All love stories come to an end, but it's difficult for us to put a definitive stop to them. Some couples take months, others take years, and some never dare to separate, even though they know they would be better off on their own.
The best way to suffer as little as possible is to end the story at the right moment, before you start to suffer or make the other person suffer. It's very hard to separate, but when there is no love, no respect, no equality, no care, no sincerity, no commitment, it's better to part ways than to continue.
It doesn't matter if you've been together for two weeks, two months, or twenty years: relationships where you can't enjoy love are better to be ended. Being in love is not an excuse: millions of people around the world break up even when they're in love. What matters isn't the love story you want to experience, but your well-being and happiness. What matters is saving yourself from suffering, especially in relationships where there is no reciprocity: unrequited loves are the most painful.
And how do you identify when it's the right time? How do you know if that moment has arrived when the love has run its course? Your body and your heart tell you that moment: when you realize you're not having fun, when you're not enjoying yourself, and when you don't feel cared for. In addition to the signals that the actions and body of the other person send us, there are also signals that our body, mind, and heart emit: you have to learn to listen to yourself and take yourself into account, and one of the main demonstrations of self-love is not being in relationships where we suffer.
Here are some tips to know when it's time to put an end to your love story:
When you cry: this is one of the main signs that something is not right. If you're having a tough time, if you're suffering, feeling anguish or anxiety, experiencing fear or disappointment, feeling pain or anger, if you're angry all the time or feeling very sad, it's because the relationship isn't working. It's the first and most important warning sign: your body is telling you that you're not doing well, and you're the one who needs to take care of yourself and take responsibility for your happiness.
When you're starting out and you have completely different ideas about what love, partnership, emotional commitment are, and you also have different paces when it comes to deepening the relationship. When each of you has desires and goals that aren't compatible: you can't force your partner to match your pace, nor can they force you to accept the other person's pace. Women tend to adapt to what's there, to what's offered to us, but resigning ourselves generates pain and resentment that isn't good for us.
When everything is very difficult and your partner puts up many walls and obstacles: when your partner doesn't want to be in a partnership, when there's emotional mutilation, when they impose a frequency and schedule on you without asking what you feel like. When they put another person in the middle of the relationship, when they try to keep you at a distance, when you don't feel free to communicate whenever you want, when you feel you can't act spontaneously, then it's worth considering whether it's worthwhile to be with someone who has so many issues with enjoying love.
When your partner makes your existence invisible or denies the existence of the relationship: "we're just friends," "we don't have anything," "you're nobody in my life," "I'm not going to talk about you to anyone," "I don't want us to be seen in public," "we're just about sex," "we're just having fun"... this type of person keeps saying the same things four years later, so generally, if they deny or make you invisible, it's because they don't love you. And it's very painful to be with someone who is ashamed of you or asks you to stay in a closet, waiting quietly so that others don't find out about your existence.
When you feel there's an imbalance in the relationship, that one of you is giving much more than the other, that one of you is holding the relationship with love and care, while the other person just lets themselves be loved and cared for. When there's no balance in the distribution of tasks, desires, intensity, or finances... the person putting in more energy and resources is the one who suffers the most. It's then time to leave the relationship, whether you're the one who can't give your best or the other person who isn't contributing equally: imbalanced relationships are generally very difficult and only work when one member yields, accepts, resigns, and submits to what the other person offers.
When things go wrong and your partner doesn't want to engage in self-critique, when they simply blame you for everything that happens without recognizing their share of responsibility, you need to run away. Problems will never be resolved if the entire weight of the relationship falls on you, if the other person can't apologize, if the other person doesn't work on their part to improve the relationship. The partnership is always a work in progress and always involves two people: both of you need to nurture and care for the relationship and work on what needs to be improved to enhance coexistence and become better individuals.
When you're the one who realizes that you no longer want to be in a relationship because the love has faded or because you've fallen in love with someone else, you need to be honest with yourself and with your partner. You should do everything in your power to prevent them from suffering because of you. The sooner you take action, the better: it's preferable to endure the pain of a breakup than to be in a relationship without feeling loved.
When your partner doesn't treat you well, when they mistreat you: they stand you up, they act ugly towards you, they don't respond to messages or calls, they refuse to use protection, they disappear for days without explanation and return, they become violent when angry or stressed, they monitor you to control you... When they try to involve another woman in the relationship (an ex, a new friend), when they restrict your freedom, attempt to isolate you from your loved ones, constantly criticize you, humiliate you, mock you in public, speak disrespectfully about you, give orders and get angry if you disobey, emotionally manipulate you, threaten you, ridicule you, feel embarrassed by you, or punish you with indifference. When your partner tries to make you jealous to make you feel more insecure and dependent, and even when your partner enjoys seeing you suffer because they feel powerful, then it's best to end the relationship.
When your partner tells you they love you but you don't feel loved, you should first listen to your heart, trust yourself, and what you're feeling. When your partner says one thing and does another, when there's a lack of consistency between their words and actions, it's important to stand up for yourself and understand that it's dangerous to stay in a relationship where words don't match the other person's behavior. The reasons why someone is with you even if they don't love you don't matter: what's important is not staying there if you don't feel reciprocated.
