5 ways to know it’s time to break up with someone

Breaking up is hard to do and anyone who has had their heart broken will tell you that. But, sometimes a breakup must happen and there are definitely ways to know that you need to break up. It often comes down to looking at your relationship honestly and not being afraid to see the real answers in front of you (we know, we know — WAY easier said than done).

And while it’s  not easy to be on the receiving side of the “we’re just not working” conversation, it can genuinely be just as brutal to be on the side of breaking hearts, too.

But having that conversation and cutting romantic ties with someone is never something you should put off or ignore, no matter how long you’ve been with someone. In the end, you’re genuinely doing everyone involved a favor by ending something that isn’t making you both happy.

If you’re feeling like your relationship is feeling off, but you’re not sure if it’s time to break up with your partner, here are five signs that you should not ignore.

1You’re stalled on where to go next

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When you’ve been with someone for a while, some people start to wonder about the future. Will you move in together? Do you want kids? How do you feel about marriage? But, if you’re not on the same page about any of them and one side of the relationship won’t budge, it’s time to move on, New York relationship expert, April Masini tells HelloGiggles, “Many people stay in relationships hoping their partner will magically change their mind about commitment,” Masini says.

“Either they end up staying too long and wasting time or getting angry about the situation and starting to bicker and pick at any possible sore point,” she warns. “If you have a goal and your time table’s not being met, focus on the goal and move on.”

2You can’t be yourself

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You should never change who you are for someone to the point that you don’t recognize yourself anymore. Growth and change are good things, but if you’re not able to be your true self with your partner, it’s time to move on.

Ultimately, if you’re constantly hiding who you are, it will wear you down and no one wants to be unhappy their entire life.

3You’re constantly fighting

Every relationship has their fair share of arguments, but if you’re fighting all the time and you never seem to resolve anything, your communication is seriously lacking — and that’s a huge red flag. If you or your partner rarely see eye to eye, push each other’s buttons, and spend much of your time making up, it might be time to move on.

4You haven’t met their family or friends

Introducing your new relationship to people who have known you forever, like your family and friends, can be intimidating, but it’s part of moving to the next step before the big life changes (like moving in and starting a family). But, if you’ve been with your partner a while and you keep asking to meet their mom or best friend and they keep deflecting, that’s a major red flag.

“Partners who are interested in meaningful relationships will want you to meet their family and friends,” Masini says. “When you’re kept ‘compartmentalized’ it’s because you’re not as important to a partner as someone they would want to introduce around, show off and include in extended family and friend rituals.”

5You’re waiting for a big change.

If you’re waiting for your partner to do something big before you move to the next step, you may find yourself waiting forever. Whether it’s waiting until they get a better job, out of debt, or even get that divorce from their previous partner.

“If you’re with someone who’s divorce is never complete, and they don’t seem to be in any type of hurry to get it finalized, you’re with a married person, Masini warns. Time to move on and find someone who’s legally single as well as socially and emotionally single!

Having “the breakup talk” is never, ever easy, and sometimes the end results can leave you seriously bummed out for a while — even when you know it was all for the best. Just remember — the sooner you do something that you know is inevitable, the sooner it will be behind you — and the sooner you both can move on.