For many people, knowing when to end a relationship seems obvious. At least, it seems obvious from an outside perspective. We are always able to tell when one of our friends is stuck in an unhealthy relationship, and we are often quick to give advice or even judge her for it. However, when it comes to our own relationships, solutions might not always seem as straightforward.
That is why we often need an outside perspective to determine whether or not it is time to end what may be a dysfunctional relationship. When we are caught up in our feelings or our dependence upon the relationship or the other person, it makes it more difficult to make cold, logical decisions. However, even when we hear advice or opinions from others who have that outside perspective, we often dismiss their opinions because they cannot fully understand the situation as we do. Or at least that is what we tell ourselves.
How to Know
If you are regularly debating with yourself on whether or not it is time to end a relationship, the unfortunate truth is that it probably is. That does not mean that you should immediately get out of any relationship the first time you begin to have doubts, but if these questions have become a recurring theme, it is probably your inner self telling your conscious self that the relationship is over. In these cases, you inner self is usually right.
Again, that does not mean that you should immediately end a relationship just because you have uncertainty– some level of doubt and question is inevitable in any relationship. While we do want to listen to our friends and family members who have an outside perspective on the situation, this also does not always mean that it is time to get out. So, how do you know?
While only you can know for sure when it is time to end a serious relationship (and you will rarely know 100% for sure), there are some clear signs that you can look for determine if it is no longer working. If you fit just one of the following conditions, you might still be able to make things work, but if you find that most of the following signs are true in your relationship, it is probably time to end it.
You feel under-appreciated, insignificant, disrespected, hurt, lonely, invalidated, ashamed or guilty on a regular basis.
This may seem like a slightly obvious sign that things are not working, but the difficulty comes in defining what is a “regular basis.” Some people say that it is never acceptable to feel this way in a loving relationship, but we are all human, and conflicts are inevitable. If you feel any of these feeling much of the time in your relationship, you should find someone who will appreciate you.
You regularly talk about the relationship improving sometime in the future.
This means that you often find yourself saying, “Things will be better when…”
For instance: Things will be better when we’ve finished school.
We will be happier once we move in together.
She will be happier when I get a raise.
He will appreciate me more when his friends get married.
This is the unfortunate but classic example of unrealistically thinking your partner will change when some hypothetical event occurs. While it is possible that this will actually happen, it rarely is the case. If you are always expecting things to get better in the future, it means they are not good now, and they are unlikely to change.
You are a completely different person when around your partner.
We all want to find that special person who makes us a better person, and this is a good thing. However, we all have at least one friend is a completely different human being around his or her partner than around us. This usually means the person is putting on an act and pretending to be the person they believe their partner wants them to be. If this is the case with you, you should find someone who you can be your true self with.
You are made to feel unreasonable or needy any time you express a need or desire.
Yes, we all have our crazy moments, and we are all unreasonable sometimes. However, if you are made to feel this way any time or most of the time that you express a need, concern or desire, your partner is not appreciating your needs.
You feel as if you are being “hidden” by your partner.
Have you been together for several months and still not met his family? Does she seem hesitant to post pictures of the two of you on social media? Did he not invite you to the office party or a social gathering with his friends?
If you are being made to feel as though your relationship needs to be kept secret, something is seriously wrong.
Still not sure?
Knowing when to end a relationship is never easy. This is especially true if it is a long-term relationship, and our judgement is clouded by emotions. However, if the majority of your friends tell you to get out, and you fit one or more of the conditions above, it is time to end things.