It is difficult to come up with a straightforward answer to this question. If you are rethinking your relationship, wondering if, in the words ofThe Clash, Should I Stay or Should I Go?, these are some points to think about.
Examining the following issues will better help you reach the answer to that crucial question: When Is It Time To Break Up? Carefully thinking over the consequences of staying or leaving can help you feel confident that you have made the best decision, whatever choice you ultimately make.
Is there a “right” amount of time to wait before breaking up?
You are allowed to reflect on the health of your relationship, really! All relationships have their ups and downs and knowing if working through one of the down periods is truly worth it is important to think about.
You do not want to break up with someone you love if you sense your issues are able to be resolved with some effort. So take the time you need.
The decision to break up (or to stay) will reveal itself to you clearly once you have thought things through.
How do you know when it is time to break up? The short answer to this question is this: when the pain, sadness, and frustration of continuing in the relationship outweigh the joy, shared closeness, and happiness the relationship brings you. These are signs it’s time to end a relationship.
That is the short answer to the question of when to break up, but it is not easy to digest. You may have a history with this person, you may still feel like you love or like them.
But you may be feeling more and more distance, a lack of spark, a need to be on your own.
You are waffling back and forth, imagining what it might be like to end things. When is it time to break up with someone you love? Let us look at some signs that will help you answer the question, “when is it time to break up?”
There is no guide on how to know when to break up. However, there can be a few obvious signs you should break up.
If you see these signs as a recurrent part of your relationship, you should know it is time when to break up with someone.
1. There is physical, mental, or emotional abuse
There is no relationship worth staying for if your partner is physically violent with you. If your partner is mentally or emotionally abusing you, gaslighting you, degrading you, sequestering you from your friends and family, these are 100% valid reasons to end a relationship.
If you no longer feel any romantic feelings towards your partner, this may answer the question, when is it time to break up?
Does the thought of them touching you turn you off? Are you living more like roommates than romantic partners? If you do have sex with your partner, do you fantasize about someone else?
If the answer to those questions is yes, unfortunately, this is when to end a relationship.
3. You do not love them anymore
Sometimes love can be like a light switch, either on or off.
If you no longer feel deep, romantic love for your partner, it is unfair for you both to stay in the relationship. No longer having loving feelings for your partner is a strong reason to end a relationship.
Your partner thinks that your issues are resolved, but in fact, they are only going dormant because you make a compromise—each and every time.
While these compromises may seem like something you are doing for the greater good of the relationship, it is not very later that you will realise that it can lead to built-up resentment, and feelings of inadequacy in you.
An unbalanced relationship means it is time to break up.
7.You have grown apart
If you have been in a long-term relationship, perhaps you feel like you or your partner is a different person now than they were when you first met. This happens. Not everyone is able to grow and change together.
If you feel a distance the size of the Grand Canyon stretching out between you both, it may be the answer to the question of when is it time to break up.
8. You have to modify your core values to remain in the relationship
Perhaps your partner does things that are unethical to you: cheating on their taxes or claiming overtime at work that they didn’t really do.
If you have to close your eyes to behavior that goes against your moral and ethical code, these are reasons to end a relationship.
Ask yourself how you feel about staying in a relationship with a person like this? If the answer is no, you know when is it to time break up.
9.You no longer care about your partner’s well-being
You are so over them that when something bad happens at work or in their personal life, you just roll your eyes and go about your own business.
You may not want bad things for them, but you just can’t seem to care to proactively find ways to make them feel better, or help them find solutions. This could happen because they seldom listen to your suggestions, which had hurt you in the past. Definitely a sign and answer to the question of when is it time to break up!
10. You are the one who is supporting the health of the relationship
If your partner does little to contribute to the relationship, in terms of planning activities or helping around the house, it could mean that it is time to end the relationship.
A relationship is a partnership, and while one person may need to contribute more on certain days, one partner cannot take the relationship forward all alone.
Ask yourself what value do they add to your couple?
This could simply mean that they are not interested in you, or the relationship. When we love someone, fulfilling their needs becomes one of the most important things to us. If your partner constantly ignores your needs, it is time to show them the door.
If you recognize the general state of your mind as “unhappy”, it may be time to call it off. You can recognise this by the way you feel when you wake up, especially with your partner, or when you spend the day with them.
Does their presence make a difference in your happiness? If not, the relationship may already be over.
16. What you want out of life is significantly different
You cannot see your partner in your future.
The goals and plans you have outlined for yourself in the coming years do not align with theirs. Also, if you do not have a problem imagining a future without them, it may be time to let them go.
17. Unmet needs
You spend more time asking your partner for what you need than getting it.
You have clearly talked about unmet needs, but your partner is not willing or is unable to fulfill these. You aren’t feeling valued. While unrealistic expectations from your partner may be your shortcoming, not being able to meet your needs, or not even trying, is theirs.
18. You are bored with your partner even when doing things with them
You fantasize about what your life would be like if you were solo or with someone else.
This could mean that your partner does not add any value into your life, and in fact, may make you feel unhappy and inadequate.
19. Taking separate vacations is routine
You can’t stand to spend concentrated time with your partner anymore. You both would rather take vacations alone, or even with your friends, rather than just the two of you.
This could mean that you both do not enjoy each other’s company, and a long-term relationship in that case just does not make any sense.
20. You do not like who you are in the relationship
You do not like what your partner turns you into. Maybe you are unhappy and therefore react in ways you know are not your actual traits. Chances are, your partner makes you feel inadequate or insecure. You may find yourself complaining, or nagging about issues you know you do not even want to.
5. Approach the conversation with as little drama as possible
Think about what you want to say, starting with all the good memories you will keep of your time together. Do not be dramatic when you try to approach the conversation, as it is only likely to spiral into more later.
6. No breakup sex
While it may seem like a good idea at the time (you want to comfort each other through this awful conversation), it will not help in either of your recoveries.
Sure, we all know people who “remained friends,” but really, recovery is much easier if you have no contact with the person and you cannot see them on social media.
8. Acceptance of the reasons
Breakups happen because you were not meant for each other. When you integrate this truth, recovery will be faster. It is very important to accept what has happened, and also accept the reasons why it was the right thing to do.
Even as you may have initiated the breakup, some painful emotions may surface in the days and months following the end of the relationship. You may have wanted to fly solo, but the reality of feeling there is no one out there thinking of you can be difficult.
During this post-breakup time, treat yourself gently. Reach out to friends so that you can make plans for the time which you used to spend with your former partner.
This is not to say that you should try and avoid dealing with these sad moments.
You will need to process this life-changing milestone. But do surround yourself with people who love you and who will be there for the dark times that follow the end of a relationship.
Just as you tried working things out in a relationship, try to form a similar connection with your own self.
Watch this video by Jay Diaz to understand the many stages you go through once you break up with someone you love:
Once you feel that you have healed, only then should you venture out into the dating pool again.
Make sure that when you do start to date, you are doing this with a sense of excitement, and not just because you are unable to be alone.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.