How to Know When to Leave a Relationship

Knowing when it’s time to leave a relationship is difficult because it’s not just the relationship you’re leaving, it’s a way of life. You’re leaving a mindset, a way of being.

Leaving a relationship is about transitioning from one state of mind to another. You’re starting fresh in life, and you don’t know where this new beginning will take you.

What if breaking up is the wrong choice? That’s the difficult part about trying to figure out if you should leave a relationship. Is it better to stay or go?

These questions will help you know if it’s time to leave your relationship. They’re from Kevin Thompson, who writes about breakups and reconciliation on his blog. He’s also the author of The Unbreakup Guide.

Knowing if You Should Leave a Relationship

What do you do when you feel like the relationship you have invested so much time and energy in is not the right one for you? What do you do if you feel like your relationship isn’t working but you are still in love with your partner? This situation is more common than you might think.

People who have already invested so much time in a relationship tend to invest more time even if the relationship is making them miserable. They start comparing the pros and cons of staying with their partner. But the fact that they love their partner makes them confused about how to know when to leave a relationship.

The key to getting out of this relationship ambivalence is to start thinking about whether your relationship can be cured. Instead of comparing the good vs. bad, think about if your relationship can be improved to your satisfaction. Do you feel it can’t be fixed? That’s how to know when to leave a relationship.

If you decide not to leave your partner, make sure you genuinely believe there is hope for your relationship. Don’t try to convince yourself just because you think you’re in love!

Questions to help you decide when to leave

Were you ever happy in your relationship?

Was your relationship ever as good as you hoped it would be? Or are you just holding on to the hope that some time in the future you will have the relationship you always wanted? If it’s the latter, then you are just fooling yourself into wasting more time with your partner. It’s better to end it and start transitioning from marriage to divorce.

Did your partner hit you more than once?

Everyone is allowed one mistake. But if your partner hit you on more than one occasion, then you’ve got yourself a deal breaker – and that’s how you know if you should leave a relationship). There is no reason to wait around because they are probably going to do it again.

If your partner is hitting you, read How to Leave an Abusive Relationship.

Is your partner willing to communicate?

If you have a communication problem, it can be fixed. But what can’t be fixed is the will of your partner to not communicate. Is there something that you really want to talk about but your partner is not even willing to consider discussing it? If your partner doesn’t care about you enough to discuss the things that matter to you, then you have a relationship that can’t be fixed and you should consider leaving it.

Are you waiting for your partner to change?

Do you want different things in life (kids, marriage, career)? Are you secretly hoping that the beliefs and wants of your partner will change if you stay with them long enough? If your partner has different life goals in life, then it’s better for you to end the relationship as soon as possible. It’s better to break up rather than stay – even if you’re worried about having enough  money to leave your relationship.

Is your partner capable of change?

Is something about your partner making you want to leave the relationship? Something like their drug addiction, alcohol addiction, anger problem? Do they always tell you they’ll try to change but always go back to their old ways? If so, then you have to accept that it’s possible that they are not capable of changing. It will be better for you to leave the relationship than stay trapped in the cycle for the rest of your life.

Help for Breakups

How to Know When to Leave a Relationship Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship by Mira Kirshenbaum.

How to Let Go of Someone You Love.

About the author: Kevin Thompson often tells people how to get an ex back. But somewhere along the way, many of them realize that they are better off ending the relationship. To connect with Kevin, go to

how to know when to leave

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2 comments On How to Know When to Leave a Relationship

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    Good post. I know it is hard for people to acknowledge the time when they must leave a relationship even with the red flags staring at them. They are afraid to leave to be alone. However it is good to put this out there as it will make those who are needing to leave a bad relationship dig in and face things!

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    I had always believed that yes, it’s better to be alone than to be with someone that’s not right for you. My last BF was an alcoholic, and he was abusive and unwilling to change. Even though I was tired of being single, I had no hesitation to break up with him!

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