Relationships are complicated, and very often, you will find yourself on a roller coaster ride.
With so many ups and downs, you can’t help but wonder, “Should I hold on, or is it time to let go?”
You may love and care for them deeply, but how do you know when it’s time to walk away from someone you love?
Let’s dig deeper and look at 21 red flags in a relationship that will indicate when to walk away from a relationship.
Is It Okay To Walk Away From A Relationship?
Sometimes, even after being together for years, love can fade away. Your priorities may change, and you may also find the relationship to be physically and mentally exhausting. If this is how you feel, then it is okay to walk away from the relationship.
For a relationship to succeed, it takes equal participation from both partners. Here are some indications that your relationship can work:
- Your partner has started making more efforts.
- The communication has improved.
- You are spending more quality time with each other.
- You are respecting each other’s boundaries
- Your emotional bond has improved.
21 Signs It Is Time To Walk Away From A Relationship
Below are the signs you should look for and decide whether you should walk away from a relationship.
1. Your Relationship Is Abusive
Abuse in a relationship can be physical, sexual, or emotional. With physical abuse, there is tangible evidence to prove, but emotional abuse could be hard to identify. Most of the time, partners don’t even realize that they are being emotionally abused.
If your partner constantly threatens or emotionally blackmails you, then these could be signs of emotional abuse. They may also stonewall you to avoid difficult conversations, which can feel like abandonment.
Most of the time, it is difficult to leave an emotionally abusive relationship as it might go unrecognized, or you feel that this is what you deserve. During this time, it is important to recognize the pattern and be brave enough to walk away from the relationship even if you love them.
2. There Is No Mutual Trust And Respect
Trust and respect are important pillars of a long-lasting relationship. A relationship can not survive on love alone. Usually, lack of respect is because you have trust issues and you do not trust your partner fully.
Lack of trust and respect can give rise to feelings of anger, shame, and resentment. It can affect your self-esteem and make it difficult to handle conflicts. Mutual trust is essential to building a secure relationship, and not trusting your partner can lead to unwanted negative feelings towards them.
If your partner is constantly breaking your trust and disrespecting you, you should consider walking away from the relationship, as no relationship can thrive without trust and respect.
3. Lack Of Physical Intimacy
Studies have shown that one of the most common causes of divorce is a lack of physical intimacy. It can help increase happiness and overall satisfaction in a relationship.
If your relationship lacks physical intimacy, it can lead to more loneliness, and your self-esteem might take a hit. Physical touch is an important factor in the longevity of relationships. It helps create closeness with your partner.
Lack of physical intimacy can increase disconnection, which can affect the emotional bond with your partner as well. You may also find yourself arguing more than usual, which can increase distress in the relationship.
4. There Is A Lack Of Communication
Poor communication with your partner can lead to increased conflicts, misunderstandings, and emotional distance. This can lead to developing a negative image of your partner.
The lack of communication could be caused by a variety of reasons. For instance, maybe they are bored or too stressed with work. It could also be due to some past traumatic experiences.
Communication is something that can be easily improved by being more attentive and actively listening. If you still find a lack of communication, then maybe you should consider letting go of the relationship.
5. You Don’t Feel Like Yourself Anymore
It is common to get lost in a relationship. At the start, when the connection is new and exciting, you love to spend time with each other. But if you gradually lose your identity in the relationship, you start being co-dependent on your partner.
Usually, the signs of losing yourself are subtle in the start and difficult to recognize. You will find spending all your time with them, and there is no ‘me’ time.
You slowly start giving up on your hobbies. You are no longer doing things you enjoyed when you were single. You are always doing what your partner likes, hanging out at places that they prefer, eating what they want, and always meeting their friends.
You can be overly involved in your partner’s life, and there is no space in the relationship. You might eventually not even have your own opinion and hardly have a life outside the relationship.
All these could be signs that you are losing yourself, and it is time to walk away from the relationship.
