I know we’ve all seen those romance movies where couples power through any and all obstacles countless times. They find a way to stay together no matter what.
The message is always the same: nothing can conquer the power of love!
But here’s the thing:
Love might be unconditional, but relationships aren’t.
So, if you feel like you’re staying in a toxic, unhealthy relationship just because you love your partner, it’s time to reconsider that statement.
Here are ten big signs that the relationship is just out of repair—and that it’s time to break up.
1) You fantasize about how your relationship improves
Except that it just never happens. You’re just convinced that the relationship will eventually be better!
Do you find yourself telling yourself these things?
- I know they’ll eventually be more appreciative and affectionate;
- They’ll have more time for me when they finish school;
- We’ll have more intimacy when we move in together;
- I know they’ll step up once we’re married.
The thing is, you probably don’t have concrete, actionable steps toward achieving your goal. You likely don’t have a timeline in mind for these things, either.
They just have a vague idea that their partner will change for the better when something else in their life happens or changes.
Sure, it’s technically possible.
But trust me, change can only happen if people actually want to change.
If your partner does not want to change, don’t count on them to change.
It would be best if you did not use some unsure, hypothetical future as the basis for staying in a relationship. What matters is the here and now.
2) Your needs and wants aren’t getting fulfilled
No relationship is perfect. You’re not always going to get everything you want in the manner you want.
But if it’s the fundamental needs in question? If it’s big wants that aren’t being met? If there are core incompatibilities?
This is perhaps the biggest sign that this relationship just isn’t working.
It’s definitely a problem if:
- Your emotional needs aren’t being met;
- You have incompatible values;
- They don’t put in the effort to love you with your love language;
- You have different visions of the future—things like marriage, kids, and careers.
Ask yourself: can you stay with this person for the rest of your life if your greatest needs and wants aren’t fulfilled?
Of course, if you really love this person, then you’ll try to compromise or work around things. But sometimes, there’s just nothing you can do.
You know, I’m the kind of person who exhausts all the options before calling it quits. Last time I had struggles in my relationship, I stumbled upon a resource where I could get professional help.
And while I’m a bit skeptical about getting help from the outside, I felt like I wanted to give it a try. I was mostly interested because this was a way for me to tackle my specific relationship issues without having to look for a therapist. The website is designed in a way that you are offered a specialist based on your unique request.
Relationship Hero is the resource that offers you help of the experienced coaches who can help you with addictions, sex problems, past traumas, or current relationship issues you may face.
My coach was really kind and compassionate, they took the time to really understand my unique situation and gave genuinely helpful advice.
They guided me to a better understanding of the situation and helped to see it in the new light.
3) You always fight
Arguments are an inevitable and even necessary component of relationships. It’s one of the main ways you can discuss and solve the problems you face as a couple.
As a result, you’ll understand each other better and become even closer.
And this is a big but…
This is only true if your arguments are constructive and productive.
Whenever you argue, are you:
- Focused on finding solutions?
- Still respectful to each other?
- Making progress towards solving the problem?
- Able to get closer over time?
I hope the answer is yes. Because if not, then this is a huge sign that the relationship has run its course.
If your arguments consistently devolve into shouting matches and insults, all while doing nothing to solve your problems, it’s probably time to break up.
Constantly fighting like this is draining and will gradually suck out the love you once had for your partner. Additionally, it’s also likely a sign that there are fundamental incompatibilities between the two of you if you’re unable to resolve your issues.
On the flip side, some couples don’t argue at all. They choose to brush the issues under the rug instead. This is just as bad because you’re not putting in the work to actually be better partners for each other.
You should be able to talk to your partner sincerely and openly about difficult topics. That’s a sign of a healthy relationship that’s worth keeping.
4) Your partner only loves and supports you when you’re happy
It’s easy to love someone when they’re happy and at their best. And I understand that we also often feel pressured to put our best foot forward, particularly during the early days of dating.
But eventually, life will kick in.
You’ll get a bad day…
You’ll get sick…
You might grieve over a loved one’s death…
You might be gripped by debilitating depression or anxiety…
Loving someone only during the good times is not love—that’s infatuation. Because loving someone’s good side exclusively or only during happy times means loving not the person but an idealized version of them.
A partner worth keeping is a partner who will love and support you even more during the bad times. After all, life isn’t perfect, and neither are we.
If you can’t open up to your partner about your darkest emotions or rely on them for support during the toughest of times, then they’re not the one for you.
5) You don’t feel fulfilled
Every person has a different idea of what a fulfilling relationship feels like.
Someone might require constant quality time together while another person may want a lower-maintenance relationship so they can focus on their career.
Either way, you need to find someone that fits your preferences. Someone that fulfills your needs and wants and loves you the way you want to be loved.
Of course, if a partner is not fulfilling you, you need to communicate with them constructively and tell them how they can love you better. But sometimes, no matter what you do, they just stay the same, and you remain unfulfilled.
