It’s never easy to admit when a relationship has run its course.
Sometimes, we hold onto something that’s no longer serving us because we’re afraid of being alone or we don’t want to hurt our partner.
But the truth is, staying in a relationship that’s not working will only hurt both of you more in the long run.
So how do you know when it’s time to end things? Here are 12 signs that it might be time to say goodbye.
1) You’re always fighting
The first sign is time to end a relationship is if you’re constantly fighting. A healthy relationship requires open and honest communication.
However, if every conversation leads to an argument, it may be time to reassess whether this relationship is working.
For example, let’s say you and your partner can’t agree on how to spend your weekends.
If every conversation about it ends in a shouting match, it may be a sign that your priorities and lifestyles are just too different.
And if you can’t agree on the little stuff, what will life be like when it comes to having kids, moving houses, career changes, and more?
2) You’re not happy
It may sound obvious, but it’s worth mentioning that if you’re not happy in your relationship, it’s time to end it.
Let’s say you’re in a relationship where you feel unappreciated, undervalued, and unsupported.
If you’ve tried talking to your partner about these issues, but they don’t seem to care or put in any effort to make things better, it may be time to move on.
In a healthy relationship, you should feel content with your partner, at least most of the time.
The truth is, no relationship is roses and peaches all day long – there are always going to be ups and downs.
But if you fundamentally don’t feel happy with your partner, it’s a big indicator that something isn’t right.
3) You’re not growing
And if you’re not happy, there’s a good chance you’re not growing as a person. A healthy relationship should push you to be your best self.
If you feel like you’re not growing or learning anything new with your partner, it may be a sign that you’re in a stagnant relationship.
Case in point:
You and your partner have been together for years, but you feel like you haven’t learned anything new or tried anything different.
You may start to feel like you’re in a rut and that there’s no way to move forward with this person.
Not to mention, you may feel comfortable in the relationship, but unfulfilled. While it’s nice to stay somewhere safe and familiar, if you feel you need to expand your horizons and develop as a person, this relationship may not be it.
4) You don’t trust your partner
Trust is the foundation of any healthy relationship.
If you don’t trust your partner, whether it’s because of infidelity or just a general feeling of unease, it’s going to be difficult to move forward together.
Here’s the thing – maybe you’ve caught your partner lying about where they’ve been or who they’ve been with. Even if it’s a small lie, it can erode your trust in them over time and make it difficult to rebuild that trust.
And a relationship without trust is like a house without a foundation; it’s a matter of time before it sinks.
5) You don’t feel respected
Respect is another essential component of a healthy relationship.
If you don’t feel respected by your partner, whether it’s because they’re dismissive of your opinions or they belittle you in front of others, it’s time to reevaluate whether this is a relationship you want to be in.
For example, let’s say your partner consistently talks down to you and dismisses your ideas.
Even if they claim it’s just playful banter, it can start to wear on your self-esteem and make you feel undervalued.
The bottom line is:
You need to feel respected by your partner. There are only so many times you can brush off unkind comments or negative remarks before they start to wear you down.
6) You’re not attracted to your partner anymore
Now, physical attraction isn’t the most important aspect of a relationship, but it’s still important.
If you’re not attracted to your partner anymore, it’s going to be hard to maintain a healthy and fulfilling physical relationship.
It could be that you and your partner used to have a strong physical connection, but over time, that spark has faded.
You may start to feel like you’re just going through the motions and that there’s no real passion or excitement left.
This may be hard to bring up with your partner, but if it’s how you truly feel, you shouldn’t be ashamed to admit that. We’re all human after all and attraction plays a big role in our romantic relationships.
7) You have different values
It’s okay for partners to have different interests, but if you have fundamentally different values, it’s going to be hard to make things work in the long run.
For example, let’s say you’re someone who values honesty and integrity above all else, but your partner lies to you regularly.
You may start to feel like your values are being compromised and that you can’t be with someone who doesn’t share those values.
But what if you’re not sure what your values are in the first place?
Check out this free exercise by Jeanette Brown. As a life and career coach, she knows just how important aligning your values to your lifestyle is in order to feel fulfilled and happy.
