Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

How to make a difficult relationship decision.

James E. McGinley, PhD
2 min readJul 25, 2022
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels

Living our own life is hard enough. But when we share our lives with others things can get complicated fast. We sometimes come to a crossroads. We end up asking ourselves whether we should stay or whether we should go.

It is an incredibly difficult situation and it can be a gut-wrenching decision to make.

Part of the problem is that we don’t know the future. What we do not know is this. Will staying with the relationship be worth the effort? Will working through problems together result in a more firmly anchored sense of care, love, and loyalty? Or, is the relationship already in a death spiral and we just do not want to admit it?

Here is one thing we can ask ourselves to help us sort it all out. I am not saying this is the final answer. But it can help us face the realities more honestly and with greater clarity.

Ask yourself this, if I knew then what I know now would I have started this relationship?

This technique is helpful for more than just relationships.

It works for all sorts of dilemmas where we are not sure if we should stay with a decision. It helps bring the calculus more into view. It asks us to consider the facts, how things are now, and how we really…



James E. McGinley, PhD

James McGinley, PhD is a professor, author, certified life coach, and licensed counselor.