Relationships can be hard to walk away from. Especially the one where we invest so much of our time in. The guilt prolongs our decisions and for some staying seems easier than letting go. Knowing when to walk away from a relationship will not only set you free but a second chance to be truly happy.
Being in a very painful, emotionally drained and verbal abuse relationship, I wish I walked away from my ex much earlier than I chose to stay.
The more time I took to make the decision to leave, the more I stole from my happiness jar.
Today I want to share with you what I have learned from my past relationship and those from my friends and others.
I hope to give you the courage to spread your wings and dare to fly on because I made the mistake so you don’t have to.
1. You Experience Verbal or Physical Abuse
In any other case, no one can tell you when to walk away from a relationship. In any other case, problems can be fixed, and wounds can be healed. When there are actual wounds involved, though, it’s time to hit the road and never look back.
Love is the opposite of abuse, and so is a healthy relationship. One is care and respect, and the other is everything but. Forget all about turning the other cheek, and don’t listen to your victimized mind. You don’t owe anything to the person who’s been unkind and offensive, so be bold and say a firm goodbye.
2. You No Longer See the Future with Your Partner
Plans change, and that’s fine. Planning, on the other hand, is something entirely different. We’re talking long, sleepless nights and the phantasies you share. Dreams about visiting Paris. Concoctions of a happier tomorrow. Joint contemplations about white fences and family dinners.
It’s all about the journey, remember? Even when it all fails, planning keeps the relationship alive. Romance feeds on it, partnership depends on it. With one gaze into your partner’s eyes, you should be able to see infinite timeliness and share same life goals shouldn’t be a question.
If not, it’s time to entertain the thought of leaving. However, terrifying it may be, futureless stares are a good sign that something is off. Be patient, but look hard. If there’s absolutely nothing to see, take a deep breath and open your eyes.
3. You Start to Have Feelings for Others
This is an easy one, right? You’re dreaming of some dreamy eyes, but they’re not your partner’s, and envisioning some steamy visions, but your spouse is not in any of them. Deep inside, there’s a new member that belongs to somebody else, kindling into flames that your partner knows nothing about.
When you start to have feelings for others – regardless of how insignificant they might feel – the dilemma isn’t a dilemma at all. You may believe that a person can love two people at the same time, but your partner doesn’t deserve to be lied to, and neither does anyone else.
4. You’re Becoming Someone You Hate
A relationship shouldn’t change you for the worse, be that your partner’s fault or a case of unfortunate circumstances, there’s really no difference. Something is rotten in your dynamic, and your love sadly cannot survive the personality gap between the two of you.
Here’s how it should be: however tired, frustrated, or unconfident you may be, a serene moment in your partner’s company should make you feel relaxed, uplifted, and composed. Their kind words should be able to quiet your negative thoughts, not awaken the noisiest of your inner demons.
5. Failure of Repeating Discussions
Every happy couple will tell you that the secret to a long-lasting relationship lays not in the absence of divergence, but in the willingness to put all differences aside. Communication holds the key to a successful partnership, which is something you cannot have if your significant other refuses to listen.
However small the problem at hand might be, it can never be solved if your attempts to address it keep falling on deaf ears. Like a conversation, a relationship is a two-way street: when either side has no interest in discussing recurring issues, it’s time to walk away.
According to Psychology Today, emotional neglect is defined as a partner’s failure to provide the emotional support and engagement that one needs to provide in a romantic relationship. Whether it comes unintentionally or consciously, such indifference is not a sign of a healthy emotional exchange.
It’s not so rare that we come to feel like the relationship is a safe zone and therefore shift our interests and focus on other things. When two individuals are ambitious and self-sufficient enough to maintain a stable partnership while juggling a career and hobbies of their own at the same time, this isn’t a problem.
But, if your partner takes you for granted and doesn’t appreciate your own aspirations, the problem is not inconsiderable. You’re nobody’s plaything, but a person with wants and desires, just as everyone else. If they’re too busy with their own lives to see that, they definitely don’t deserve you.
7. Repeating Lies
In case you’re uncertain about when to walk away from a relationship, there’s a good chance you’re still struggling with essential questions such as: Should you stay with someone who hasn’t been truthful? The answer, of course, depends on the nature of the lie itself.
If sporadic, white lies are not a cause for concern. We all use them to bend the truth from time to time, including you. Still, constant and repetitive lies – be they white, grey, black or red – are a deal breaker. They give you a false sense of security and violate trust, which is a component a relationship cannot do without.
8. No Appreciation
Love, respect, and trust are the three pillars that make a fulfilling relationship, but acceptance, acknowledgment, and appreciation are just as important. To appreciate our partner’s true nature, we should accept their limitations and acknowledge their potential.
For some couples, being critical of one another actually, works. It can play out as a valuable reality slap and a propeller for personal improvement. But only as long as the partners are supportive and appreciative of each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
What if your partner is quick to address your shortcomings and slow to acknowledge your achievements? there’s no true partnership in that, don’t you agree?
Such relationship lacks both the respect and support, and can hardly give you any space to grow. You should appreciate yourself enough to put an end to it.
Sure, a kiss happens in the heat of the moment. Sure, it may not mean anything at all. Even if so, cheating is the quickest way to break trust, show disrespect, and ruin a loving relationship for good. Though some claim to have overcome it, for most couples it’s sadly a point of no return.
