When to Let a Relationship Go


In a perfect world, there would be a rulebook that lets us know when a relationship is right for us (a small one that’s tote-friendly and comes with highlighters, obviously). Since there isn’t, we all know what it feels like to dwell on whether we’re making the right decision to maintain a relationship or leave it. Whether it’s a relationship with your significant other, your best friend, or your family member, sometimes issues emerge and it’s difficult to decide what to do about it. The pressure is overwhelming — do you stay and hope you aren’t wasting your time, or do you leave and wonder if it was just a rough patch that could’ve passed?

Although we don’t have highlighters for you (our bad, we know), here are some indicators on when to let a relationship go.


1. When you feel like you’re walking on eggshells

This isn’t healthy. REPEAT: NOT HEALTHY. The insecurity of being yourself around someone in fear of upsetting them or pushing them away is a type of trap that is both heartbreaking and toxic. The purpose of a relationship is to find someone who knows who you are and loves you for it. If someone doesn’t seem to be interested, the amount of emojis you send and how understanding you are to their needs will not make a difference. So next time you catch yourself asking your best friends if what you said was “too much,” remind yourself that you are great and deserve people who think this (instead of making you feel like you need to mold yourself into someone else).


2. When it’s affecting your everyday life

Relationships are about compromise — that’s the simple truth. If you’re accommodating to someone and it’s causing you to miss work deadlines and neglecting other things that once made you happy, take a step back. Your personal life should not be diminishing at the expense of fueling someone else’s happiness. Similarly, a relationship that is upsetting you to the point where you don’t feel yourself or have little energy to get out of bed is another concern. In general, a positive and healthy relationship is indicated by your own state of  happiness — life is too short to not be living it due to a relationship bringing it down.


3. When you don’t see a future

You probably knew this factor was going to be a part of this list. It’s a typical answer that is so much easier said than seen — literally. When we say you don’t see a future, we mean your significant other has opinions that completely clash with yours. This is not an opinion like how he loves hard-shelled tacos while you love soft-shelled tacos, but how he doesn’t want children and you want three. Another issue could be that he’s religious and wants his future wife to be, but you’re not willing to change your religion. Sometimes it also comes down to the characteristics of a person. If he’s frugal with his money and you’re buying that maxi romper in every color it comes in, this could cause issues in the future. Be mindful of what you will or will not budge on and go from there.


4. When you can’t seem to forgive them

There could be so many reasons why you can’t seem to let go of something that happened in the relationship. We aren’t here to judge – there’s a reason it bothers you and that in itself makes your feelings completely valid. However, holding onto it and unintentionally building up resentment over it will affect your health as well as the quality of the relationship. Forgiveness takes an immense amount of strength, and sometimes the feeling of betrayal completely overshadows our ability to do so. Regardless of what you decide to do with the relationship, remind yourself that forgiving someone isn’t only to relieve negative feelings towards the person but also to allow your own self to begin healing.


5. When you constantly wonder if you should walk away

It’s completely normal to question a relationship every so often, but if you find yourself regularly visiting the idea of life without this person, it’s time to be honest. Maybe you feel bad because you can’t truly explain why this persistent thought pops up in your head — that’s understandable. As silly as it may sound, we know ourselves better than we think, and it’s always smart to consider what our gut may be telling us.


How do you know when a relationship needs to end? What other tips do you have for others going through this tough decision?