6. Your Core Values Are Not Aligned
When your core values are not aligned, a relationship can feel complicated. Your core values are what is important to you and what forms your identity,
If your core values are not aligned with your partner, it can increase conflicts in your relationship, and for a successful romantic relationship, your core values need to be in alignment with your partner.
Shared core values determine the compatibility of your relationship. Your core values could be trust, communication, validation, family, religion, respect, equality, finance, or growth. If you feel that core values are not aligned with your partner, then maybe this relationship is not right for you.
7. Unresolved Conflicts In Your Relationship
Unresolved conflicts or issues can increase the stress in your relationship. If you are having the same fights over and over again, it could be because of some unresolved conflicts in your relationship.
These unprocessed issues over an extended period can create resentment towards your partner, which can lead to serious damage to the relationship.
Unresolved conflicts can also create an emotional distance between you and your partner, thus weakening the bond. If this is something that you are not able to work through with your partner, then it may be best to walk away as it can create further resentment towards them.
8. There Is A Lack Of Emotional Connection
Emotional connection can be described as closeness or connection with your partner. It is an important essence to build healthy long-term relationships. Feeling seen, heard, validated, and empathetic form the foundation for creating an emotional connection with your partner.
Your partner may be uncomfortable dealing with emotions, and you may find them being more distant. Emotional unavailability from your partner can prevent you from creating a deep bond with them.
With a lack of emotional intimacy, you can feel lonely and not understood in a relationship. If you find your partner not trying to connect emotionally and create a deeper bond, maybe it’s time to walk away from the relationship.
9. You Do Not Find Them Attractive Anymore
Sometimes, in long-term relationships, you may find yourself not being attracted to your partner anymore. This could be caused by multiple reasons, like lack of physical and emotional intimacy, long-term resentments, or simply lack of effort.
When you get comfortable in a stable relationship, it can get boring, and this is when you may start losing interest. Making an effort to rekindle the spark or going to a couples therapy or a sex therapist can help rebuild intimacy and attraction.
Rebuilding the attraction requires equal commitment from both partners and if you feel that your partner is not as committed as you are, then maybe it is best to leave the relationship.
10. They Do Not Support Your Career Goals
It can be very challenging when your partner does not support your career goals in life. Sometimes, this could be cause they are intimidated by your success. Providing emotional support and empathizing are important aspects of a relationship, and if your partner is not supporting your goal, you can easily develop feelings of resentment towards them.
It often comes down to priorities and what is non-negotiable for you. If your career is your priority and you feel unsupported by your partner, then you may want to choose your career over your partner.
11. You Feel Stressed All The Time
Higher levels of external stress in a relationship can lead to more dissatisfaction. If you are constantly feeling stressed in your relationship, it could be mainly because you feel disconnected and not supported by your partner.
External stress can easily spill over in your relationship, and you may feel distant and withdrawn from your partner. Some relationship stress is normal, but when this stress starts showing physical and mental symptoms with no scope for improvement, then you need to understand it’s time to walk away from the relationship.
These physical and mental symptoms of chronic stress from your relationship can show up as anxiety, depression, increased acne, digestive issues, difficulty sleeping, loss of sexual desire, and difficulty concentrating on work.
Also read: 10 Things You Can Do To Manage Stress
12. Your Boundaries Are Not Respected
Establishing boundaries in a relationship can make you feel secure and protected; they are key to forming healthy relationships. Respecting your partner’s boundaries can be an easy way to develop trust in a relationship.
When your partner constantly violates these boundaries, you may find it difficult to trust them. Violating boundaries can look like them not validating your feelings and mocking you for being overdramatic. They might guilt trip you for setting boundaries in the first place.
If you find your partner repeatedly crossing your boundaries even after you have communicated with them, it is time to move on from your relationship.
13. You Are Constantly Being Criticized
If you are constantly being criticized in a relationship, you may feel demoralized. It could also mean that your core values and perspectives don’t align. There are fewer positive interactions, and slowly, you start feeling disconnected.
