May 11, 2014 - submitted by Anon, United Kingdom

I recently broke up with my ex. I can't even count the number of time we've broken up, but it was an intense, passionate, on and off for the last two years. I know why I kept going back, but I also know why I shouldn't/deserve more. How do you know when you're supposed to keep trying because that's what love is and when you're supposed to let go because love shouldn't be that difficult?

The Oracle replies:

Sometimes we repeat cycles out of habit, out of love, out of fear or because we simply don't know how to break it. There are times we hope that things will change and improve. Sometimes they do but the reality is that rarely happens.
Some people say that love isn't easy but I'm with you, it shouldn't be that hard. I don't think love means you have to keep trying - sometimes it's also about knowing when to not.
I'm not saying that love doesn't require work or effort but when it's hard work and too much effort, what is the point?
If what you get back isn't near enough what you put in, you have to step back and try to look at it from a distance.
I bet if your friend was going through the same, you'd advise them to walk away. Try to take the same advice for yourself from yourself.
If you spend your time wondering how it would be if you weren't together, you probably shouldn't be together. Unless you let go of this love, you will never know if you did the right thing.
You get one life. Don't waste it.
Over to you.

I don't think there is a set standard for when to know whether it is right to let go or keep trying because I think you must search inside yourself to find that answer. Relationships are rarely close to being perfect and there will be arguments, troubles, and pain involved. However, if you find you both always understand where one another is coming from, you can get through troubles together as a team, and if the happiness you find from being with them outweighs the pain, then hang on to them. Only you can know if this is true. Close your eyes, do some deep breathing, forget all the passion and emotions going on in this very moment, and imagine life a year or so down the road without them or perhaps life as just friends... are you happier there? Or lost? Now, if you really think you deserve better like you said, then you are right. Whatever you do, don't settle for darkness that overcasts the light. Best wishes, Alex.

It's okay to love a person but love there are many difficulties, Love is not easy and is better to leave someone that you know will make you hurt. What I try to say is that a relationship is based on respect for each other but you're like two years in this situation and that's not good for you or for other person.I know it will be difficult to understand at first but in the end will achieve overcome. You deserve someone who loves you and who have passed all do not give up.
I wish you the best, Andrea.

My advice is that you fight to be with the person that love and trying to eliminate all the differences that have but but works to let it go, I have had problems similar to yours because all the girls who are interested in does not feel the same as me, and for this reason the relationships have not lasted, I would find my soul mate and feel all the intensity that feels. In short:If you believe that, you will never feel the same on the other person looking for the way to be with that person, but everything is difficult and never know if true love is easy or difficult because it depends on different circumstances. Axel, hugs from Argentina.

The fact of the matter is that you could get back together with them but you'll most likely end up breaking up again; patterns become habit, and when that happens there's really nothing you can do to stop it. You need to figure out how you truly feel about this person, if this keeps happening, most likely one or both of you has doubts about the relationship, and you should discuss this with your loved one. Whatever the outcome, it will be the best for the both of you no matter what.
"Settle for nothing less than certainty in matters of the heart." -Ichabod Crane; Sleepy Hollow. Colin.

I am not the type of person to do this sort of thing but this struck a chord in my heart. In my eyes Love is joined by Hope and Faith. Your love is the most powerful thing and if someone is blind enough to not take your gift they do not deserve your time. You are special for not giving up on love and your heart may be too big for him. Sorry if this was not what you were looking for, it is just how I feel and live your life. Drew.

Yes. Love shouldn't be difficult, love is not a guessing game that whether he/she still love me or not. Love is a thing you should ask from the bottom your heart, whether you really in love in she/he or not. If you really in love in her/him, you will never questioning yourself that should I give up or should I still go for it.
Ask your ex! What was she/he intention for breaking up with you! If she/he say its complicated and can't tell you that she/he love you deeply too, then say GOODBYE. Don't waste time on somebody that don't appreciate you. Find somebody that you both really love each other and appreciate you in every single moment of life.
Regards, Elisis.

Well, I wouldn�t say there are set rules to test whether someone is good for you or not, rather it�s the story your heart sings to you. That being said naivety is a huge vulnerable aspect in a relationship but it�s the risks that you take that weaves you closer. you really wouldn�t want to be fighting in the little time you both will have on this earth. You know, being passionate is great but it�s not the only ingredient of a relationship, you have compassion, understanding , love, trust. These maybe just words but the ability to complete them actively will make for a better and happier relationship a one worth staying for. May you find peace and bliss.
Yours sincerely, a soul that cares, Salma.

I myself hasn't been in a relationship before, but there's something I know that which is live is always full of contradiction. Live is full of hows and whys and I believe that deep inside your heart, you have made the decision on whether to keep going or let it go. You shouldn't think too much or question yourself too much, (You only live Once) just follow your intuition and enjoy your life. Zi.

