Confused over the current state of your relationship? If you’re wondering how to know if you should break up, here are all the signs to guide you.
The feeling of love can make us do crazy things, which includes staying in an unhealthy relationship. Sometimes you may believe you’re in a perfectly happy relationship *because everyone’s relationship is a bit screwed up anyway, right?* And at other times, you may wonder how to know if you should break up, because you’re just not happy anymore.
Relationships can be confusing. But… that’s only if you’re unsure of yourself and your wants in the first place.
When I was in my early twenties, I was dating a guy who I was madly in love with. Or at least, in love with the illusion of being with him. What I didn’t realize right away was that this person was not a good choice for me. His insecurities were extremely toxic, and he was mentally and emotionally abusive.
But I was so insecure; I didn’t think I’d be able to live without him. I know, how dramatic does that sound, right? But when you’re in a tumultuous relationship, everything is dramatic.
It took me a while to understand he wasn’t right for me. Fight after fight, I had this feeling in my stomach that told me this wasn’t right, yet, I wasn’t sure that breaking up with him was something I needed to do. That’s not a position you want to be in.
Of course, breaking up with someone isn’t easy, but sometimes it needs to be done in order to receive the love you deserve. You may not be sure if you should break up with your partner, and that’s why I’m here. Don’t rush into the decision until you really things and come to a decision you feel good about. [Read: 7 secret signs that reveal a bad relationship instantly]
How to know if you should break up – The 15 clues that can guide you
Not all relationships are forever.
#1 Your needs aren’t being met. When it comes to people’s needs, everyone is different. Some people need more emotional support, while others need help with time management. In a healthy relationship, both people help to fulfill each other’s needs and balance everything out. But your needs aren’t being met; instead, your partner is the only one receiving anything from the relationship. [Read: 15 signs of a taker in a relationship – Are you a giver or a taker?]
#2 You’re scared to talk to your partner. Your needs aren’t being met by your partner, but you’re also too scared to ask more from them. What that does is hide your true feelings from your partner and creates further issues. Also, you need to ask yourself why you feel uncomfortable asking your partner for more.
If you’re wondering how to know if you should break up, remember that a relationship is not held together by fear and silence, but by love and communication.
#3 You’re going to other people to get your needs met. Since your needs aren’t being met in your relationship, you’re going elsewhere for support. Maybe you confide to your friend or a colleague from work. But the point is you’re looking outside of your relationship when you should be getting your needs met within your relationship. [Read: 18 emotional affair signs you probably didn’t notice]
#4 You feel that you have to stay with your partner. Maybe you and your partner went through a traumatic experience together or have dated for five years. And now, even though you feel you want to break up with them, you also feel that you can’t break up with them. Just because you two shared an experience or have been together for a long time, doesn’t mean you need to stay in the relationship.
#5 Your gut instinct is telling you to break up. You know already what you need to do, even without really thinking about how to know if you should break up. Right now, you’re just finding the support and the reason you need to make your move.
But your gut instinct has already told you what your next step needs to be. If your gut instinct is telling you that you need to break up, then listen to it.
#6 Your partner is abusive. Well, if your partner is exhibiting emotional, mental, or physical signs of abuse towards you, you know it’s time to break up. I know it can be hard to end an abusive relationship, as your partner will also show affection to manipulate you. But, any hint of violence will only progress with time. [Read: 21 sneaky signs of emotional abuse you may be overlooking]
#7 Your friends and family are unsupportive of the relationship. It’s normal for people to feel skeptical about someone’s partner, but if time has passed and your friends and family are against your partner, there’s a reason why. This is a huge red flag and one you need to investigate. Why does no one in your close inner circle like your partner?
#8 You don’t like your partner as a person. You two used to laugh and talk about millions of things, but you’re realizing that you don’t actually like your partner. I know this sounds strange, but it happens. You wouldn’t even want your partner to be your friend if you two weren’t in a romantic relationship. There’s nothing about them you like.
#9 You two have been working on improving the relationship for over a year. If you’ve been working on fixing your relationship for over a year with your partner and nothing has changed, it’s time to call it quits. You’re wasting your time. If they can’t meet your needs and it’s been a year, then you need to move on because it’s clear nothing will change. [Read: How to stop being taken for granted in a relationship]
#10 You don’t want to have sex with your partner. Now, in relationships, there are phases when we’re more sexual and less sexual. A lot of things can affect your desire to have sex like stress or children. But in this case, you simply don’t want to have sex. If you’re wondering how to know if you should break up, ask yourself if you’ve mentally checked out of the relationship with your partner already.
#11 You carry the relationship on your back. Not only are your needs not being met, but you’re single-handedly carrying the relationship on your back. I didn’t know you were a mule. But seriously, you make the date night plans, you cook dinner, you clean the house, and your partner doesn’t need to do much. They just need to show up. That’s not a relationship. [Read: How to fix a one-sided relationship before it ends in failure]
#12 You hold onto the “good time.” But that’s all you have from your relationship. The past memories of good moments you two share is what keeps you sticking around. But in recent months, there hasn’t been any positive moments you two shared. In other words, you’re living in the past of your relationship, not the present.
#14 You’re emotionally drained when you’re around them. When you’re with your partner, you should feel content. Of course, there will be some days where you’re not feeling your best, but you shouldn’t feel this constant emotional heaviness when you’re with your partner. This feeling of being emotionally drained is when you know something needs to change.
#15 You’re just unhappy. I can’t put this as simpler. You’re just not happy being with your partner. You don’t laugh anymore; you don’t see your friends or do things that make you feel good. You’ve withdrawn from the world and no longer enjoy the hobbies you used to do. Now, if this appears with other points on this list, your relationship may be the problem.
Understanding how to know if you should break up isn’t a decision you should make quickly. Really reflect inwards and see how you’re truly feeling about the relationship. If it’s something deep down you don’t want to be in, then you know your answer.
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A serial dater, Natasha Ivanovic knows a thing or two about men and the dating scene. Much of her writing is inspired by her encounters with men - and for good ...