When To Leave A Relationship – 13 Signs That Indicate

Make the right decision when you observe these signs in your unhappy relationship.

Reviewed by Joseph Moore, Certified Relationship And Life Coach Joseph Moore Joseph MooreCertified Relationship And Life Coach
Written by , Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach Sneha Tete Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Edited by , MA (English) Asmita De MA (English) Experience: 3 years
Fact-checked by , BSc Reshma Latif BSc Experience: 5 years

Building a healthy relationship and maintaining the same is not easy as it looks. Several red flags emerge even in a relationship of months or years which may provoke you to leave your partner. However, this decision is not easy, and you may not be able to judge when to leave a relationship. While so many things happening may contribute towards this idea of moving on, think twice before you act. Immense promises and situations may not go well and as planned. Whatever the situation, if you find these signs in your relationships, better take a timely decision that you will not regret in the future. So, continue reading these 13 major signs and what they reflect about your relationship.

13 Signs It Is Time To Leave A Relationship

Harsh Y, a lifestyle blogger, shared his personal experience of not leaving a previous bitter relationship when he should have. He wrote, “It came late to me that not every relationship turns out as expected, not every love story gets to see the dawns, not every time our choices are sane. Yet I kept dragging my punctured relationship; sometimes in the hope of steering them back on track(which I knew wasn’t the possibility), and sometimes to avoid being on the ‘ villainous ‘ side by calling quits(safe-play). We both continued to suffocate into emptiness, also pushed ourselves harder to force affection and continued to breathe in life in an almost dead relationship. Yet, nothing could save that breakup from happening (i).”

1. Your Partner No Longer Seems Interested

Have you noticed that your partner has been ignoring you lately? Are they canceling out dates? Or do they even seem bored with you?

Someone who is interested in the relationship would never make excuses not to see you. But if they do, chances are they could be thinking of ending the relationship. They may also lack the courage to tell you upfront that it is over.

While your partner does not have to show interest in everything you are involved in, they should at least be making an effort to participate in activities important to you. It is a concern if you have to beg them to get involved with your interests.

If you think this is the case in your relationship, it is best to talk to them about your concerns and get a straight answer from them. This can help you leave the relationship with grace.

2. Your Partner Expects You To Change Everything About Yourself

Your partner expects you to change are signs to leave a relationship
Image: Shutterstock

When you are in a romantic relationship, your partner loves you unconditionally without expecting you to change in any way.

On the contrary, if your partner expects to change everything about you, it could indicate that they do not value you. This could include anything from expecting you to dress up more often to look prettier, hanging out more with friends when you do not feel like it, or even expecting you to lose weight just to look better.

If you feel like you have to change who you are completely just for your partner, it is not a good sign. Letting go is the best thing you can do for yourself. You may be able to keep up the pretense for a while, but if your partner truly wants to be with you, they should love you unconditionally.

3. You Have Compatibility Issues

Compatibility is crucial in a relationship, whether it is sitting in silence for hours or having a comfortable banter back and forth.

But if you feel you are nervous around your partner all the time, and that too for all the wrong reasons, you might be in the wrong relationship.

Compatibility with your partner plays a big role in ensuring your relationship’s success. If you do not find it, you may have to walk away and search for someone who is more compatible and understands you better.

4. Your Partner Has A Major Character Flaw

There could be multiple character flaws that can make you think over the status of your relationship. These could include alcoholism, habitual cheating, gambling, constant lying, drug addiction, etc.

If you notice your partner taking no efforts to work on their serious character flaws, it could be time to leave the relationship and move on.

5. Your Partner Is Still Hung Up On Their Ex

Your partner is still hung up on their ex are signs to leave a relationship
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If your partner is still pinning after their ex, talking with them constantly, or even hanging out with them occasionally, then something is not right. You may want to talk this out with your partner and see how they respond.

While there is no harm in someone talking about their previous relationships once a while, you really must rethink your relationship if your partner is still holding on to their ex’s pictures or texts on their phone or checking out their social media profiles quite often.

At any point, if you feel like you could just be a substitute, it is time to breakup and move on in your life.

6. You Have Been Hiding Parts Of Your Personality From Your Partner

When you find yourself lying to your partner frequently or keeping secrets from them often, it is a clear sign of discomfort you feel in their presence.

