Despite all those sayings and quotes telling us that love's all, we need the reality is far more complex. You know that something's wrong. But how do you know when to fight for a relationship and when to let go?
Unlike in romantic comedies, things don't get resolved by themselves, no matter how much you love the other person. Being in love is one of the best feelings, if not the best feeling in the world. That's why we overstay our welcome.
Similarly, when you're in love, and your heart's on the line, it's scarier than anything you've ever experienced. So you walk away without giving a relationship a fair chance.
While there's no universal rule when to stay or when to leave, some mistakes are common to most of us humans.
When to let go on of a relationship
Despite what your feelings tell you and all the hurt you know you'll feel, sometimes it's better to cut to the cord before you're invested even more profoundly.
Several common scenarios repeat, and despite knowing better, we choose to stay foolishly believing that we can change our partner. And the first, the biggest red flag is abuse.
Things won't get better. In fact, physical or emotional abuse only gets worse.
It usually starts with something small, almost invisible. Yet, it makes you feel like you're not as worth as before this incident. With time, it grows, and your sense of self is getting destroyed to pieces.
Verbal, emotional, or physical abuse can cause long-lasting traumas. It's always better to walk away because your partner has to deal with his issues on his own before even thinking about a relationship.
Cutting ties with alcohol parents, lovers, friends is never easy. They need you, but most of all, they need help you can't give them.
Walking away is an easy way out. You're not just saving yourself. You're giving that person a chance to get what they need to self-destruct completely. Either way, it's their life and their choice.
No matter how much you love someone who's into alcohol or drugs, you need to love yourself more.
If they don't think they need to change and grow, you sure as heck won't be able to convince them otherwise. Being with an addict will destroy your self-esteem, even put you in depression. Watching the person, you love killing themselves is heart wrecking. So, just go and don't look back. You can only save yourself.
You don't like your partner
Sure, you have chemistry, and you love the idea of what you two used to be. Yet, you can't stand the person your partner is today, at this moment.
Again, you'll face a dilemma: is it temporary? Perhaps the issue is with you? While it might be the truth, your arguments grow more profound, and you start to despise each other.
There's nothing healthy about that kind of partnership. Instead of thinking about what's changed, try to think about your future.
We are continually changing and growing. Often two people don't grow at the same speed, or their paths change. It's not something we can plan, so it's easy to see why people stay in relationships despite disliking their partners.
Eventually, your conversations turn into fights, and you're both victims and attackers. Instead of spending the rest of your life with someone who's clearly not on the same page, it's better to walk away.
Too many obstacles for an extended period
Many couples enter therapy, and it helps them grow apart even further. It sounds horrible, but it's the sad truth: if your relationship is too much work, it becomes exhausting and should not be that hard.
Make a time frame: give your relationship a year, try whatever possible to make it better. But if it still doesn't work, if you're still miserable, and you feel unappreciated, or like you're talking to a stranger, not the love of your life, it's best to move on.
Simply investing more time in a relationship with someone you love won't fix the problems. It will just make you more desperate to save something that's not worth saving.
Your partner isn't fulfilling your requirement
When your partner isn't fulfilling your needs, you either get into a vicious circle of self-doubt, even self-hate, or you stray.
Face it: a relationship means support, having someone who will try to understand you and comfort you. If you can't get that from your partner, you're basically staying with them because you're afraid to lose this façade of a relationship.
Perhaps you simply don't want to be alone. Or you still believe that things will change. Yet, it never happens.
Instead, you're working on creating your own unhappiness and losing precious time that you could use for self-love and self-acceptance.
You're scared to ask for more from your partner
Instead of talking, you're giving some desperate hints, but that's the problem. If you're afraid to speak up, to say that you need more love, commitment, more time with each other, you'll only be doing yourself harm.
Most people are afraid that they will sound too needy and emotional. But, if you're in an emotional, romantic relationship, being vulnerable is a requirement.
If, for whatever reason, you can't be that with your partner, you're not that match made in heaven. You never were, since you were only playing a part of this strong person who is okay with just about anything.
Similarly, you'll start to feel like a burden to your partner. Once again, you should be equals. If one feels like less, you are not a couple. And that's time to call it quits.
You feel trapped
Perhaps there's no real issue. Yet, you feel obligated not to leave. You know you should, but you both invested so much that it feels that walking away is no longer an option.
If you want to continue being miserable and drowning in self-pity, that's on you. But, it's never too late to start all over.
You didn't waste your time: you spent time trying to love someone, and it just didn't work out. It's time to cut your losses and pack your bags.
A relationship isn't an investment in a traditional meaning. It's more than that because apart from time and emotions, you're sharing your desires, frustrations, and everything you are.
Staying in a relationship where you feel trapped or out of obligation is an insult to you and your partner.
How to know when to stay in a relationship
When you know when it's time to let go, it might be easier to recognize when it's okay to stay and fight for the relationship.
You understand that too much work isn't good, and any kind of abuse is definitely a time to leave. Yet, every healthy relationship is full of ups and downs, and most of the time, you can overcome the obstacles if you're both devoted to changing yourselves.
You don't have common interests
If you can learn from each other, and show genuine interest in your parent's passions, you'll be fine.
A couple is never 100 percent compatible, and if you have enough understanding, there's no reason for both of you to invest in a relationship.
Who knows how much you'll learn about life from your partner because you're polar opposites?
Something they said/did doesn't sit right with you
Everyone's allowed to make mistakes.
If your partner did or said something you don't see as right, talk to them. Communicating openly and honestly is a way to fight for your relationship and to grow.
You shouldn't give a person endless chances. Once you explain where you're coming from should be enough for them to show their respect.
Remember that this is a two-way street. If they don't like something about you, they explained it, shared their feelings then change it.
Your beliefs are different
You believe in aliens, your partner doens't.
You're very religious, but they are not quite there. It's okay.
With healthy boundaries and small talks, you will get to see each other's POV. There's no reason to stop loving someone over their beliefs as long as they are not against you personally.
Don't mock your partner for believing in ghosts or reincarnation. Teasing is one thing, but you shouldn't make a big deal out of things that aren't important in the long run.
Fight for a relationship despite your family
Don't fight for your relationship to prove your family wrong. Instead, only go for it when you feel it's right.
Try to be rational, but ultimately it's your life, and if your friends or family members have issues with your partner, that's on them.
If your S.O. hasn't done anything wrong, there's no reason to break up. You're an adult, and people around you aren't happy for you; they will accept your choice eventually.
Yet, staying with someone to prove something is wrong, and you'll just end up hurting yourself.
Love still matters the most
There are all kinds of love. If your romance isn't straight from a fairytale, that's okay.
If you have enough respect, self-love, and know how not to push each other's buttons, you can work through anything. Genuine, real, mature love forgives and learns, it is supportive, and it takes time.
Hopefully, you will now know what to do. When to fight for a relationship and when to let go is not just up to you. It takes two to tango, and as long as both of you know how to work through issues, it's worth everything.
The moment you start feeling less, like your opinion, your reasoning, or your feelings aren't validated, is a moment to let go. Everything before that means there's still hope.