If you’re a big fan of romantic comedies and watch them as religiously as a devout person watches his faith, you’ve undoubtedly seen couples that found ways to rediscover their love irrespective of their relationship’s difficulties. In these movies, it is always because they couldn’t stop loving themselves.
However, as you must have read, heard, and seen time and time again, love alone isn’t often enough to keep a relationship going. Sustaining the embers of a romantic relationship is not down to loving your partner.
In fact, a lot of couples who break up with their partners often cite ‘irreconcilable differences’ as their reason, rather than falling out of love.
Romantic love sometimes evokes a feeling so strong that can make people stay in unhealthy, abusive, and unfulfilling relationships.
Short bursts of dopamine – the feel-good hormone – once in a while can make one stay in a place where they are treated like trash.
Sometimes there might be several glaring reasons to end a relationship; several signs it’s time to break up and move on, however, it is easier said than done.
It takes a great deal of strength to decide to put your mental health and interests first by moving on from a relationship, especially when you still love your partner. However, after the dust must have settled, you would realize it was one of the best decisions you’ve made.
Though falling in love is a wonderful feeling, these feelings do not lead to stable, long-term romantic relationships every time. It might be your friends, family, or even your instincts telling you that it’s time to move on.
However, the decision, while huge, solely rests with you. So you must carefully evaluate your present situation and decide what’s best for you.
Signs It’s Time To Break Up
If you are wondering how to know when to end a relationship, below are some telltale signs it’s time to break up, no matter how long your relationship is.
1. When You Spend More Time Thinking About The Past Than The Present
One of the signs it’s time to break up is when you are always thinking back to old memories to gain some form of happiness.
Do you try to make yourself feel better by reliving the good times of your relationship? Do you use them to justify your decision to stay with your partner? This is a sign that your current relationship isn’t working for you.
The more we live in memories or a self-created future, the more we are living in a self-created universe.
This is dangerous because it does not represent the relationship’s current state. Keep in mind that your relationship with your partner should exist only in the present moment. Not in the past.
Memories should be preserved rather than used as an excuse to remain together in the future.
Your decision to stay with the person should be based on your current feelings for him or her, the current state of the relationship, and your potential aspirations for him or her.
2. When The Same Issue Recurs Despite Your Efforts To Resolve It
You are bound to encounter issues with your partner; issues you will likely resolve with little fuss. However, when these same issues keeping recurring, two, three times or more, it is a good indicator that something is wrong.
Do you ever feel like you’re in a relationship that’s stuck in a rut? Do you keep finding yourself in the same situation, scenario, or outcome, no matter what you do? If that’s the case, you will need to accept that this is the limit of your relationship’s potential.
You can keep driving, but it’ll only be a matter of time before you know you’ve run out of options. The adventure has come to a close. You and he/she have a bright future ahead of you, and this isn’t the way to get there.
3. When Your Relationship Holds You And Your Partner Back From Developing As Individuals
A relationship is a partnership formed by two individuals. Every partner grows as the relationship evolves. However, there are times in a relationship when neither party grows and the relationship becomes stagnant. Then there are times when one of them outgrows the other dramatically.
You have two options when this happens: the first is to adjust the dynamics of the relationship to accommodate this new growth, while the second option is to change yourself to maintain the same dynamics.
We must first and foremost be true to ourselves for we cannot deceive ourselves no matter how hard we try. Decide who you are and who you want to be before deciding whether or not this relationship is right for you.
You shouldn’t be in a relationship that prevents you from developing your own identity. If that is your present situation, then this is one of the signs it’s time to break up and find your footing.
4. When You Are Not Getting What You Want
The fact remains that everyone has different “needs” that they want a relationship to meet. These requirements could be emotional and overlap with a person’s love language, such as quality time or words of affirmation. It can be practical such as needing your partner to perform some acts of service.
Meeting these needs also necessitates a certain level of emotional maturity and intelligence, which includes learning about love languages and determining which ones work best for your partner.
Love is about making sacrifices, so what are you doing if you can’t make sacrifices to meet the needs of your partner and vice versa?
When you are in a relationship and your needs are not being met, you must talk to your partner about it. If that person’s partner is not willing to work harder to meet that need, it is probably time to move on.
A lot of people are held back in unfulfilling relationships because of our society’s negative perceptions of single people. Another thing that holds them back is the fear that they won’t find someone good enough or better. But this is not true.
There are lots of amazing people out there that could love you properly. When it comes to having your needs met, the type of partner you get to choose matters. Imagine, as a lady, having a man who sees the world from his vantage point, the point at which he first encountered society.
The point that says he should love you with caution, as if he were treating a box of chocolates he doesn’t like, the point that says he shouldn’t love you helplessly, that love should be manifested in strict acts like hitting you, forgetting dinner dates, and cheating, rather than acts of weakness.
