woman walking away from her boyfriend she just broke up with
Love and Dating,  Relationships

When Is the Right Time to Leave a Relationship?

No one enters a relationship thinking that someday it will end or that they will have to walk away from a person they once loved and perhaps still do. But the truth is that relationships end and they end for different reasons. Sometimes they just fizzle out but other times, a person must have to make the hard decision to walk away.

How to Know Your Relationship Is Over

woman breaking up with her boyfriend and he has his hands over his face
  1. You don’t share the same values. When two people don’t have similar values of life’s major tenets, they are mismatched and misaligned. This doesn’t mean that they should think alike and agree on every topic, but they should share similar philosophies of spirituality, service to others, family, and finances. If a couple does not share similar values, they will each pull in different directions. Eventually, this will tear the relationship apart. If you find yourself worlds apart from your partner and this is creating friction, it’s a sign your relationship may be on its way out.
  2. There is verbal or physical abuse. This is a non-negotiable. No one should stay in a relationship that makes them feel emotionally abused or worse, puts them in physical danger. If this is your situation, then you need to make arrangements to get out of the relationship in a safe way.
  3. You or your partner has been unfaithful. Infidelity is a game-changer for many couples. Mainly because trust is broken and can be very difficult to rebuild. And while it is true that many couples do survive a partner being unfaithful, for others, it marks the end.
  4. You have different wants and desires out of life. If you and your partner are headed in a different life and career path, there will come a time that you must separate. You may have a certain goal that you want to achieve and your partner is not supportive. Sometimes this is a deal breaker if your partner cannot see that fulfilling your goals and dreams is what makes you happy at your core. If he or she cannot come around to see this, then perhaps they are not the person you want at your side. You want someone who is your cheerleader, who will support you in achieving your goals and dreams.
  5. You dread having to be with your partner. This is the biggest red flag that says it’s time to end this relationship. You may not want to see them come in the door. Coming home from work to your partner makes you anxious. You don’t want to spend any time with him or her. I’m reminded of my friend Kristen, who told me that she knew when she had completely fallen out of love with her husband. She dreaded when 6:00 pm would come around because he’d come home from work. She’d make plans for the weekend to go out with her girlfriends. She’d go shopping after work and come home late. All because she did not want to be in the same space as her husband. She said they really didn’t argue, didn’t bicker…there was just no passion left in the marriage.

How Do You Know It’s Time to Break Up?

couple with back to each other because they are going to break up

Relationships are complicated. And most relationships go through a rough patch. This is normal. Arguing and bickering is common and sometimes you may not feel like you’re in love with your partner. This too is normal and will pass. And many couples do stick it out and bounce back stronger than ever.

The main thing to know when determining if you’re serious about ending your relationship is this: you are unhappy most of the time and the person has become a stranger to you. If you can take a step back and recognize there is nothing left to build upon and you are not making your decision based on heated emotion, then you are doing the right thing by walking away and ending it once and for all.

Erin Love Thomas is the founder and managing editor of This Side of Happy. As a relationship blogger, Erin helps readers find, nurture, and sustain healthy relationships. Erin's desire is that everyone finds the love and happiness they seek.