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The hardest part about a breakup is actually making the decision to walk away. There’s often so much self doubt and fear around this decision. We have thoughts like, “But what if this person is the one?” or “What if I never find anyone else?”

It’s a scary and difficult choice regardless, but here are a few ways to tell if it’s time to end the relationship for good.

You’re sad or upset the majority of the time.

I heard this once and it stuck with me forever. If you’re not happy the majority of the time you’re with this person, it’s likely time to move on. We try so hard to rationalize or make up excuses as to why we should stay in bad relationships. This is because we all grow up hearing that relationships are “work”.

There are seasons within a relationship that can be difficult and in which honest effort is required. But there’s a difference between working on a good relationship and being stuck in a bad one. During difficult seasons, you’re working towards a solution or compromise. It’s not endless fighting with no end or solution in sight.

The “work” that people often refer to is the acknowledgement of difficult feelings, communicating openly and compromising when necessary. That is all hard work, but it’s not all for nothing. The intention behind this work is to develop a stronger, healthier and more loving relationship. Often, bad relationships are a lot of effort with very little resolution. If you’re fighting every day and crying often, it may be time to move on.

This person makes you feel bad about who you are.

I once dated a guy who would point out my flaws in a room full of people. But he would do it jokingly so it didn’t seem obvious to me. I would laugh along with everyone as my face grew hot, and then when I would bring it up later, he would tell me he was just joking around & not to be so sensitive.

If your partner is criticizing you regularly and making you feel like you’re not good enough, you have to realize that they are the ones who are actually insecure. Deep down, they’re scared they’re not good enough for you, so they criticize to make you feel like you’re the lucky one in the relationship. Or they criticize you, to make themselves feel/look better. This is 100% a form of emotional abuse and it needs to be taken seriously.

Don’t allow anyone to make you feel like there’s something wrong with you. A good partner will love every part of you, even the dark parts. If your partner makes you feel like you’re not good enough, it’s time to walk away.

Your partner doesn’t change hurtful behavior.

If you bring up an issue to your partner and they apologize profusely, are on their best behavior for two days, and then go back to doing the same hurtful things – this is a problem. This person either just doesn’t care that they’re hurting you, or you’re asking them to change a part of their personality, which may be impossible for them. Both are huge red flags and need to be addressed.

Something just doesn’t feel right.

Making the decision to part ways with someone is the hardest part. However, if you’re often thinking about breaking up and feel in your gut like something’s not right, that alone is reason enough. You don’t need to explain it to anyone or rationalize your decision. Deep down, you do know what’s best for you and maybe what’s best for you is waiting just around the corner. All you have to do is move forward.