How To Know When It's Time To Walk Away From Love
By: Marie Miguel
Updated August 27, 2020
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 find yourself 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 to just push on through.
When To Stick With It
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.
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. 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 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. Disagreement can be a good thing if you know how to work past them in a healthy way 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 through those difficult times. However, there are sometimes when you shouldn't push on and move forward in your relationship and we'll get to some of those below.
When You've Lost Who You Are
If you wake up one morning and realize that you don't even know who you are because you've changed yourself so much in order to keep your significant other happy, it's a good sign that you should walk away from the relationship. Real romantic love does not require another person to change. If the person that you're in a relationship with does not love you for who you are, and there's no point in staying in the relationship.
If you have changed so much about yourself that you don't recognize yourself, chances are you're going to need to end the relationship in order to find yourself again. With therapy and counseling, a relationship can last if the appropriate changes can be made, but both people in the relationship would need to be willing to make it work.
When You Know In Your Gut
It's important to trust the gut feeling that you have in life. 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 the relationship. If you find yourself in this position and you're married, then you want to address it with your spouse and try counseling 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.
There's nothing wrong with trying to take some time 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
There's a big difference between a relationship progressing through the different stages of love and just 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 Respected
Respect is a very important thing in a healthy relationship. If your significant other doesn't respect you then it's not a healthy relationship to stay in. This means that the way they treat you is going to be negative because they're going to value their opinion more than your own.
They may also cross boundaries that you have established and do other things that you're not okay with. Respect is important in any relationship, and especially in a romantic relationship.
When There is Any Abuse
If you are experiencing any type of abuse in a relationship, it's a 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 type of abuse that warrants separating is physical abuse. Emotional abuse and verbal abuse are not okay in a relationship and is not something that you should stand 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.
If you're 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 in helping people leave abusive relationships. Even though it sounds like it's something that should be easy to do it's often not because the person who is being abused usually struggles with low self-esteem and struggles to identify that the problem is as big as it really is.
You do not deserve and are not worthy of any type of abuse. If someone is abusing you, they are not worth your time or your love.
When Your Opinion Doesn't Matter
When your opinion doesn't matter it's a sign that the person doesn't respect you. If you find that you constantly don't get to choose activities that are done, places that you visit, or what you do with your time in a relationship, it's not a healthy relationship. Healthy relationships are built on give-and-take. You're not going to get your way all the time, but if you are never having your opinion matter it's not a good relationship to the end.
You Can't Trust the Other Person
If you can't trust the other person, it's very difficult to make a long or short-term relationship work. If you know that they're hiding things from you or if they have in the past, it may be time to just walk away from the relationship. You're 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 it's essential that you get counseling in order 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, then you're going to continue to struggle in your relationship.
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 family, friends, or co-workers, it's a strong sign that you need to walk away. This usually indicates that you don't feel comfortable with your partner or they 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.
Now, the one exception to this is if the reason you act differently around other people is that you're trying to fit in with them, then this is a different issue that you need to address separately from your relationship.
When to Seek Help
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 are struggling 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 that you've been through and rediscover who you are. Reaching out to find a therapist can be an important step in helping you to improve your self-esteem, grow your confidence, and move forward in a positive way.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should You Walk Away From Someone You Love?
Making the decision to leave someone you love isn’t always an easy one; after all, there is a good chance you still care about this individual and have had many memories with them.
If you are experiencing any of the concerns discussed throughout the article, it could be an indicator that you should leave your relationship.
However, many long-term relationship issues are fixable by improving communication between partners if you find a therapist or counselor who works with couples. They are able to help you resolve them by teaching you the skills you need to communicate more effectively with each other.
Can Someone Leave You If They Love You?
One of the most common reasons why people have trouble making the choice to walk away from love is because they still have feelings for the other person, but ultimately, if they feel like it’s the best thing they can do for themselves, it’s possible for them to go their own way, even if they still love that individual.