The free exercise will help you get clear on what matters the most to you – it could help you understand what went wrong in this relationship, and help you choose wisely the next time you consider looking for a partner.
8) You’re not on the same page about the future
Similarly, if you and your partner have different visions for the future, it’s going to be difficult to stay together.
You see, whether it’s where you want to live or what kind of lifestyle you want, these are all things that need to be discussed and agreed upon for a relationship to work.
Let’s say you and your partner have been dating for a while, but you want to settle down and start a family soon, while your partner wants to focus on their career and travel.
If you can’t agree on these important issues, it may be time to reassess the relationship.
Many people think their partner will change their minds, and they put their own ambitions on hold in the meantime. Later down the line, they realize their partner will never change, and they’ve wasted valuable years.
So, before it gets to that point, have a good, hard think about whether you and your partner could ever be on the same page about the future.
If the answer is highly unlikely, it might be time to say goodbye.
9) You’re not making each other a priority
If you and your partner are constantly putting other things ahead of your relationship, whether it’s work, friends, or hobbies, it’s going to be hard to maintain a healthy connection.
The reality is, relationships require time and effort, and if you’re not willing to make each other a priority, it’s a sign that you might be better off apart.
For example, let’s say your partner is always working late and canceling plans with you to hang out with friends.
While it’s important for them to have their own life and interests, if they’re consistently putting other things ahead of your relationship, it may be time to reevaluate whether this is a priority for them.
Likewise, if you’re constantly busy with friends or hobbies, it may be a sign that the relationship isn’t fulfilling you, and you’d both be better off doing your own things.
And if you’re not making time for each other, you’re certainly not:
10) You’re not having fun together
It’s no lie that life can be stressful, but it’s important to have fun and enjoy each other’s company.
If you’re not laughing and having a good time with your partner, it’s a sign that something is off.
Maybe you and your partner used to love going on adventures and trying new things, but now you only spend your time together watching TV or doing mundane tasks.
While it’s okay to have quiet nights at home, if you’re not having any fun together, it may be time to inject some excitement back into the relationship.
And if that doesn’t work, it’s a good indicator that you should consider ending the relationship.
11) You’re not communicating effectively
As I mentioned earlier, healthy relationships require good communication.
If you’re not able to talk openly and honestly with your partner, it’s going to be difficult to work through any issues that arise.
Case in point:
Let’s say you have an issue with something your partner said or did, but you’re too afraid to bring it up because you don’t want to start a fight.
Avoiding conflict may seem like the easier option, but it can lead to resentment and a breakdown in communication over time.
So, if you’re unable to get on the same page when it comes to communicating, it could be a sign that you’re both fundamentally different and perhaps, incompatible.
12) You’re staying out of obligation
Finally, one of the biggest signs that it might be time to end your relationship is if you’re only staying out of a sense of obligation.
Whether it’s because you’ve been together for a long time or because you don’t want to hurt your partner, staying in a relationship out of obligation is never a good idea.
It could be that you’re no longer happy in your relationship and you know deep down that it’s not going to work out.
However, you feel like you’ve invested too much time and energy into the relationship to end it now.
While it can be scary to let go, staying in a relationship out of obligation will only cause more pain and unhappiness in the long run.
If you’ve identified any of these signs in your own relationship, it’s time to take a hard look at whether staying together is the right choice for both of you.
But before you make any rash decisions, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
What to know about ending a relationship
Ending a relationship is never going to be easy, but there are a few things you can remember to ease the process for both of you:
First, it’s important to communicate openly and honestly with your partner.
Tell them how you’re feeling and listen to their perspective as well. It’s possible that there are issues that can be worked through if you’re both willing to put in the effort.
Second, don’t be afraid to seek outside help if you need it.
Whether it’s couples therapy or individual counseling, a professional can help you work through your issues and figure out the best path forward.
Finally, remember that it’s okay to end a relationship.
Sometimes, even when we love someone, it’s just not meant to be. It’s better to end things now than to drag them out and cause more pain for both of you.
Ending a relationship is never easy, but sometimes it’s the best thing for everyone involved.
If you’ve identified any of these signs in your own relationship, take the time to evaluate whether staying together is truly what’s best for you both.
And remember, even though it might be scary, sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves and our partners is to let go and move on.