If you feel your partner does not trust you for any reason and cannot move past feeling jealous, then you should reconsider your relationship. If they do not want you to be yourself or do the things you want to do, it is time to rethink.

7. Your Partner Is Always Criticizing You

Your partner is always criticizing you are signs to leave a relationship
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To mention or highlight what your partner does not like about how you behave is alright. It can, in fact, be healthy as it helps you communicate better with each other. But it is not acceptable if your partner constantly criticizes your personality and character. If this gets more frequent, take it as a sign of letting their frustration out on you for no real reason. Such people often have fragile egos with a constant need to defend themselves.

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Constant arguments with your partner may also indicate your relationship has reached its end. The deep-rooted anger and negativity could adversely impact your bond. They also indicate certain underlying issues that were failed to be addressed, leading to a separation.

8. Your Partner Is Too Unpredictable And Intense

Have you noticed your partner being nice and very charming one moment and suddenly very angry the next? Such behavior can make you feel scared and intimidated and rob you of your sanity. You always feel the need to be cautious around them to prevent triggering them.

There could be multiple reasons for such emotionally volatile behavior, including severe anger issues. But if your partner is unwilling to acknowledge the problem and work on it, it is best to leave the relationship.

9. Your Partner Is Possessive And Jealous

A partner who is possessive and jealous in a relationship is deeply insecure. While it might seem flattering in the beginning, it can just get plain exhausting to deal with such a partner, especially when their jealousy is irrational, illogical, and misplaced.

If you feel like you cannot trust your partner or they feel like they cannot trust you, consider it as a sign that things are never going to work out between the two of you. If they constantly wonder what you are doing when you are not around, or they are always questioning you about almost everything, it is time to seriously rethink your relationship.

If you have been accused of selfishness just for talking to your friends regularly, it could be a sign that your relationship is not sustainable.

10. Your Goals Do Not Align With Theirs

Couples disagreeing on a few aspects are normal in any relationship. But if both your long-term and short-term goals do not align with each other, it could be a cause for concern.

There is a possibility that such issues arise more in the early stages of the relationship. Still, if you cannot agree on almost anything, including finances, personal goals, family issues, or what you wish to do with your lives, it is time to reconsider where your relationship is headed.

Sharing the same goals and values could mean the relationship would stand the test of time. While you do not need to have exactly the same views and values, they should be similar so that your future goals and needs can align properly.

11. You Are Not Happy Being In The Relationship

You are not happy being in the relationship are signs to leave a relationship
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While it might seem quite obvious, if you are constantly unhappy in your relationship, it is probably time to have a straightforward conversation with your partner about your concerns.

They might think that everything is alright and nothing needs to improve. But if they are not willing to make changes despite you telling them that you are unhappy, it could be time to leave the relationship and move on.

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A lack of physical intimacy and emotional attachment are strong indicators that your romance is fizzling out.

12. There Is Abuse Of Any Kind

There is abuse of any kind are signs to leave a relationship
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Abusive people deserve no loyalty of any kind. If you are constantly abused either physically, emotionally, or verbally, you just need to leave the relationship at once. The sooner you plan it, the better. Get yourself familiar with the various signs of abuse and figure out if you are actually in an abusive relationship.

Some people might play down the way their partner treats them and convince themselves that it is normal. But this is not something one should tolerate. Do not stick around and put up with the abuse hoping that things will change.

Abusive people hardly recognize that they have a severe problem and need to get help. Do not put up with it.

13. They Do Not Enrich Your Life In Any Way

Apart from being supportive, a partner must bring value to your life and enrich it in different ways. Whether it is your aspirations, unique points of view, or sense of humor, your partner should play a significant role in uplifting you.

But if you feel they are only bringing you down, it is time to rethink your relationship.

Well, they might be going through some hard times. You definitely should speak to them first and try to support them. However, if you feel that your only job here is to fix things for them, you may have to move on.

Leaving a relationship is never easy. But if you have tried everything to make it work, then it is time to walk away. But how do you do so in a respectful manner? Find out in the next section.