I'm not a judge of love and I'm assuming you're unmarried, but in my experience the relationship you describe wasn't worth continuing. Not that it didn't have value. It will resonate in your heart forever, even when you begin to love someone new. I've been there, I know but how did I learn? When I realized I did not like who I was with him. When he no longer made time for me. When, despite my lifelong insecurities, I owned up to the fact that, yes, I did deserve more. It's one thing to be ignorant about that in a relationship - that's excusable - but when you KNOW you deserve a healthier, better commitment, well, then that's just plain foolish, isn't it? Love is compromise, teamwork, respect - a choice. Passion may fade, yet love's intensity grows. And we all need someone with whom we can trust our heart in their hands. That best person is out there for you, the passion may be different with your next love. That's the beauty of it, that each person leaves a distinct mark but it will be there. Move on! Now, if you're married, this advice would be have to be thrown into the trash bin...
Best of luck, Robin.

It's hard to know when a relationship is worth saving. You may think that you are in love with someone when in fact the person is just a familiar face that is hard to let go of. Every relationship has it's flaws, but I live by this saying: "True love is putting up with someone's flaws because somehow, they complete you." Don't save a relationship that is destined to fail, but don't give up the person who makes you happy. Love is all about give and take and only you can decide if you are putting in more than you are taking out of a relationship. If you were not truly happy in that relationship my advice would be to move on, there are plenty of fish in the sea. Catherine.

Love is NOT that thing you said. Love is about respect, confidence, trust, making the other person feel better with himself, wanting his/her happiness. It can be difficult! Nobody said It was easy! My bf lives in another city... It's not easy for me! But he makes me feel so well that I think it is worthy to hold on until we can live together.
I think you talk about passion, sort of addiction to that person. And that's ok! But you should keep this in mind so you won't suffer!
Believe me, there is plenty of people who would love to make you happy, even if you don't think it's possible now! Mar.

Nothing worthy would be easy and if it's easy it then it wouldn't be worthy. Keep this always on mind, specially about love. You have nothing to think about. If you have been on and off and breaking up several times but always getting back it's because something inside you tells you that beside the other person is where you belong. Love is though and even though it's supposed to be great, sometimes, it's painful, but that's not a reason to give up. If you are really and truly in love, you don't give up. If your feeling are real and that loves comes from the bottom of your heart, then, even if you want to be apart, you always end up together. That's why despite many break ups you keep getting back with each other, because if it's true, you can't help it, you can't give it up no matter how much you think it will be better for you and no matter how much you try. Eva.

Wow, heart-breaking, torn experience that can be. For me, I knew it was time to let go when the feelings of disappointment, hurt, anger, guilt, shame, etc. outweighed the times we spent in pleasant feelings. When the past couldn�t be let go cause it was still the present. When actions rarely spoke louder than words; time and time again. When we had driven down that same road one too many times! There is a difference of hard times, working together, making changes versus talking about change but not making any or just continuous, unhealthy communication.
When I said good-bye it was one of the hardest decisions I ever made. I thought, I'd never again find such a love. I wondered how I would do it? I made a plan. I stuck to it. I asked friends for support. I took it day by day. Every day it got easier and life reminded be in subtle ways that I made the right decision. A year later and I am now in the healthiest, happiest, most loving and sexiest relationship I have been in all my life.
Maybe good things in life comes from hard work and patience. Not only can relationships be hard work but saying good-bye to them can be, too. And you have to have the patience to see it as for the best�but it is worth it. Doing what you know to be true in your heart, always ends up being worth it. Nina.

A relationship is a journey we travel be it with a friend or a lover, not everyone is lucky enough to meet their soul mate. It is hard to recognise this when you have become familiar with someone and feel a sense of security with. There comes a time when you have to find YOU again as you can become morphed into the person you are with and lose your own identity. Taking time aside to replenish your soul and learning to love yourself is good as without love for yourself you can't give it. We must learn from people that come into our lives and by taking a lesson from each we begin to build ourselves and our standards and morals. Once we know ourselves it is easier to get to know someone else and what we expect from them.
When you can no longer make each other happy anymore then it is time to take that time out whether temporary or permanent to reassess yourself and what you want from a relationship or indeed life.
Love isn't difficult but we just expect to get it from another person when love is in us all so if you start to love yourself and your life as an individual it opens up a whole new experience that is Love.
Once you have found this then you will attract the people that love you for who you are.
Don't be afraid of new starts think of it as a Spring clean. Angela.

To know the answer, you need to look back at your relationship very critical. Every relationship has its ups and downs, but if you have a true on/off relationship (with arguing or something like that in the 'off'-time), I say it has no sense anymore and it's better for both to break up. When your love feelings are sometimes stronger and sometimes less, that's normal. Like I already said, every relationship has its ups and downs.
One more thing: If only one of you doesn't feel in love anymore, is it important to let go. This will be very hard, but it's the best. Half love is no love. Don't worry when that happens. You will find someone else.

I had been struggling too for two years just to move on from my ex.
Even after we broke up, we were still dating. How do we know if we
should keep trying or let go? For me, I'll just ask myself, is he
worth it? I thought all the good side of him and all the bad side of
him, and decided if his bad side is tolerable or not. And knowing that
you deserve better than him is also helpful. I eventually moved on
when I knew I was tired of the drama, tired of kept going back when I
knew we would break up anyway, and I was tired of crying. I know it's
not easy to move on. Instead of thinking of him, you can hangout with
your best friends, look for a new crush, find a new hobby, make new
goals for your future and try to make it comes true. Keep being
optimist, okay? Ira.

Thanks to all those who replied to this week�s question. Remember, Team Oracle is open to anyone so if you fancy replying, click to read this week's, and send us your answer.