Knowing when to let go of a relationship

Not every relationship is worth holding onto.

During my last year of high school, I fell in love for the first time.

In the beginning, everything was great. He was sweet, charming and we had a lot of fun together. But when things started to get serious, our relationship changed.

When we first started going out, we were just grazing the surface of each other’s personalities. But the longer we dated and got to know each other, the more our differences clashed. We constantly butted heads.

Six months in and the relationship became an endless cycle of fighting and making up. I kept telling myself it’s all worth it. I knew I really loved him and didn’t want to give up on what I considered a good thing.

But looking back, as much I loved him, I did foolishly tire myself out over a relationship that didn’t deserve the effort. Just because you love someone doesn’t mean the two of you are meant to be together.

While in certain circumstances you can work out differences and make things work, sometimes it is best for both of you to let go of each other.

Here are some questions you should ask yourself to determine whether or not the relationship should continue.

Is the effort equal?

Relationships require effort from both sides. But if you feel like your partner isn’t carrying his share of the weight, then maybe it’s time to re-evaluate.

Talk to your partner about how you feel, but if after your discussion, you still feel like it’s a one-sided relationship, then it’s time to move on.

Are you constantly having the same arguments?

I remember it was always the same two fights with my ex: me hanging out with other guys and my former smoking habit.

No matter how much fun we had or how much we cared, we always came back to these problems.

If you keep coming back to the same dispute, you can either agree to disagree and learn to compromise on the issue; but if it still seems unresolvable, then maybe this is a sign of a deal-breaker.

Is the fighting more than anything else?

How much time do you spend fighting, and how much time do you spend just being happy with each other?

If it seems 50-50, then there may be a way to tip the scale towards the positive side. But if the fighting feels significantly higher than the sweet moments, it’s time to end the misery.

Are you starting to consider other people?

Starting to crush a little too hard on that cute, new classmate?

If you’re imagining yourself with different people and liking that fantasy more than your romantic reality, then it’s a definite signal you’re not happy in your current relationship.

Are you compatible?

While I wish I could say love is everything, compatibility does play a major role in determining the lasting strength of a relationship.

My ex and I fought constantly because we didn’t share the same values. If it wasn’t an argument about how to raise children, then it was about which city we wanted to live in.

We had different political ideologies, conflicting family values and different worldviews.

While we always said opposites attract and believed we were each other’s yin and yang—opposites that somehow fit perfectly—truth is, we weren’t compatible and it held us back rather than propelling us forward into a beautiful and healthy companionship.


If you and your partner just can’t see eye to eye on important issues—no matter how much you love each other—sometimes you can save yourself a lot more pain by letting go.

Featured Image: Bigstock

About Jessica Renae Buxbaum (12 Articles)
Online journalist covering politics, feminism, and social change

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