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Breakups & Divorce, Love

7 Signs It’s Time to End Your Relationship

by Melissa Chapman

You love him – but maybe more like a brother than a lover. The relationship is comfortable, but it’s also stale and stifling. You start thinking: If I’m going to lonely, wouldn’t it be better to actually be alone? If any of this sounds familiar, it might be time to take action and end your relationship. Here’s some advice.

We’ve all done it, haven’t we?

We’ve languished in a dead-end relationship because, sometimes, status quo is easier than mustering the courage to end it and start fresh.

Breaking up is, as they say, hard to do, especially once you’ve so much invested time and energy into the relationship. Perhaps you enjoy the security that comes along with it, even while knowing deep in your soul that you are not cut out to make it as a couple and that breaking up would be best thing for you.

So what do you do?

According to Tina B. Tessina, PhD, (aka “Dr. Romance”), psychotherapist and author of The Commuter Marriage: Keep Your Relationship Close While You’re Far Apart, whether you’re married or dating if your relationship  feels detrimental to your  mental, emotional or physical well-being then it may be time for a change.

“Sometimes  all  efforts to keep a relationship going [will] fail and the  only  possible  means of achieving happiness  is  to split up,”  says Dr. Tessina. “When is it necessary to take this step? While no one can really answer that question except you and your partner, there are certain indicators that let you know a major change of some kind must be made.”

Dr. Tessina’s 7 warning signs it’s time to end your relationship

  1. Your spouse is in denial, makes excuses, blames you and/or is angry at you rather than taking responsibility.
  2. You have had it, and no longer feel connected. Be sure this isn’t just temporary anger.
  3. You are prepared to be on your own.
  4. You either have no children, they’re grown, or you’re certain a divorce will be better for them than what’s going on.
  5. He or she doesn’t keep appointments to talk.
  6. There are some indications there’s someone else.
  7. You fight when you talk.

Weigh your options

If you have one or more of these warning signs but are still on the fence about ending your relationship, Dr. Tessina suggests it might be a good idea to list your reasons to stay versus your reasons to go.  This will help you decide if you’re getting enough from the relationship to keep it going.  If your reasons to stay are all about guilt, not wanting to hurt the other person, or fear of being alone, you may want to talk to a therapist about them.

If you are finally ready to end your relationship, Dr. Tessina notes that the benefits of  breaking up, and getting out of a bad relationship as opposed to letting it drag on, are many and include the two very important effects:

  • You both have a new opportunity to create a relationship with someone more compatible
  • Be merciful: The other person may be hurt, but letting the relationship languish just hurts them more

The bottom line: If you gave it your best shot and you know it’s over (or if it never really got started), don’t waste time in resentment and anger. Learn to let go.

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Reader Comments:

60 Responses to “7 Signs It’s Time to End Your Relationship”

  1. susana says:

    yah right start to move on if you think the relation is not working and everytime we hurt each other and u fell not happy at all…..life so beautifully and life so short

  2. pt says:

    no lady should let her bad relationship drag on for too long, it doesn’t just make sense. its always better to pick whats left and move on. dont let a man use you and waste your precious time.

  3. Iqra says:

    i recently did breakup due to many reasons, bt still i love him more than my self….. i tried alt bt faild!!!!!!
    i’m so depresd now a day ,bt he neva care abt it…….i dun knw da xact reason of breakup,he started makin issues of smaller things, and neva aacept any mistake of him…. bt he was my life , my everything………:-(

  4. Front says:

    It’s tormenting clinging to a relationship that’s isn’t working. Life is too short to be wasted.

  5. Olawale says:

    Breakup isn’t the solution to the problem. If you truely love him, try all at your disposal to make the marriage work, prayers must not be overlook- it’s put wrongs in order.

    • Tasha says:

      Yes but divorce is not the ultimate sin. Remember even God divorced His people because they were loving their idols and other sinful natures of the flesh.

  6. mikel says:

    according to the word of God marriage should be until death,divorce is not welcome as a christain..does reasons that made you to split is going to come again so learn how to forgive and have the understanding that every human have a fault.

    • Tasha says:

      Divorce is not the ultimate sin…Remember God even divorced His people because they were more in love with their idols and the sinful natures of the flesh!!

  7. Sam says:

    It is heart breaking to except that your man is cold toward you. I have learned, instead of crying, I invested in face creams, body creams, yoga, and drop all the bread from my diet. With in one year, I look stunning. I left my unfaithful husband, have a boyfriend who is 7 years younger and adores me. There is life if you learn to love yourself. Believe me.

  8. Malkudi says:

    This is very true, especially the part that says when you talk you fight. It’s happened to me on several occasions, i’ve never had a decent chat with a friend and a cousin but it never looked or they were no signs of it working out.

