Login Form

When to leave a relationship

When is it time to break-up?

Do I stay, or do I go? When is it time to break-up?

Love can be wonderful. But love can also be a great source of pain. Like fire. Used properly and for good, it adds immense joy to your life. If abused and not contained, it can destroy everything.

Understandably, you don’t want to bail on every relationship at the very first sign of difficulty. There’s something to be gained in working thru issues, and being supportive of someone during a turbulent time. No one wants (or wants to be) a fair-weather friend.

On the other hand, how much is enough already? When does ‘standing by your man’ become such an imposition that it fails to serve any meaningful purpose in either of your lives? What do you do when all of those “signs” and messages from the Universe/God (those whispers, your intuition, that's supposed to be there to guide you) just seem like cruel riddles - difficult to interpret, and never quite giving the sense of calm that's supposed to come with knowing you’re doing the right thing?

How far will you go, how much of yourself will you give, under the guise of love?

The answers to these questions usually become obvious as time passes, especially if you are armed with some basic information, and follow SEVEN critical rules.

The first rule of love is: Do not lose yourself!

You are a beautiful, compassionate, intelligent, respectable, honest, loyal, young woman serving an important purpose on this Earth. Do not forget that as you fall in love. Do not allow a guy (or anyone) to cause you to doubt your self-worth, turn you into something or someone you aren’t, or become involved in things that are not in alignment with your values and sense of self.

In order to not ‘lose’ yourself, you must KNOW yourself. Otherwise, you’ll morph into whatever sort of person your lover expects you to be; or whatever sort of person you *think* he wants you to become. You’ll engage in activities, act in ways, and focus on things that will divert you from achieving your greatest good.

So first FIND yourself - and then KEEP yourself.

Point: A good time to exit a relationship is at that point you realize that you have ‘lost’ yourself, and the only way to get back to YOU is outside of the boundaries of the relationship.

Rule 2: Feel the love

Love is supposed to feel nice and peaceful, and your lover is supposed to…LOVE YOU BACK! If he doesn’t (or fails to demonstrate it), it’s probably a good idea to reevaluate the relationship. One-sided relationships are not sustainable, satisfying, and only lead to suffering, self-doubt, and unhappiness (especially for you).

It’s easy for a guy to say he loves you, but DEMONSTRATING that love is what really matters. Guys tell girls they love them and promise 'happily ever after' all the time! They say this to keep you on the shelf. Their little shelf of ‘toys,’ so they can pull you down and play with you when they are bored with their other toys. Don’t be his cheap toy. You are much too valuable to accept that role.

You cannot believe him just because he SAYS something. Make him SHOW you. You have to FEEL the love, not just hear the words.

Point: If you don’t feel the love, regardless of what he’s SAYING, it’s time to do a relationship assessment. If the relationship is consistently one-sided, it’s time to let it go.

What is “consistently” one sided?

That depends on the length and nature of the relationship. On one extreme, if you met a guy a month ago, and he never calls you, and the only time you see him is when you arrange everything; it’s time to ditch him. If this is how he’s acting NOW, you’d be a fool to expect anything different later on.

On the other hand, if you’ve been married to, and/or built a life with a person who’s been there for you when you needed support, and in the grand scheme of your relationship over the years it’s been a fair, mutually supportive exchange; realize that this feeling of rejection is a small part of the relationship (and at times we all feel rejected by those we love). Very likely, in a short time, the feeling will pass. So, in some cases, it’s appropriate to hold the line and give the relationship (and this person) the benefit of the doubt with more time.

How much more time? Until either things improve, or enough time has passed where a clear pattern of *consistent* one-sidedness has becomes the dominating sentiment in the relationship which does not improve despite your best efforts (conversation, letters, therapy, coaching, whatever).

Rule 3: Have a vision

You must decide what you expect from a partner. Your list should be realistic, keeping in mind that you won’t be “perfect” so expecting ‘perfection’ in your partner is unreasonable. You’ll be single forever if you expect a real live perfect man.

That being said, however, you must have some standards! What are they? Maybe family oriented, intelligent, honest, loyal, mentally stable, drug-free, non-violent, loves you, hard-worker, balanced…?? Focus on things that really matter. Skin color, height, how much money he makes, the type of car he drives…shouldn’t matter. If you value the “wrong” (i.e. superficial) attributes, you will set yourself up for heartache.

So have a vision of the guy you really want. Who do you want him to be on the inside? How do you want him to treat you? What do you want him to value?

If you’re able to keep this vision in your mind’s eye to serve as a guide in choosing your husband, it will be easier to recognize him when he enters your life. This vision will also serve to inform you about your current guy, and whether or not there’s real long term potential in having a happy relationship with him.

Point: If the guy you’re with demonstrates (or you otherwise determine) he’s not consistent with your vision (meaning he’s not the type of guy you want to end up with) it’s a good time to dump him.

Rule 4: Recognize and act swiftly if immediate relationship-enders surface.

Immediately end the relationship if:

It involves domestic violence. No one has the right to hit you, throw things at you, threaten you, hurt you, rape you, lock you up, tie you down, or otherwise torture you in a romantic relationship (without your permission).


Domestic violence is about intimidation and control. How can you ever live your best and fullest life serving your purpose if you are afraid to even state your truth to your most intimate partner? How can you fully participate in creating your destiny, leaving your mark, raising your children, finding your joy, if there’s a bully living with you beating you down? His rage, anger, need for domination, is ALL ABOUT HIM. Sure, he'll blame you - say you deserve it. But the reason he's hitting you is because HE'S feeling out of control...and beating on you makes him feel better about that. It's the same reason anyone becomes a bully. There is nothing you can do to change him, and he’s not going to stop hitting you no matter how much he apologizes and buys you pretty things after the fact.

