Break-Up or Make-Up? Top 5 Questions to Ask

Ann and Diane

A good friend and I were hiking this weekend in beautiful Boulder, Colorado.  Among the wide variety of topics we covered was how often we tend to stay too long in a job, relationship, or situation that isn’t working.   I started thinking about my clients and my own life and came up with three main reasons why we have these realizations after the fact.  

Hope springs eternal and we want to give whatever it is every possible shot.  Because we may so desperately want something to work out, we give the people, situations, and circumstances in our lives the benefit of the doubt. 

We think the devil we know is better than the one we don’t.  Even if it isn’t working , we still are familiar and comfortable with what we know, versus the unknown of life without it.    

We don’t trust ourselves enough.  We don’t listen to our own voice of inner wisdom, the one that knows what we really need.

Of course we have to remember that life is a pulsation of ups and downs, ebbs and flow, and dark and light in any relationship, project, or job.  Having said that, it has been my experience if I am really questioning my need to stay or go on a consistent basis, and not jsut having a moment of doubt, I have already decided and just need to follow through.   

Here are the top 5 questions to ask yourself to help you decide to make-up or break-up before you benefit from 20/20 hindsight:        

  1. Do you find yourself resentful and angry?  Are you drained or filled up before, during and after your experience?
  2. Can/do you fantansize how your life would be without this (person, job, situation)?  
  3. Are you motivated by faith or fear?  Do you stay because you are afraid to leave, or because you think things will get better if you stay?
  4. If nothing changed from this moment on, would you chooose to stay anyway?    
  5. What would you tell your best friend or loved one if she/he were in the same situation?

When we  let go of something that no longer serves us, we create the psychic and physical space for something new and  open ourselves up to all kinds of opportunity.   If you are considering breaking something up, there is a good reason and this in an opportunity to get really intentional about it.  Meditate and ask for guidance.  Journal and be open to whatever comes up.  Talk to a trusted friend, coach, or therapist.  If you are not willing to completely let it go right now, consider taking a break to help you get more peace and clarity around a decision. 

I would love to hear your ideas and thoughts that help you break up or make up!


  1. Tracy Davis on October 4, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Thank you for your newsletter. I normally delete this type of thing but have enjoyed yours each month. I appreciate you taking the time to write such thoughtful articles that most often do apply to my own life circumstances. This article regarding breakup verses makeup is timely for me. Three months ago I let go of a six-year live-in boyfriend. Your list of questions supported my decision and as I wrote to him, the crux of the matter was that I was not thriving. No need to blame him or list his faults. Could you write an article about getting through the tough days that follow? My expenses have now doubled, and I am sleeping and eating alone. I have more time for meditation and yoga and use those tools to sit with this change and to invite a calm, self-assured knowing that a beautiful new door will open for me which will allow me to thrive. Thank you again for your sharing. Sincerely, Tracy Davis

  2. Linda Glesne Alexander on March 6, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Diane, I am reading this a year and a half after you wrote it…and a year and a half after I should have been looking for your words. I am letting go of the fear that kept me where I was. Thanks for encouraging that light to shine in and upon others. And for commenting in yoga class the other day that you saw that light in me. It means a lot.
    Linda Glesne (Alexander)

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