1. You cannot recognize yourself anymore.
Your relationship gets to the point where you cannot recognize yourself anymore. You struggle to admit that you are a walking mess. You are this huge combination of squiggly lines trying to figure out what you actually liked to do in your spare time or what it actually means to be uniquely you. You ask yourself, “Was I a different person before I was with him? Was it for the better or for the worse?”
2. You constantly think about the past so you can avoid thinking about the present.
It comes late in the middle of the night just when you’re trying to nod off. You’d think about the happy times you had together, the little jokes and quirks only the two of you understood. You don’t necessarily yearn for the person to be with you now. You yearn to have things as they were, before everything became so complicated and someone decided to call it quits.
It’s time to let go when you are more in love with your memories than the person standing right in front of you.
3. You can’t imagine telling your future child the whole story of your relationship.
Ask yourself this: What would you say if you had children in the future and one day your nine-year-old asks you, “Mom! How did you and dad meet?”
Oh, actually, your father and I were together for a very long time; it was an on-and-off relationship. We were together for a year or two until he cheated with some other woman. So I gave him time to get his act together and we still dated without the relationship label. I was devastated but I held onto him. He decided to cheat again, but I forgave him almost four times before we made the commitment to get married.
Sure, the exceptional couples do get married through forgiving and letting go of a relationship’s wrongdoings over and over again. But I’ve been fooled twice, so shame on me.
4. You feel disrespected.
Disrespect comes in all sorts of ways. It can be a subtle, behind-your-back rumor, it can be a breach of trust, and it can even be when saying “no” is used as a weapon against you, striking guilt and fear into your heart. Quickly and swiftly.
Ladies, remember this: Your body, your rules. We are considered prudes for saying “no,” and we are devalued if we say “yes.” Don’t ever feel guilty for saying “no” to a man who wants nothing more than your body.
Even if you love him, let him leave. There is no value in keeping such a man; the door should be left open to those whose intentions are not here to stay. There is nothing more disrespectful than being expected to give in, to be somebody’s go-to person when they’re bored. Respect and love yourself enough to realize that.
5. You cannot imagine a future with him or her.
The once brightly lit idea of a future with them becomes bleak and dull. Opening yourself to love makes you vulnerable and alters your expectations. But this time, even your lowest expectations of your relationship isn’t met. You can’t imagine your life being like this for the next twenty years, let alone hauling the potential emotional baggage of the next forty years.
This time, the clarity comes when forgiveness has lost its effect and understanding ceases to exist.
That is when you know you are done, when you realize it’s time to let go.