When to end a relationship?

Knowing when to end a relationship is an age-old problem. It would be easy if you could be sure you were making the right decision. Studies have found that 15% of people have wished their partner would cheat in a relationship, so they had a reason to leave. If that is not indicative of how hard the decision is, we do not know what is! 

The simple truth is this: every relationship is different. There is no crystal clear way to know when or how to end a relationship. No matter what you decide to do, there will be periods of loneliness, regret, and doubts. 

However, here is a golden lining: therapists find that the most common complaint of newly-single people is that they wish they had gotten out of their old relationship sooner. Relationships are hard and much work. But when is it too much work? If you are looking at this article, you are probably reaching the point where you want to end the relationship. We cannot provide you with a crystal clear answer or a justification, but we have listed the therapist-confirmed signs that your relationship is coming to an end. 


One or both of you refuses to go to therapy

When we say therapy, we are not just talking the couple’s kind. Therapy and counselling is an essential mental checkup that many people overlook. This fact is especially true for men, who are considerably less likely to seek help because of the negative stigma surrounding mental health. If you notice behavioural changes, like constant worrying, insomnia, lack of sleep, increased anger, irrational reactions, or growing isolation- then any concerned partner may recommend seeing a therapist or psych. 

Likewise, if you are always fighting, feeling distant, or betrayed; it may be time to see a couple’s counsellor. These are not negative actions. They are proving that you want your partner to be mentally healthy and that you want to save your relationship. However, if you find that post this suggestion, you are met with fights, or flat out refusal – then that is a red flag. 

Refusing to seek help means that your partner is not prepared to change. Moreover, couples therapy really works; so what would they be afraid of? From that realisation comes a big decision: what and where are your boundaries? If the behaviour and refusal to change encroaches on them, then you need to leave; even if you love them. 

You feel alone, even when you’re together

That feeling of loneliness should not be there with a loved one, should it? It means you feel unseen, writes Aletheia Luna (Spiritualist and Relationship Counsellor). Yet, the author states, it is something every couple experiences. You will never know what the other person is thinking or feeling, and so there will always be a small disconnect. Sometimes this disconnect can feel like a gaping hole. It is when this hole becomes constant, even after or during specifically intimate acts and time, that it is time to leave. You deserve to be seen. 

You are not talking about the future anymore

In-love couples dream about the future. They discuss that holiday in a few years, talk about after their degree, or plan for future houses. If this talk has dried up, you need to ask yourself why? Do you still see yourself with this person, or have you checked out of the long-term vision you once shared?

Your sex life has disappeared

Has it been months since your last intercourse? Have they not engaged in foreplay for too long? Obviously, the first step in any dry spells is to talk about it. Perhaps one of you is experiencing performance anxiety or body image issues. Maybe it is merely stress– after all, life can get a lot sometimes. The question really lies in when you want to have sex, but just not with your partner. If even after a discussion and some serious soul searching, your sex life refuses to re-ignite- it might be time to assess your relationship.

Is there equity in the relationship?

Equity does not just mean an equal share. It means that your relationship is mutually beneficial and fair. Equity in a relationship means that being in a couple is not putting your life on pause. It means that you are not ‘parenting’ someone, you are sharing BOTH the emotional and physical work, and you both feel supported and satisfied in how your relationship works. If you are continually putting your partner’s career first or finding that you expend all your emotional energy in keeping one person healthy, it is definitely time to reassess how healthy this relationship is. For more information on this and the theory of equitable relationships, read here.

Getting your partner to spend time with your friends and family is weirdly tricky

Is getting your partner to have dinner with your mother a nightmare? Do they continuously try to wriggle out of visits? Has the excuse “I’m just tired/ not in the mood/ stressed” occurred so often than your friends and co-workers question your partner’s existence? Worse still, do you feel unable to invite friends over to your house without a cold war standoff occurring?

 If your significant other does not like your friends or family, this poses another issue. But it is important to remember that these scenarios are not about your partner, they are about supporting you, being your partner, and engaging with other people important to you. 

You do the same for them, and so it is fair to expect your partner to put themselves out there for you. Candice Jalili, a relationship writer and counsellor, says that this distance from your loved ones may be down due to insecurity, shame, pedestal behaviour, antisocial tendencies, or controlling streak. Either way, Jalili writes “they have no respect for you and your world.” That is a big red flag. 

Knowing when and why to leave a partner can drive anyone insane. Remember, any relationship can be saved with hard work and time- but it does not need to be. Being in love does not need to be an exhausting ordeal. You deserve calm, wholeness, and to feel secure in your relationship. While this list is by no means exhaustive, we hope it guides you to make a confident choice. Good luck! 

If you need help on family law, divorce and relationship breakdown, find a specialist family law solicitor now. Do you need advice on separation or divorce-related issues? Ask a divorce lawyer on Qredible.co.uk!

Related article: Pressing reset on your romance: Top tips on how to fix a broken relationship!

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