Breakups are never easy and we talk a lot about how hard it is for the person being dumped, but what about the dumper? Things don’t always work out, even when we really want them to, but being the person who has to make the call about the end of the relationship is the worst. And new research shows that if we think our partner really NEEDS the relationship to continue, we’re less likely to follow through with the breakup.
A new studyfrom the University of Utah followed lots of relationships, some that were on the rocks, to find out how people figure out if they should leave their partner. Their research shows that if someone felt like their partner was “significantly dependent on the relationship,” they were less likely to leave, even if the relationship was “distinctly unfulfilling” for them.
So even if people were ready to end the romance, knowing their partner was highly committed to their relationship kept them from breaking up. This was even true for people who were unhappy in the relationship. It all basically comes down to the fact that we care about what our partners want and don’t want to hurt them.
And that sounds nice, but here’s the downside: what’s good for your partner isn’t always the best thing for you. You can’t force feelings that aren’t there and nobody wants a partner who doesn’t really want to be there. So being the one who ends things isn’t easy, but if you know it’s not going to work out, therapists advise breaking up sooner rather than later really is best.