Not every relationship is meant to last forever. We generally understand this concept as true. After all, few things last forever, yet we still find it difficult knowing when it’s time to leave a relationship.
People change throughout their lives and sometimes that means ending a relationship with someone you are no longer compatible with. This doesn’t mean the relationship was a waste of time or that you should regret it. It simply means that you should move on and look at the positive aspects of your relationship.
What did you learn from the relationship? What did you like about that person? Were there some things that you didn’t like? Asking yourself these types of questions and taking time to reflect on the relationship will help you figure out what you actually want in your next relationship.
If you look at relationships as learning experiences rather than wasted time, you’ll understand why some relationships are just destined to end. Having a relationship that lasts a lifetime is actually rare – since 40-50% of marriages in the U.S. end in divorce – so don’t feel bad if you have figured out that it’s time to leave your current relationship.
If you’ve been toying with the idea of ending your relationship but need a little encouragement or reassurance, here are some telltale signs that you need to leave it behind.
Here are 5 signs it’s time to leave your relationship:
“Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” – Marilyn Monroe
1. You make excuses for them regularly.
If you find that you often have to defend your relationship to your friends and family or justify your partner’s actions or behavior, then it might be time to leave your relationship. For example, maybe they’ve been unemployed for a while and haven’t found a job yet. You might think they simply haven’t found the right fit or they haven’t gotten calls back for interviews, when in reality, they haven’t been applying for jobs at all.
Or, maybe they stay out late every night and they tell you they’ve been putting in extra hours at work. You notice that they’ve been talking on the phone more often and have been secretive recently. When you find out they’ve been cheating on you, you might blame yourself, thinking that you could’ve prevented it by spending more time with them.
No matter what, it seems like you excuse their behavior and think things will change, even though you’ve been feeling unhappy for a while. If this sounds like your relationship, it’s a clear sign that it’s time to leave.
No one should have to put up with a partner who treats them badly and takes them for granted. A relationship is supposed to be a sacred bond between two people, and if one person doesn’t take it seriously, then it won’t work. That person might just not be ready for a mature relationship, and that’s okay. That closed door just means that another one will open soon enough.
2. It’s time to leave if you feel lonely around them.
Your relationship is the last thing on Earth that should make you feel alone. A relationship should make you feel safe, warm, and secure. Like you’ve finally found your way back home. Maybe it is just a rough patch, though. For example, if they’ve been working overtime or have been dealing with a traumatic event, they might just need more time to themselves.
We aren’t talking about occasional loneliness or feelings of disconnectedness. We’re talking about a constant, nagging feeling that something just doesn’t feel right in the relationship. This isn’t a rare occurrence in relationships, either. In fact, according to an article on Psychology Today, studies show that 62.5% of older adults who were married felt lonely.
As we said, this doesn’t mean you should leave if you generally feel happy in the relationship but are going through a rough patch. However, if you feel disconnected from your partner often, it’s a sign that it’s time to leave your relationship.
3. Your relationship doesn’t feel healthy.
In a healthy relationship, you wouldn’t have so many doubts and insecurities. You would feel peaceful and assured that your relationship was the right one for you. However, it seems that a lot of people nowadays suffer from relationship anxiety. According to a recent poll by the American Psychiatry Association, people rated relationships as one of their top five concerns, along with health, finances, politics, and safety.
Although anxiety in general is on the rise and relationships can be a cause of that anxiety, a persistent worry about your relationship is just not healthy. All relationships go through ups and downs, of course, but if your relationship always seems to be going through a rough patch, it’s not a healthy one. Additionally, it could be causing you major psychological and emotional distress.
A healthy relationship should bring out the best in you, not the stress in you. Of course, adults all have responsibilities and chores they have to attend to, and this can drain any healthy relationship, but the bond between you should be strong enough to weather the storms.
If you feel unbalanced and insecure often in your relationship, take it as a sign that it’s time to leave it behind.
4. It’s time to leave if you have to wear a mask.
In a relationship, you should feel comfortable to express yourself in the purest, rawest form. You should not have to hide the real you from your partner. They should accept everything about you and love you just the way you are. If you feel you have to pretend in any way, then your relationship isn’t a good match.
When you meet the right person, they will make you feel at home in your own skin, not like you have to alter yourself to be with them. Pretending to be someone you’re not is exhausting and will only lead to mental health issues.
You should never have to hide the real you from the one you love; they will have such a strong connection with you that everything feels natural. If something feels forced in the relationship, it’s time to move on.
Also, if you feel like you have to pretend to be happy, then you haven’t found your Mr. or Mrs. Right yet. Like we said before, every relationship will go through trials and tribulations, but you shouldn’t have a constant feeling of unhappiness. It should come in waves and shouldn’t last very long, because healthy relationships resolve any issues and come out on top.
If you have to fake a smile more than you’d like to admit, then do yourself and your partner a favor and leave a toxic relationship behind.
5. Your partner doesn’t try to fix things.
If your partner never asks you what’s wrong and doesn’t care if you’re feeling down, this is a huge red flag. Your partner should want to make you happy and make an effort to reconcile. He or she should make your relationship a priority, and if you’ve been more distant lately, he or she should wonder why.
They shouldn’t just leave you in the dust and make you feel like you’re the problem when it’s actually them. If your partner doesn’t seem to care if things work out between you two, then take that as your cue that it’s time to leave. Your partner should be concerned if you aren’t happy and make you feel loved.
People need to be reminded from time to time that their partner still cares about them, so if your significant other isn’t making you feel that way, don’t hesitate to leave. The right person will do everything in their power to save your relationship, no matter how bad things have gotten.
Final thoughts on Signs It’s Time to Leave a Relationship
As you’ve learned in this article, not every relationship will withstand the test of time. Some relationships are just stepping stones on the path to your Mr. or Mrs. Right, and if you view them that way, it will make it a lot easier to leave an unhealthy relationship.
Toxic relationships are draining and will only get worse the longer you stay in them. If you feel unhappy, lonely, and unlike yourself, it’s high time to leave the relationship. Also, if you have to make excuses for your partner and if they don’t seem to care about your feelings, you shouldn’t hesitate to end things.
These behaviors and feelings are signs of an unhealthy relationship. Although it might feel difficult to leave someone you love, remember that a person who truly cares about you would never treat you this way. You may have a hard time adjusting to being single again, but it’s an important time. Take that life stage to reevaluate your values and reconnect to yourself before jumping back in to another relationship.
If you’ve determined that it’s time to leave the one you’re with, try not to dwell on the negative aspects of the relationship too long. Positive thinking, self-care, a support system, and time are your best friends during this transition in your life.