When Is It Time to Say Goodbye?

Looking for signs you should break up?

Everyone goes through highs and lows in a relationship, but there are times when things get out of our control and we stand there clueless, not sure whether to keep fighting for love, or say goodbye.

It’s always easier to look back once the relationship is over and kick yourself for not leaving sooner than it is to recognize the warning signs and get out early. It’s important to respect yourself enough to walk away from a relationship if it’s no longer making you happy.

9 Signs You Should Break Up

If you’re searching for signs as to whether or not to break up, check out the list below to see if it’s time to bite the bullet and end the relationship.

1. The Trust is Gone

Trust is the backbone of any relationship, so it’s extremely important to completely trust your partner. There are many reasons why people to lose trust in their partner, but when trust does run dry, relationships get messy.

If you or your partner are checking each other’s phones, creeping one another’s social media accounts, or sneakily checking in with friends to find out your partner’s every move, then these are huge signs that the trust is gone and the relationship unhealthy.

RELATED: How Can I Find Lasting Love?

No matter how many excuses you come up with or how much you claim to trust your partner, this type of behaviour says otherwise, and actions do speak than words. So, if your relationship is starting to look less like a Jane Austen novel and more like a story by Stephen King, then you may want to make a run for it.

2. The Bad Outweighs the Good

If your relationship is suffering then chances are the problems didn’t appear overnight. In fact, most serious relationship issues don’t quickly surface, but when they do, it’s likely that they’ve actually been a problem for a while, you just may not have noticed yet.

When your relationship has more negatives than positives, it’s time to consider how much you really want to be committed the relationship. Sure, every relationship experiences its highs and lows, but if you’re in a constant state of misery that has no ending in sight, then you need to say goodbye. Remember, nobody’s happiness is worth more than your own, and if your partner is doing nothing to keep you, then why fight to stay?

3. A Lack of Sex

Sex is a key ingredient in a happy, healthy relationship; it can bring people together and also tear them apart. If sex has left your relationship or you’re not feeling passionate about your partner sexually, it’s a sure sign that something bigger is happening outside of the bedroom.

Everyone has a different sex drive and it’s normal for long term relationships to lose some of its initial passion. But if you can’t remember the last time you kissed your partner, or if your relationship has gone from resembling an R rated movie to PG at best, then you may want to accept that you and your partner have grown emotionally and physically distant. When this happens, it’s a sign that it’s time to move on.

4. Avoid Spending Time Together

When you are in a happy relationship, you want to spend time with your significant other, you enjoy their company and miss them when they’re not around- not the opposite.

If you find yourself spend nights out with your pals, staying at work late, or faking sickness all to avoid your partner because they make you unhappy, then you need to end your relationship. Life is too short to be with someone you makes you miserable, and truth be told, your partner deserves to be with someone who is happy to be with them too!

5. One-Sided Effort

A strong relationship requires both partners’ dedication and hard work. If only one person is putting forth an effort while the other stands idly unbothered, then you cannot move forward in the relationship.

In this situation the committed partner will eventually become exhausted by their unresponsive efforts, and resentful of their uninterested partner.

Remember that you need two sets of helping hands if you want to end up holding hands. It’s crucial that both partners focus on the relationship and tend to the bond they’ve built together.

6. Fighting

Fighting in a relationship is a part of the love game and every couple is bound to experience arguments ranging from mild bickering to explosive, bawling brawls. Having fights every now and then does not signify an unhealthy relationship; it’s a part of human nature and  interaction.

What should raise red flags though is when these fights are so frequent that it becomes surprising when a day goes by without fighting. If fighting becomes the only way a couple communicates, or if they get so nasty that they go far enough to involve verbal or physical abuse, the it’s time to cut the tension and the ties.

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Be sure to watch out for signs of passive-aggressive behaviour such as rude tones or eye rolling; these are often the first steps of fighting. Nobody deserves to be in a negative, draining relationship, and if you find yourself constantly engaged in an inconclusive fight, then take yourself out of the vicious cycle.

7. Fantasizing

If you or your partner find your mind wandering to other people more often than not, then you need to call it a day. Partners are meant to be thinking about each other all the time, not the girl who made their latte or the guy in their yoga class.

When unhappiness creeps into your relationship, with it often comes these thoughts of other people. Many times people fantasize to fill a void in their current relationship, and doing so could help combat feelings of loneliness or low self-esteem.

While fantasizing can be common in relationships, there is a point of no return. If your fantasies become wishful thinking or you start mentally replacing your partner with someone else, then what you’re doing is no longer a harmless act.

In this case you’ve already mentally broken up with your partner, so be fair to both of you and end the relationship.

8. Complaining

If the only words you have to say about your relationship are negative, then it may be time to say goodbye.

It’s normal to vent to your friends or family members about your problems, but if you’re complaining about your partner or the relationship every chance you get, then what’s the point in staying together? No one wants to feel like a lit fuse everyday of their life.

RELATED: How Can I Stop Sabotaging My Relationship?

Take time to reflect on your relationship. If it has changed you from being your happy-go-lucky self to a negative Nancy or Ned, then seriously ask yourself why you’re still hanging on.

9. You Can’t Be Yourself

If the price of being in your relationship means you can’t be who you truly are, then that’s too high a price to pay. This isn’t about making compromises or adapting to create a comfortable lifestyle for you and your partner, this is about dimming your inner light, quieting your voice, or feeling ashamed about being your true self.

Relationships are meant to help you grow into the best version of yourself. If yours makes you feel like you’re playing a role instead of playing yourself, then it’s time to jump ship. Geronimo!


When Is It Time to Say Goodbye?

About Amy North

Amy North is a women's relationship coach and best-selling author from Vancouver, Canada. Her high-acclaimed programs include "Text Chemistry" and "The Devotion System", both of which have helped thousands of women from around the world find (and keep) the man of their dreams.


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  • Great articles Amy. thanks! I was hoping to get some advice from you. I don’t knwo if you’d respond or not but my situation is pretty much everything that you’ve listed here except one. The good in fact, outweighs the bad because we’ve been in a relationship for like forever and had been each other’s bestfirends and we can always count on each other. but we been fightin more often the past few years than ever also and I don’t know why. I think we avoiding each other as well. He spends time with friends and I spend time with mine, but we basically go home to one another and we have a 4 yr. old. Any advice appreciated…

    • Hey Jackie, by the sounds of it you need to spice your relationship up! It’s normal for couples who have been together for a long period of time to go through these phases. To figure out why you have been fighting with each other, sit down and have a chat about it. Explain to your man that you don’t like fighting with him and that you want to get to the bottom of why you do. If you can come together with level heads (which it sounds like you can given your friendship), then you should be able to pinpoint some of the major issues that are causing your arguments. As far as avoiding each other, check out this article to try and make your relationship feel new again. http://www.lovelearnings.com/blog/make-your-relationship-feel-like-it-did-in-the-beginning

  • what if i cnt break up w/ her bcoz she’s suicidal? i’m in a an on/off rel and he threatens to harm himself when i break up :/ help?

    • Suicidal threats are a serious issue that should not be taken lightly. As hard as it may be, next time she makes that threat get her help. Whether that means talking to her family members or calling the police, it’s better to be proactive then to live with regret. Who knows how serious she is about her threats, so you don’t want to risk brushing it off or feeling stuck because of them. I know it’s a hard thing to handle and she may make you feel guilty for “betraying her,” but hang in there, it will get better.

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