ife is weird. Sometimes you fall in love with the worst person in the world. And sometimes the sweetest person on the planet grabs your heart but things just aren’t… right. It seems like crazy talk to find signs that it’s time to break up with someone that you’re still in love with. I mean, if you love someone, you should be together, right? Well… not always. Relationships end for a lot of reasons other than cheating or betrayal — sometimes they end for no reason at all. It’s never easy to know if you should end it, especially when the love is clearly present. And it’s especially difficult to know what to do when you’re deeply invested in the relationship.
And then there’s the heartbreak. I once broke up with someone who was, in my opinion, probably the nicest person ever. He didn’t do anything wrong, and I totally loved him. It just wasn’t right, and it wasn’t fair to waste either of our time. So, I ended it — it wasn’t easy, but I knew it was the right thing to do.
Things not feeling “right” is a totally legitimate reason to break up with someone. According to eHarmony, if you have to try to convince yourself to stay in a relationship, you probably shouldn’t be in a relationship, even if nothing specific has happened to make you upset with your partner. Sometimes the end has nothing to do with the person you’re dating and everything to do with you and where you are in your life. Love isn’t always the issue. You may never know for sure if you’re doing the right thing at the moment when a relationship ends. But to help you give you some sort of idea where to go, here are reasons why you should break up with someone you’re still in love with
1. You’re Just Not Happy
The heart wants what the heart wants. Sometimes what the heart wants is not your wonderful, magnificent, thoughtful, funny partner. Sometimes what the heart wants is to break up with the lazy, selfish, condescending love of your life who is just so damn cute and charming. One thing is for sure, you don’t ever have to stay with anyone just because you don’t want to break their heart.
2. You Want Different Things
Kids. Jobs. Moving to different cities. Buying houses. These are big decisions that you both need to be on board with. In fact, couples who are willing to make sacrifices for each other tend to be happier, according to Greater Good. No matter how much you love someone, sometimes life takes you in different directions. If you really want that job on the other side of the world and your partner really doesn’t want to leave, you don’t have to compromise. A lot of couples successfully figure that stuff out, but some can’t. It might mean it’s time to move on
3. You Keep Thinking About It
You don’t have to have a reason. If you just can’t stop feeling like you don’t want to be in the relationship anymore, even if you can’t put your finger on why, then it’s time to go. Trust your gut. You might feel sad, but you might also feel relieved. Both feelings are normal, according to The Catholic University of America’s Wellness Center. If you start to feel guilty, remember that this is best for both of you in the long run.
4. You Can’t Resolve Your Problems
You try and try, but you keep fighting over the same things. Or that one big thing. And no matter what happens, you never resolve it. And you can’t get past it. And it’s overshadowing all the good things. You can’t demand your partner to change, according to psychologist and UCLA professor Andrew Christensen. And it’s not fair to love someone for the person you hope they’re going to be. If you really can’t get past your problem or if it’s something that requires a big change that you don’t want to make, then maybe it’s time to part ways before things get worse
5. You’re Not Getting What You Need
Some people can’t do long-distance relationships. They need regular physical affection and the kind of attention you can only give in person. Some people fall in love with quiet, stoic types, then realize they can’t deal with the lack of talking about feelings. Some people fall in love with people who don’t have similar needs in bed or who never want to do anything they want to do.
These could be the most wonderful, kind, rockstar partners in the world, but at the end of the day, if you’re needs aren’t being met, they’re not being met. It’s OK to put your needs at the top of your life priority list. Just make sure to take some time to think about your relationship, including what you need and what went wrong before you start dating again, according to student health services California State University Long Beach
6. You’re Being Abused
It’s a fact many people don’t like to talk about, but it’s common to feel sadness and loss after cutting ties with someone who is mentally, physically or sexually abusive, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. That doesn’t mean you should stick around, though. It just means that you’ll need to process your emotions and mourn the loss of the good aspects of your relationship just like any other break up. Abuse is a definite dealbreaker but it isn’t an off-switch for emotions.
Breakups are never easy, but they’re even harder if you still deeply care for the person left. If you come to the decision that you need to leave a relationship, remember to trust your gut, take a deep breath, and that taking care of yourself is the most important thing. Always.