Sometimes, we come to the realisation that the love that we thought would last forever has begun to dwindle, and we think to ourselves, when is it time to leave a relationship?
The guilt of leaving consumes us, the what-ifs are plenty, and we feel like we might be quitting too early. You know the ship is sinking, but you are unsure if you want to go down with it.
So, if you are here, this article will answer the big question: How do you know if it’s time to leave a relationship?
It is time to leave a relationship when you feel like being alone or with someone else is the best for you. This decision can be a result of your partner’s actions or how you feel about the relationship.
Before choosing to exit a relationship, make sure you are not being impulsive, irrational or selfish.
Relationships are never a smooth ride, and no matter how much you think there is a beautiful soul out there waiting to embrace you and give you everything, this often isn’t always the case.
Everyone comes with baggage, and you have to give your all to make things work. This is usually the way any healthy relationship works out. Make sure that you are not the problem.
The hardest pill to swallow is admitting that you are the one who needs to put in more effort if you want the relationship to work out fine.
However, if you are so sure that you have given your best towards your relationship and yet remain disappointed by the outcome of the relationship, then it is the best time to leave.
Any healthy relationship is riddled with shortcomings from either of the individuals in the relationship. But do not conflate these shortcomings or mistakes with actual red flags.
A general sign that a relationship with a person needs to end is if the relationship continues to cause immense pain and tragically hampers the quality of your life or your partner’s life.
For instance, I often encourage people who cheat in relationships to exit such relationships. Cheating without an active decision to end the act is definitely a clear answer to the question: when is it time to leave a relationship? Taking a when to leave a relationship quiz can also help you answer the question: when is it time to leave a relationship? And help you gain clarity.
Also, all the fifteen clear signs I will share in this article will help you decide when is it time to leave a relationship. So here we go with the fifteen clear signs it is time to take a bow:
1. Your Partner Has Become Abusive
When people are asked when is it time to leave a relationship? Most people say when it is abusive. In fact, if you were to take a should I stay in this relationship quiz, they already set the algorithm to say yes once abuse is involved.
However, many people do not realise that abuse doesn’t always have to be physical. Many times, abuse happens in other ways in the relationship.
This abuse does not always have to involve battery all the time. Other times, abuse shows up as mental abuse, like gaslighting.
It can also be emotional abuse, such as starving a person of affection so they can earn it. It is time to leave your relationship if abuse is commonplace in your relationship.
2. You Are Changing In The Wrong Way
Being in a relationship with someone often means that we might pick up habits.
Therefore, relationships can influence us greatly, and this is because we usually pick up the habits of people who we love or spend quality time with.
If you feel like you are picking up a terrible habit from someone at any point, then perhaps it is time to move on.
For instance, your partner might be a drug addict and has started to introduce you to drugs. It is time to leave such a relationship if you believe you are being taught terrible habits.
3. Your Partner Is Unavailable
Healthy relationships are made up of two healthy people who actually want to open up themselves. This sort of vulnerability is very important if you are to build a healthy relationship.
If your partner cannot give you this kind of healthy relationship, then it is time to move on from the relationship.
If your partner is emotionally unavailable and immature, then this is when to end a relationship with someone you love.
Being with an emotionally unavailable partner can be frustrating for anyone; you need to protect yourself by leaving such a relationship.
4. You Feel Trapped
Feeling trapped is a terrible thing to experience in a relationship. If you feel trapped in your relationship for any reason, it might signify that such a relationship is bad for you.
True that relationships may come with their problems, but feeling trapped in a relationship is often a sign that you are in a relationship with a controlling person.
Up there with abuse, feeling trapped is one of those moments when it is time to leave the relationship. When is time to leave a relationship? When the relationship feels like a burden.
5. They Can Not Give You What You Want
Most relationships have long-term and short-term goals. These goals are mostly present to keep both parties satisfied in the relationship, and this is very important for any relationship.
However, if you and your partner can no longer achieve that goal together, it may be time to leave. When is it time to leave a long term relationship?
A good instance is if you have been dating your partner for quite a while and feel like they are refusing to take your union to the next stage, then it is time to leave.
It would be best if you weren’t expending valuable energy on relationships that do not make you happier or stop you from achieving your dreams.
6. Your Partner Has Changed For The Worse
Standing by your partner through difficult times is such a desirable trait. But many times this is not feasible.
For example, if your partner has changed in a way that is very upsetting for you or the relationship, then it is time to leave. Certain behaviours are not meant to be managed.
For instance, a depressed partner doesn’t warrant you leaving the relationship because this is actually a condition that a spouse can manage.
