Deciding to break up with someone is a feast of uncertainty and determination and doubt and resolve. Rarely is it uncomplicated.
Even if your partner has done something unforgivable, the weight of your history together – the way you walk down the street touching shoulders – stays pooled around your feet like glue. Making it difficult to leave in the first instance, harder to leave for good.
Sometimes you see other people who’ve made the decision and you think: How was it so easy? (Hint: It wasn’t.) And the doubt returns. You confuse indecision with ‘not being ready’ and nostalgia becomes false hope.
In the first study of its kind, new research has found this ambivalence – this confusion and uncertainty – is completely normal. For every person contemplating a break up.
It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.
First, 447 volunteers answered a series of questions about relationships in general – such as, “what are the reasons someone might want to stay or leave a romantic partner?”
From the answers, the study’s authors at the University of Utah identified 27 common reasons people might want to stay in a relationship, and 23 reasons people might want to leave.