“Should I break up?”— finding the answer to that question is tough.
Here are 6 undeniable signs it’s time to break up, according to a relationship expert:
1. They’re abusive.
If you’re in an abusive relationship, it’s time to go. You shouldn’t have to protect yourself from your lover by walking on eggshells, worrying they will snap at any moment.
I know that saying “dump them” might be easy to say but harder to do. However, you owe yourself a chance to have a great relationship without fear.
If you’re experiencing any abuse from your partner it’s time to dump them right now.
It will not get better. It will not change. You cannot hold out for things to improve.
I don’t want to scare you, but these things escalate, and I don’t want you to become a statistic before it’s too late. You can do it. You are worth it.
2. You have widely different life goals.
Do you feel like you could seriously live without getting married? Do they desperately want a further commitment from you, but you don’t feel you can give it to them, or vice versa? Do they want kids and you don’t, or vice versa?
Even if you love someone with all your heart, it isn’t fair to stay with them if you or the other person would have to compromise entire life goals for the relationship to work.
Some compromise happens in all relationships, but too much compromise on the big things leads to crushing resentment.
Part of loving someone is letting them go if you can’t meet their needs. I feel for you deeply if you’re in this spot, and I know you dare to make the necessary changes to meet both of your needs.
3. They cheated.
Cheating is tough. On one hand, you might desperately want to repair the relationship, but on the other, you are so angry you can barely be in the same room without wanting to rip their head off.
If you’ve found out that your partner was unfaithful, it is an individual choice to decide what to do. You can forgive and live in fear that they’ll do it again, or you can dump them and wonder what would have happened if you had stayed.
It’s a horrible situation, but I’ve always leaned toward leaving. If someone is cheating, your relationship was over before you even found out, probably.
Not only should you break up if your partner cheated on you, but if you’re thinking about straying as well. Do you look at everyone who crosses your path and think, “Oh, delicious!”? Have you gotten close to or cheated on them in the past?
This is an internal signal it’s time to go. Often, people cheat because they desperately need to make a change but aren’t stepping up to the plate. If you’ve made this mistake or are on the verge of making it, please let them go; it will be better for both of you.
4. They don’t respect you.
Do you feel like your partner doesn’t respect you? Do they continually not do what they say? Do they make jokes at your expense and hurt your feelings?
Often, disrespect is hard to recover from once it begins. Do you want to live the rest of your life with someone who doesn’t have proper respect for you?
Life is both too long and too short for this kind of nonsense.
5. You’ve lost that loving feeling.
Have you stopped feeling attracted to them? Do you feel like you’re living with your sibling? Do you hope they won’t come near you because you never seem to be feeling it?
Have your attempts to re-ignite the spark just fizzled out? Have they stopped wanting to be close to you?
You owe it to both of you to have a comprehensive pairing. Examine whether there might be medical reasons why you both are having trouble, but keep in mind compatibility waxes and wanes.
My genius mother always told me problems start at home and travel outward, not the opposite. I’ve found this to be largely true.
When one or both partners aren’t close or they have incompatible needs, the relationship is difficult to maintain. Examine whether this is happening in your relationship.
6. Your gut tells you that your relationship is over.
I’m a big believer in following your gut feeling.
If you feel it’s time to break up because you aren’t in your dream relationship, you probably should work on changing the relationship or ultimately leave it.
This idea is subjective, so here’s a method I use to determine whether a gut feeling is genuine or based on a momentary emotional response.
In a moment of quiet, close your eyes and visualize a time you were happy with your lover. As you go back to that time, let yourself strongly relive that memory. Spend a few minutes vividly bringing back the visuals, smells, tastes, sounds, and feelings from that time.
Let the memory fade and then open your eyes. Does the same feeling return? If doubting whether this is your forever relationship comes rushing back, it is probably time to change.
The decision to end a relationship is a difficult one.
In one relationship, I went back and forth for months about whether or not I should dump him before — to my shock — he finally broke up with me.
Even though I should have been happy and relieved I didn’t have to do the dumping, I was horrified he beat me to the punch. Oddly, I had a hard time getting over it.
While I was slowly building my case for breaking up with him, it was clear he was constructing an escape hatch of his own.
While I actively ignored several blatant red flags, the boring relationship we were in never magically transformed into the relationship I wanted.
I realize it’s easy to say dump them, but much harder to do in practice. If you decide to leap, understand that it is for the best. You can’t get your dream life while settling for less than you deserve.
If it is finally time to go, you can break up neatly and gracefully.
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