When Should You Leave A Relationship?

couple sits on bench having conflict while man hands in face upset
by Vance Larson

I am often asked when is the right time to leave a relationship? I have never been a big fan of telling a family member, friend or client when they should leave. The only exception is when there is abuse involved. In which case, leave now. Do it without hesitation. But with that said, they never let me off the hook. They usually want to know something definitive. So with that in mind, and for those who continue to ask, here is a quick list of things that I have notice with 3 decades in working personal development and relationships. These 3 things seem to be the most common reason why people have broken up.

The physical gets old.

They’re not growing. I see so many couples call it quits, when one simple out grows their partner. They don’t even have to be interested in the same things, or growing in the same direction. It’s just that one person is evolving, and the other is not. And with new growth, insight and development, the person who is growing in many cases no longer feels attracted to the person who is not. The physical gets old, and a mental or spiritual connection is needed to sustain the relationship.

They don’t listen to you. This can be tricky in a new relationship because we’re still learning each others communication style. But if you have been together for a few months (and certainly a few years), if they’re not listening to you, you feel invalidated and disrespected. Take it a step further and include the non verbal communication. Long term couples can speak to the non verbal communication. It really boils down to are they aware or in tune with you? If not, some things will get missed, and resentment often creeps up.

Some things need to be held as sacred.

Are you safe? Not in the physical sense (I already touched on that), but is your relationship sacred? So many times I have couples sitting in my office for this very reason. A good example is whenever there is a intimate issue, your partner over shares with family, friends or coworkers. And God forbid they share it on social media. Some things need to be held as sacred within your relationship. If you need an outside opinion, get it from a professional. You will never open up if you do not feel safe. 

So there you have it. A short guide to if you should end your relationship. Again, it’s not for me or anyone else to tell you to leave. But if you have out grown, are talking to deaf ears, and your private life continues to become public, the chances of you cultivating a healthy relationship are slim at best. So you may want to think of getting professional help, or simply walk away.

Whatever you decide, don’t lose your sparkle and desire to find the right partner. All relationships can be challenging at times. But a protracted grind will wear down the best of us. And life is to short to be tied to a sinking ship. 

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