How To Know When It's Time To Walk Away From Love

Updated October 5, 2022 by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Love can be an incredibly hard thing to recognize. But it's an even harder thing to know when it's time to walk away from romantic love. You may have waited years to be able to find someone that you truly felt like you loved. Yet now, you feel lost and this nagging feeling has gotten under your skin, wondering if it's really the right thing, and you aren't sure if it's time to put an end to it or if you're supposed just to push on through.

Not Sure If It's Time To Say Goodbye?

Walking Away From Someone You Love - How to Know If It's Right?

If you're wondering if your relationship should be done just because that initial excitement that you had at the start of your relationship has ended, it doesn't mean you'll need to rush into any decisions. Sometimes it is truly the time to walk away, and other times, it may just be a rough patch or in need of some personal space (such as when you're thinking my wife doesnt love me anymore). Beyond the advice in this article, online therapy can provide you an outlet to discuss what you're facing. Walking away from a partnership can be just as painful as ending a friendship and saying goodbye to a friend.

When Walking Away is Right and When to Stick With It

There are multiple different stages of love that your relationship is going to move through. You weren't going to hold onto that feeling of pure joy and excitement that you experienced in the beginning forever, but it is important to build a strong foundation during that time so your connection lasts. When you first fall in love with someone, you overlook imperfections and things about them that would normally drive you crazy. But in the euphoria of a new relationship, you don't even notice them. However, as time goes on and you pay more attention, those things start to stand out to you. You start to think, "How did I not notice this before?"

This is perfectly normal in a relationship and something that every long-term relationship is going to go through. You don't have to give up on your relationship just because of this.

You also don't need to walk away from romantic love because you're starting to disagree more and have different opinions. Relationships are made up of two unique individuals, and it's not normal for a couple to agree on everything. If that happens, it's usually because one person is giving in to the other and trying to reach an understanding with them. Disagreement is not necessarily a red flag – sometimes it can be a good thing if you know how to work past it healthily in your relationship.

No relationship is going to make it through years and years of never having arguments and disagreements. It's perfectly normal for relationships to have ups and downs. But, those with healthy relationships and true love will be able to weather those difficult times by making compromises and prioritizing respect and self love, not allowing misunderstandings and different beliefs to ruin the relationship but also not being content with not working through them. However, sometimes you shouldn't push on and move forward in your relationship, and we'll get to some of those below.

When You're Feeling As Though You Lost Who You Are

If you wake up one morning and realize that you don't even know who you are and have lost all sense of your own self because you've changed so much to keep the relationship alive, it's a good sign that you should walk away from the relationship. Real romantic love does not require another person to change. Suppose the person that you're in a relationship with is someone who does not love you for who you are. In that case, there's not really a true purpose in staying with them because relationships should be about mutually building something together and with none of that, you can be left feeling hurt and a nagging sense of sadness or loneliness even when not alone.

If you have changed so much about yourself that you don't recognize yourself or have forgotten about your core values chances are, you're going to need to end the relationship to find yourself again. With therapy and counseling, including services offered through BetterHelp, a relationship can last if the appropriate changes can be made. Still, both people in the relationship would need to be willing to make it work, putting efforts into these actions to change the course of the relationship. 

When You Know In Your Gut The Truth

It's important to trust the gut feeling that you have in life as this ability cannot be overlooked. If you just know that your relationship isn't right, even if you can't quite put your finger on what it is, then there's no reason to stay in that relationship. If you find yourself in this position and you're married, you might want to address it with your spouse and try counseling with a therapist or dating coach to see if you can figure out what it is instead of just walking away from love and your marriage. But if you're only dating, there's no reason to continue a relationship when you don't feel like it's the right thing, even if you don't know the reason why. Maybe you have commitment issues or are experiencing anxiety or depression when you are with this person. Whatever it may be, it is important to listen to the comments you make to yourself and know that you have choices in the option you choose. 

There's nothing wrong with trying to take some time or have meaningful conversations to figure out what the problem is, but in the end, sometimes you just know, and you need to trust your gut.

When You're Going Through the Motions But Are Feeling No Happiness Or Love

There's a big difference between a relationship progressing through the different stages of love and simply going through the motions. If you find that you're just setting a pattern and doing the things that you normally did with your significant other, even though there is nothing there to back it up, it may be time to walk away.

You Aren't Feeling Respected

Respect is a very important thing in a healthy relationship, as is self-respect. If your significant other doesn't respect you, then it's not a healthy relationship to stay in. You may still feel a sense of grief when the relationship ends, but this is not a loss in the long run.  A lack of respect can easily permeate the rest of the relationship because it may mean they don't respect your wishes and feelings in all regards.

They may also cross boundaries that you have established and do other things with which you're not okay, such as engaging in dominating behavior. Respect is important in any relationship, and especially in a romantic relationship. When respect is lost, this is an alarming sign and one that shouldn’t be ignored. 

Not Sure If It's Time To Say Goodbye?