  9. Tara says:

    I am takn the advice its going to be hard when he contacts and doesnt take no.

  10. Beth says:

    I tend to agree but what if you love this man so much you don’t want to let go. We argue I think we’re over the next day we make up and everything is good. We have too many interferences.

  11. Elise says:

    One should first love ourself, when the other significant one came along, it’s a bonus, enjoy it to the fullest!

    But when the times of doubts comes, it’s a sign what your subconcious(your heart) is trying to tell you something..If you ignore it – you will end up feeling numb and stagnent in the relationship.
    Learn to listen to that sound what it is trying to tell you and act upon it, you will end up feeling peaceful and happy! Maybe you will still choose to be with him/her, maybe you will leave, but you leave with a peace of mind and willing to face the consequences.
    With a willing heart – ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!

    Enjoy the LOVE lesson- we don’t want to miss this ;-)


  12. Husna says:

    I love my lover & he also love me most. We have been together for 2years & we are happy with our love relationship. Recently we break up not because we didn’t love each other but because my lover’s parents disagree with our true love. We both got hurt so much. I know I love him forever & he is meant everything to me. But what can I do,life must goes on. I miss him badly & I know I have to be strong to face everything.

    • Simmi says:

      I can understand u and ur feeling. Same happened to me about couple of years back. we both separte now but I still love him and miss him. But I have to move on with my life…i married to someone who really love and care me. I’m happy with him…i guess. But somewhere deep in my heart I still love the same person( the one I lost).

  13. I think every relationship You take just because to be in a relationship has a potential of failure. I agree that two must split if a spouse is agressive – I had a very aggressive father who abused me daily and managed to transmit the feeling of guild to me. He asked my mother that they stay together until I and my brother mature. All was very painful, and all I learned is that Life can be impossible but always with hope to end the misery if You find strength zo carry on. I do not love the father, but I am the only one that sends him birthday gift as I know I have to be thankful to him that at least he gave me life. Abusive life, but it is still life.
    I suggest to everybody not to hurry in a relationship because of anything, rather give it time to mature. Always!

  14. love is patience,time and courage but if it persist more than it ought to then you can vacate the relationship

  15. iqra says:

    i like da commrnt ov Grega

  16. Audy says:

    Yeaa, i really agree. After 8yrs of marriage with 3 kids and the in-between 3years of mental torture, the best was to end it up and it has been one of my greatest achievement. Considering a whole lot and were able to take the step has really change my life for the better.

  17. karen camacho says:

    plsss help me,. what can i do that is my problem now..having un haPpy relationshi

  18. zukie says:

    I broke up with my boyfriend 2 days b 4 i read yo message it hurts so bad i love the guy we argue,he is so stereo type and agressive he has anger manegement problem all the coments has made me stronger i cant cope the healing process is too long for me i need to move on but i dont know how it hutrs so bad

  19. Maegan says:

    Need advice? why not ask Alice and Amy(:


  20. els says:

    i had a marriage without love, at least the last 5 years. Also had 3 kids, 7, 14 and 19. I left , took the 2 youngest with me, and even the girls said it was the best thing i ever did.
    We never had a fight, but never had anything else anymore as well.
    I didn’t want to waste my life for and other 25 or 35 years like that

  21. lori says:

    how many of these signs do you have? is your husband still not working as a doctor? that must be a strain.

  22. Lea says:

    I was married for 10 years and am now separated. We had a great marriage and my husband was my hero. About a year ago, he lost complete interest in me and our relationship. Stopped being nurturing, loving, and supportive. No longer wanted sex. Rarely talked to me. I tried many times to talk to him, but unlike all of the years before, he didn’t want to talk about it or work on it. About 4 months ago, I tried again and he said he felt things were still the same between us. Girls, if you feel he is emotionally distant…he is. Listen to your heart and instincts and LEAVE. It is not worth staying with someone who is not willing to work with you, share with you, and appreciate you.

  23. Veronica says:

    I don’t think this is falling out of love as much as two people who have not tried hard enough to rekindle what they had. Love doesn’t just disappear. Love is a forever thing you just have to be motivated enough to keep your passion for each other burning.

  24. bonny says:

    God is in Control

  25. Stephan says:

    You know what, my partner and I had a few of those sign other than not willing to talk and we dont have kids but we did argue frequently. When we spoke of why we were arguing we couldnt find a fundeamental problem but rather sometimes we provoked or antagonized each other or mis interpreted each other.

    Then we went on a two week holiday, it was like we fell in love for the first time we realized how much the daily stress of lives ( we both work in finance) takes a toll on each of us. The whole time on vacation we did not argue once or fight.

    Sometimes the daily toll of work family and other issue put such massive massive stress on relationships that you may forget the good and argue or fight about stupid stuff. Obviously for us we have always maintained communication even through the rough of rough.

