A common, but unexpected, side effect of ‘working on yourself’ is outgrowing some of the people around you. And if you’ve been doing a lot of inner work recently, you’re likely to notice that the dynamic between you and some of those closest to you has started to shift. But while all shifts aren’t signs that a relationship is dead – you may just need an adjustment period – some are. Wondering how to tell if it’s time to say goodbye to a partner, best friend or another significant person in your life? Here are 6 signs it’s time to move on from a relationship.
The strongest signs it’s time to move on from a relationship
You don’t actually like who they currently are
It’s common to remain so attached to who someone used to be, that you fail to notice that you don’t like the current version of that person all that much. And while you may hold out hope that they’ll transform into a more likeable person in time, it’s important to remember that the best relationships are based on acceptance – acceptance of who that person is right now, not of who they used to be or who they could become if you ‘work hard enough’ or ‘give them enough time’.
But you’ll need to apply caution when using this sign this to judge if it means your relationship is over. Remember that it’s normal to not like those closest to you from time to time, and that it’s normal for people to become their worst selves for a short while when they’re going through something challenging. But if you’ve felt no affinity for that person for a while and this feeling is consistent, it’s time to get honest with yourself and decide if you’re holding on to the past.
Your core values are no longer the same
We all have core values (personal qualities that guide our actions) that keep us in alignment with who we are. Because these are determined by many factors (including how you were brought up and your core personality type) they can vary wildly from person to person. Common examples of values include honesty and integrity, having compassion for others, treating others fairly, and giving recognition where it’s deserved.
Because our values are the standards we hold ourselves up to, we quickly feel fake and like a bad person when we go against them. This is why being in a romantic or platonic relationship with someone whose values seem to have changed significantly from yours is a recipe for disaster – especially if their values are now the complete opposite of yours. After all, it’s pretty hard for a compassionate person to feel authentic in a relationship with someone who believes life is a battle and you have to be ruthless to survive.
Of course, all couples and friends will have some values they disagree on, but the deal-breaker values need to be aligned for mutual respect and understanding.
The trust and respect are gone
Trust and respect form the foundations of any healthy relationship – without them, there’s likely to be drama and toxicity. Sadly, for many people, trust and respect are hard to get back once lost. And sadder still is the fact that it’s common to convince yourself that you’ve gotten over an event led you to lose trust in and/or respect for your partner or friend, when you really haven’t. We all do this, because we’ve been taught that it’s childish to hold grudges, so we’re often too eager to pretend everything is fine.. when deep down it’s not.
But you can’t fake trust and respect, and even if you say all is well, that lack of trust and respect will eventually eat away at you and the relationship.
You feel like you can’t be your real self around them
Do you find yourself editing yourself around the person you’re considering cutting ties with? Perhaps it’s because some of your beliefs or opinions seem to offend them or maybe they have a habit of minimising the things you say and do, or making everything all about them? No matter the reason, intimacy is the hallmark of a good relationship – and that doesn’t just mean physical intimacy (for romantic relationships), it also means emotional intimacy, whereby you can share your thoughts and feelings without feeling scared, embarrassed or misunderstood.
Most importantly if you’re a censored version of yourself around this person, your relationship is built on an illusion because they don’t know who you really are.
It’s completely one-sided
Most relationships aren’t 100% equal. There’s always one person who tends to give a little more than the other – and that’s normal. What isn’t normal or healthy is a relationship in which one person exclusively gives and the other exclusively takes. And before you breathe a sigh of relief because you’re sure you don’t run around doing everything to keep the relationship together, take an honest look at your relationship and ask yourself if that’s because you’re the taker and it’s your partner who runs themself into the ground trying to keep you happy – that’s just as unhealthy.
If you’re in a one-sided relationship in which you always chase your partner or friend, initiate everything and always meet their needs, this is a sign of a problem within the relationship. And it often signals that you may care about the relationship and the person more than they care about you.
On the other hand, if your partner or friend is the person who always puts in the effort, that’s a sign of a lack of interest on your part. When you truly love and care about someone, there’s a desire to be there for them and to show them they matter to you.
You bring each other more pain than happiness
Even though a relationship that causes more pain than joy is a tell-tale sign that it’s time to move on, most people ignore this sign because humans tend to believe that anything good in life can only be achieved by suffering.
This simply isn’t true.
Yes, no relationship is perfect and you will disagree from time to time, but the good is meant to outweigh the bad.
So, if you’ve been wondering if it’s time to walk away from a relationship, take stock of the emotional balance of the relationship. Are you just focused on the bad, even though your friend or partner still makes you happy on the whole? Or is it one long pain fest that you’re putting up with because it’s familiar or you’re hoping it will change?
Your answer will tell you if it’s time to move on for good.
Did any of these signs it’s time to move on from a relationship ring true for you? Still feel unable to act because you’re an inherent people pleaser? Take a look at this article on how to stop living for others by caring less what others think about you.