The saying “if you know, you know” sounds like you don’t need this article on when to end a relationship. But do you know, really?
It is so easy to justify reasons you should stay in a relationship and not say goodbye. But everything ends in life. You are lucky if a relationship lasts until one or both of you pass away.
Generally, however, there comes a time when you need to let go of a relationship because it isn’t working for you anymore and it isn’t making you happy.
So what are the signs you should look out for to know when it’s time to let go? (And yes, the Frozen “Let It Go” theme song is now playing in my head too.)
It’s Hard Letting Go of a Relationship
Letting go of something you’ve put hard work into – effort, sweat, blood, and tears – isn’t ever easy. It may feel like the relationship was a waste of time or that you’ve wasted X months or years of your life.
On the other end of the spectrum, you may also try to find reasons you should stay. You know, not seeing the red flags for what they are: RED FLAGS but instead thinking, “naw, that flag isn’t red. It’s more like a pink or orange.”
You basically ignore the warning signs, thinking you know better. Or you are too invested and close to it to really see what is going on.
But letting go is a must, especially if you are in a relationship that’s (any or all of the below):
9 Signs to Recognize When You Need to Let Go of a Relationship
There are a few red flags that will pop up when it’s time to end a relationship. It’s vital to recognize these for what they are and then act.
1. Lack of Trust
What is a relationship if you don’t trust the other person?
If you don’t trust what your partner tells you or their reasons, actions, or motives, then it’s a surefire sign that it’s time to end the relationship now.
If you and your partner can have an honest conversation and you are both still invested enough in your relationship, then you can start from scratch and rebuild trust. But this requires both of you to put in an equal effort.
In most cases, where trust has broken down, it’s the end. You simply need to take the final action and officially end the relationship.
2. No Consideration
When you are romantically involved with someone, you make decisions with the other person in mind. This means that you consider your partner’s feelings and thoughts before deciding or you chat with your significant other about stuff before making a decision.
If there is no consideration in a relationship, you’ve actually already moved on. The person you loved is no longer a priority or a fixture in your life. You’re simply treading water; psychologically, you’ve moved on.
Now it’s time to physically move on too.
3. Like a Stranger
Do you feel like the person you loved is currently a stranger? Someone you don’t know or even recognize even more?
If that’s that case, you probably don’t share any of the interests or dreams you once might have shared.
You can get to know this “stranger” and learn to love them, but maybe your partner thinks you are a stranger too?
Life’s too short to spend it with someone who isn’t whom you knew and loved. So end the relationship now and don’t waste years of your life, only to regret and resent it.
4. Pressure to Change
If you feel pressured to change, it’s another sign that you need to end the relationship.
You accept and love your partner unconditionally, and they should do the same for you. You should be authentically you in the relationship, and if your partner is asking you to stop eating so much during the day, change your job, or be X or Y, they are projecting their own insecurities onto you. And that isn’t OK, ever.
You can go to couple’s counseling or try to convince your partner they need help, but if he doesn’t want to change his ways, it’s better to separate.
5. Not Yourself
Another reason you should end your romantic relationship is when you aren’t authentically “you” in the relationship. Your partner can’t love you when they (and you) don’t even know who you are.
So if you are wearing a mask or pretending to be someone else, you aren’t going to be happy in the relationship.
Or maybe you just don’t feel comfortable around your partner. Do you feel good enough? Are you worried that you can’t speak your mind? Are you tiptoeing and hiding things?
Your gut is probably trying to tell you something, and you should listen to your gut.
6. Moving Fast
Is your relationship moving faster than what you feel comfortable with and you don’t feel like you can speak up?
Then something is up. You don’t really want to be in this relationship and you feel pressured to move in together, meet the family, or get married.
A relationship doesn’t have to move at a snail’s pace, nor does it need to be a whirlwind romance. The right relationship for you will move at the pace you AND your partner are comfortable with.
If one of you feels ready to move in together but the other isn’t ready, then you need to compromise. Maybe you can spend weekends together and your partner goes back to their place during the week.
Your loved one would want to make you happy and feel comfortable. If this isn’t how you feel, then it’s time to let go.
7. Constant Anxiety
If you are with someone you love, you’d feel safe and comfortable. If the person and/or the relationship is a constant source of anxiety, it is another sign that you should end the relationship.
I’d like to point out that some relationship anxiety is good. If you are a bit anxious when you suggest your partner should meet your family and friends, it just means you care. You want your friends and family to like your partner, and vice versa.
Being hypervigilant, looking for stuff that is wrong in your relationship, and doubting how you are feeling or how your partner is feeling are clues that the relationship isn’t working.
8. Break up, Back Together Again
Any relationship where you keep breaking up and then getting back together again sounds like it belongs in a telenovela. There’s a reason the relationship isn’t working and you are taking a break.
If you don’t realize why you keep breaking up and working to fix things, history is set to repeat itself. And you gotta ask yourself if it is worth doing the same thing over and over again, only to never move forward. It’s like you are stuck in a loop—can you really be happy?
Cheating is cheating. Whether your partner cheated on you by sleeping with someone else or has a secret profile on an online dating site and chats up other people.
Your relationship can make a comeback if one of you has been unfaithful, but the truth is that the cheater has broken the other partner’s trust.
And it is always going to be on your mind that if they’ve cheated once, they can again. If you have doubts like these, it is best to walk away and end the relationship.
Tips for Moving on When You’ve Ended a Relationship
Saying goodbye, letting go, and moving on is never easy, but these tips will help:
Final Thoughts on Ending a Relationship
It’s essential to move on and end a relationship that is no longer serving you or making your soul happy. Recognize red flags, accept that you deserve better, and let go of your current partner and the relationship.
It takes time to move on, but let yourself feel and grieve and just be.
Remember that you are enough. You deserve love. And the right person is out there for you.
If you are male and looking for some relationship advice, then check out this relationship advice and tips for men guide.