You could try creating healthy boundaries and communicate how much it hurts you, but if you do not see any change in their behavior, it can leave you judging your worthiness over time.
14. You Don’t Consult With Each Other Before Making Big Decisions
When someone sees their relationship as something serious, they consult with each other before making big decisions. It shows that your partner respects your opinion.
A successful relationship is a partnership between two people, and if your partner doesn’t involve you in making decisions, it is simply because they don’t care enough. Consulting before making any decision is also a sign that your partner trusts you.
So, if you are not consulting each other before making big decisions, there could be some serious problems in your relationship.
15. They Put You Down In Front Of Others
When your partner constantly puts you down in front of their friends and family, it is a form of disrespect. They may do that to establish dominance in the relationship.
Being publicly humiliated by someone you love should not be acceptable. For a long-lasting, happy relationship, mutual respect is important, and if they are insulting you in front of their loved ones, it could mean that they do not respect you enough.
16. They Are Always Jealous
Some forms of jealousy can have positive effects on a relationship, but when left unchecked, it can quickly become toxic. Your partner may be jealous because they may feel insecure or they have unrealistic expectations of the relationship.
If they constantly question you about your whereabouts or keep an eye on you, it can become quite exhausting and may create permanent damage to your relationship.
17. You Are Constantly Thinking Of Breaking Up
If you find yourself constantly thinking of breaking up, then this could be cause you are genuinely not happy in your relationship. You constantly feel on the edge, and you are stressed most of the time.
You may also feel that you are not being able to give your best to the relationship. It may be your past traumas or personal issues that could be getting in the way and preventing you from moving forward in your relationship.
For a successful romantic relationship, you need to have a great relationship with yourself first, and if this is something that you are lacking, then it is best to break up and take some time to work on yourself.
18. You Feel Unseen And Unheard In Your Relationship
When you feel unseen or unheard by your partner, you can quickly start feeling lonely and unloved. Sometimes, you can give your partner the benefit of the doubt as they might not mean to neglect you and could be caught up with work or other personal issues.
But if your partner does not seem to prioritize you ever, gets annoyed, and accuses you of being too needy, it could be a sign that they might be emotionally unavailable. In such cases, the chances of the relationship to flourish are quite low.
19. Your Partner Has Cheated On You
Cheating in a relationship is something that is serious and can cause a lot of mistrust and resentment in a relationship.
You should walk away from the relationship if your partner has cheated on you and is unapologetic about it or never accepts their mistake. If they keep repeating the same mistake again and again, they cannot be trusted.
In the end, you need to look for signs that they have changed and are willing to work on your relationship.
20. They Are Gaslighting You
Gaslighting is a form of emotional manipulation by your partner that can make you question your reality. Your partner can use gaslighting as a way to gain control and power in the relationship.
You may find that your partner is always dismissive of your feelings, and they never apologize after hurting you. You may have lost your ability to think clearly and rationalize effectively. Such a situation can be very toxic, and it’s better to walk away from the relationship.
21. Your Partner Never Talks About The Future
If you find yourself never discussing the future together, then maybe it is because they don’t see one with you. When your partner sees a future with you, they make plans and talk about it often. They want you to meet their friends and family and are ready to commit.
If you see them avoiding this topic or if they are saying upfront that they don’t see a future with you, then there is no point fighting about it or making them believe that you could have a great future together. It is better to accept the fact and move on rather than being hurt and disappointed.
Being in a relationship should not be a constant struggle of hoping for them to change. Sometimes, it can be hard to understand if your relationship is undergoing a rough patch or if it is just toxic. Your emotions can cloud your judgment and make it difficult to make a decision.
You may even avoid breaking up cause you are scared of being single again. It may not be easy as you care for them and have great memories with them, but if your relationship has real issues, you should not be ignoring them.
To make the best decision, take some time out to just be with yourself and try talking to a loved one or a therapist.
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