When Is It Time To Walk Away From Love?

Updated March 21, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Love can be a hard thing to recognize. But it can be an even harder thing to know when it's time to walk away from romantic love. You may have waited years to find someone who you truly felt like you loved. Now, you may feel lost and you could be wondering if it's really the right relationship for you. Maybe you aren't sure if it's time to put an end to it, or if you're supposed to push through.

Leaving Someone You Love: How To Know If It's Right

Love Can Keep You Stuck In An Unhealthy Place

If you're wondering if your relationship should be over just because that initial excitement that you had at the start of your relationship has ended, you may not want to rush into any decisions. Sometimes, you may need to walk away, but other times, it could just be a rough patch. Beyond the advice in this article, online therapy can provide you with an outlet to discuss what you're facing. 

When To Stick With It

There are different stages of love that your relationship may move through. You may not be able to hold onto that feeling of too much love, pure joy, and excitement that you experienced in the beginning forever, but it is important to build a strong foundation so your connection lasts. When you first fall in love with someone, you may overlook imperfections and things about them that would normally drive you crazy. Indeed, love is crazy and it will make you love versions of people in your head. 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 something that many long-term relationships go through. It may not mean you need to give up on your partner.

Moreover, it may not be necessary to walk away from romantic love just because you're starting to disagree more and have different opinions. Relationships are made up of two unique individuals, and it's not typical for a couple to agree on everything. When this happens, it's usually because one person is constantly giving in to the other, which could be an unhealthy pattern. Thus, disagreement is not necessarily a red flag. Sometimes, it can be good if you know how to work past it in your relationship.

No relationship is going to make it through years and years of never having arguments and disagreements. It's normal for relationships to have ups and downs. Those with healthy relationships are often able to weather difficult times by making compromises and prioritizing respect. 

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

How to know when love is gone? If you wake up one morning and realize that you don't even know who you are because you've changed so much to keep the relationship alive, it may be a sign that you should walk away. Real love does not require another person to fundamentally change. 

If you have changed so much about yourself that you don't recognize yourself or have forgotten about your core values, you may 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 are made. Still, both people in the relationship need to be willing to make it work.

You Aren't Feeling Respected

Respect is an important thing in a healthy relationship. If your significant other doesn't respect you, then it's not a healthy relationship to stay in. A lack of respect can easily permeate the rest of the relationship. For example, your partner may begin to cross boundaries that you have established or engage in dominating behavior. When respect is lost, it may not be something you can ignore. 

Love Can Keep You Stuck In An Unhealthy Place

When There Is Abuse

If you are experiencing any abuse in a relationship, it's a clear sign that you need to walk away. An abusive relationship is not one that is built on true romantic love. Some people mistakenly believe 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 acceptable in a relationship either. 

Sexual abuse is sometimes present in relationships as well. Just because you are dating or even married, it doesn’t mean your partner has the right to ignore your consent or lack of it. 

If you find yourself in an abusive relationship, the first thing that you need to do is get yourself somewhere safe. It may also be important to seek counseling from someone who has experience helping people leave abusive relationships. Even though it may seem like it should be easy to do, it's often not. In many cases,  the person who is being abused struggles with low self-esteem and depression. This can make leaving the relationship on their own difficult, if not impossible.

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 seem to matter to your partner or they ignore comments that you make, it's often a sign that the person doesn't respect you. If your wishes are constantly ignored regarding places that you visit, plans you make, the hobbies or interests you take up together, or what you do with your time, it may not be a healthy relationship. Healthy relationships are built on give-and-take, and both people may need 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. 

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 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 to walk away from the relationship. 

If you have broken trust in your relationship but don't want to walk away, you may need to get counseling to learn how to rebuild trust with each other. This often 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.

When You Are Putting In 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, it could be time to reconsider the relationship. 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

If you know that it's time to walk away from a relationship, but you're struggling with 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.

Moreover, 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 improving your self-esteem, growing your confidence, and moving forward in a healthy and positive way. 

Online Therapy Is An Option

Often, romantic partners are hesitant to speak to people outside of the relationship about their problems. Whether it’s out of loyalty or embarrassment, opening up about matters of the heart can be challenging, especially in an in-person setting. This is where online therapy provides an alternative. You may find it easier to talk about these sensitive topics in an internet-based setting. Plus, online therapy can be made available from the comfort of your home. 

Research has shown that online therapy for couples and individuals can be as effective as in-person counseling, whether it’s delivered via videoconferencing or asynchronous in-app messaging. This means you can reap the same benefits of traditional therapy while saving valuable time and energy. 


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. Don’t stay in a toxic or abusive relationship—reach out for help from a qualified BetterHelp therapist today. 

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