One of the hardest things to deal with when a relationship starts declining is deciding whether or not you should fight to keep the relationship together or whether it is better to simply call it quits. Walking away often feels like quitting, and culturally, there is an emphasis placed on being willing to fight for love. Some relationships, however, are not worth it. The spark is gone. The passion has gone out. In some cases, there is not much of a relationship left for which to fight. There are old habits and patterns that you may not want to give up. There are joyful memories that you feel like you are leaving behind. There are hopes and dreams that you are abandoning. The problem is, however, that everything you are losing is in the past or the future. There is nothing in the present worth keeping. When things reach this point, it is time to throw in the towel and walk away from the failed relationship. No one likes to do it, and it often feels like giving up. That said, not all relationships last forever.
Sometimes, love simply is not enough. You and your partner just do not mesh well enough to keep a relationship going. In those cases, it is best to walk away when you are sure that the relationship is not going to work rather than stringing your beau along. It can be difficult to be sure when you have crossed the point of no return, but here are some signs that it is time to give up on the relationship.
You can’t give them what they want.
Relationships are not always going to be 100 percent equal regardless of how many self-help blogs insist that everything between partners should always be perfectly even. That is simply not how human nature works. Relationships should average out to be level, but it is not all that unusual for one person to care more than the other as the relationship develops and deepens. This means that there will be periods during the relationship where one person is more invested in the relationship than the other or has deeper feelings than the other. This is not always a pleasant period for either person, but it is normal. Occasionally, however, the dynamic of one person wanting more or being more invested leaks into the entire relationship. If you simply cannot give your partner what they want or need, it is probably best to accept that the relationship is over. If they are looking for marriage, but you just want to date or you want something serious and they are content to stay casual forever, it is time to throw in the towel. One of you will always want something more and the other will always be aware that they cannot give it.
They refuse to meet you halfway.
Couples will disagree and argue no matter how close they are and how much they love each other. In a healthy relationship, however, the couple will be able to find middle ground. They will compromise and find a solution. That is what people do when they care about a relationship and the other person involved in it. If your beau refuses to meet you halfway, you should start looking for the door.
If you claim that your significant other will not meet you halfway or will not fix their issues, be sure to look at the situation with brutal honesty. Have you worked to meet them halfway or are you demanding that they make their changes first? Have they actually tried to meet you halfway, but you want them to do more? Is halfway actually halfway, or do you want to get 80 percent of you way? Before you walk away from a relationship, be sure you know why you are really leaving.
You have become apathetic.
There is a saying that the opposite of love is not hate but apathy. This is almost painfully true. Relationships do not always need to be filled with the sort of passion that comes early in the relationship, but there should always be some sort of spark between you and your partner. If you or your partner hit the point where you are indifferent to what happens to the relationship, it is time to walk away. If the relationship is worth saving, you should feel something when you think about the possibility of the relationship ending. Now, not wanting the relationship to end is far from the only thing that determines if things are really worth salvaging, but if you truly do not care if the relationship ends, you need to let your partner down gently. Staying in a relationship where one or both of you is apathetic will at best be a huge waste of time and at worse break someone’s heart.
They broke your trust.
Relationships are built on trust. Both people in the relationship need to be able to trust the other person to keep their promises, confidences and secrets. Unfortunately, not everyone who is in a relationship is worthy of the trust they are offered. Some people break their partner’s trust, and trust is so much harder to regain than to keep.
Once the trust between two people is gone, the relationship falls apart. One person is always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Someone becomes paranoid and closed off. The other feels victimized, hunted or defensive. Neither of these is a good place to be emotionally. As such, if you cannot trust your partner, you need to walk away rather than keep torturing both of you. Couple’s therapy or a long discussion can cure some uneasiness, but if you simply cannot let down your guard around your beau, there is no relationship left to be saved.
You dread spending time together.
The person you are in a romantic relationship with should be someone with whom you enjoy spending time. They should be someone that you look forward to seeing. You should be happy when you have the opportunity to do things together. Otherwise, there is a serious problem.
Everyone has days when they are simply not in the mood for company. There is nothing wrong with that or with not wanting your partner nearby when you loathe the idea of conversing with any human being. In many cases, your beau is actually the exception to the rule. You are happy to see them, even when you despise the rest of humanity. The reverse should not be true. You should not dread spending time with your significant other when you are perfectly happy to be in anyone else’s company. If going on a date with your partner has become a source of stress or misery, it may be time to throw in the towel. Your partner should be someone you love to spend time with, not a person you wish to avoid.
They suggest taking a break.
When a relationship deteriorates to the point that one person suggests that the two of you take a break, there is no point in expecting to get back together after the break is over. “Taking a break” really just means spreading out the break up over an extended period of time.
A person who suggests taking a break from a relationship is on some level aware that the relationship is over, otherwise, they would not suggest taking a break. Instead, they would push for couple’s counseling, a serious discussion about problems in the relationship or a second chance to get things right.
In many ways, taking a break is crueler than simply breaking up with someone. At least when the break up is over, a person can focus on moving on and healing. Taking a break leaves the person with the false hope that the relationship can go back to normal. Save yourself the pain and accept that the relationship is not “on break.” It is over.
You can’t grow anymore in the relationship.
If you talk to anyone before and after their first serious relationship, you will likely notice a profound change in them. A serious relationship involves putting another person’s needs before your own. This is often a very new concept for people. They may not have been a selfish person, but a serious relationship is often the first time a person really puts themselves second. It is opportunities like those that lead people to change and grow a great deal in a relationship.
A relationship should allow both people involved in it to continue to grow as people and as lovers. Unfortunately, there sometimes reaches a point where one person has grown all they can in the relationship. Rather than being a way for them to grow, the relationship begins to stifle them and leave them feeling trapped. When this happens, it may be time to walk away.
Walking away is never easy or fun, but sometimes it has to be done. Your partner is likely to be hurt regardless of what you do, but that is no reason to string them along and put off the break up. When it is time to give up on the relationship, your partner has likely noticed that something is wrong. The actual break up is unlikely to come as a serious surprise. Act like it is a band aid. Rip it off quickly, and get it over with. Do both yourself and your beau the favor of walking away when it is time so that you both can begin to heal rather than lingering hopefully in the shadow of a relationship that is never coming back to life.