There are things that should only happen once (if ever). Being hit by your guy is certainly one of them. If you don’t leave, you are sending the message that you condone the behavior. The longer you stay, the more intertwined your lives become, the more passionate the relationship – the more likely it will end very badly (with him killing you). SO NOT WORTH taking a chance! Plan your exit, and leave him!

*Side note regarding the rest of the relationship-enders: What you should tolerate in a relationship is certainly partially determined by the nature of the relationship, time invested, and consequences of leaving. These factors can only be determined by you. If you are an old married couple with decades of shared life, finances, health insurance, family/children, and more – well, leaving your life-long spouse in their time of need may not be the smartest solution (after all, you wouldn’t want said spouse to throw you aside if you get caught making a mistake). But if this guy is some dude you’ve been dating for a year or three – push him out of your life onto his ASS.

With that said, let’s continue to other relationship-enders.

Drug use/Alcoholism – It is WAY too early to involve yourself in trying to build a life, and carry (or DRAG) a partner with a major issue like drug or alcohol abuse thru life. These issues are life-long, and there are many men out there that are not substance addicted (choose one of them). If you mess around with addicted men, who have addicted peers, you run the real risk of becoming drug-addicted yourself, or having your future children drug-addicted. Not to mention that you cannot ever trust an addict. They lie, they steal, they cheat, and they lose their minds, ultimately forsaking everything for that next high. If it is revealed to you early on that your guy is a substance abuser, consider yourself warned! This is a message from the Universe/God about the person, and if you pretend you don’t know the ramifications and ignore this advice, expect the relationship to bring you more problems and drama than you bargained for.

Criminal activity – if you play with fire you will get burned. If you lie with pigs, you will get dirty. You are the average of your 5 closest friends. Birds of a feather flock together. Any way you look at it, you will become a criminal if you condone their actions and stay with them.

Infidelity – once a cheater, always a cheater. It may be hard to accept this fact when, after being ‘found out’ the guy is crying, begging you on his knees that he’s a ‘changed man’ and ‘it will never happen again.’

Until it does.

If you let him cheat on you once, he WILL do it again. He’s a cheater, and now you KNOW this. If you keep him in your life you are accepting his behavior. If you accept his behavior, don’t be surprised when he continues being the man that he was the last time you caught him cheating.

Even if, in some imaginary land, he really wouldn’t cheat again, how will you know that? Because he *told* you so? Even if – how could you ever trust him enough to build a solid and meaningful relationship foundation? And even if YOU could, consider that he actually won’t trust you either – because now he’ll feel like you have a “pass”. Before you know it, in typical cheating-guy fashion, he’ll make YOU feel like you did something wrong even though he’s the one who was cheating!

Other relationship-enders include: verbal abuse, stealing from you, gambling, lying about money

Point: Do yourself a favor and break free of this drama as soon as this major character flaw is revealed to you.

Rule 5: LISTEN

Be sure to LISTEN to a guy when you first meet him. Many times if you allow him to talk, he’ll tell you everything you need to know rather early on. If he says he doesn’t want children, and you do, don’t bother with him. If he says he’s not a one-woman guy, don’t be with him. Don’t try to change him – he will not change.

Point: If he tells you something about himself that would be a deal-breaker later on in the relationship, why stick around? Don’t.

Rule 6: See the big picture!

You will get sad. Every relationship has its ups and downs. And life has a way of teaching us, and showing us, which direction we should go. If life is showing you that this guy isn’t YOUR guy, be sad (if you want), be mad (if that’s what you feel), but know that it is a lesson. Learn the lesson quickly (without trying to fight it, or get around it somehow), and move the hell on.

No relationship is EVER worth hurting yourself, or killing yourself over. Nor is he worth you going to jail for – so even if you WISH him dead, and really may want to kill him, you must realize that this rage/anger/frustration will fade. And you will enjoy a life free of a criminal record. After all, why screw up YOUR future over this ass-hole?

Yes, sometimes it may seem like each day is SO long, and without this person in your life you’re destined for a lonely end. It may feel like this guy was your soul-mate, the only guy you think you could ever love. It may feel like there is no point to life, or maybe you feel like life is so difficult…too difficult…and you want to ‘press the reset button’ to ease the emotional pain you feel.

But realize that there is no ‘reset’ button on THIS life. And no guy (especially some loser who doesn’t value your worth, and probably doesn’t even love you) is worth you being disloyal to yourself!

Feel your feelings, express your emotions, and continue living, one day at a time, demonstrating to yourself, and the Universe, that as much as it hurts, you are making progress…you are learning your lesson. Things will get easier – after all.

After you learn the lesson of “dump the loser” you will realize your strength and exemplify to yourself that you believe that you are worthy of love and happiness. You will show yourself that you love yourself more than you do some guy. You will realize that you are a capable and reliable advocate for yourself, willing to do the hard emotional work necessary to preserve your sanity and execute your life purpose. When you are able to recognize a *real* soul-mate (by eliminating imposters from your life)…your lesson will be complete, successful…and you will be ready for a real, mutually loving, respectful, romantic relationship.

But not until then.

Point: Learn the damn lesson and move on already! Dump a bad guy. You know he’s a dog way before he shows his tail. Trust your intuition.

Final Rule 7: Remember, LOVE has nothing to do with it.

Whether you should stay, or go, is based on anything/everything discussed – EXCEPT LOVE. We know you love him. He knows you love him. So what?! What’s love got to do with it?


Nothing at all.

Point: If you find yourself in an unpleasant relationship, and your only reason for staying is "because I love him," - it's time to leave.