When There is Any Abuse

If you are experiencing any abuse in a relationship, it's a clear sign that you need to walk away and that the relationship should have ended the moment it started happening. This is not a relationship that is built on true romantic love. Don't get caught up in thinking that the only kind of abuse that warrants separating is physical abuse. Emotional abuse and verbal abuse – which can happen even in a long distance relationship – are not okay in a relationship and are not something you should stand for. Do not worry about what the rejection will do to the other person, as this level of disrespect matters and should not be stood for. 

Also, you must remember that sexual abuse can also be in a relationship as well. Just because you are dating or married does not give that person the privilege to ignore your consent or lack of it. No one should be treated this way and it is important to follow these tips to make sure you get out in a safe way, 

If you're the victim in an abusive relationship, the first thing that you need to do is get yourself somewhere where you will be safe. It's also important that you seek counseling from someone who has experience helping people leave abusive relationships. Even though it sounds like it should be easy to do, it's often not because the person who is being abused usually struggles with low self-esteem and depression and struggles to identify that the problem is as big as it really is.

You do not deserve and are not worthy of any abuse. If someone is abusing you, they are not worth your time or your love. The National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-SAFE) is a free resource that you can use at any time to receive the support you need.

When You're Feeling Your Opinion Doesn't Matter

When your opinion doesn't matter to someone or they ignore any comment you make, it's often a sign that the person doesn't respect you. If you constantly don't get to choose activities that are done, places that you visit, plans you make, the hobbies or interests you take up together, or what you do with your time in a relationship, it's not a healthy relationship. Healthy relationships are built on give-and-take and both people have to make adjustments to support the other one. This doesn't mean you will have the same ideas on everything, but there is beauty in making compromises for each other without giving up on yourself. 

You're Feeling As Though You Can't Trust The Other Person

If you feel like you can't trust the other person in a relationship, making a relationship work in the long term, or the short term can be very complicated. If you know that they're hiding things from you or if they have in the past, it may be time just to walk away from the relationship. You're likely going to save yourself a lot of time and heartbreak in the long run.

If trust has been broken in your relationship, but you don't want to walk away, then you must get counseling to learn how to rebuild trust with each other. This involves the other person making the necessary changes to help you trust them again. If they are unwilling to do this, you're likely to continue to struggle in your relationship.

Feeling As Though You've Changed - You Act Differently Around Your Partner

If you find that you're constantly acting differently around your significant other than what you do when you're with anyone else such as family, friends, or co-workers, it's likely a significant sign that you should strongly consider walking away.

This usually indicates that you don't feel comfortable with your partner or have made it clear that they don't want you behaving in those ways. If you can't be yourself with the person that you're in a relationship with, then you shouldn't be in a long-term relationship with them, even if it feels hard to let go.

Now, the one exception to this is if you act differently around other people because you're trying to fit in with them, then this is a different issue that you need to address separately from your relationship.

When You Are the One Putting All the Effort

If you feel as though you are the only one working for the relationship, seeking physical intimacy, or making sacrifices for your partner, this may be the right time to leave. A selfish or immature person could try to gaslight you and get you to believe that they are just going with the flow and that you are the one who’s making up the whole thing. This is where trusting your gut comes into play again. Everyone deserves to be in a happy, loving relationship, so if your partner takes you for granted or constantly demands your full attention while they are unwilling to do the same for you, this may be a sign to walk away. 

When to Seek Help For Your Mental Health - You Deserve Happiness

There are many different situations when talking to a therapist, and going through counseling can help you. If you know that it's time to walk away from a relationship, but you're struggling with actually following through on it, finding a therapist can help you work through your emotions and develop a plan. If you want to stay in a long-term relationship that you're struggling in, a therapist can help both of you learn important skills to improve your relationship.

If you struggle with finding yourself again after getting out of a bad relationship, talking to a therapist can be a great way to work through the situations you've been through and rediscover who you are. Reaching out to find a therapist can be an important part of helping you to improve your self-esteem, grow your confidence, and move forward positively. Furthermore, reading articles like this one from writers that have studied these experiences can help you see the beauty in your life again and help you find peace in your situation.

Conclusion - How To Walk Away From Someone You Love

If you love someone, but you feel that it's time to move on and walk away from love and the relationship, hopefully, the advice in this article has helped you have an easier time making the decision. On the other hand, you may also feel compelled to try to stick with the relationship and improve it with some assistance and find a therapist who should have ideas on how to help you two adults work through your situation, especially if you live in the same house or children are involved. 

Finding a therapist can teach you the communication skills you need for a healthy and happy relationship. It can also provide you with coping skills that you can use if you decide to end the relationship, work on your mental health, and try to move forward into the future. Thanks to this help you can either more forward in your relationship or open your eyes to the possibilities that come from moving on. 

Below are some commonly asked questions on this topic:

1. When should you walk away from a relationship?
2. What are the early signs to walk away from a relationship?
3. How do I walk away from someone you love?
4. How does a man feel when you walk away?
5. What are the signs of a toxic relationship?
6. What are 5 signs of a unhealthy relationship?
7. What is a red flag in a relationship?
8. What is gaslighting in a relationship?
9. Why is walking away so powerful?
10. How do know it's over?

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