By Rachel Shatto
Usually when you think of a breakup, it’s a sad thing. It’s all broken hearts, depressing music, and eating junk food. (OK, that last part is pretty awesome, but you know what I mean.) . But what if the breakup makes you happier? We asked relationship expert Susan Winter for the signs that might just be the case.
Just because a breakup is sad in the moment, that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad thing overall. In fact, there are some situations where ending a relationship will actually make you feel better faster, because the relationship is the problem. If you think that may be you, then it’s time to start paying attention for the signs a breakup will actually make you happier. So, that way, you will know for sure what you’ve honestly known in your heart for while: It’s time to officially call it quits with your current boo.
Making the call to end a relationship (especially one where your partner may have no idea that you’re not happy) can be really hard, so anything that helps to clarify that decision is super helpful. It’s going to mean having to be really honest with yourself about what you’re feeling, which can be hard. But in the end your happiness and emotional well-being is worth it. So what are the signs it’s time to get out? Here’s what the experts say to look out for.
1. There’s serial infidelity in the relationship.
Saying that you shouldn’t stay in a relationship with someone who cheats sounds obvious, but as anyone who has been caught in the cycle of a relationship with a serial cheater knows, it’s much more complicated than that. But here’s the thing: If someone shows you who they are — especially more than once — believe them. And like Dr. Gary Brown, a Los Angeles relationship expert said, “Definitely leave if your partner has had more than one affair.”
And that includes emotional affairs, too. What constitutes an emotional affair? Amber Turner, the founder of Deluxe Matchmaking, told Elite Daily, “If either party feels disconnected and unfulfilled emotionally, the person who goes outside the marriage to fill the void is having an emotional affair.” So, if you or your partner is engaging in emotional affairs, then it might be time to pull the plug. There may be some clear problems in the relationship, and you both deserve to have partners who are both physically and emotionally faithful and fulfilling.
2They get on your nerves constantly.
We all get on our partner’s nerves from time to time — that’s natural and normal. However, there is a big difference between occasionally feeling peeved to when that person simply breathing makes your temper flare. According to NYC relationship expert and dating coach Susan Winter, it’s a sign that you’re falling out of love with this person when “you find yourself irritated by everything they do (and don’t do).” Breaking up with someone may be hard, but who wants to live like that? It’s better to just end the relationship than to try and stay with someone you don’t like anymore.
3You don’t enjoy sex with them anymore.
All relationships have their sexual ebbs and flows. The occasional dry spell is to be expected. However, if the thought of your partner touching you makes your skin crawl, or has “become a chore” and you just can’t imagine that changing, Winter says it’s time to end things. Honestly, it’s the kindest move.
4Your partner is toxic or abusive.
Of all the reasons to end a relationship, this is the most important. As Dr. Brown told Elite Daily, if you are in a relationship with someone toxic or abusive, “You should leave immediately. Don’t wait for months if not years of therapy that may or may not work for your partner, as abusers tend to reoffend.” Winter agrees, and said, “Get out as soon as possible. Cut all ties as soon as you can. The only way to handle a toxic relationship is to leave.” This includes more subtle forms of manipulation, like gaslighting.
If you’re in an abusive or toxic relationship, there are some resources that can help, including The National Domestic Abuse Violence Hotline, which is a toll-free, 24/7 service that can connect you to a trained advocate. Dial 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) to reach help via the phone or use their live chat.
5You don’t see a future with them.
When you close your eyes and imagine your future plans, what role does your partner play? If they aren’t a part of the picture and you don’t think that will be changing anytime soon, it’s time to end the relationship so that you are available to find the person you do see a future with. Because, as Alessandra Conti, Celebrity Matchmaker at Matchmakers In The City, told Elite Daily, “A huge element of relationships is hope and excitement for the future: you both want similar things, and share common dreams and goals.”
6You just don’t really want to be in a relationship with them anymore.
Endings of all kinds can be really hard, but, if in your heart, there is as Winter describes “a palpable emptiness in the relationship,” then it’s time to just be honest and call it quits. Or, if you find yourself regularly “fantasizing about ways you can leave them,” then do everyone a favor and set both of you free.
Yes, breakups can be really hard and sad, and there is almost inevitably a mourning period that follows. But when it’s not the right fit, it’s OK to be honest and say it’s over. The sooner you do, the sooner both of you can move on to a bigger and better love. And that’s exactly what you deserve.