One of the most important relationship skills is knowing when it’s time to move on and let go.
Most people don’t have this skill and can waste years of their life trapped in a relationship that makes them miserable. You almost forget that you have a say in the matter and that you’re choosing to stay in this relationship.
Being stuck in something that is not right for you is a miserable feeling. It stifles your growth as a person and crushes who you are. You may not even recognize the person this relationship has turned you into.
The trouble is, it all happens so slowly. There isn’t a switch that flips one day turning a great relationship into a terrible one. It happens slowly over time, and this is why it can be so hard to see the situation for what it is.
To help you get some clarity, I’m going to share the biggest signs that it’s time to let go and move on from a relationship.
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Why is it so hard to move on?
Before we look at the signs, let’s look at what prevents us from seeing them.
Dating can be exhausting. You swipe and swipe … you match with a bunch of guys but don’t hear from most of them … then you actually set up a date, and he’s a total dud. Then you get back out there and date and date and date and keep hoping something eventually sticks. And then you find someone who seems great, but he doesn’t feel the same. Then you find someone who thinks you’re totally great, but you don’t feel the same. And then after more swipes and more dates, you actually start dating someone you like who likes you back! But you don’t really know him so well yet, and he doesn’t know you, and your fears get activated and you just wish you were in a more established place.
The point is, it’s hard to start fresh. It’s hard to put yourself back out there and open yourself up to possible rejection and heartbreak. It seems easier to just stay in your relationship even though you feel miserable. Who wants all the drama that comes with being single and dating? And if you’re at a certain point in your life where everyone you know is settled down, when you can feel the pressure to settle down pressing upon your shoulder, then it makes a tough situation basically impossible.
Another reason we stay is we just don’t want to admit the truth. We convince yourselves that it isn’t that bad … that things will change … that there’s hope … that everything will be better as soon XYZ happens.
When you work at a job you hate, you can clearly recognize you’re miserable. It’s not so cut and dry with relationships because all of our emotions are activated and heavily invested. The more invested you are, the higher your capacity for self-deception.
And lastly, we stay because part of us doesn’t think we’ll ever find any better. Bad relationships have a way of completely crushing our souls and self-esteem. And this is the result. You don’t think you deserve happiness and figure it’s better to stay in this relationship than have no relationship. This is just wrong on so many levels.
Signs It’s Time To Move On And Let Go:
1. When the only thing keeping you going is the memories of how great things used to be. You’ve had so many happy times, you know how good things could be … but they aren’t that way anymore and they haven’t been for a while and it’s time to admit it. You have to look at your relationship as it is right now in the present moment, not how great it used to be.
2. When you don’t like the person you’ve become. Your self-esteem has taken a huge hit, you’re no longer the fun, happy, lighthearted girl you used to be. You’ve changed. You’ve darkened. You don’t like who you’ve become, this somber, depressed, angry person. This isn’t the real you and you know it. Healthy relationships are vehicles for becoming our best selves, unhealthy relationships crush our true selves and bring out the worst in us.
3. When you feel drained and exhausted, instead of uplifted and inspired. You can’t remember the last time you felt genuinely happy. Any smile you’ve had in the last six months has been faked and forced. You just feel exhausted to the bone, emotionally, physically, mentally, every part of your being has been negatively impacted.
4. When the only thing keeping you in the relationship is not wanting to be alone or to start all over again with someone new. As I said earlier, starting over again is exhausting. You also don’t want to feel like the time you’ve spent with this person was a total waste. It has to mean something, you can’t fathom that all these years were for naught. So you stay, because it just seems easier.
5. When you don’t tell the truth about your relationship to anyone. You leave out significant pieces of information to your family and your best friends. You tell yourself they just wouldn’t “understand,” but really, you know they will just tell you the truth that you’re trying so hard not to face. When no one knows the full story, when you hide significant details, it’s a huge red flag.
6. When you spend more time crying than smiling. You feel more pain than joy. Yes, relationships take work, but this work is meant to be rewarding, not soul-crushing. If your pain trumps your joy, this relationship isn’t working.
7. When you feel empty and drained, like you have nothing left to give. Love is about giving, it’s infinite giving. When you can’t summon an ounce of strength to give anything more to this relationship, it’s because you’re all tapped out.
