Article When you start a new relationship and you feel like you are ready to move on. How do you decide whether to stay or go? 0 2023 Life coaching Relationship coaching life coaching Lifecoachhub Pty Ltd LifeCoachHub
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Should I Stay or Should I Go in A Relationship? Chart, Tips & Tricks

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Should I stay or should I go?

This article is geared towards anyone looking to move forward in a new relationship. The stories and examples are written to women. If you are a man and are looking to move forward in your relationship, the information is just as useful to you. You may not be buying a dress, but you could be buying a new guitar or a pair of shoes. 


When you first meet

 “So… I really like this guy! He makes me smile. The way that he looks at me warms my heart and awakens the flutter in my stomach.”

Isn't this the way most romantic relationships begin? You spend a little time together and then start to dream up this perfect mate that it seems your date is. You take the first couple of dates and imagine what life would be like with this person all the time. You can’t stop thinking about him.

While it is good to plan for the future, this might be the first mistake you could make when dating. Before you get too emotionally involved, you must evaluate and assess the relationship with your eyes wide open.

It is like buying online versus buying in the store. Buying online, you read about the specifications, you look at the reviews, and you decide whether or not to buy the dress. It is so beautiful and you cannot wait until you have it in your possession, to add some accessories, and to paint the town wearing your new dress.

As you wait for your package to arrive, you dream about what you will look like, where you will wear it, and what others will say about it. The anticipation is great. Once the package is delivered, you are able to really see how the dress fits. This is where you decide if it meets your expectations and is everything you thought it would be or, return it and leave a bad review blaming the company for false advertisement. 

Woman fitting red dress

We need to take the approach of the in-person shopper. You have the ability to try on the dress and see how you look in the dress. While you still may dream about where you will wear it, at least you will have an accurate picture of what it will look like on you. No need to worry about false advertisements. You can decide right away if the dress works for you or not. 

In both examples, ultimately it is up to you to make the best decision for you because you could very well get a really cute dress with online shopping and love it. Being able to try on the dress, just means you get more information to make a more informative decision.

You are able to pay attention to the color against your skin, the feel of the material, and how well it looks on you. In the same sense, be sure to approach dating with your eyes wide open. Do not leave out the experience of in-person shopping. You will want all of the information that you can get to make a great decision. 

As you learn more about your relationship

Once you learn a little more about your mate and you start to evaluate whether or not the relationship is a good fit for you, this is the ideal time to decide whether to get out or move on.

However, some of us get to this point and have allowed the fantasy of who we want this person to be to cloud our reality and judgment. In a sense, we end up keeping the dress even though it does not fit right and the style is not at all what we expected.

We give it a try, maybe add more accessories, or have our seamstress make some minor modifications. We might even try wearing it out and find that we just do not like it.

Finally, the dress sits in the back of the closet, with hopes that one day, we will wear it again.  Wishful thinking inspired us to purchase the dress even though we had some reservations. However, wishful thinking is not a good strategy when choosing neither a dress nor a mate.


Check your reservations

In other words, learn as much as you can about your date, pay attention to how you feel when you are with him, and most importantly, absolutely pay attention to those reservations.

Do not allow your fantasies to keep you from making the best decision for you. Because later when those fantasies end and you really learn who your mate is, you may determine that you do not like him or even never did. 

If the relationship can't survive the long term, why on earth would it be worth my time and energy for the short term? Nicholas Sparks Coaching Quote

What about leaving if the fit is off?

So what about leaving now?

Yes, once you realize this person is not for you, you should leave. Well, sometimes it is not that easy. Some of us move so fast in relationships that we get emotionally involved too soon, some move in together and are financially unable to leave. Some feel like they are in love and want to make it work.

But what are we really doing here? If you do not like the dress and it is uncomfortable to wear, why keep wearing it and expect it to feel better or for you to  grow to like it?

You don’t! You return it and buy another one, right? At the very least you keep it, but do not wear it.

So why stay in a relationship that does not fit you? I know, it is hard to leave sometimes, but in order to live your best life, you must. 

How to leave before you buy into the relationship

Here is a thought, what if you left before it got too hard? What should you be doing at that boutique before you buy the dress?

I know, buying a dress that you do not like later is no big deal and does not begin to compare with real life issues. But, what if the dress is $500 with no return policy, then will you consider a thoughtful decision making strategy?

While we cannot put a monetary value on a relationship, we can; however, put a value on being in a healthy relationship. 

Furthermore, the cost of being stuck in an unhealthy relationship is grand. You stand to lose much more than any monetary value-your own happiness and life.That is why it is imperative that you carefully select mates that will compliment who you are and who knows your worth, which means you must know who you are, and what you are worth.