    Before throwing in the towel, if you can afford it, go on at least a weeks vacation somewhere away from everyone and everything, you will really know then whether or not the relationship has solid footing.

  26. www.srikanthgowlikars@gmail.com says:

    Iqra i know that break up with some will push us in a deep sorrow. But its also a good thing to put our self happy. may be god has created someone who loves you more then anybody else. so keep smiling and try your best to make your life better.

  27. Jessica says:

    I’m curious about Melissa Chapman and Dr. Tessina (PhD. in psychotherapy, is not was credible has one in real medical field, well real medical) Secondly are any of those two women even married or have kid ? It quite different the relation with an husband and a little boyfriend.

    • TR says:

      A PhD in psychotherapy is as credible as in the medical field. You should review history, the PhD (Doctor of Philosophy Degree) is the oldest doctorate degree in history. The MD (Medical Degree) while credible, is only about 100 years old making it hundreds of years younger than the highly valued PhD, and medicine is no more an exact science than psychology (look at how the medical field is unable to heal millions of diseases, they treat them but don’t heal them). So, please understand that
      the academic regimen that a PhD has to go through is the same as or even more rigorous than MD’s. At the turn of the 20th century the medical field was considered a “quack” field because of a lack of training and science. PhD’s have always had to train in the academe on a significantly high level so please re-think your distortion of the PhD versus the medical field.

  28. karina lugardo says:

    There’s a difference between facing the up’s and down’s of a healthy long term relationship and being an a verbally, physically and/or abusive relationship. Before anyone allows one single article to convince you of leaving someone, rem. this. what goes around comes around and temporary pleasure can cost youa life time of pain.

  29. kylie says:

    i have tried everything and failed, even thuogh i love him and don’t want to be alone myself and it will be hell for me, i know that it is the best option. go girlpower, don’t let them beat you down cause we already have enough shit to deal with in this world!!!

  30. mimi says:

    life goes on…my parents are christian they were together for many years my dad past away and he was not happy…why hold on…kids is not the reason to hold on…either

  31. Dr.IdunnuOgunbase says:

    Getout when U start noticing some changes in his or her behaviour.

  32. tayo says:

    this is absolutely true

  33. foxbat75 says:

    if its not working no matter how hard you are trying to fix it, cut it and let go. there is no other way.

  34. sarah says:

    i believe there’s always a way out in situations..i have through a lot in my relationship but by HIS grace i have overcome it.i think in a relationship where there no GOD fearing,patience,understanding,friendship it rarely work out……..

  35. isabella koranteng says:

    i recently broke up with my longdistance boyfriend and i cant seem to move on.it sounds so easy to do but its hard to cope with the aftermath.you seem to get over it when you’re with people but as soon as you’re alone,a feelin of loneliness and sorrow sets in

  36. Confusedmother says:

    I agree… I have been in a relationship in which i live in one house and my daughter’s father lives in another. We have been living this way since my daughter was born and i am tired of the life we have been living. I keep telling him I’m unhappy and i need to move on with my life but I just can’t seem to go out there and start over new… At times he still comes around telling me he loves me but does he really if he keeps on doing what i don’t like. The main reason I try to still talk to him is because he takes care of us financially but i don’t see the relationship ever improving because every time we do start a conversation we end up quarreling. I don’t know why I continue doing this t myself when I want to be happy.

  37. mussa ayoub says:

    this always happens in our daily life,but I think it is better to be open when one wants to end the relationship

  38. ann says:

    i have been in a relationship for ten months and everytime we have a talk it turn into a arguement iam getting to the point of preparing to be alone he always throws up in my face he going to leave and always blames me for everything he is facing surgery soon and i feel wrong to actually put him out i feel used he got so much resent against meand anger

  39. Issah says:

    I’m in serious love with this girl, who convinced me that she loves me more than I do. Anytime I went to her house, she doesn’t want me to leave. She several times told me she was in relationship with a certain guy but she is tired of him. She always sent me lovely text messages and I trust that she is serious about my love. She has rejected several calls to her phone when am with her, and she always apologized to me when she received calls. However, the girl never tried to come to my house even though I invited her several times. I cannot also enter her house because of her father she claimed to be wild. I always hanged around any time i want to see her. But currently, any time I called her she gives me excuses and promise to call back later which she never did. All my love text messages were not answered. She hardly picked my calls these days. I asked a friend to talk to her but she claimed she still loves me. Any time I booked appointment with her to discuss our relationship, she insist on discussing it on phone but not on face to face. Truthfully speaking, i love her so much and cannot afford to loose her. What should I do? should i quit this 2 month relationship or what is the best way of dealing with this situation? Please your advice is dearly needed immediately.

  40. [...] 7 Signs It’s Time to End Your Relationship [...]

