If you’ve ever seen a romantic comedy, you’ve likely watched two people who find a way to be together, no matter what obstacles stand in their way. The reason is always simple: They’re in love. But off-screen, love isn’t always enough to make a relationship last.
In fact, the feelings caused by romantic love can be so strong, that they can convince people to stay in relationships that are unhealthy, unfulfilling, and ultimately unhappy, whether they realize it or not.
For example, when people look at photos of their romantic partners, dopamine—a chemical associated with a reward that makes people feel good —is released in the brain.
The way these chemicals make people feel can make them overlook logical decisions like leaving an unsatisfying relationship. While being in love undoubtedly feels good (and is good for your health,) these feelings alone don’t spur solid, lasting romantic relationships. The following are signs that you should leave a relationship:
Every person has different “requirements” that need to be met in a relationship. These needs can be emotional, like wanting quality time with your partner, or functional, like requiring them to competently manage money. If you have spoken to your partner about this, and things don’t change and you feel unhappy, it’s probably time to let go.
You’re seeing the needs nom others
When you get promoted at work or you’re faced with a family emergency, who is the first person you want to tell? In a fulfilling, healthy relationship, the answer to those questions should be your partner.
If either you or your partner is seeking emotional or physical fulfilment from people outside of your relationship, it’s a clear indication that it’s probably time to end the relationship.
You’re scared to ask for more from your partner
Often, people find it difficult to speak to their partner about their needs in a relationship because they don’t want to sound too needy or emotional so, they bottle up their feelings and continue with their dissatisfaction and feign contentment out of fear of feeling like a burden.
Eventually, something happens that breaks the camel’s back and the argument that may ensue can wind up being more damaging to the relationship than it would have been if it had been addressed sooner.
Hiding your true feelings about how your partner is treating you likely prolongs the unfulfilling relationship, rather than saves it. If you can’t get past the fear of confronting your partner, it’s probably time to seek help or part ways.
Your friends and family don’t support your relationship
If none of the important people in your life do not support your relationship, then that is a red flag. If the people who love and support you see that the person you’re in love with isn’t making you happy, it’s a good idea to listen to their opinions.
You feel obligated to stay with your partner
People are more likely to stay in relationships that they’ve already invested time and effort in; this is similar to a money investment phenomenon known as the “sunk cost effect.” A prior investment leads to a continuous investment, even when the decision doesn’t make you happy.
However, investing more time in a relationship won’t fix the problems. If both partners aren’t willing to work to fulfill the other’s needs, the relationship probably isn’t worth more time.
You’ve been working on your relationship or too long
When two people are in love and have spent years together or have started a family together, there is a stronger incentive to work out the problems.
While it is important to seek ways to help your relationship work, if you spend too much time in indecision, it will erode the foundation of the relationship to the point where you can’t really make it back.
You don’t like your partner While it may sound counterintuitive, you can actually be in love with a person you don’t like. If that’s the case, you may get by day to day, but it will be nearly impossible to make it through difficult times together.
It’s never easy to walk away from someone you love—even when the relationship isn’t working. The key, she says, is to listen to the logical part of your brain, instead of submitting to the euphoric chemical reactions that love can cause.
Your partner is abusive
Whether it is physical or emotional abuse, this is one thing that should never be tolerated in a relationship. It is possible for people in an abusive relationship to love an abusive partner, and while the dynamics of leaving an abusive relationship may be complicated when it comes to abuse of any kind, it’s crucial to safely find a way out.
Published on July 14, 2021