No relationship is perfect. There are ups and downs, arguments, and falls out. But that doesn’t mean everything is going wrong. It’s important to keep things in perspective and know when you’re just going through a bit of a rough patch, versus when it’s time to leave a relationship.
How do you know? Signs. There are always signs.
When you’re in a relationship, it can be hard to accept those signs. Because, let’s face it, deep down, we all know what the signs are. It’s whether or not we accept them and take action that makes all the difference.
By not understanding when to leave a relationship, you potentially spend months or even years in a union that simply doesn’t make you happy anymore. [Read: The important questions to ask before leaving someone you love]
Be sure to exhaust all options and turn over every rock before making your decision. Everything from couples counseling, to taking a solo vacation to clear your head should be attempted.
Every relationship is worth fighting for—especially one that was, or still is, filled with love. [Read: The real reasons why so many couples drift apart over time]
When making this decision, you need to push your emotions aside and attack this situation methodically. If you’re stuck and don’t know what to do next, that just means you need to think more.
If it feels easy, it means you don’t care. In that case, it’s probably super-easy for you. That means you’re lucky. For most people, knowing when it’s time to leave a relationship causes agony. The ‘what if’ will follow you around for a while. But, if you know it’s not right and you’re not happy, what other option do you have?
Talk to your partner, try everything you can, but listen to your gut. Staying for the wrong reasons will not make you happy. If it’s not meant to be, it’s just not meant to be. [Read: Are some people meant to be alone? 13 signs you’re that person]
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but if you can nod along to several of these signs, you have a problem.
A clear sign that it’s time for you to leave the relationship is when you’ve been unfaithful, and don’t feel particularly guilty about it.
The same can be said about your partner. If they have cheated before—whether once or on multiple occasions—it’s time to think about packing up. [Confession: I cheated on my boyfriend and feel so much better!]
If you have a “backup” in place, whether it’s a fling whom you bang every so often, or simply someone with whom you share a strong emotional connection, you need to get out of your relationship right now.
Once you seek love and companionship elsewhere, and prefer spending time with them, there’s no reason to stay with your current partner.
The saying, “don’t leave your old job before finding a new one,” applies to this situation. Do you find yourself trolling bars to meet new people? Facebook stalking hot singles? Adding acquaintances of the opposite sex on social media or to your phonebook so that you can ‘keep in touch?’
You are probably trying to fill a void and you’re unconsciously *or consciously* looking for a new partner. [Read: To cheat or not to cheat? A guide to make up your mind]
It’s normal for couples in long-term relationships to have less sex than brand-new couples. However, it’s not normal for you to only have sex occasionally and, when you do, not enjoy it. That could be because you’re envisioning someone else banging you, or feeling nothing because the spark is gone.
Work on trying to bring the passion back, but if that doesn’t work, you have no option but to leave.
Being in a relationship should be fun and passionate. You should want to do everything with your partner. However, if you feel bored out of your mind and keep doing the same things day in and day out, you may need to get out before it’s too late.
This is especially true if you have tried many times to get your partner to do something fresh and interesting, but they’re too set in their ways to bother. [Read: 21 reasons why you’re getting bored with your relationship]
It’s normal to feel a little jealous of other couples who have it made, but if this feeling intensifies and you start comparing every aspect of your relationship to what everyone else has, it’s very unhealthy. It’s also a clear sign that you need to end your relationship.
If you truly love your partner, you should be feeling grateful, not resentful.
If you prefer late nights out, sleeping around, flirting with everything that moves, the freedom to come and go as you please, and the luxury to design your life without anyone else in your way, you should get out of your relationship.
Go back to being single and ready to mingle. [Read: How to be happy being single & explore the freedom of singledom]
The biggest danger of being in a relationship *especially a long-term one* is forgetting who you really are. Many people simply become an extension of their partners and end up embracing their beliefs, personalities, and so on.
If you don’t recognize who you see in the mirror, it’s time for you to rediscover yourself. You can start doing that by leaving your relationship. [Read: How to fall out of love when you don’t see a future in your romance]
No one wants to end up alone, but if you think you’d be happier being alone than with your partner, you know it’s definitely time to leave.
All relationships have ups and downs, but if you can’t remember the last time you were truly happy and satisfied, it’s a red flag that your relationship is unhealthy. Work on it or start packing your bags now. [Read: The steps to take to tell your partner you’re unhappy]
Fights, arguments, disagreements, and pettiness are normal. Every couple has to deal with them. However, if it happens on a daily basis and over every little thing, it’s really best to part ways.
Trust us when we say that you’re bound to find happiness, peace, and calm elsewhere. [Read: 16 signs you’re settling in an unhappy relationship]
The whole point of committing yourself to another person is that you have someone there with you through thick and thin. This is someone with whom you can share all of your problems, and someone you can share all your joy with.
If you find yourself bottling everything in, or if you’d rather share your feelings with others besides your partner, it’s a clear sign that you need to exit the relationship.
You should never let anyone walk all over you—most of all the person who has pledged to love you, no matter what. You should be appreciated every day, and loved and cared for despite all the hardships that life throws your way.
If your partner takes advantage of you in any way whatsoever, or manipulates you and lies frequently, you need to wake up and realize that you can do better. [Read: Am I being taken for granted? The discreet signs to know for sure]
If you’ve both stopped making an effort in everything, from trying to make conversation to seriously letting yourselves go, then there’s truly no point in being together.