  41. richmond says:

    I tend to agree but what if you love this man so much you don’t want to let go. We argue I think we’re over the next day we make up and everything is good. We have too many interferences.

  42. Sinclair says:

    I have a question: I feel like I am the only one trying to give in our relationship, and she is becoming distant on texts, but when we are together we are all cuddly and loving. Except for the times when it comes to money. I have had some bad rounds with money, and I am trying to work them out with jobs now, but she has offered to help while I say no. Now it has gotten so far that we had a big fight about it and she left for Oslo( a pre planned trip) shortly after. All the week she has been gone now she has been cold and answered short or not at all on texts, and some have been about her staying longer, eventhough she is to come back on my birthday. She even got sad when I this morning asked how she would spend the day before she came back, and she responded that she thought she had two more days. This was for her sad; yes she does have all her friends there, and it’s been along time since she’s seen them, but she has work here and is starting at the university here soon. Also I fear that she is loosing interest in me as she is becoming more and more cold on texts. When we talk I person I do not want to try and read her as I normally do to see what is wrong as that has made problems in the past. A lot of the problems I fear comes from that she is from a musslim family that now have disowned her as their daughter. She is now living near me and we(or at least I) really love each other. So I guess my question was, Even though my problematic economy I still want to give her what she wants as she had it all before, but I do not want her to use to much on me, what am I doing wrong as I feel I am maybe driving her away from me?

  43. Stacie R Martin says:

    God gives you only one life
    (andits short) dont waste precious time being loney when you are in a relationship loney means alone if you going to be lonely then you should not have a partner the whole thing is fake

  44. Ahmad says:

    For the sake of the kids, dont breakup. Try ways to forgive n forget. Everybody makes mistakes coz we are HUMANs….

  45. Martha says:

    If you are not happy in a relationship get out it does not get better only worse trust me I’ve been in for 20 years and now I’m stuck no one would want me now so take it from somebody who knows GET OUT !

  46. Karen says:


    Why do you say “no one will want me now”? How do you know that. You never know what the future may hold. I know how you feel though, I am married 20 years now myself, but everyday I feel that i have to go. There are just too many reasons why. I have my older kids who have witnessed so much and support me entirely. I know my husband does still love me, but I am very unhappy and besides I still look young at 48. People can hardly believe I have an older daughter that is 26 and also six other children. I work and contribute and now I feel I can do this thing on my own, with my kids’ love and constant support. Why drag on the pain and misery?

  47. niketta says:

    my sweet ellie wont do that he went to india not to long ago to see his sis and aunt and came back to me and kissed me and he was awake for 13 days with a couple of hours of sleep my pooooore ellie i love him he’s asleep now and he waiting for me to go to bed

  48. RG says:

    I change my cars and women every 3 years, and that’s the American way.

  49. Beverly says:

    I have an opposite problem. I divorced from a spouse who was cold and indifferent for the last 10 years of a 24 years marriage and refused to talk or try to work things out. I met an awesome man who worships the ground I walk on, his sole purpose is to make me happy. He spends money, time and efforts on making sure that I am happy. However, I enjoy spending time with him but often wonder if its love because I cant see myself with him forever and lately it seems I am not physically attracted to him. What should I do….I enjoy my time with him and the things he does for me but I still feel that need to find someone I have that cant live without feeling for.

  50. Mich says:

    There is a *huge* difference between a dating relationship and marriage. This article is appalling in suggesting leaving a marriage for selfish and petty reasons. I wonder if the divorce attorneys’ association paid for this article to drum up business! The marriage vows are for live, not until “he or she doesn’t keep appointments to talk” or you “fight when you talk”. Relationships are work, people. Life is not a romcom!

  51. Mich says:

    Beverly, you sound like a lot of us who have been influenced by our current culture of “what’s in it for me” — and I don’t mean that in a critical way. Our culture feeds us on that 24/7. But it leaves us with having issues with giving in a relationship. That “can’t live without feeling” is just a feeling — and it passes/mellows, and then life sets in, and relationships require giving, sacrific, and work — that is love. That “can’t live without” feeling is not love. It might be lust, but it ain’t love. Many divorced people later realize they would have been wiser to stay in their marriage and work on it. Men are not like shampoo. We can’t just drop them and expect to find another one we like better.

  52. Francis says:

    I have 2 children with this guy he say loves me bt he photos chicks and he never wants 2 walk with and am unemployed.

  53. Cindy Smith says:

    When HE hits you or threatens you and you feel afraid..That is a time to leave..Nobody should endure abuse. Love is not suppose to HURT!!

  54. Trey Wedge says:

    If I were to write this article, I’d say these are seven relationship behaviors or patterns to be sure you don’t use, before becoming serious about a relationship. If you do any of these things, or want any of these things I think starting a serious relationship is a mistake.

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