There’s no reason to stay in such a relationship. Yet, many people still do because they’re afraid of not finding someone better.
But here’s the catch, okay?
You’re not going to find someone “better”—because “better” implies that what you have now is good. But it’s not good.
Stop wasting your time and energy. Find someone good—specifically, someone good for you.
6) Your sex life is dead
Physical intimacy may not be everything in a relationship, but it’s still one of its biggest pillars.
If you never feel like having sex with your partner—or worse, actually feeling repulsed by even the mere idea—something is deeply wrong with your relationship.
Of course, sexual dry spells are normal and common. Life can get busy, and the honeymoon period is over.
But ask yourself sincerely: are you still physically attracted to your partner? Do you still desire them sexually? Is the fire still alive?
At the end of the day, mutual attraction and a healthy, mutually-satisfying sex life is key to keeping the flame alive in the relationship.
And it’s not even just about sex. Do you still like kissing your partner? Or cuddling with them? If not, then it’s a really, really bad sign.
If you’re not physically affectionate with your partner anymore, it’s likely because of one or a mix of these three reasons:
- You’ve lost attraction for your partner or vice-versa;
- Other problems in the relationship have killed your sex drive;
- You’re not willing to put in the effort to reconnect physically.
Any combination of these reasons warrants considering a breakup.
7) You turn to other people with your needs
Because your partner isn’t fulfilling your needs, you might be looking to other people to meet them. And no, we’re not just talking about cheating.
- Talk to other people about your problems because you feel like you can’t open up to your partner?
- Always prefer to spend your free time with other people instead of your partner?
- Find yourself desiring other people?
What’s important to understand here is that if you’re doing these things, you’ve practically given up on the relationship already.
You’re not trying to fix or improve things anymore because… well, maybe you’re tired of trying to no avail.
You’re doing this because you know deep inside there’s no point in keeping the relationship. So follow your gut.
8) You don’t trust each other
This is a big one. Also an overlooked problem too.
How can you claim that you love someone if you don’t trust them? Trust is absolutely crucial to any functioning relationship.
Of course, some uncertainty, insecurity, or even jealousy is normal, especially in newer relationships. But if you find yourself constantly on edge around your partner because there’s a lack of trust, something is definitely wrong.
It will all begin with little questions. Then these questions grow into serious doubts and even attempts to control them:
- You demand access to their phone;
- You need to know where they are all the time;
- You try to limit their interaction with other people;
- You feel the need to micromanage them.
These can’t be fun or fulfilling for either of you.
9) You dread envisioning a future with them
I’d say that this is probably the biggest but subtlest of all.
If you can’t envision a future with them without your heart falling down your gut and breaking out into a cold sweat, then they’re just not the one for you.
If you can’t imagine a future with them, then it’s simple: you really don’t have a future with them.
All of the other signs I’ve listed down below explicitly point to the fact that your relationship, well… kinda sucks.
But this scenario can happen even if the relationship isn’t bad at all.
- There are incompatibilities that seem minor on paper but are just a pain to deal with in practice;
- You just outgrow each other;
- You want different things out of life;
- It really is an “it’s not you, it’s me” kind of thing.
And while that is an absolute bummer, you can take comfort in the fact that neither of you didn’t really do anything wrong.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s absolutely normal to have some doubts about whether you see yourself marrying this person or spending the rest of your life with them.
But if this feeling is constant or intense—or worse, both—then it’s truly a sign that the relationship has run its course.
Let the relationship go and allow both you and your partner to find somebody else they can have a true “happily ever after” with.
10) The only time you feel secure is when you’re physically together
A truly happy and healthy relationship has its foundations in mutual comfort and trust. This means feeling secure about the relationship regardless if you’re together or apart (from whenever they’re just out drinking or you’re in a long-distance) relationship.
If you can’t help but feel abandoned, insecure, or anxious if you’re not physically together or constantly messaging each other, then this could be a sign of a whole host of problems.
However, in my experience, this generally happens because of these things:
Firstly, you could have an anxious attachment style. This makes it difficult for you to be alone and away from the people you love. If you think this might be the case for you, I highly suggest talking to a therapist, relationship coach, or any mental health professional.
Either that or your partner gives you reasons to feel insecure all the time. For example, have they cheated on you before?
You should also note that both could be true. You could have an anxious attachment style…but you’re still doing the work to deal with it in a healthy manner—it’s just that your partner keeps doing this that directly goes against your attachment style. This is not a good sign; they are essentially hurting you by continuing to do so.
Another reason might be that your anxious attachment style blinds you from the fact that the relationship is (far) less than optimal or even just healthy.
While it’s ultimately your responsibility and not your partner’s to deal with your attachment style, a truly loving and supporting one will still try to help you with it. That’s a relationship worth keeping.
