Breaking up? ‘Deal breakers’ it comes down to

By Sophia Gerner
February 28, 2021

"Relationship" by Talal Albannai is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
"Relationship" by Talal Albannai is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

“One of the hardest decisions you’ll ever face in life is choosing whether to walk away or try harder.”- Ziad K. Abdelnour

Google Webmaster Relationship Loss of Trust“Google Webmaster Relationship Loss of Trust” by Search Engine People Blog is licensed under CC BY 2.0

When it comes to relationships, what is that breaking point for couples to decide their relationship is worth fighting for or easier to go their separate ways?

Dr. Kathleen McKinley, a psychology professor who teaches a social psychology course, said it depends on if the relationship is enough to keep you there, but also on “availability of alternatives.”

This means that if someone comes along, the person could leave day one, but if there is no one else to go to, that person could stay in the relationship for years.

McKinley said that now with social media, options or alternatives are much bigger and easier to find than before. In the past people were limited to meeting those around them, but with new technology and dating websites this “may lead to shorter time turn arounds.”

“Moving on might happen earlier,” McKinley said, “but I don’t think that is a bad thing.”

She believes it isn’t a good idea to start a relationship by trying to “fix” it, especially if it is the other person you are attempting “to fix.” On the other hand, if a couple is already married, McKinley said, “There is a responsibility to try to make things work.”

“Relationship” by Talal Albannai is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

According to a study conducted by psychology researchers, Samantha Joel, Geoff Macdonald and Elizabeth Page-Gould, the broad reasons for staying in a relationship are focused on attraction, physical and emotional intimacy and support. Factors for leaving included a problematic personality, deception or cheating, emotional distance and lack of support.

McKinley said the availability of breaking up on text definitely leads to more break ups. “Ghosting is awful, terrible and heartless,” she said. “Facing up is an act of maturity.”

McKinley said break ups are a place for us to practice becoming our “best selves.”

Kayla Harris, sophomore criminology major, has been in a relationship for a little over a year now. Harris said she would give a lot of thought into whether staying or leaving a relationship.

She said, it depends on the circumstances, but “Every relationship needs room for growth. However, if you aren’t growing with your partner, then you should cut ties; life is too short to be unsure.”

Harris said her top reasons for leaving a relationship would be if her partner was disloyal, manipulative and “social media hungry.”

“If you can’t be loyal to your partner, there is no purpose of having one; being unloyal is a dealbreaker,” Harris said. “Social media hungry refers to getting validation from the internet about your relationship.”

Harris believes a lot of relationships are ruined when you think too far into the future about if it is going to last forever or if it is just temporary. She said, “You have to live in the moment or you will miss the best parts of your relationship.”

Zach Rosenberg, freshman early childhood education major, said when it comes to breaking up with someone, it takes a lot of thought on what is the right thing to do.

Photo by Sophia Gerner.

Rosenberg said his deal breakers that a relationship can’t recover from are cheating, being lied to multiple times and if they are just a rude person overall.

When getting into a relationship, he said he thinks in both ways that it could possibly be forever, but also that it won’t last, depending on the person.

Sophia Gerner

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