When one of you (or both) crosses the red line of respect, it's highly likely that there's no way to guarantee it won't happen again. When there are verbal or physical aggressions, it's necessary to separate and work on therapy to prevent repeating such behavior in future relationships, to understand how you reached that point or how the other person did, and to ensure that mutual respect remains at the core of your future relationships.
When you feel something inside you shatter, or when something breaks: trust, communication, camaraderie... sometimes it's possible to continue even after infidelity, but if trust is broken, if you're with someone who lies to you multiple times and constantly deceives you, the relationship can become a genuine ordeal.
When your loved people don't like your partner, and they don't like how your partner treats you or them: this is one of the most significant indicators. People who genuinely care about you want you to be happy, and if they don't feel comfortable around your partner, there's a reason for it. Some people won't openly say it but will try to see you alone to avoid your partner's presence, or they'll avoid spending time with you together. Some will express their concerns, and it's important to listen to the reasons why they believe your partner isn't a good match for you. You often deceive yourself into thinking that they don't understand how wonderful your significant other is, but when you end the relationship, you realize why your loved ones didn't like your partner. So, listen to those who care about you and want the best for you: they can save you months or even years of suffering.
When you're dreaming of a romantic miracle to change your partner or your relationship, it's because something isn't right: women spend their lives dreaming of magical transformations, but we weren't born to resign or wait. Life is short, and we can't waste our time waiting for changes that usually only happen in romantic movies, not in reality. The only possible change is the one you make by making decisions and taking actions to take care of yourself and strive for a better life.
When there are no conditions for love, when something separates you or prevents you from enjoying love: your partner confesses they're married, or suddenly falls in love with someone else, or decides to move to another continent for their career or to live out their dream. When your partner's problems affect you, you need to consider ending the relationship. Also, if your partner joins a cult, falls into depression and doesn't want to see you, or succumbs to an addiction that will lead to their demise. It can also happen that your partner decides to radically change their life, or you may need a radical change yourself... there are couples that love each other deeply but can't be together due to lack of conditions or compatibility, or because both are evolving in opposite directions, or because significant changes prevent the relationship from being viable... it's always better to free yourself and free the other person.
When you sense that your partner is bored with you and you know they're with you out of convenience, when their apathy and lack of enthusiasm hurt you, when their indifference undermines your self-esteem, when you feel used, or when you realize that love no longer has room to grow, don't wait to see if it miraculously flourishes on its own.
When the relationship is stagnant, when you feel trapped: there are relationships that neither progress nor regress, and there are relationships where one of the members loses their freedom because one imposes restrictive conditions and asks the other person to sacrifice and give up their plans, dreams, social life, and network of relationships.
When there's incompatibility regarding parenting: if you don't want to have children, but your partner does, or vice versa, be very clear that you can't impose your wishes and needs on anyone, but you also can't give in because it's very tough not to have children when you want them, and it's agonizing to have children when you didn't desire them. Creating a family with children is only possible when both individuals are eager and fully committed from the heart: parenting is challenging, and you need to form a strong team to raise the children.
When you sense discomfort and can't put a name to it or discuss it. It doesn't quite reach the level of pain; rather, it's a feeling that something isn't right, something doesn't fit, but you can't articulate it well. Sometimes it's related to the fear of being deceived. For example, if you start a fantastic relationship and believe you've found a partner, but you suspect they have other relationships and are lying to you. Or when one day you find yourself burdened with problems that aren't yours, or you find yourself in a household resembling a monarchy where the other person behaves like a king and you've been cast in the role of a servant. When you alone assume the domestic and caregiving burdens, something isn't functioning well: someone is abusing you, your energy, and your time to have a better life. Keep in mind that this isn't an isolated experience; it's not a personal issue but a collective one: many women live as servants to their husbands and take years to identify that nameless discomfort that Betty Friedan discussed in her book "The Feminine Mystique."
When there are more fights and arguments than good moments, when there's too much accumulated resentment over time, and when you notice that every time you sit down to talk, you're exchanging accusations and more accusations. It's time to consider whether it's worth living in a perpetual state of anger and whether you might be better off separated. If your goal is to live peacefully and well, then don't hesitate: being in a relationship that's constantly fighting is hell and completely ruins our lives. Don't waste your energy fighting against your partner, trying to change them, or attempting to dominate them: if the relationship isn't working, if you're not getting along, it's best to end it with love, ideally without starting a war.
When you're constantly compromising to avoid conflict, when you're the understanding and patient one, when you're giving up your passions or dreams, when you're always in a submissive and accommodating position due to your fear of being without a partner, when you're the one carrying the burden all the time, it's time to consider whether it's worth being in a relationship where you're not yourself, and where the other person always benefits.
When there are people who meddle in your relationship to harm you or your partner, you need to know when to end the relationship when your partner doesn't care for or protect you through inaction or omission, or when they directly side with the other person.
When you notice that your partner is making real efforts to get you to end the relationship. Some people, when they no longer love you, start behaving poorly; many are desperately asking you to leave: do it. Don't hesitate for a second: if they're making you suffer, it's because they're longing to break free but are too cowardly to tell you.
When you're tired of enduring, when you feel you can't take it anymore, when you feel apathetic and disheartened, when you finally realize there's nothing you haven't tried to salvage the relationship, when you feel like spreading your wings, when you dare to imagine a life without your partner, when you envision yourself happy in a future without your partner.
Coral Herrera Gómez