11) Your partner isn’t even trying
Remember that love alone can’t sustain a relationship—you really need to work for it.
In fact, I’d argue that putting in the effort is the biggest sign of love.
Has it been—oh, I don’t know, a year?—and you still haven’t his friends and family? (Even if they live like five minutes away?)
Do they still hide the fact that they’re taken on social media? Have they never invited you to a night out or a party? And even if you’ve told them repeatedly, do they still keep doing the same things that annoy you without any sign of them trying to change?
If they’re not even trying, then they’re not even loving. I firmly, firmly believe that. So leave.
12) You’re being abused
Abuse—of any kind—is the biggest red flag out there. It’s a sign that you should leave the relationship ASAP.
By abusing you, they’re not just being a less-than-ideal partner… they’re being an absolutely shitty person.
I know leaving a relationship, even one with an abuser, is easier said than done.
In a 2015 survey from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it was found that about 25% of women and around 10% of women have experienced intimate partner violence.
As we can see, abuse is, unfortunately, quite common in relationships.
Despite this, A 2010 study conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health discovered that up 50% of the women included in the survey perceived their partners as “highly dependable” even if they were abusive. And even one in five of them reported that they saw “significant positive traits” in them.
Other factors, such as co-dependency, violence, and extortion, also make it harder for victims to leave their abusers.
So I know that leaving an abusive relationship isn’t that easy. But please remember that it’s still absolutely necessary for your safety and well-being.
13) You’re on different pages financially
As sad as it is, money really does matter.
I’ve come to realize that financial problems will eventually come to bite you regardless of how much you love each other.
In fact, it’s probably one of the biggest things that gradually eat away at a couple’s love for one another.
It’s absolutely necessary to determine if you have the same financial priorities in life before committing to them in any way. As a couple, you need to know if you agree on how you’ll earn, spend, save, and divide finances in the relationship.
Will you save up for a house or travel the world? Do you want to focus on your career and earn as much money as you can, or do you want to relax a little more in life? How will you divide financial costs?
You need to talk about these things if you really see yourself in a serious relationship with this person. Communication is key, yeah?
Plus, financial responsibility is a big sign of emotional maturity too. (And you wouldn’t want to be with an emotionally immature person, right?)
- Spends more on wants than needs;
- Spends more than what they can actually spend;
- Lets debts pile up;
- Refuses to think about the future.
…will cause a lot of frustration and resentment down the line. Trust me, I’ve been there.
How to cope after a breakup
Breakups are hard—and often messy too.
Even if you split up amicably, you’re bound to experience a chaotic mix of emotions:
Positive ones like relief and excitement for the future. But also negative ones like grief, confusion, and even regret.
Nothing will completely spare you from the pain of a breakup. But these tips should make it just a little bit easier to pick up the pieces and move forward.
Get some space
You need space and time apart—and I mean completely apart—from each other after your breakup. Yes, even if you broke up peacefully and planned to remain friends.
You need to be alone for a considerable amount of time. For the duration of your relationship, your life was partially defined by another person. You need to take the time to find and focus on yourself once again.
So don’t meet up with them or even text them until you feel like you’ve completely moved on. In fact, if you really do want to remain friends, your friendship will be so much better if you only start talking after you’ve fully healed on your own.
Don’t bottle your emotions
Now isn’t the time for stoicism.
Now is the time for emotional catharsis and inner healing. So if you need to sob your eyes out or yell into the ether, then go do it!
As long as you’re not hurting yourself or anybody else, then do whatever it takes for you to release and process all your emotions.
Don’t rush it or think you don’t need it. You’ll only sabotage yourself by depriving yourself of a proper cry or a proper conversation with a friend—or a proper anything! Really, whatever you need.
Breakups are already hard, so don’t be hard on yourself too.
One of the best ways to move on? Have fun!
It’s absolutely painful to know that one of your biggest sources of happiness is now gone, so you need to find joy in other things. Remember that life has a lot to offer, so go out there and explore.
Travel, hang out with friends, reconnect with old hobbies, treat yourself to a fancy restaurant or spa…
Again, do whatever makes you happy!
I once went to a haunted house after a breakup. That place scared me half to death, and I almost cried at one point. Embarrassing, I know.
But that’s the thing: it’s important to be spontaneous and silly! Go out there and remind yourself that life is just as beautiful even without your ex-partner.
Before you leave this article (and maybe your partner too)
I want you to know that, for the most part, I’m talking in broad strokes in this article. Ultimately, you have the freedom to choose. So regardless of what I said, you have the right and the power to break up with anyone for whatever reason.
You don’t need a specific reason or fill in some sort of checkbox to leave someone. After all, you are the best judge of your partner, your relationship, and your life as a whole. At the end of the day, do what makes you happy.
As always, reflect deeply on things and trust your gut when making a big decision such as this.
It’s going to be tough, but know that we’re rooting for you!