Why Can’t I Leave My Unhappy Relationship?
People who think about leaving a relationship that makes them unhappy often stay in them for longer than they should or even stay indefinitely.
Some common reasons why people might stay in a long-term relationship that isn’t working for them include:
- They feel invested in it
- They depend on their partner financially
- Their self-esteem depends on their partner
- They are afraid of being alone
Others might be hesitant to leave because they believe that things will change for the better and they are waiting for it.
Unfortunately, change doesn’t occur automatically over time, and it takes effort between both parties, and it typically requires assistance from a professional to make it possible.
What To Say To Someone You Love, But Can’t Be With?
Although they will probably not want to hear it, and it’s possible they will react negatively to what you have to say, it’s always best being honest and forthcoming if you have someone you love, but have determined that you can’t be together.
Even if they become upset with your words and the moment you left them, always strive to be respectful and considerate of their emotions and communicate as effectively as you can.
Leaving most likely won’t be easy for you, and for some it can still feel like your world ended. If you’re grieving or having other difficulties coping, it’s important to understand that these are normal emotions, and there is no shame reaching out to find a therapist who can assist you.
How Do You Know When It’s Really Over?
There are many factors that can indicate that your relationship is on the verge of ending, but they aren’t guaranteed since even some of the most severe issues can be addressed with help. You may have thought your relationship ended the moment a major fight or disagreement happened, but chances are, that’s not the case.
Even if you break-up or will be enduring a divorce, it doesn’t always mean that it’s over, as there is sometimes the possibility of reconciliation.
Knowing when your relationship is over is a personal situation that is unique to you and your ex, but some of the signs are that you don’t feel vulnerable, you can no longer see each other being intimate ever again, or you’ve started becoming interested in others or even started seeing someone new and started falling in love with someone else..
What Are The Signs of A Toxic Relationship?
A relationship that is experiencing issues doesn’t always mean that it’s a toxic one, but being aware of the signs of dysfunction is still very important and it can include physical, verbal, and emotional abuse.
Toxic relationships will damage your self-esteem and you might be exposed to manipulation tactics like guilt-tripping and gaslighting, where you will seem to always be wrong or at fault for something happening.
You might also notice that you get “one-upped” by your partner, and have your thoughts and feelings marginalized, and feel that you can’t or shouldn’t communicate your needs to your partner in fear of being ridiculed and ignored.
Others might be insulted by their partner's words. For example, if someone’s weight is made fun of they can become extremely self-conscious, or worse, develop eating disorders.
The relationship can also seem one-sided, and that you put more effort into that your partner, who might not show any compassion and love. Relationships should always be a two-way street and a collaborative effort.
Why Can’t I Stop Thinking About Someone?
Following a break-up, it’s still very common and normal to have your ex on your mind because you’ve invested time and emotional energy into the relationship, regardless if it was a long or short-term one. You might also feel upset or angry at your ex, and that could be the reason you can’t stop thinking about them.
On the other hand, if you’re thinking about someone else other than your ex, you could be excited about potentially having someone new in your life that you can form a long-term relationship with.
If you struggle with these feelings and emotions, you are encouraged to find a therapist who can help sort them out for you.
How Do You Recognize Your Soulmate?
You might have previously believed that the individual you loved before was your soulmate, and unfortunately, it didn’t work, so that might leave you wondering how to recognize someone who truly could be. The only thing that is certain is that the moment you left the previous relationship was realizing that they were not the one for you.
Finding someone you connect with on a deeper level can seem challenging, especially following a separation, but some of the signs that you’ve found that in someone involve things that make you happy and fulfilled.
Some examples include resolving conflict won’t be a chore, you listen to each other’s thoughts and concerns and understand their flaws without criticizing them, and have the same relationship goals and support each other’s pursuits in life.
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 try to improve it with some assistance and find a therapist.
Finding a therapist can teach you the communication skills you need for a healthy and happy relationship, and 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.