Maybe you’ve been thinking about calling it quits with your significant other, but the thought of actually leaving them seems scarier than staying. After all, many people stay with their partners even if they feel unhappy just because of the familiarity of the relationship. The whole dating scene today looks vastly different than even five or ten years ago, and many people don’t want to go through the hassle. Sadly, the prospect of staying in an unhappy relationship just seems easier than restarting with someone new.
Studies show that the longer you’re with someone, the harder it becomes to back out of a relationship. According to a 2017 study by the University of Utah, published in the journal Social Psychology and Personality Science, many factors come into play when making a decision to break up with someone or not. Researchers gave out questionnaires that asked specific questions about why people would choose to remain in or leave a relationship. The participants consisted of married couples, people who were dating, and even those considering breaking up with their partners.
Researchers discovered 27 basic reasons for wanting to stay in a relationship, such as feeling obligated, emotional connection, and investment. They also found around 23 reasons people listed for wanting to leave, such as clashes in personality, betrayal of trust, and disconnection with partners.
No matter your relationship status, you rob yourself of potential life-long happiness with someone new when you stay in a toxic relationship. Perhaps you have lost feelings for your partner or just need space for yourself to figure things out. If you’ve been confused about whether to leave your significant other or not, these signs will help you decide.
Here are 20 signs it’s time to call it quits on your significant other:
You have to walk on eggshells around your partner.
A partnership should feel like coming home, a safe place for you to unravel your innermost layers and show the deepest parts of yourself. If you don’t feel comfortable being yourself around your partner, it’s probably time to call it quits. It may seem scary at first to leave what feels familiar, but think how much freer you’ll feel once you can get a breath of fresh air and gain clarity on the relationship.
You feel like you’ve lost yourself in the relationship.
While a relationship brings two people together, they should still maintain their own lives and have separate personalities. If you feel you’ve meshed too much with your partner to where you don’t even know where they end and you begin, you might need to take a step back. Codependent relationships often involve some level of enmeshment, where personal boundaries become blurry and partners become overly concerned with each other. When this happens, autonomy gets lost and partners lose their sense of self.
Your partner doesn’t seem committed to you.
If you have a suspicion that your partner might be seeing someone else or that they just want a casual relationship, you should have a talk with your significant other. No one should have to feel insecure and unwanted in a relationship, especially if you’ve been with your partner for a long period of time.
It’s time to call it quits when you feel insecure in the relationship.
If for some reason you don’t feel safe or secure in your relationship, you should probably call it quits. Your partner should bring you comfort and peace, and not add to the problems in your life.
Your significant other wants different things in life than you.
If you don’t share the same life goals with your partner, you might need to call it quits. Of course, wanting different things in life doesn’t have to mean you should end the relationship, but you should share the same values. For example, if one person wants kids and the other doesn’t, this probably rules out a long-term commitment.
You’re starting to imagine life without them.
You may find that you daydream about a life without your partner from time to time. These thoughts may crop up after a bad fight or maybe just during a night alone, and if it happens infrequently it shouldn’t alarm you. However, if you start to notice yourself longing for the single life again, you should take a good hard look at your relationship.
You feel like you’d regret it if you stayed in the relationship.
If you feel like staying with your partner would leave you with more regret than leaving, then you’ve already made your decision. You just need to inform your partner politely that you can’t stay with them anymore for whatever reason. Not every relationship lasts forever, but that doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate what you learned from each one.
They don’t put the same effort as you into the relationship.
Maybe you plan all the dates or buy them nice things even though they don’t return the favor. A one-sided relationship can’t last too long before resentment starts to build, so if that sounds like your situation, it’s probably time to call it quits.
You have more bad times than good times.
If your partner seems to put more stress lines on your face than smiles, you probably shouldn’t stay with them. Every relationship encounters hard times, but they shouldn’t outweigh the good ones.
They seem emotionally unavailable and distant with you.
When you spend time with them, they seem distant and cold with you. Perhaps this points to infidelity, or it could mean they simply don’t want the relationship anymore but don’t want to tell you directly. You deserve a committed, loving partner, so don’t hesitate to end things with someone like this.
You have suspicions that they’re seeing someone else.
Do they check their phone constantly and try to hide it from you? This may point to a cheating partner, in which case you should confront them about it.
The relationship doesn’t bring out the best in you.
Maybe you feel like you could do better than your current partner, especially if they bring out the stress in you more than the best in you. If this sounds like your significant other, you should probably call it quits on them.
You’re codependent on them.
Do you feel like you can’t live without them and don’t know how to be alone? If so, this doesn’t mean you should necessarily end things, but you need to examine your own relationship insecurities so you can both maintain autonomy.
They put you down or blame you for their problems.
If you constantly get blamed for problems in the relationship or take a few too many “jokes” from them, you should ask yourself why you stay with this person. A relationship should build you up, not bring you down.
They don’t give you time to talk and always make things about them.
If they display behaviors such as talking over you and not paying attention when you talk, they don’t deserve your time or energy. Be with someone who adores you and wants to hear about your thoughts and feelings.
You feel better when you’re alone and dread being with them.
If you feel like you can finally breathe when you get time to yourself, you shouldn’t remain in the relationship. Maybe they don’t act like the same person you met in the beginning – sometimes people only show their true colors when they’re committed to someone.
Your partner keeps threatening to break up with you.
If you constantly have to walk on eggshells because your partner threatens to end things when you make a mistake or upset them, do yourself a favor and walk out the door.
They try to control you.
No one deserves a partner who won’t allow their significant other room to make their own decisions in a relationship. Be with someone who you feel comfortable with who won’t try to assert dominance over you.
It’s time to call it quits when your family sees the red flags that you don’t.
If your family doesn’t like your partner, they probably have their reasons. Make sure to value their input and try to see things from their perspective before you call it quits with your partner.
You feel like you’ve had to sacrifice more than you should in the relationship.
If you feel like you’ve had to give more than your fair share in the partnership and it’s not reciprocated, it’s probably time to call it quits.
Final thoughts on signs you should end things with your partner
Not every relationship can last forever, and they really shouldn’t unless you feel you can choose them every single day and not regret it. If the doubts start to scream louder than your faith in your partner, maybe you need to take a second look at things. This doesn’t mean you don’t love or care about your significant other, but sometimes two people just need to break up and continue to grow on their own terms.