But a drug dealer or violent partner is not a manageable situation. You must know when to fight for a relationship and when to give up.
And if your partner is going through a rough patch, that is when to fight for the relationship, but if their behaviour brings so much harm to the community, then it is time to leave such a person.
7. Your Partner Causes You Too Much Pain And Unhappiness
One phrase I like to use in driving home this point is the one that says, “Are you dating a human or an onion?”
There is definitely nothing terrible about crying when you are hurt, man or woman. However, when the person behind your tears is a lover, it is a terrible sign.
This is not to say that relationships will not experience some difficulty. The difficulty will happen because you are two different people trying to build a life together.
But it is time to leave if your partner makes it a habit of causing you so much grief and pain. Building a healthy relationship is quite tasking, and the last thing you want is a partner who makes it painful and teary every step of the way.
8. The Responsibility In The Relationship Overwhelms You
There is only so much burden we can bear before we finally break down. It is okay to admit that you do not want to handle certain responsibilities at a point in time.
For example, relationships often come with commitments. If those commitments are not something you can make at that point in time, then it is time to leave.
It is okay to want to chase a career or focus entirely on yourself. And suppose you believe that you can not bear the responsibility of being in a relationship while chasing any of these ambitions. In that case, you should end the relationship and find your way.
9. You Cannot Give Your Best In The Relationship
One reason many relationships fail is that one party has completely zoned out. Relationships are not a do-or-die affair.
If you feel like you cannot give your all to the relationship, then it is time to say your goodbyes. We have seen many people claim that they cheat on their partners.
Most times, this happens because the cheater cannot give their all in terms of commitment. If you also feel this way about your relationship, this is the time to exit.
When is it time to leave a relationship you can no longer commit to? The moment you do not see the need to put in the effort, you can no longer put in the effort to keep it going.
Love should never be one-sided, and if you cannot reciprocate your partner’s passion and commitment, it is time to exit the relationship.
10. The Relationship Has Gone Sour
Sometimes, all the signs are there, and you can tell that a relationship has stopped being good for both of you.
This can be because certain things have happened in the past that have made the relationship sour greatly.
Once your relationship has gone sour, bonding is very hard, and the relationship becomes a burden to everyone.
When is it time to leave a relationship which has soured? Once you can see it has no benefit to you, all that is left of the relationship is constant quarrels and irritation.
11. You Need To Turn Your Focus Elsewhere
Relationships can be quite demanding. This means that we have to give our all to the relationship continually.
Sometimes, we are not able to juggle all of the other things that we are dealing with.
12. You Are Seeing Someone Else
Sad as it may seem, sometimes we find other people who we love dearly, even when we are in a relationship.
Cheating happens when you do not tell your partner that you have found interest elsewhere, and then end your relationship before pursuing your new love interest.
If you are seeing someone else or you have begun to lose feelings for your partner, it is time to let go. This way, you do not hurt your partner by carrying on with a relationship which you are no longer committed to.
13. Your Friends And Family Disagree
The movies portray love stories as two people going up against all odds to keep their love alive. Often the odds they are going up against are their family.
Let me say that in real life, this might not be true. Your family and friends can actually protect you from making the wrong choice in a relationship.
When you are in love, you become pretty compromised, which can affect how you see your relationship. This is why family and friends can go a long way in helping you see what you are failing to see.
It can be a sign if your family members and friends do not approve of your relationship with someone. Friends and family often have our best interests at heart.
If they feel like a partner isn’t right for you, you might want to take a step back and listen.
14. You Feel Like You Need To Be Alone
There are times in our lives when we want to be free. To find ourselves, this might require that you put your interest first.
If you are at this point, then you have to let go of your relationship.
Being in a relationship means you might be unable to pursue your self-interest. So when is it a good time to leave a relationship? Once you are convinced that you feel like you might be more self-serving.
15. Too Much Has Happened To Strain The Relationship
If your partner has cheated on you, and you can not bear to continue the relationship, it is definitely time to end it. Relationships which past trauma events have strained are often painful to restore.
If too much has happened in your relationship, and the pieces are challenging to put back together, it is time to leave.
Leaving a relationship is not as easy as it may seem. This is why you need to see it as a logical decision that you are committed to.
Also, if you find it difficult to handle the end of a relationship, it is time to step out and build new connections and find new hobbies to help you through the difficult times.
Always keep in mind that sometimes we have to move on to find the love that we deserve. Once you have this in mind, it becomes easier to move past whatever relationship you have had to end.
Save this for later!