How To Leave A Relationship

Deciding to end a relationship is challenging, but sometimes it is the right path for personal growth and well-being. Here is how you can do so with respect and compassion:

  • Reflect On Your Feelings: Take time to understand your emotions and reasons for ending the relationship.
  • Be Honest And Direct: Communicate your decision with clarity and honesty. Avoid being unclear, hurtful, and harsh.
  • Use “I” Statements: Express your feelings and reasons using “I” statements to prevent your partner from feeling attacked.
  • Be Firm But Compassionate: Stand firm in your decision while being sympathetic and compassionate to your partner’s emotions.
  • Avoid Blaming: Avoid turning your partner into someone horrible and keep the conversation focused on yourself to avoid blame or accusations.


Thinking about ending a relationship and moving on is never easy, especially when you have invested years into one. Most often, people tend to lie to themselves and ignore the subtle signs. They assume things would change with time, and that everything would turn out okay in the end.

However, it is important to understand that nothing else matters more than your self-respect. Leaving an unhappy relationship could be difficult, but that one decision could be incredibly liberating. Do you relate to the signs listed in this post? Then it probably is time to rethink your relationship.

Infographic: 8 Clear Signs You Need To Exit Your Relationship

Knowing when to leave a relationship is more crucial to your emotional well-being than knowing when to get into one. Constant disrespect, lack of trust, and ongoing emotional abuse can lead to unhappiness and relationship issues. While leaving a relationship isn’t easy, it is important to prioritize your happiness above everything else. Check out the infographic below to know more!

8 clear signs you need to exit your relationship (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

You want to do everything to maintain the love and harmony between your partner and yourself. However, things should not cross a certain threshold, and you should never compromise your respective safety to stay in a relationship. Before things get exceptionally bad, certain signs point towards your companionship’s imminent end. For instance, if your partner expects you to change, always criticizes you, or has a major character flaw, it is better to find the exit before getting hurt. Likewise, you should leave your partner if they are unpredictable and you are forced to hide certain things from them, making you feel unhappy in the relationship.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the signs of a toxic relationship?

Physical, emotional, or verbal abuse, unhealthy communication patterns, controlling behavior, extreme jealousy, dishonesty, repeated disrespect, and resentment are some common signs of a toxic relationship.

Why do most relationships end after 6 months?

The first 6 months of a relationship is commonly referred to as the ‘honeymoon period’ as positive hormonal shifts

associated with love and affection are high during this period. However, the hormones stabilize after 6 months in general and that may cause a dip in attraction and pleasure from being together. In addition, 6 months are considered long enough for couples to get to know each other more intimately, including the negative traits. These factors may make it challenging for many couples to continue their relationship beyond 6 months.

Should I consider seeking professional guidance or therapy before making the decision to leave?

Yes, it can be beneficial taking professional guidance or therapy before making such a decision as it provides you with an objective perspective that can help you explore your feelings in a safe environment.

What are some common fears or obstacles that prevent people from leaving an unhealthy relationship?

Uncertainty about the future and unknown, fear of being alone, feeling guilty or responsible for the situation, and societal pressure can prevent people from leaving unhealthy relationships.

How can I prioritize my own well-being and happiness when considering leaving a relationship?

You can prioritize your own well being and happiness when leaving a relationship by staying positive, engaging in self care activities, focusing on your goals, seeking support from friends and family, and being honest with yourself.

Are there any steps or preparations I should take before leaving a relationship?

Create a safety plan, gather important documents, get your finances in order, build a support network, and plan for practical matters such as housing and transportation.

How do I build resilience and confidence to move forward after leaving a relationship?

Practice self care, indulge in positive self-talk and affirmations, connect with friends and family, and set realistic goals and work towards them.

Key Takeaways

  • Great promises and situations may not go well as planned, and you may feel stuck between whether to stay or move on.
  • Not being equally invested in the relationship or making time for each other are signs that it is time to call it quits, no matter the heartbreak it causes.
  • However, if both of you are strongly determined and willing to work on your issues, you may resurrect your relationship.
when to leave a relationship

Image: Dall·E/StyleCraze Design Team

Do you feel sad in your relationship and often feel like you’re not being heard? Watch this video for five signs that tell you if you need to leave your unhappy relationship.

Personal Experience: Source

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Joseph Moore

Joseph MooreCertified Relationship And Life Coach

Joseph Moore is an ace relationship coach and public speaker who started coaching in 2015. Although Joseph is a trained electrical engineer from the University of Chester, he found passion in helping people get it right with their love life. His passion and experience of over 6 years made him set up a relationship blog where he shares relationship advice...read full bio

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