compatibility is a major factor in maintaining a long lasting relationship, but so is respect, compassion, and trust, so if you're doubting all those characteristics in your relationship, something must change. While financial stability is surely comforting, relying on someone else for that is a little dangerous in my opinion. Many people are struggling with job security right now, so I'd make sure you can rely on yourself before anyone else.

As we all know, some fighting in a relationship is perfectly normal, but it sounds like you're not fighting more than you're getting along. You say it's usually over the small stuff so if you want this to work, you're both going to have to make an effort to break the cycle.

Only you will know if this relationship has ran its course, but since you clearly love each other, I wouldn't give up without giving it a fighting chance. If breaking the pattern isn't happening on your own, you might want to consider couples counseling so you can communicate with an unbiased mediator who might be able to see something neither of you can. Hopefully this is something that can be worked out, but if not, at least you'll know you tried. Good luck.

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Join The Conversation
Mamis03 Mamis03 7 years
I went through the exact same problems you are. I have been with my boyfriend for 5 years. On and off,like you and usually the breakups are for petty things. We got really tired and decided to either make a real effort or let it go once and for all. We talked seriously about the problem and what we both needed to do to change the cycle. He committed and we both put enough effort into the relationship.We moved in together and although no relationship is perfec t and we still argue,we don't take it as far as we used to. We learned what each other needs and how to deal with the bad moments. I stondgly agree with Chrstne!! That is exactly what we do now. We learned when one is having a bad day and get upset about something petty, the other does not lash out. We wait and then once we are calm, we talk about it. Staying quite doesn't mean you are letting the other win or makes you any less of a woman or man. Most of the time, choosing not to argue, makes the difference. I wish you the best of luck. I am now happy and became closer to my boyfriend, even thinking marriage. Good luck!!
Mamis03 Mamis03 7 years
I went through the exact same problems you are. I have been with my boyfriend for 5 years. On and off,like you and usually the breakups are for petty things. We got really tired and decided to either make a real effort or let it go once and for all. We talked seriously about the problem and what we both needed to do to change the cycle. He committed and we both put enough effort into the relationship.We moved in together and although no relationship is perfec t and we still argue,we don't take it as far as we used to. We learned what each other needs and how to deal with the bad moments. I stondgly agree with Chrstne!! That is exactly what we do now. We learned when one is having a bad day and get upset about something petty, the other does not lash out. We wait and then once we are calm, we talk about it. Staying quite doesn't mean you are letting the other win or makes you any less of a woman or man. Most of the time, choosing not to argue, makes the difference. I wish you the best of luck. I am now happy and became closer to my boyfriend, even thinking marriage. Good luck!!
LoveSarah LoveSarah 7 years
Maybe try couples therapy? My boyfriend and I have been together for over 3 years, and we went through a rough patch like that, and therapy really helped us learn how to talk to each other and things have been great ever since!
aimeeb aimeeb 7 years
Great advice...
aimeeb aimeeb 7 years
Great advice...
jazzytummy jazzytummy 7 years
*I have to ask myself, how much work? Sugar, get that edit feature....GRRRRRR!!!!!!!
jazzytummy jazzytummy 7 years
*I have to ask myself, how much work?Sugar, get that edit feature....GRRRRRR!!!!!!!
jazzytummy jazzytummy 7 years
I agree with plus 2 kid. I can never understand when I hear friends griping constantly about their men, then they just say, "well, relationships are alot or work". I get that, you have to compromise, etc., but everytime I hear that I have myself, how much work? If the "work" you put into it outweighs the joy you receive from it, what it the point? To me, if it is that much work, you are probably not with the right person. Although I agree that people should not throw in the towel when things get rocky, I also think there comes a time when there is a stalemate and there is no progress, no moving forward. If you fight 3 out of 5 times that you see each other, you can try counseling, but I personally think it is time for a separation to figure out what you each want.
jazzytummy jazzytummy 7 years
I agree with plus 2 kid. I can never understand when I hear friends griping constantly about their men, then they just say, "well, relationships are alot or work". I get that, you have to compromise, etc., but everytime I hear that I have myself, how much work? If the "work" you put into it outweighs the joy you receive from it, what it the point? To me, if it is that much work, you are probably not with the right person.Although I agree that people should not throw in the towel when things get rocky, I also think there comes a time when there is a stalemate and there is no progress, no moving forward. If you fight 3 out of 5 times that you see each other, you can try counseling, but I personally think it is time for a separation to figure out what you each want.
aerogirlk aerogirlk 7 years
Pd: never depend on a guy economycally, if you marry him and get divorced in the future you'll regret it.
aerogirlk aerogirlk 7 years
Well, first of all let me tell you that I really understand whay you're going through because I'm in the same kind of relactionship with my boyfriend I do really love him, and he loves me too. But it's true, love is not always enough... We're engaged already and we're planning to move in together. But we fight all the time, basically about stupid things and everytime we do, even tough it's about a silly thing he asks me if I wanna break up. I love him, he's the guy that I'd like to be with the rest of my like, but unfortunatelly he's really immature (anyway I'm 20 and he''s 21) He wants to have kids and he doesn't even have a stable job, besides he's pretty jealous and he doesn't let me see my bests friends a lot and that's the thing that gets me more upset. The thing is that if I were you I'd talke to him about it, it's always the best choice leting him know how you feel and maybe you could work things out.
