When is the Right Time to Walk Away From a Relationship?

by Kate Rose

It seems that for so many of us our time becomes occupied by those almost great loves. The types of relationships that are hard to walk away from because it’s almost right; we’re almost there, we’ve almost made it, or even, we’re almost in love. So how do we know when is the right time to walk away from a relationship?

The reality is though that almost never becomes a reality.

But this is a truth that we struggle with and fight because there is a part of us that wishes we could make it different than it is. So sometimes the years pass, and we suddenly find ourselves in the situation of how to know if it’s time to walk away for good.

See, the reality is that sometimes we marry our “almost’s.”

At times it’s our almost that we settle for, we barter happiness in exchange for getting what we want or what we think we need without realizing that sometimes we’re meant to give up. Love is not always an equal exchange, and while not getting what we want can end up becoming the greatest blessing, the reality is this lesson often needs to be learned the hard way. Regardless of whether we’ve spent a few months dating someone or married over a decade, there are a few telltale signs that it’s time to give up and walk away.

The thing with love or at least the kind of love that so many of us are looking for is that it won’t arrive until we make room for it.

You’ve gone from adoring to tolerating.

You have the belief that no one stays in crazy passionate love forever, yet this is only a lie told by those to make themselves feel more comfortable about their own choices. The truth is that while the honeymoon stage of a relationship can fade, the honeymoon feelings can last if the spark between two people is based on more than the initial first underlying attraction. If you find yourself tolerating quirks, habits or even the preferences of your partner instead of adoring them for who they are then this is the first sign that you are falling out of love with them—or that you already have.

You find yourself compromising your happiness to make it work

Love requires compromise; there is no doubt about that, but it shouldn’t be to the extent that your happiness begins to suffer because of it. If you find yourself cutting away those activities or even people that you before enjoyed or that made up a part of you to somehow cause the relationship work then the reality the relationship is already over.

The kind of relationship that inspires us to become more ourselves and to grow will never actually need us to give up those essential parts of who we are to do so. As adults, we know that we rarely get our way, or least tell ourselves that in an attempt to justify why we aren’t happy. In love, we sometimes think that it’s okay to have to change parts of ourselves to have that relationship. In healthy productive relationships, we’ll never have to change who we are to gain the love of someone else.

You look at sex as a chore.

While we all have different levels and preferences of sexuality, if sex with your partner has become as dutiful and routine as emptying the dishwasher and just as quick then it’s time to start looking at why. Sex is the barometer for our relationships, and as long as we don’t buy into the false norm that after a certain amount of time none of us care about sex, then it will keep being an important part of your relationship.

Whether you have been dating for a few months or you are six months post-partum sex matters, and not just because of climax but because of the importance of grounding the relationship in physical intimacy. If you find yourself passing on sex more often than it probably is time to take a look at why you are physically pushing your partner away.

You find yourself crying more often than smiling.

It may seem like an obvious one, but it seems that sometimes when we are in relationships so deep, we become more obsessed with making it work than actually stepping back and stopping to consider if we even should. No relationship is perfect all the time, but there should be more good times than bad.

There should be more times that make you smile than induce tears, anxiety, arguments or even apathy. If you find yourself playing on your phone, creating Pinterest boards rather than cuddling watching a movie or jumping in the shower to surprise your lover it might be time to stop and start considering why. Not every relationship has to last, and in reality, the majority of our relationships don’t, but they can teach us something, not about love but ourselves as well.

Our romantic relationships mirror where we each are at in our own lives.

If we have trouble believing we are deserving of love, then we will end up pursuing someone whom it seems like we’re begging for love from. If we lack self-confidence, then we will attract someone who will make us feel like less than ourselves. Likewise, if we are self-secure and committed to learning about ourselves, then we will draw someone mutually curious and respectful.

Life is all about growing and expanding so, that is the purpose of our relationships. No one wants a relationship to end, whether it’s because you’ve been on a few fun dates or because you share children with someone. But the truth is often the moment we consider if we should give up and walk away is the moment we already have. We won’t be doomed in love because of one, two or even three failed relationships; but you will be if you don’t believe that you deserve better.

Because sometimes giving up and walking away, is what choosing our happiness is all about.

Kate Rose

about the author

Kate Rose

Kate Rose is an artist, free thinker, lover, writer, passionate yogi, teacher, and mother. She wakes each morning with the excitement of a new day waiting to unfold at her feet. She believes the best is yet to come and waits, with bated breath, to see what it may hold. 

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Marty SAYS:

This was a wonderful article. I just got done crying my eyes out because I was missing a guy I had broken it off with a month ago. We were together eight years, but I must say half of that time, I was itching to go…but kept staying because there were some really good things. That was hard…because there was a lot of good…it almost seemed crazy to go. There were some heavy duty things, though, that would not change. Lack of attention on his part and quick to anger. I did not even really realize it until I did a google search on “am I too sensitive? too emotional? too angry? etc.” What came up was “you are not crazy, but you might be with a Covert (introverted) Narcissist.” That hammer hit the nail right on the head! How could I have been so insecure? How could I have let this go on for so long? My friends had even told me that my happiness had diminished over the past two years. I lost my zest. I did. NOW…I am almost 59 and feeling really sad, and sick about the whole thing. I see the happy couple photos of my couple friends on FB…and it just makes me cry. I feel so stupid for staying…for so long. I am not stupid, but I guess I just thought that ALL relationships have to deal with stuff and compromise. I also grew up in an alcoholic home (father), so the first 8 years of my life was insane (plus years after that during his recovery)…I read that it is not uncommon for adult children of alcoholics to fall into a covert narcissists hands (they are very subtle). I also realized that much of what I was feeling in this relationship was a crazy feeling I had when growing up. It was very very familiar, and not in a good way. This article makes me feel better about my decision to leave. I had become accustomed to having a partner to do things with and to mutually count on. I don’t want “almost” good enough…just to not be alone. Thanks again for helping me feel better. Marty

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