by Erika Townsend
Often when I go on long road trips, I run into areas of construction. “Slow Down – Workers Ahead” means that it is time to ease up on the gas and to turn up the patience. Speed racer that I am, I am always in a hurry to reach my destination and I tend to ignore the signs. Although I know that there is an obstacle in the distance, I don’t take the necessary steps to prepare for it. I wait until the last minute to yield and end up wasting more time trying to merge back in with the flow of traffic. The solution to my frustration is simple: Follow the signs!
The same can be true in relationships. We can be preoccupied, inconsiderate, lazy, in denial, or downright too selfish to stop pressing forward when we see major work has to be done before moving ahead. Sometimes lanes end without forewarning and there is no time for preparation. Whatever the case, stalling in the middle of the road while traffic speeds by is not an option.
Unlike the game Red Light/ Green Light that many of us played as children, the road to love isn’t always fun. It is important that we pay attention to the following signals to see if a detour may be needed to continue on your path to happiness.
- Is communication a source of tension in your relationship?
- Were you happier in the past than you are now in your relationship?
- Do you feel like your relationship is at a standstill?
- Do you long for a stronger connection with your mate?
- Are you with your mate out of obligation or do you have a genuine desire to be with the other?
If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, then it might be time for some “yellow light reflection.” If you find it difficult to talk about these issues with your mate, you may try to write a letter or give your partner a card expressing how you feel. As always, be as honest as you can be with tact and consideration. It is essential that you respect your partner and are open to his or her responses. Try not to assume what the other is thinking or feeling. It is best to just come out and ask directly what it is that you want to know.
If you find that your relationship has come to a dead end and you decide to part ways, talk to your ex about the positive aspects about your relationship so that you can draw on those experiences in the future. Also talk about what led to the break-up so that you can avoid those pitfalls as well. If you are unable to speak to your ex, try getting support from a friend or family member who can add a fresh perspective to the situation.
Whether it is the end of the road or just a detour from your everyday path, paying attention to the signs in your relationship can curb heartache.