“We’ve been together for 13 years, it’d be a shame to leave now!” Sound familiar? You use the happy moments that you’ve shared in the past as reasons to stay with your partner.
You need to be honest with yourself and accept the fact that it shouldn’t be about what happened way back then. It should be about what’s happening now. [Read: How to let go of the past and be excited about the future]
This should go without saying, but some people need to be prodded in the right direction. If you’re being mentally or physically abused, you need to walk out today.
Your partner should not get a second chance, because they lost every right to it the moment they hurt you. [Read: 16 abusive relationship signs of a devious lover]
When you look to the future, do you see them with you? If not, then that’s a clear sign that you need to leave.
If you see yourself alone and you’re happy, or you see yourself with someone else, don’t stick around. Leave and find a happier future for the both of you. For sure, it will be hard in the beginning, but it’s necessary and it will get better.
If you no longer feel like you enjoy spending time with your partner, that’s not how it should be. When you look at them and no longer feel love, but instead dislike, you need to leave.
If you have lost all respect for them, how are you going to get that back? These are clear signs it’s time to leave a relationship and move on. [Read: 15 signs of a lack of respect in a relationship you can’t ignore]
You owe it to yourself to go after your dreams. If your partner is actively suppressing those dreams or pulling you back, ask yourself why.
If you stay, you’re going to look back in a few years’ time and wish that you’d done something about it. You’ll regret your choice not to go after your dreams and probably your choice to stay with this person.
If your partner has done something and you can’t forgive them, even after a large amount of time has passed, it’s not going to get any easier. If you’ve tried to overcome it and failed, that’s a sign.
Perhaps they cheated on you or hurt you in another way. It doesn’t matter what it is, if you can’t move past it, you’re always going to be stuck if you stay with them. [Read: 20 sure signs your relationship is oh-so-over already]
Whether you are going out with friends or having an argument, your partner is always dismissing you. They don’t consider your opinion or feelings. Instead, you feel like you’re just someone who’s there.
How you feel doesn’t matter to them, and when it comes to feeling connected and loved, that’s not there. If that’s the case, you’re looking at a prime example of when to leave a relationship. [Read: Never ignore these 29 signs of a lack of respect in a relationship]
No one said once you enter a loving relationship, it’ll continue to be a loving relationship until the end. People change – nothing is linear.
If it’s been months since you’ve felt genuine love toward your partner, this is something serious you need to consider. Do you love your partner anymore? If you don’t, this could be when to leave a relationship.
Every relationship has its good and bad — some small, crappy things you let slide, but only to a point. If you’re feeling like there are more cons in your relationship than positive things, you’ve got yourself a problem.
If your relationship is slowly dying, put it out of its misery. [Read: The signs of a toxic relationship that’ll go from bad to worse]
In the beginning, you were on the same page and felt connected. But it’s been a long time since you’ve felt that. And that’s okay; it’s normal for people to grow apart and choose different paths.
But if that’s the case, be honest with yourself and understand that the relationship isn’t what it once was.
Sure, they’re your partner, but you don’t feel that they love you anymore. The connection isn’t there, and neither is the physical affection.
Things have flatlined without the hope of a revival in sight. In a healthy relationship, you should feel loved by your partner, and if that’s not happening, it’s time to move on. [Read: What to do when you don’t love them back]
The entire relationship is on your shoulders. If it wasn’t for you and your hard work, it would have been over months ago. But, you’re single-handedly keeping things alive.
Aren’t you exhausted? Don’t you want to be with someone who wants to carry some responsibility for the relationship on their shoulders as well? [Read: The hidden signs of a one-sided relationship we all choose to ignore]
It’s normal for couples to make personal sacrifices, and they make those sacrifices for the sake of their loving relationship. But, if your partner is making you feel like you’re always being taken for granted, it’s time to question what’s going on.
Sometimes, we fall into a habit of expecting our partners to always do the same things but if that’s leaving you feeling resentful, you need to have a conversation. Then, if nothing changes, leave.
You feel like you’re a clown juggling all of your partner’s needs and demands. Your partner places high standards on you, but they don’t give you much in return. Instead, the onus is all on you to make this a better relationship.
Screw that! Find someone who actually wants a partner, not a servant. [Read: Being taken for granted? Signs, reasons, and firm ways to stop them]
Are you sticking with this relationship because you’re scared to be alone? If that’s the case, then you really need to leave the relationship.
You’re not in it for the right reasons; instead, you’re in it because of fear. Being with someone out of fear will never work, and eventually, you will end up alone anyway. [Read: How to let go of your fear of being alone and find peace]
After everything, you may still have a lot of love for your partner. You might not want to leave, but deep down you know it’s the only way to feel happy again in the future. Knowing when it’s time to leave a relationship is always hard.
Staying in a broken relationship that shows no signs of being fixed is simply a waste of time and effort for the both of you. In the long-run, you’ll both end up even more hurt and resentful. It’s far better to be brave and say goodbye now.
Do so with your head held high and know that you did everything you could to make things work. Sometimes it’s more brave to walk away than to stay in a situation that simply isn’t working.
[Read: When is it time to break up? The signs to know for sure it’s time]
Leaving the person you love is one of the hardest things to do. At the end of the day, you need to make yourself happy, and if leaving your partner will help you get there, do it and don’t look back.
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