Letting go of hand, relationship

What to check before moving forward in a relationship

There are several components that should be considered before moving forward in a relationship. Below are some questions to consider. 

You should consider both external and internal components. Once you have checked off the external components, move onto the internal components. The externals should be checked off early in the dating process. For me, these are covered before I accept the first date. 

Relationships are hard enough to navigate. When you add in unnecessary issues, they become more complicated. 

You should not have to alter a new dress to make it look better, before you can wear it. Buy the dress that makes you feel as beautiful as you already are.

In other words, do not let him drive your car, do not call him to make sure he goes to work, and never loan him any money. He should already be a responsible adult when you agree to date him.

You should not have to alter a new dress to make it look better, before you can wear it. Buy the dress that makes you feel as beautiful as you already are. Jenita Elaine Bonisa Coaching Quote

External Components:

  • Does my mate have a good work history with a steady paycheck?

  • Does my mate have a good education or training?

  • Does my mate have his own home, car, insurance?

  • Does my mate have good relationships with his family members?

Internal Components:

  • Does my mate have a relationship with God? Do we believe in the same God?

  • Is this relationship healthy—is my mate mentally healthy?

  • How does my mate solve conflicts?

  • Is my mate emotionally available?

  • How does my mate treat service members?

  • How does my mate treat his family members?

  • How much do we have in common? 

  • Does my mate have good morals and values?

  • Do I actually like my mate?

  • Do I like the person that I am when I am with this person?


You may already have your own checklist when choosing a mate. Perfect!

Most could add to this short list of things that are non-negotiables. Always know the components that you will not negotiate. Your mate should know those negotiables as well.

A few of the most important internal components that you should pay close attention to are if your mate has a relationship with God, and if your mate is mentally healthy. Having similar beliefs is essential to a successful relationship. Dating someone who does not have similar beliefs could result in fighting about what to teach your children if the relationship leads to marriage and children. 

The last essential component that you must be sure of is if your mate is mentally healthy. When I say mentally healthy, I am not saying this person has to be clear of any mental health diagnosis. I am referring to anyone who wants to knowingly try to control, hurt, or harm you. I am also referring to anyone who sets out to take advantage of you and has intentions other than to love, and care for you. It is important to know  before moving forward in a new relationship that it will be a healthy relationship.

Your roadmap to move forward in a new relationship

How do you identify a healthy relationship

So, how do you identify a healthy relationship?  Our first encounter with building relationships stem from our parents and how we were raised. How your parents or guardians related to you is how you learned to relate to others.

If you did not have a positive relationship with either or both of your parents or guardians, It might be difficult to identify healthy behaviors. If you did have those positive relationships with your parents or guardians, you might be shaking your head and saying yes of course because you were rooted and taught healthy interactions. Not everyone had that opportunity.

So if you are wondering, am I in an unhealthy relationship?  Is the person that I am dating a healthy mate? Should I move on in this relationship? Here are some traits of healthy and unhealthy behaviors that could help you in your decision making process.

Unhealthy relationship behaviors

  • Unhealthy behaviors include control, intimidation, anger, and manipulation. If your partner tries to control you or use intimidation to manipulate your actions, this is not healthy. You should be able to feel comfortable to be yourself and feel the way you feel.
  • If you are uncomfortable expressing how you feel or what you think, you are most likely in an unhealthy relationship.
  • If your partner does not respect your ideas or support you, this is also a good indicator that you are not in a healthy relationship.
  • Obviously, if your partner is abusive in any way, protect yourself by leaving. Remember, just because words do not leave a mark, does not mean that it is not abusive behavior. Your life and happiness is more important than any reason to stay. 

Healthy relationship behaviors

  • When in a healthy relationship, you should feel trusted, loved, respected, able to compromise, and have good communication.
  • No, you will not feel like you are in a Hollywood romantic movie, but you should definitely feel like you matter, are seen, and heard.

Below is a chart that is an easy way to remember the difference between healthy and unhealthy traits in a relationship. 

Unhealthy vs healthy relationship

Jenita Bonisa
Relationship and Family Expert
Indianapolis, Indiana

I was a teacher for 16 years. As a coach, I love helping others achieve success.
- Masters in Education
- Masters in Business
- IAP Career College


Contact me





The material in this site is intended to be of general informational use and is not intended to constitute medical advice, probable diagnosis, recommended treatments, or professional advice. Readers should consult with a licensed professional to get advice for their individual situation. See the Disclaimer and Terms of Use for more information. Copyright Life Coach Hub Ltd 2016. A community of life coaches dedicated to improving your life.
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