We often believe that relationships end when one or two people have fallen out of love or when something happens to force the couple apart. But two people often part ways for reasons other than falling out of love. Making the decision to end a relationship with someone you still love can be one of the most gut-wrenching and confusing situations to experience.
How do you know when it’s time to walk away, even if you’re still in love?
1. The other person has some soul-searching to do.
Relationships can have a heavy impact on our ability to discover who we are, what our dreams look like, who we want to be, and what’s important to us. If we feel lost when we fall in love, our identity can become significantly influenced by the other person. We all learn about ourselves from others, but building the roots of our identity in another person sets us up for catastrophe when the relationship ends. If you’re with someone who lacks direction or self-awareness, it may be best to let him navigate that journey on his own.
2. You’re not yet ready for commitment.
You can’t force yourself to be ready to be with someone. There is a multitude of reasons why you might not feel ready to commit. Do both yourself and the other person a favor by calling it quits. Staying with someone even when you don’t feel ready to be with them will cause more pain for you, and especially for your partner, in the long run. Only you can decide what it means to be “ready.” But it’ll be clear to you if you’re not quite there.
3. Either you or the other person significantly lacks self-love.
A relationship can quickly become unhealthy if one or both people in it don’t genuinely love themselves. Not loving oneself can easily turn into not feeling good enough. If your S.O. doesn’t feel good enough for you, he will consistently seek opportunities for validation which can be exhausting for both of you and put unneeded pressure on your relationship.
4. The timing isn’t right.
If timing feels off, that’s because it probably is. One of the most difficult realities to face is finding the “perfect” person for you at the wrong time. You may initially feel like you can force time to meet your demands, but time has its own agenda and forcing it to meet yours will likely be disastrous for the relationship.
5. You’re not being treated with love.
Honey, it’s as simple as this – there is no amount of loneliness or sadness that is worse than being treated poorly by someone you love. You deserve more, and being alone is better than being someone’s target of ridicule.
6. Your paths are headed in different directions.
Maybe you and your love met at the perfect time, but now you’re coming to a crossroads. It’s not fair to expect your partner to change his plans to stay with you, and it’s not fair for him to ask the same of you. If your paths are diverging, that doesn’t mean they won’t cross again in the future. But for now, trust that there are valuable lessons and opportunities for growth on your new path that don’t include your S.O.
7. You feel called toward something else.
If you feel like there is something you’re meant to do with your life that you don’t see yourself fulfilling because of your current relationship, it’s best to let go. A healthy relationship will support you in all your endeavors and will make space for you to flourish without restrictions. Confinement and expectations are not requirements for a beautiful relationship. In fact, they can be detrimental to it. If you let go of dreams because you want to hold on to someone you love, it may come back to haunt you.
8. You cannot communicate for the life of you.
Communication is one of the most important ingredients of a sustainable relationship. If you and your love are struggling to communicate despite efforts to improve those lines of communication, it may be time to walk away. Poor communication in a relationship can lead to a mountain of confusion, pain, and anger. You can have arguments every day and still be in a healthy relationship if you and your partner are able to communicate through those differences.
9. You’re unsure about everything in your life, including your relationship.
If you’re struggling to make decisions about anything in your life, it could be a sign that (going back to number one) you need to do some soul-searching. Just as it’s not reasonable to expect your partner to stay with you through a rollercoaster of self-reflection, it’s also not realistic for him to expect the same of you. Soul-searching requires a considerable amount of energy and intention, and that journey is often best traveled alone.
10. Every day you second guess if you’re in the right relationship.
Questioning if you should be with someone that you love can be a very confusing and painful experience. You may think, ”Well I love him, so of course I should be with him.” But you can love someone dearly and still accept that you might not be soulmates. If you find your mind wandering to thoughts like, ”Is this a healthy relationship for me to be in?” chances are your intuition is trying to tell you something.
It can be incredibly difficult to walk away from someone you still love, but if the relationship is meant to be it will find its way back to itself. Walking away from someone you love doesn’t mean that you have failed or that the relationship is over forever. It means that you love the other person enough to know that other things must happen in order for the relationship to potentially become what it is capable of becoming in the long run.
Relationships naturally endure highs and lows, positives and negatives, and you don’t need to call it quits at the faintest sign of struggle. If you’re wondering whether or not you should leave someone you love, chances are you’ve been weighing the decision for a while now. In the end, no one else can claim what’s best for you, that is entirely your decision. If you decided to leave someone you love, trust your intuition and courageously and lovingly let that person go.