When to End the Relationship

When to End the Relationship

Last update: 05 August, 2016

Ending a relationship is a decision that you’ll always remember. Whether it was the right decision or not, you’ll never forget it. You can seek support and understanding from other people, but in the end it’s your decision, your life, and you have to listen to your intuition.

Before anything else, think about what the relationship would be like if it continued for another year or five years, and maybe this perspective will give you an idea about what you should do, what would make you feel good, and what would make you feel bad. Be realistic and don’t lie to yourself, because that would only hurt you and the other person.

“In impossible love, hope is the first thing you have to lose.”

-Walter Riso-

To know if it’s time to end your relationship, you should ask yourself questions, without trying to blame anyone. Remember, it takes two to tango. Just try to understand what happened and how you can learn from it with wisdom and patience.

Ask yourself what you should do before you end the relationship

Many of the questions you have to ask yourself are painful, because reality hurts, but they’re also necessary if you want to mature and understand who you are and what you want from the relationship. Breaking up hurts, but staying in a relationship that isn’t working hurts even more.

woman looking at the ocean

Psychologist Walter Riso maintains that there are three elements of healthy love:  eros (sexual desire), philia (friendship), and agape (tenderness). If the relationship lacks one of these three elements, it will suffer because it will feel incomplete.

Is this the relationship you want?

If you stop to think if the relationship you have is the relationship you want, you’ll have a much clearer perspective. Like we said before, it’s important to be realistic. Don’t excuse situations or attitudes that you don’t like.

If you want something else from the relationship, or a different type of relationship entirely, you might just not be with the right personThink carefully about what you really want, not about what others think is the best for you.

What do you gain and lose from the relationship? What would you gain and lose from breaking up?

People often insist on remaining in dying relationships, without realizing how liberating it would be to break up with the person who they don’t feel happy or comfortable with.

Like Walter Riso said, why humiliate yourself? Humiliation in any form – begging, vowing, bowing your head, or excessively praising the other person – has a boomerang effect, because over time it will just cause more distress.

“If they don’t love you, don’t beg or get on your knees. Love doesn’t beg, or demand, it just happens. And if it doesn’t happen, then back off with dignity and move onto something else.”

-Walter Riso-

man and woman mad at each other

It would be advisable to analyze the relationship and possible breakup to see what you’d lose and what you’d gain from each option, but most of all, it’s important to see how you feel, what your heart and intuition are telling you. You can’t ignore how you feel deep inside.

Does the problem have a solution?

When you’re clear about the reasons why you want to end the relationship, it’s important to see whether it’s possible to resolve the conflict with your partner, or if finding a solution is worth it.

For example, if the problem is that you have a lot of differences and argue a lot with each other, maybe the solution would be to learn how to argue more maturely and manage your emotions. However, if your partner cheated on you, you have to be very aware of whether you’re able to forgive and forget, because if not, there might not be a good reason to try.

“Never lose your worth for someone who doesn’t know what they have, if you know what you deserve.”

-Paulo Coelho-

If you ask yourself all of these questions and decide to break up with your partner, it will probably be difficult for a while, but all pain fades and passes as the days go by. Everybody needs time to get used to it, but there will come a moment when you’ll realize that you made the right decision, bravely and maturely.


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.