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Relationship Advice

Valentine's Day — the new 'break-up season'?

A new relationships survey has revealed statistics on Australians' thoughts on Valentine's Day. The survey has found that for some, Valentine's Day is more likely to be seen as a cynical marketing exercise than a day of romance and for many of Australia's 2 million singles it can be a day they dread. Many couples also see it as a time to re-evaluate their relationships.
The Galaxy Research survey, commissioned by the National Australia Bank, quizzed Australian singles and couples from all cities on their thoughts on the so-called "most romantic day of the year".
It found that almost a million people have taken the opportunity to end a relationship around Valentine's Day with the main reasons for breaking up being that the partner cheated or had come to the realisation their partner was "boring" or wasn't right for them.
According to the research, the majority of young Australians don't like February 14 or don't want to celebrate the day.
The survey, which was launched as part of a campaign to encourage people to evaluate their relationships, revealed some interesting insights into the country's views around relationships and Valentine's Day. The study of young Australians from 18 to 39 years old showed that more than half (57 percent) do not like the day.
The study also found that for many, it's not just a day of wining, dining and romance, but a marketing exercise to make us buy things (44 percent), and for many of Australia's singles it can be a day of dread with one in four (25 percent) seeing it as a time that makes single people feel bad about themselves.
When couples take stock of their relationship around Valentine's Day some key areas of consideration will be the levels of trust, honesty and respect. These are key areas that define a bad relationship, young people responded.
The survey found the most common reason for terminating a relationship was the realisation that they were not compatible (60 percent). Other relationships were ended because of the belief that their partner had changed (43 percent) or the spark had gone (43 percent).
The survey also found that as many as one in three unmarried couples used Valentine's Day to evaluate their relationship and determine if it is what they wanted. While up to one in four young people admitted to having stayed in a relationship over Valentine's Day even though they felt they were going through the motions in a relationship that had lost its spark.
Relationship commentator and author, Zoë Foster, said in a NAB media release that while for some young people in a relationship the day can be filled with romance, it is also a time when couples assess the health of their relationship, and look at their options.
"Between new year and February 14 is a time when many evaluate whether their relationships are right for them," Foster said.
"Almost half of young people will actually break up with their partner around Valentine's Day — it's almost what you could consider 'break-up season'.
"Trust, respect and honesty are all of incredible importance. So, if you partner has cheated, or you're feeling [the relationship has] run its course, or you just don't bring out the best in each other, perhaps it's time to move on."
Hard isn't code for 'passionate.' It's just hard. So, you know those people who attribute the 14 percent of bliss in their relationship to be reason enough to endure the 76 percent of unhappiness? They're crazy! Don't be those guys.
Do you change around your partner? We all know someone who becomes more reserved or more hostile, more competitive or just duller when their partner is around. It's a bit sad, isn't it? Sure is. A loving relationship should bring out the best in you both not the worst.
Love it, leave it or change it. If you don't love it, and you've repeatedly tried to change it (to no avail), sometimes the best option is to leave it.
Are you at 40 watts, or 100 watts? The simplest way to evaluate how happy you are in your relationship is to check your voltage. Are you walking around beaming at a dazzling 100 watts, being your best self, helping and inspiring your partner to be their best self? Or do you feel more muted and down at 40 watts, with just barely enough light for you, let alone enough to shine on them? Simple question; telling answer.
And when you have finally made the big decision, remember — it's called a break-up because it was broken. Of course, this doesn't stop a lot of us from (having 526 tubs of ice-cream and) constantly debating calling our ex to ask for another go at things (whether dumpee or dumper). But do your best not to ramble down that grubby little path. Engage a friend to be your SMS or email border control.
Your say: What do you think about Valentine's Day? Have you ever been involved in a realtionship break-up at this time of year?

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