8. When life just isn’t enjoyable anymore. You feel stressed and angry at the world. All the issues in the relationship have poisoned your mood and your disposition. You are now a dark shadow of your former self.
9. When you’re scared to say anything anymore because everything turns into a fight. This signals your communication has broken down to an almost irreparable level. You just can’t hear each other, everything gets misinterpreted. Every statement, no matter how innocent, hits a raw nerve and turns into yet another fight.
10. When you need him to change. If he needs to change in order for things to work, then it isn’t working. Like I said, look at your relationship in its present state, not how it used to be, and not how it could be at some magical fantasy point in the future.
11. You are full of excuses. You can rationalize away even the worst behavior, you are a masterful artist when it comes to painting beautiful brushstrokes over the darkest clouds. You know what they say about rationalizing … you’re telling rational lies, and you might truly believe them. If you get defensive when someone questions you about his actions, or feel the need to justify it, it’s probably because you know it was wrong, you just don’t want to admit it, not to yourself and not to others.
12. When you take half a step forward and 10 steps back. You never seem to be making progress, you have the same fights over and over, the same issues lay dormant just waiting to be provoked and then they come flooding back in like an angry torrent. You and he aren’t on the same page. You don’t meet each other’s needs and trying to solve issues feels like playing tennis with a brick wall.
13. When he stops trying. One person can’t carry a relationship. You are a team, it’s a partnership. If he stopped trying, if he doesn’t put any effort in anymore, then it’s a big sign you need to step away as well. The only chance a relationship has to succeed is if both people are fully invested.
14. When your resentment tank is full, and love tank is empty. Resentment is what poisons a relationship and ultimately causes it to unravel. It trickles in slowly at first, but soon enough it’s gushing in and you’re drowning in it. When you resent your partner, you can’t truly love him, you can’t even respect him.
15. When you no longer feel seen or heard. You can’t express how you feel because he either doesn’t care or he just can’t understand you and doesn’t even try. One of the best parts of being in a loving relationship is having the freedom to be your true and authentic self. If you don’t have that, you can’t really have anything.
16. When you feel totally alone. Here’s the thing about bad relationships, they can make you feel more alone than you ever did when single. Being in a relationship that isn’t working is excruciatingly painful and lonely. The person who is supposed to be your partner feels like a distant stranger. You can’t talk to him, and it feels like you can’t talk to anyone else either because they won’t understand or they’ll tell you what you already know but don’t want to hear… that it’s time to leave and move on.
17. When you’re envious of other couples. This isn’t normal jealousy, like being jealous of a fabulous vacation another couple took, you’re jealous of innocuous things like the fact that they seem to genuinely like each other and that they are considerate of one another. You feel ashamed of your relationship when you see a healthy relationship.
18. When there is a perpetual knot in your stomach. Our emotions manifest in physical ways, especially when we try to shove them away. You may feel constantly nauseous, exhausted, depleted, and have no energy. You just feel like a shell of a person.
19. When the only reason you’re still in the relationship is you hope it will magically change. You hate how things are right now, you feel stuck and trapped and miserable. You fantasize about things magically being different, and this is the only thing keeping you going.
20. When your trust has been broken one too many times. Trust is hard to repair. Chip away at it for long enough, and it will fully erode and there is no coming back from that. Trust is the most essential ingredient for a lasting relationship. If you don’t have that, then what foundation do you have to stand on?
21. When you know the truth… You know deep down it’s time to let go. When you think of leaving, you feel relief. You know this relationship isn’t healthy on any level. You know it’s damaging who you are. You know it’s preventing you from getting what you want in life.
I hope this article gave you clarity on whether you should move on from your relationship. Like I said in the introduction, knowing when to walk away is one of the most important relationship skills. But there are two more things you need to be aware of. The first is that at some point In your relationship, your man will start to pull away. You may notice him becoming more distant and less engaged. It seems like he’s losing interest in you and you worry that soon he’s going to just leave. Do you know what to do to get things back on track? If not, read this next: If He’s Pulling Away, Do This...
The next issue arises at that inevitable point when the man asks himself: Do I want to commit to this woman for the long term? The answer will determine everything. Do you know what makes a man see a woman as girlfriend/wife material? Do you know what inspires a man to commit? If not, you need to read this too: The #1 Things Men Desire in a Woman
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