Being in love with someone is not always as simple as it sounds. I know I’ve run into an issue or two when it came to who I was in love with. Catch that? “Was” in love with.
The truth is, you’re not really in control over who you fall in love with. It’s not a conscious effort. But sometimes, those people just aren’t good for you. Or, you know that deep down, even though you love them, it just won’t work out in the long run.
For me, it was the limitations. I was in love with someone who was a bit older—about 8 years—and he was in love with me. We were happy. He bought a house, I moved in, we bought a puppy, and we were on our way to starting our lives together. Sounds like a happily-ever-after story, right? Well, it wasn’t.
Two separate paths
Shortly after we got a puppy, he started talking about kids in the near future—something that wasn’t even on my radar for the next 7 to 10 years. I smiled and nodded in agreement, but in my mind, it was like my brain had gone to war with itself. Ultimately, both sides lost.
I was at a loss. I didn’t know what to do. It took me some time, but ultimately, my rational thinking took over and I realized that our futures were on two different paths that didn’t have any hope of magically merging. So I made the only decision I could and broke it off. [Read: 12 real reasons why couples drift apart over time]
Stopping love in its tracks
You may think that your heart wants who it wants and there’s no way around who you have feelings for. But that’s just not the case. There may be a time or two in your life when you have to make a decision about who you’re with and whether or not that person is really best for you.
#1 Your futures aren’t in sync. Check one for personal experience in this category. Making sure the person you’re in love with has the same mindset as you do is really important. How can you build a life with someone when both of you have different visions for what’s to come?
Now, you don’t have to agree on everything. Just because you want a Victorian-style house and they want a ranch home one doesn’t mean your futures aren’t lined up. It simply means that when you two buy a house together, there will be some discussion and *hopefully* compromise.
I’m talking about the total vision—where you want to live, when you want to have kids, how many kids you want to have, your future lifestyles, and more. If those things aren’t lined up, then it may be time to do some serious thinking about moving on. [Read: Compromise in relationships: 12 tips to give in without losing out]
#2 They’re not good for you. I mean mentally, emotionally, and physically. If the person you’re in love with is harming you in any of these ways, then it’s time to stop loving them.
Easier said than done, I know. But when someone is tearing you apart from the inside out, there’s really no other choice to make.
If your significant other is hurting your psyche, then it will result in complications in a lot of other areas of your life. For example, if they are verbally abusing you and calling you horrible names, eventually, you’ll start to believe these things yourself. It’ll cut down your self-esteem, you’ll avoid being around other people—which makes you even more depressed—and your physical health will take a fall as well.
I don’t care how much you love someone. If they do anything like that, then it’s time to better yourself and stop loving them before any real damage can ensue. [Read: Am I in an abusive relationship? 17 sure signs]
#3 They’re holding you back. There are two ways someone can hold you back. One way is on purpose. This can be their telling you that they don’t want you to hang out with your friends because they want to spend *an annoyingly large amount of* time with you. Or it can be their telling you that your hopes and desires are pointless, just for the sake of keeping you with them.
But they can also hold you back by accident. Let’s say your dream is to live in a little shack on the ocean, have your own garden, and live your life as minimally as possible. But their dream is to work in a big office in the city.
You may automatically dismiss your plans in order to fit into their lives. But you shouldn’t. They’re holding you back from doing what you’ve always wanted to do, and they don’t even realize it. Regardless of your love for them, it’s time to go find someone to share your shack with. Don’t sell yourself short. [Read: 10 signs your partner is truly supportive of your goals]
#4 You’re holding them back. This may be the single hardest thing to do. How can you stop loving someone just because you’re holding them back? Does that even make sense?
Yes. We live in a world where people are very selfish and only concerned with themselves. This makes it hard to admit when we’re no good for someone else. It makes it very hard to take a step back, leave, and stop loving someone because we’re ultimately hindering their future.
Say your significant other has huge goals for the future and you’re struggling along, trying to keep up. They end up putting things on hold in order to accommodate you in the relationship, but by doing so, they are putting their own dreams and goals in jeopardy.
If this happens, it’s just time to stop loving them and let them go. It may be hard, but it’s time to put their needs above your own and realize that you can’t provide them with everything they need for a successful future. [Read: Timing in love and relationships: Why it’s so important]
#5 When you can’t trust each other. This one is quite simple. Love may seem like the most important thing in a relationship, but trust really takes home the trophy. Without trust, you can’t live happily with another person.
When you’re not happy, it’s time to change something. Not being able to trust your partner may mean that it’s time to stop loving them and move on. While you may not be able to control your feelings, your rational mind should make you see that there is no good to come from being with someone whom you can’t trust.
It’s better to save yourself some heartache and stop loving them before your relationship derails too much and you just end up in even more pain. [Read: How to get over trust issues in your relationship]
#6 You can’t be yourself around them. Being with someone you love should make you feel like the best and most important person in their lives. You should be able to truly be yourself and not have to worry about their judgments.
When I was with someone, he ridiculed my hobbies and judged me constantly. I couldn’t pig out on a stack of Oreos without him turning up his nose and scoffing at how disgusting I was. Come on, dude! Sure, everyone tries to be on their best behavior on the first few dates, but once you’re in a long-term relationship with someone, you’ve got to be able to feel like you can be comfortable around them.
I just couldn’t be myself around him and it drove us apart. Even though I was in love with him, I had to end it because he didn’t appreciate me as a person. [Read: 20 signs you’re a people pleaser and don’t realize it]
#7 They don’t love you. And you can tell. You may have fallen head-over-heels for someone and been with them for quite a while, but you will be able to tell if they don’t love you back. Some people can feel rushed or pressured to enter into a relationship at first, without really knowing how they feel or what they want.
It may be a hard thing to realize and accept, but once you do, you need to stop loving them and move on. Save your love for someone who cares just as much about you as you do for them. [Read: How to fall out of love when you see no future]
Forcing yourself to stop loving a person is one of the hardest things to do in life. But knowing when it’s time to throw in the towel, give up, and stop loving someone will help ease your pain when making such a difficult decision.
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