The stage in which he is forbidden to say, “I love you,” and mean it, and must instead say, “I want you,” because the fragrance of your perfume and the swirl of your bosom attracts him. All these are proofs that you are nothing more than an object to him; a tool for his gratification. These are signs it’s time to break up.
5. When You Are Seeking Your Needs Outside The Relationship
So, you got a promotion at work or had a tragic incident or lost something or someone important, who do you call first to break the news? The answer to this question shows who you get emotional support from.
If this person is not your partner, then that means your relationship is unfulfilling. Someone else is filling that gap, and this is one of the reasons people cheat – getting emotional support elsewhere.
While having dependable colleagues is a great thing, actively seeking assistance from them may indicate that your partner isn’t providing you with emotional support. If you always chose to talk to your work colleague about your problems instead of your partner, then something is wrong, and it might be time to call it quits.
6. You’re Afraid To Ask Your Partner For More
It’s natural to be wary of sharing your desires and what you may or might not be getting out of your relationship with your partner. But even at that, communication is very necessary if any relationship would last.
A lot of people bottle up their feelings and don’t say what they want to because they do not want to come off as emotional and needy. They hide their feelings, remain unhappy, and claim to be content to avoid being seen as one who nags or one who is a burden. But if you cannot be open and vulnerable to your partner, what is the point?
When something happens and an argument breaks out, you would realize that it would have been better if you had spoken up earlier. Concealing your feelings in a romantic relationship – or any kind of relationship, really – will not save your relationship.
It will make it more unbearable. If you can’t get over your fear of approaching your partner, you should seek counseling or separation.
7. You Believe You Owe It To Your Partner To Stay With Him Or Her
How to know when you should end a relationship. Should I end my relationship? When should I end my relationship? These are queries that are frequently searched online. But what if the signs it’s time to break up are already obvious in your relationship but you just keep ignoring them?
One reason why many people stay in unfulfilling relationships is because of the effort and time they have invested in it. But as far as relationships and people are concerned, time does not equate success. You could spend years with someone and not feel anything but someone can turn your world around in few weeks.
While many people say “work out your relationship” and “give it time”, this does not always work. Putting in more time does not guarantee that a relationship will work. The relationship is unlikely to last much longer if neither partner can work to meet the other’s needs.
So search yourself inwardly to know why you are still in that terrible relationship. While at it, remember your emotions, health, and interests matter; you are a priority too.
8. You Are Always Fixing Your Relationship
If two people have been together for a tangible amount of time, there is a tendency for them to want to resolve issues instead of separating. This is great.
The couples could even go for counseling. But if the same issue persists for over a year, it shows that things may not get better no matter the time you are willing to give.
It is a difficult decision to let someone you thought you’d spend the rest of your life with go, but it is likely the correct decision if you guys are always trying to fix your relationship; some things are like broken glass, they just cannot be fixed.
9. You Don’t Like Your Partner Anymore
The signs it’s time to break up are incomplete without considering when couples fall out of love. Falling in love with someone is as easy, remaining in love is the real challenge. People prefer to love when it is easy for them, which is precisely when they need the most discipline and self-control.
Of course, you will find someone more desirable than your wife or husband, someone who is prettier or more attractive, and love won’t save you in those situations. Self-control and self-discipline, on the other hand, would.
However, there are moments when you do not have the courage to continue fighting the war. It is possible to fall in love with someone you don’t like and while you may be able to get by daily, living through difficult times together will be impossible.
The friendship part of your love relationship is what will lead you through those rainy days. That is why it is always advised that one should date and marry their friends. It makes the whole talking process easier. But what we see most times are people entering relationships because “her smile makes me glad”. In the days when this smile turns to a frown, can you still talk? Will you still love her?
Walking away is never easy but if you want to save yourself from further heartbreaks, it might be wise to listen to logic.
10. You Have A Violent And Abusive Partner
It is very possible to be in love with an abusive partner. The abuse might not even always be physical. There are also cases of emotional abuse. For mental and physical health, you must call it quits with anyone who abuses you.
Many women who were surveyed felt their abusive partners were “highly dependable,” according to a 2010 survey by the National Institute of Mental Health. One-fifth of them opined that their partner had many positive qualities, such as “being affectionate.” These views affected some victims’ decisions to stay in the relationship.
When confronted with abuse, it is important to find a safe way out. It’s not impossible to get out of such relationships. It is hard but it can be done, you have to place your life, health, and self-respect first before the relationship. You have to choose yourself.
It is one thing to know and recognize the signs it’s time to break up, it’s another to take the decision itself. Breaking up with a loved one doesn’t get easier, no matter the circumstances that warrant the separation.
However, sometimes it is the best or only option to choose. These signs above will help you decide if it’s time to end your relationship or not.
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