Sometimes being in a relationship can feel like you’ve died and gone to heaven. Other times it can feel like you died and went to the other place. When should you continue to work on the relationship and when should you kick it to the curb? Here are 7 tips on when to leave.
A lot of women have been known to give men the benefit of the doubt, to be extra giving and nurturing, and extra forgiving. These qualities can be great in a mother or in a healthy, communicative relationship. But when in an unhealthy relationship, then they can lead to dragging on a relationship much longer than it should. Here are 7 examples of when you should call it quits:
You Should Definitely Leave If:
1. You both go off to different colleges and when you ask him if he wants to date long-distance he says “it wouldn’t be fair.”
Yes, this happened to me. Many years later he said that he thought that I wouldn’t want to continue dating, which just goes to show communication is key. At any rate, if he does not profess long-lasting love to you and say clearly and directly that he wants to continue a long-distance thing with you then you know he’s just not interested.
2. You are moving off the continental U.S.A. and are not ready to commit to a long-distance thing OR not ready to commit to him moving with you.
Yes, this happened to me too. I was getting ready to leave Boston for Hawaii in a couple months and lo and behold I meet someone. It was fun and he was hot—really hot— but I certainly wasn’t going to derail my life plans for him and definitely was not ready for the pressure of having him move with me. I told him he can move there if that’s where he wanted to live (yeah, right) but not to do it for me or the relationship.
3. You have fallen out of love.
This happened to the big love of my life when I was 18-21. I think I fell out of love by year 3. We had so much fun together in the beginning. He was my end-all and be all. We made out in the park, had sex by the river, roughhoused at the train platform, and basically were like Siamese twins. He was 4 years older than me. I’m not sure what exactly happened, but I think I outgrew him. I changed, from age 18 to 21. And he basically stayed the same. I still cared about him deeply, but I wasn’t in love with him anymore.
4. He does not meet ALL of your non-negotiables.
Patti Stanger, from Millionaire Matchmaker, always talks about making sure you know your non-negotiables. What are the things you absolutely are not willing to compromise, negotiate, or settle on? For example, you absolutely have to have at least 5 kids. You need someone who loves the outdoors as much as you do. You absolutely need to live in the city. Figure out what your non-negotiables are so you know what you’re looking for and you know what your absolute bottom line is.
5. If you have been miserable for the last 6 months.
Things have been going downhill for a while. Even though you’ve put in 150% it still isn’t enough. The fights are getting worse. He doesn’t seem to understand communicating his feelings and not blaming you. Actually it seems the progress you’ve made has regressed. At this point it is OK to call it quits or at least a cool down for a while. If you do decide to take a break instead of a full break up do try to keep it a clean break at least. Don’t contact him until the end of the break. This way you’ll be able to think more clearly.
6. If you are afraid he may be abusive.
I wrote a blog post series on abusive relationships. You can read much more in depth on this topic in my 4 posts but suffice it to say that if you are at all concerned or uncertain that your partner is occasionally manipulative or mean or unkind you should definitely see it as a warning sign and be aware that it could very well get worse.
7. You have so much fun and love being with him, but you just don’t see a future with him.
This may sound strange, but it’s quite common. There’s nothing wrong with having some fun. The only problem is when you don’t realize until much later that you just don’t foresee a future with this guy. You may not be able to pinpoint exactly why and that’s OK. But trust your instinct that if you sense something off then most likely there is a reason why. You can certainly have fun in the short term but just know that it’s not ‘the one’ you’re looking for.
Questions: How do you know when it’s time to leave? Have you ever stayed in a relationship too long? What are your signs that tell you you know it’s not worth it to stay?