Every couple, no matter how long they’ve been together or how they seem to look on the outside, go through rough patches. And it’s not unusual for you to sometimes wonder whether you should stay together or just break up.
Breaking up is easier said than done. Sometimes, there’s also that glimmer of hope that people hold onto, expecting that their partner will change someday. That’s why some people may choose to stay despite all the clear signs and strong gut feelings they’re getting.
Of course, you’re the only person who knows everything about your relationship. Thus, only you can tell whether you’re better off breaking up with your partner. Recognizing the difference between the normal ups and downs in any relationship and the signs that the relationship has completely turned south will help you decide whether it’s time to walk away.
If you already think there are tough decisions to make and bold steps to take, here are signs that you should observe and reflect on.
The relationship is on and off
Dumping each other and getting back together may seem like a common occurrence when you were in your teen years. But as an adult, this behavior is no longer attractive or ideal in the long run.
It’s okay to give each other some space when you’re going through significant challenges. But if your relationship is on and off all the time, maybe there’s an underlying reason that neither of you are acknowledging. Or if you’ve already sat down and talked about it but things haven’t changed, then that’s a sign for you.
The relationship is filled with tension
Disagreements are inevitable, but you shouldn’t feel like you’re always walking on eggshells or waiting for the next flight to explode anytime.
Living in constant tension and being high-alert all the time isn’t comfortable. It builds up in your shoulders, grips your heart, and makes it harder to breathe — can you live like that forever?
If you find a new reason to argue every day, your conversations always turn into disagreements, or you feel on edge and anxious all the time, it may be time to part ways.
There’s physical or emotional abuse
Abuse, whether mental, physical, or emotional, is a solid red flag that the relationship is toxic and unhealthy. It should actually be treated as an automatic deal breaker. Being attacked, frightened, threatened, or isolated are not acceptable. If it happens once, more often than not, it will happen again.
Nobody is entitled to abuse anyone in any form. There must always be mutual respect towards each other for the relationship to be healthy and last for a long time. It’s better to be alone than be with someone who doesn’t treat you as a human individual deserving of respect and dignity.
Trust is lost
When something feels off, better trust your gut! Transparency and honesty are important in any relationship, whether romantic or not.
You don’t necessarily have to reveal everything to each other. Everyone has little secrets that they’d rather keep to themselves, but there are some people who are voluntarily dishonest to their partner.
If you often find yourself questioning whether your partner is telling you the truth or if you feel like your partner isn’t revealing their true self to you, then that might be a sign that it’s not going to be a long-lasting relationship for you two.
Also, lying, cheating, and manipulating are not mistakes. They are fully conscious choices made by your partner. If you caught them once, it’s going to be hard to patch the relationship as if nothing happened after that breach of trust. You don’t deserve to question your worth or to blame yourself why your partner cheated.
Emotions are forced
Do you have a hard time saying “I love you” genuinely to your partner? Does the relationship feel like a duty? If so, then it’s time to have a talk with your partner.
The little expressions of love done out of care and compassion can significantly impact any relationship. When you no longer feel the warmth between you two, everything has turned dull and plain, and it feels like you’re miles apart even when you’re physically close to each other,, you might want to rethink your relationship now.
Your values and visions are not aligned
Your values and goals are part of who you are. And when these are compromised for the sake of pleasing your partner, you have to assess and affirm your worth beyond the relationship.
Relationships should uplift and empower each partner, rather than undermine and diminish one partner’s worth. Being on the same page and having the same vision for the future is essential in building a long-term relationship. If you’re constantly arguing over opposing viewpoints and pulling each other in different directions, it’s better to walk away than waste your time.
So, is it time for you to break up?
Choosing to break up is a huge decision. The signs mentioned above don’t necessarily mean you have to end your relationship right away, unless you’re experiencing any kind of abuse. Rather, consider them as your sign to give your relationship a bit more attention.
You’re the only person who knows everything that’s going on in your relationship. If you think there’s still hope and you’re sure you’re with the right partner, you two can have a serious conversation to sort things out and find ways to rekindle and strengthen your connection.
But if it feels like you’re stuck in a cycle of unhappiness and toxicity despite all the efforts you’ve exhausted, don’t be afraid to finally make the best decision for you. Life is too short to spend being in enduring unhappiness and pain.
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Arnaldo, S. (March 22, 2020). Is it time to break-up? Here are 5 signs. Rappler. https://www.rappler.com/life-and-style/relationships/signs-know-time-to-break-up/
Harsh Y. (December 5, 2019). 11 strong signs that you should breakup and move on. Medium. https://medium.com/live-your-life-on-purpose/11-strong-signs-that-you-should-breakup-and-move-on-2621e45a182b
Wilson, K. (June 30, 2021). Is It Really Over? 9 Telltale Signs It’s Time To Breakup and Move On For Good. Essence. https://www.essence.com/love/relationships/when-to-breakup-end-relationship-psychologist-advice/