When it comes to knowing if it’s the right time to break up with someone, we tend to look for big, dramatic signs. It’s easy to think that good reasons to break up always have a flair for drama — someone cheats, a big fight breaks out, or you just can’t stand the sight of each other anymore. The reality is much more complicated. There are a lot of good reasons to break up that don’t come with flashes of lightening or red-hot fights. And, there are plenty of good reasons to break up, even if you’re still madly in love.
“While the idea that love trumps all appeals to society’s fantasy, to sustain a healthy relationship and overall quality of life, a person needs more than the promise of exclusivity and words of endearment,” Justin Lavelle, relationship expert and chief communications officer for BeenVerified, tells Bustle. “Financial stability, honesty, communication, and similar relationship goals are all needed if you want a successful and fulfilling relationship. If you do not have the basics, it may be time to re-evaluate your wants and needs and discuss the next course of action with your partner, whether it be a compromise or termination.”
So how do you know if you should break up? Here are nine good reasons to break up with someone, because ultimately you need to do what’s right for you.
1. You Can’t Count On Them
This is an issue that you might have seen before: a couple who is madly in love, but one partner is a total flake and continues to be unreliable and thoughtless, only to have a passionate rekindling — and start the whole cycle over again. It’s exhausting. Tina B. Tessina, aka Dr. Romance, psychotherapist and author of How to Be Happy Partners: Working it out Together, tells Bustle that if you can’t count on your partner, it’s a totally reasonable reason to break up with them. It’s just not the foundation for a strong relationship, no matter how much you love them.
2. You Realize That You Need To Be Single Right Now
Knowing how to be single is important — if you realize that you’re leaning too much on this relationship (or on your relationships generally), it may mean you need to take a step back. Dawn Michael, PhD, a relationship expert and author of My Husband Wont Have Sex With Me, tells Bustle that learning to be single is crucial to helping you grow as a person.
If you’re in a relationship for the wrong reasons, like because you’re afraid of being single, you may want to break it off until you can be in a relationship for the right ones.
3. You’re Losing Track Of Who You Are
Sometimes, a relationship can consume you and turn you into someone you don’t like. “Always break up with someone if you don’t feel like yourself when you are with them,” life coach Kali Rogers tells Bustle.
But we don’t always see it happening. That’s why it’s important to take it into consideration if your friends or family says you don’t seem like yourself.
“If you find yourself unrecognizable to yourself and loved ones, it may be a sign you should break up with your partner,” psychologist and breakup coach Joy Harden Bradford tells Bustle. “We all change in some ways in relationships, but the changes shouldn’t be so drastic that there is little to no trace of the person you were before you got into this relationship.”
4. You Can’t Let Go Of How They Hurt You
It’s an infuriating truth that, if someone betrays you or hurts you and apologizes, there can this be this weird pressure on you to forgive them — even though they were the one in the wrong. But it’s not always that easy. “If someone you are dating or involved in a long-term relationship with has betrayed you in a way that you cannot get past — cheating, lying, addiction — then it is time to end the relationship for your own emotional health,” executive editor and founder of Cupid’s Pulse Lori Bizzoco, tells Bustle. “Remember, ending a relationship with someone is a personal decision and only you know what is healthy or unhealthy for you.”
If you can’t let go — even if they make you feel like you should — you’re totally in the right to move along.
5. The Fights Are Going Nowhere
If the same issue rears its ugly head again and again, that’s a sign. “You should break up with someone if you continue to have the same couples’ conflicts and arguments repeatedly and your partner refuses to support satisfying your needs,” Dr. Fran Walfish, Beverly Hills child, parenting, and relationship psychotherapist tells Bustle. “A healthy working relationship requires two willing participates who want to please each other’s wants and needs.”
If you’re not moving past a big issue — or if your partner refuses to budge — you don’t need to stay in a relationship that isn’t going anywhere.
6. You’re Always “Going Through A Rough Patch”
It’s amazing how many people will say that they’re “just going through a rough patch” without realizing the rough patch has lasted pretty much their entire relationship. “Relationships do take work, and there is occasionally conflict,” couples therapist Jim Seibold, PhD LMFT, tells Bustle. “However, if you have to try too hard to make the relationship work, it may not be right for you. Ultimately, if you are not compatible, the relationship will crumble. Instead of trying to make a square peg fit into a round hole, look for a better fit. It may be painful to end a relationship and you may feel overwhelmed at the possibility of having to start over. However, the longer a bad relationship goes on the more pain you will experience.”
If you can’t remember the last time you felt like you were on the same page as your partner, you might need to move on.
7. You Realize You Need To Deal With Your Baggage
If you can’t seem to stop projecting issues from your last relationship onto this one, you might need to move on, Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and the owner of Exclusive Matchmaking tells Bustle. If you’re not over someone or just can’t get past what they did to you, it might be a good idea to take a timeout and clear your head.
8. The Relationship Is Doing More Harm Than Good
9. It Just Doesn’t Feel Right
Sometimes, even if nothing is technically wrong, you know that the relationship isn’t working. If you get the feeling that something isn’t right and you’re wondering if you should break up, explore that feeling.
“If you are even thinking this question, I would say that is red flag number one,” Marina Sbrochi, IPPY award-winning author of Stop Looking for a Husband: Find the Love of Your Life, tells Bustle. You don’t necessarily need a “reason” to end a relationship — if you know in your gut that it’s not working, that’s good enough.
There are plenty of good reasons to break up with someone — and many of them can exist even if you’re still madly in love with the person. You don’t need to feel guilty or worry about their feelings (too much). It’s your life, so if you know a relationship isn’t working for you then feel free to move on.
Originally posted on Bustle