If you’ve been cheated on in the past, and want to know when to walk away from a relationship in the future, I won’t give you false hope – regardless of how strong your relationship was before, chances are slim that you’ll ever recover from this. Sooner or later, the suspense will wear you both down.
It happens to the best of us: we fall in love, we grow smitten, and we forget that anything else exists. Sometimes, this includes our dearest friends and our families. This is perfectly normal, though, as long as we soon remember who we truly are.
The problem occurs once the person you’re smitten with begins to insist that you don’t need anyone else in the world. The first time your partner forbids you from seeing your friends and family, snap out of it and realize that you are in a controlling relationship.
Deliberate isolation is an unmistakable sign of manipulation; its purpose is to strip you of your support network and make you weak.
Soon enough, such a partner will start belittling your beliefs and make you doubt your ability to reach your goals as well, and that’s not a life you want to live. Trust me, I’ve been there and it was the ugliest and darkest moment I would never wish upon anyone.
11. You Spend More Time with Friends than With Your Partner
Sometimes, nobody can tell you for certain when to walk away from a relationship. Other times, it’s clear as a day that you should. When you start flying solo and spending more time with other people than you do with your partner, it’s usually an indicator of the second case, and a beginning of the end.
Staying devoted to your friends means that you are a fully grown person, that you are able to balance out the life inside of and beyond the relationship.
However, seeking shelter in their company is something else. If your partner isn’t your best friend, your partnership isn’t as strong as you might think. I’m not saying that your partner should be your best friend but what I’m saying you should be able to confide with your partner the same way you would with your best friends.
12. You Don’t Miss Him/Her When They’re Away
When you share your entire life with another person, it’s only natural that you’re okay with being alone every now and then. But, if you’re actually looking forward to it and don’t want your “me-time” to ever end, it may be that your bond isn’t quite genuine.
Always be aware of what’s happening inside of you! If you feel liberated when your partner leaves and smothered when they’re around. Perhaps you are the one who should pack their bags and walk away. To love another person is to want them by your side and to miss them when they are away.
13. You Rather Do Things Alone than with Your Partner
As an independent woman, you don’t have to feel the need to take your partner shopping. As a confident man, you shouldn’t question your feelings if you want to enjoy a game without your girlfriend. Spending some time apart is healthy, but only as long as you don’t actually prefer it.
Feel alarmed if you would rather do things alone all the time. When you want to go to the movies, but don’t want to do it together because being with your partner makes you anxious or standoffish. Then your relationship doesn’t bring you much joy.
Deep down, you know it shouldn’t be that way.
14. Your Sex Life is Non-Existing
Whoever you ask when to walk away from a relationship, most of them will tell you the same thing – when there is no passion, there is no love.
If anyone who told you they are ok living with their partners without any intimacy because their personalities are enough, I’m going to tell you now that they are not happy and they live in lies.
Sex may not be the key ingredient to a successful relationship, but it is a necessary spice. There are certain things that you can show only through intimacy and touch, and these are the things that create an unbreakable bond of unconditional love and absolute trust, both in bed and in life.
15. You Don’t Share the Same Life Values
Relationships are about compromise. When two halves make a whole, they meet in the middle. They consolidate without completely absorbing each other, without losing the essence that defines them as two separate entities. Together, the Rolling Stones and the Beatles make rock and roll.
Sometimes, though, our differences can hardly be set aside. If you’re a peace seeker, and your partner is an adrenaline junkie, your personality traits will affect not only the choices you make in life but also your personal values.
If you’re not ready to work really hard to reconcile them, better move along.
16. Constant Criticism
Then again, some personality traits can be mutually exclusive. Even worse, your partner’s appetite for success can clash with your yearning for a simple life. Their stubbornness can devour your steadiness, and their self-assertiveness can combust your paralyzing lack of confidence.
Let’s say your significant other exposes you to constant criticism – whatever you do, it’s not good enough. Their intention might be good, but their overly ambitious nature prevents them from being patient.
Whatever the case, you should not stay in a relationship that triggers your frustration.
17. You’re Being Financially Taken Advantage Of
As you commit yourself to another person in a romantic way, all other aspects of life become less important. Most people would choose love over a career in a heartbeat. Romantics avoid the money talk at all cost, for true love is much harder to find.
But then, we realize that real life has rules and demands of its own. Being loved is certainly a priority, but don’t allow your passion to blind you. If the sole provider in your relationship is you, and the other person reaps the fruits of your labor without helping at all, be realistic and take a stand.
18. You Don’t Share the Same Goals in Life
Even if you and your partner are fundamentally different people, you can still make it work. But, if the paths you’re determined to follow go in the separate directions, there’s no future ahead. You can be fire and they can be ice, but all metaphors aside, the two of you need to have a mutual goal.
Your differences may dance together for now, but you need to think about what will happen as your relationship evolves.
Do both of you want marriage? More importantly, what about kids? A partnership is not about sharing personality traits and favorite hobbies, but about sharing life.
When to Walk Away From a Relationship
Nothing hurts more than letting go of somebody who’s touched your heart, but nothing elevates as much as being free to grow.
The only person who can tell you when to walk away from a relationship is you – the moment you feel you’re ready to fly higher, spread your wings and make the leap.