Written by Camille Acker of  The Spinsters Union.

In every relationship there comes a point where you have to decide if you want to stay or you want to go. We’ve all listened to both sides of Beyoncé making that decision about JAY Z and it seems she could have decided she had ample reason to go.

Infidelity may be the ultimate betrayal, but even for less serious issues, you may start contemplating an exit plan. Those are times when you have to decide if the relationship you’re in and the man you’re with are worth it. Every relationship takes work, but how can you know if the work is worth it? Here are five ways you might be able to spot whether you two can ride off into the sunset together or if you need to ride off on your own.


#1 He makes you better

If you’re with a man who makes you feel at your worst, he is not worth it. We may all feel fear or anxiety in a relationship, but if you’re with someone who plays on your jealousies or insecurities, he is not the one for you. Even a relationship that feels nice, one that provides you someone to watch Netflix with and a date to every family function, may not be making you better. Can the man you’re with encourage you in your entrepreneurial dreams? Can he even give you good ideas to help market your business? Does he call you out on bad habits that may be keeping you from advancing at your job? Does he tell you, that you should be asking for that raise because you work hard for it? That’s a man to keep around.


#2 He wants to be better

And while he’s making sure you’re at your best, is he? We all want a man who is confident in his value, but a man should also be humble enough to see where he can be that much better. Is he advancing on his career goals? The last time he got upset about something was he able to come to you and say where he was wrong in the argument? When you ask for his help or support in something is he able to take a step back and see where you might be right? We are all works in progress, so perfection should never be the goal, but forward movement should be. If you have a man who isn’t satisfied with being the same person he’s always been, he might be a keeper.


#3 He makes sacrifices for you

Sacrifice doesn’t have to be big to be meaningful. Your man doesn’t need to give you a kidney to show through this actions that he cares. Sacrificing the first quarter of a basketball game to go get you pain medication for your cramps is a way he shows he cares. Telling you how deeply he feels for you might be sacrificing years of the emotional distance he’s prided himself on in other relationships. You want someone who looks out for you and cares as much for your well-being as he does for his own. If you’re with someone who can’t even make small sacrifices for you, it might be time to re-evaluate continuing to make space in your life for him.


#4 He cares about your partnership

Ever met that man who talks a good game about a future together, but doesn’t follow through? We don’t want that guy. Instead, we want a man who has arrived at a point when he is not threatened by the idea of “we.” He has shown you he wants you to be better, he’s working on making himself better, and he can sacrifice for you. Now, he’s seeing where you as a whole woman and him as a whole man can create something even greater together. He is not afraid of partnership and he is actively seeing how that partnership can be strengthened. Will he pray with you? Is he willing to have a difficult conversation about improving the relationship? If so, keep him close.


#5 He cares about your individuality

Over at The Spinsters Union, we say that happily ever after begins now, meaning that your happiness is important right now, whether you’re single or partnered. A man who is thinking about “we” is a great boyfriend to have. A man who also recognizes that you may have goals that he can support even if they are separate from him might be your husband. He isn’t threatened when you want to take a trip by yourself or launch a project that has nothing to do with the job title you had when the two of you met. Even if you become his wife or the mother of his children, he can see that there is a woman with a purpose all her own.

The next time you face a moment of staying in your relationship or dismissing him after one too many conflicts, ask yourself if he has these five qualities that make him worth the work. If he doesn’t, remember that there are men who do have these qualities, who know you are worth the work and will make the work you put into the relationship worth it.

Written by Camille Acker of  The Spinsters Union.

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