Giving up on a relationship can be challenging, especially when there are reasons to stay. Relationships are often not black and white, and the gray areas can make breaking up rather confusing. Knowing the right time to say goodbye will save you from prolonging a relationship that isn’t right, and enduring the headache and heartache that can come from staying too long.
Here are 7 examples of when some things are good, but it might still be time to walk away.
It’s the wrong person. Sometimes it’s simply the wrong person; you have a whole list of reasons to break up but you still stay together. Why? Maybe because you don’t want to start the dating process again. Perhaps you don’t have any other prospects. You might be too scared of an uncertain future or just too lazy to break up. Whatever the reason, if you know that you should break up, just do it! Take a deep breath and end the relationship.
You have no connection and it’s not growing. Have you ever stuck with someone because you had hoped the connection would grow? I think that’s the right way to date: Go into dating optimistic and know that a connection can grow. But sometimes it just doesn’t. You feel the same after five dates as you did after the first one. If that connection hasn’t shifted much since the first date, it’s time to think about whether you’ve put enough effort into trying to build something or if you need to make one last push before saying goodbye. Be sure you’ve really tried so that when you walk away you’ll know you’ve done all you could.
The timing is bad. You met someone wonderful but the timing was off. You were in the middle of a move or transitioning into a new job. Maybe you had a family emergency that took over your life for a while and didn’t allow you to date. Sometimes it’s not the wrong person, but it is the wrong time. When that happens, it’s best to let the person know that the timing is off—but that doesn’t mean you think the match is off. Be clear that you want to revisit this potential relationship in a month or two, after your circumstances have changed.
Things are one-sided. A one-sided relationship has potential to grow. If someone likes you more than you like them, or vice versa, the interested party needs to gently nudge the relationship forward and try to build the connection. At some point, after you’ve both tried to grow the relationship, it will be time to decide if there is enough to continue or if you need to move on. If you wish you liked the person as much as they like you but you don’t (and you’ve tried), then it’s time to move on. If you’re still not sure, I suggest you keep dating until you feel more clear that it’s a firm no. Remember, no means that you’re not going to look back and regret this decision.
You can’t accept certain things about the person. One of the most challenging relationships to walk away from is when you like some things about the person you’re seeing, but there are some things that you just can’t accept. If there are things that you can’t or won’t accept about a person, those are deal breakers. You may be afraid that you won’t find the same positive character traits and qualities in someone else. This may prevent you from breaking up. However, if you are unwilling to take the good with the not so good, then you need to be honest with yourself and end the relationship. Staying with someone but not accepting the entirety of the person creates false hope that this relationship could work. It’s not fair to either one of you. Try to work on accepting the person fully. If you can’t, break up and have faith that someone better suited will come your way.
Your family or friends met the person and they have some real concerns. All your friends and family do not have to like the person you’re dating. But if a majority of them have some serious concerns, it’s time to objectively examine and consider what they are saying. Are they concerned that the person you’re dating is controlling or manipulative? Do they fear you are losing yourself or that you are acting differently since you started the relationship? Do they think someone is taking advantage of you? Evaluate their points and decide if they’re valid and start watching out for the red flags in your relationship. Give yourself enough time to evaluate the other person and this relationship, and then make the decision to either have confidence in your relationship or break it off.
And in the words of Kenny Rogers, may you know when to walk away and know when to run!
Aleeza Ben Shalom is known as the Marriage Minded Mentor. She is a professional dating coach and the author of Get Real, Get Married, your guide to get over your hurdles and under the chuppah! Aleeza is a passionate speaker and regular contributor to Aish.com and Yated Ne’eman. She works with clients from around the world, as well as, trains future dating coaches. You may also recognize Aleeza from her appearance in the web series Soon By You. She has been interviewed by BBC World News, and NPR. To book a one-on-one or learn more visit: www.marriagemindedmentor.com.
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