As hard as it is to admit, sometimes people are better apart than together.
While the first few days after the breakup are rarely easy, at some point both people involved have to admit that they did everything they could and realize that the breakup was the right choice.
Relationships take a lot of work and require more than just being in love.
Because of this, sometimes a breakup is the only cure.
“Whenever you break up with someone, there can always be a feeling of regret,” says Dr.
Sophia Reed, PhD, marriage and family therapist.
“At some point, you really cared about that person, and even if the breakup was the right decision, you might still feel bad because of the way the relationship ended … or you might regret having to hurt that person for the cause of the breakup itself. Even if you regret it, that doesn’t mean it was the wrong choice.”
It may take some time for people to see that your breakup was for the best.
But when you get there, it can feel liberating, a relief.
Instead of fumbling with the past, try to look at your relationship objectively.
By doing so, you are likely to find signs that your breakup was the right choice.
1. You Know You Gave Your All
As much as you want this to work, at some point, you have to realize that you’ve done all you can and then throw your hands in the air.
This is not giving up; it’s admitting that things maybe weren’t meant to happen.
“When reviewing your relationship history, separation was your last and only option,” said Susan Winter, bestselling author and relationship expert.
“You tried, and tried again, to create a change in the dynamics of the relationship.
No matter what effort you put in, the end result remained the same.
You were left with a less-than-ideal relationship.”
That’s when you shouldn’t be hard on yourself.
Even when it seems like all is lost, it means that you tried to fix something that could no longer be fixed. And that’s okay.
2. You’ve Lost Yourself
Sometimes in relationships, people get swallowed up and forget who they are.
But healthy relationships are about two people getting stronger, not two people becoming one.
“Maybe you’ve lost a part of your identity,” says Anita A. Chlipala, author of First Comes Us: The Busy Couple’s Guide to Lasting Love.
As Chlipala explains, yes, every relationship requires a balance of both parties, but when we give up on ourselves (our identity, what we stand for, or our beliefs), that’s a problem.
“Giving up essential values, needs, and goals,” says Chlipala, is sacrificing too much of yourself.
No one, including your partner, should get too lost in a relationship.
3. There Was Much Betrayal
From being cheated on, to being lied to or having your privacy violated, there are many forms of cheating in a relationship.
While some are able to forgive and recover, others are not.
If you are not able to forgive, then yes, it was good that you broke up.
“If someone you’re dating or involved in a long-term relationship with has betrayed you in a way you can’t get over – cheating, lying, …- it’s time to end the relationship for your own emotional health,” says Lori Bizzoco. , founder of relationship analytics site Cupid’s Pulse,.
“Remember, ending a relationship with someone is a personal decision and only you know what is healthy and unhealthy for you.”
4. Your Communication Was Toxic
It can never be said enough: communication in a relationship is an absolute must.
It should also be communication free of toxins such as passive-aggressive responses, name-calling, and general childishness.
“Positive, healthy communication is as essential to a healthy relationship as fresh air is to our bodies,” said Dr. Carla Marie Manly, PhD, clinical psychologist, and relationship specialist.
“In cases where toxic communication has made things go wrong, couples can work on healthy communication skills through couples therapy…and then practice using the positive skills learned daily.”
But in cases where neither you nor your partner has been able to get to that point of practicing healthy communication or, worse yet, have failed to communicate at all, then you know it was right to break up.
Without healthy and productive communication, a relationship cannot exist.
It’s like stealing the floor from a house and hoping it’s still standing.
5. You’d have to give up a lot to make it work
While every relationship requires commitment, there is a limit to the commitment someone can give before they realize they are wearing themselves out in the process.
As the saying goes, “you shouldn’t have to set yourself on fire to keep others warm.”
So never do that.
“You realized that you would have to commit too much to make the relationship work,” says Chlipala.
“While you are in the relationship, you would have done anything to make your partner happy and make the relationship work, including granting important things to you… for example, you are looking for someone financially stable, yet you continue to date someone who has thousands of debts.”
6. Your Partner Was Not Willing to Change
Sometimes having a partner who doesn’t change can be a good thing.
But in other scenarios, not so much.
While people are supposed to evolve and grow, it doesn’t always mean that evolution is going in a positive, healthy direction.
“Sometimes we have a partner who is willing but not able to change,” says Winter.
“Other times we have a partner who is capable but not willing to change.
Either way, you are stuck in an impractical situation.
Whether it’s anger issues, substance abuse issues, or emotional issues, your partner couldn’t (or wouldn’t) do the work that needed to be done to correct their behavior.”
Relationships are not just working together for the sake of the relationship, but working with each other individually as well.
7. You Realize You Were Together For The Wrong Reasons
People stay in relationships for many reasons and some of them are the wrong reasons.
One sign that your breakup was the right choice is realizing “that her fear of being alone kept her in the relationship, not because of her partner’s qualities,” says Chlipala.
“The fear of being alone and not finding anyone else is valid, but it’s not a reason to stay in a relationship.”
If you can look back and see that you stayed for harmful reasons, pat yourself on the back.
You did well to leave.
Not every relationship is able, or even should, to stand the test of time.
And that’s okay.
You just want to get to a point where you can realize it, instead of feeling bad about your decision.