aerogirlk aerogirlk 7 years
Well, first of all let me tell you that I really understand whay you're going through because I'm in the same kind of relactionship with my boyfriendI do really love him, and he loves me too. But it's true, love is not always enough...We're engaged already and we're planning to move in together. But we fight all the time, basically about stupid things and everytime we do, even tough it's about a silly thing he asks me if I wanna break up.I love him, he's the guy that I'd like to be with the rest of my like, but unfortunatelly he's really immature (anyway I'm 20 and he''s 21)He wants to have kids and he doesn't even have a stable job, besides he's pretty jealous and he doesn't let me see my bests friends a lot and that's the thing that gets me more upset.The thing is that if I were you I'd talke to him about it, it's always the best choice leting him know how you feel and maybe you could work things out.
Chrstne Chrstne 7 years
..and to the OP, if a tough time is the only thing it took to make me give up on my relationship, then I would be ending mine right now. No relationship is perfect, and just because people hit spots where they feel angry or resentment doesn't mean to end the relationship, it means to work on the relationship. If people gave up rather than try to resolve issues then no one would have a long term boyfriend or girlfriend, or even get married. I know you truly feel like it may have run it's course, but if you ended it, you might regret it -- and breaking up and then getting back together breeds mistrust. My boyfriend of 2 years broke up with me, because he said he "didn't love me". He wanted to not see each other anymore (and we lived together). Days later he wanted to be my boyfriend, 2 weeks later he apologized and said he loved me. What did he say other than that? Maybe he mistook being comfortable for being bored -- and he kind of resented me for it. As you can see, it shook a foundation, but I am working on it. His actions made me feel so small. Don't make a decision hastily. You can ruin a lot more than your relationship by doing that.
baybelle baybelle 7 years
I was with a man I loved and was engaged to way longer than I should have been. It was really tough to break off the relationship because we really loved one another, but it was becoming too hard to keep it sane. It took me time to get over him, won't kid you about that, but the relationship I am in now makes me realise just how wrong that one was... thank god I had to courage to look further. Another thing to chew on - we often say we are together because of love, but more often it's because of familiarity and the fear of facing the unknown on your own.
baybelle baybelle 7 years
I was with a man I loved and was engaged to way longer than I should have been. It was really tough to break off the relationship because we really loved one another, but it was becoming too hard to keep it sane. It took me time to get over him, won't kid you about that, but the relationship I am in now makes me realise just how wrong that one was... thank god I had to courage to look further.Another thing to chew on - we often say we are together because of love, but more often it's because of familiarity and the fear of facing the unknown on your own.
amerikanbeanhead amerikanbeanhead 7 years
Its over Love cant conquer everything
princess_eab princess_eab 7 years
plus_2_kid is a genius.
princess_eab princess_eab 7 years
plus_2_kid is a genius.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 7 years
Well, all this love hasn't saved your relationship now has it? Figure out what it is that you really want because all the love in the world apparently still has you miserable.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 7 years
Well, all this love hasn't saved your relationship now has it? Figure out what it is that you really want because all the love in the world apparently still has you miserable.
khadeekiinsz khadeekiinsz 7 years
P.S I dont think she has been doubting this relationship for all the 5 years. She said "lately"
khadeekiinsz khadeekiinsz 7 years
P.S I dont think she has been doubting this relationship for all the 5 years. She said "lately"
khadeekiinsz khadeekiinsz 7 years
For the people who said "end it now". I disagree, I think Chrstne had the best advice. I can't say END IT, because non of us know the situation at full. I'd say you guys need to sit and have a serious conversation, and look at each other's perspective. Relationships have their goods and their bads, but its how you are able to handle the bads, and get past them that counts. I would write down EVERY single good thing about the relationship. Even stuff from the very begginning, like the first kiss, And ask yourself why you fell in love with this guy. All the things that make you laugh, and smile. Then write down all the bad things, and see if they outweigh. Is he your best friend? can you see him being the father of your children? Have like a renewal date or something. If you guys been together for 5 years, there is obviously something special and it should be preserved.
khadeekiinsz khadeekiinsz 7 years
For the people who said "end it now". I disagree, I think Chrstne had the best advice. I can't say END IT, because non of us know the situation at full. I'd say you guys need to sit and have a serious conversation, and look at each other's perspective. Relationships have their goods and their bads, but its how you are able to handle the bads, and get past them that counts. I would write down EVERY single good thing about the relationship. Even stuff from the very begginning, like the first kiss, And ask yourself why you fell in love with this guy. All the things that make you laugh, and smile. Then write down all the bad things, and see if they outweigh. Is he your best friend? can you see him being the father of your children? Have like a renewal date or something. If you guys been together for 5 years, there is obviously something special and it should be preserved.
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