By Liz Lampkin, Crosswalk.com
Relationships are a blessing. They are a vital part of living a healthy life, so it's important that the relationships you engage in are healthy for your existence. More often than not, people experience relationships that are not good for them and remain in them longer than they should for several reasons. While it isn't easy letting go of someone you've become familiar with, sometimes it's necessary for your overall health and theirs. If you find yourself in a difficult place in a relationship and you aren't sure of whether or not you should leave, take a look at the list below to help you with your decision.
1. When the relationship begins to drain you of all positive energy.
Relationships of any kind take time and effort. Putting in time and effort requires good mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional energy. If you find that your relationship is causing your good energy to shift, then it's safe to say that it's time to go. Signs that you're drained could include a lack of motivation to do anything but focus on the relationship, constant fatigue, a shift in your mood, and a lack of concentration. If you are experiencing any of these things or others, chances are it's time for you to walk away.
2. When it becomes more of a burden than a blessing to both of you.
Relationships are a beautiful thing. They are designed to enhance human existence. They are here to help you learn and grow. They are here to bring joy. They are the foundation of life because people need each other to survive. However, some people need to be placed at a healthy distance. When the relationship you're in causes unwanted stress, unhealthy co-dependency, or if you find yourself or your partner bored but still trying to hang on, then your relationship has become a burden.
3. When you begin to change for the worst.
Interactions with people can and should impact someone's habits, especially in close relationships. However, many people often pick up unhealthy habits in the wrong relationship. When we're heavily involved in relationships, we often can't see ourselves from the inside out or outside in. So, it's easy to unexpectedly morph into some unrecognizable. However, if you have close friends and family members who know who you are at your core, they will hopefully redirect you back to the person you were before you changed for the worst.
4. The relationship is unbalanced.
Suppose you find that you are carrying the load or the weight of the relationship, or you feel alone. If you discover that you are the one who consistently communicates, provides a variety of support, financial strain, or your interactions begin to leave you unfulfilled, then the relationship is unbalanced. If or when these signs come about, it's time to leave the relationship and rediscover your individual balance.
5. There is no mutual trust.
Trust is an essential part of any relationship. It's one of the major foundations relationships are built upon. It's the belief that the person you are with has good intentions for you and the relationship as a whole. Without it, what do you have, and how can you move forward? A few signs that the mutual trust in a relationship is gone include refusing to openly communicate, a lack of vulnerability, constant feelings of insecurity, or uncommunicated and unrealistic expectations. When there is no trust, there is no way you can have a healthy relationship.
6. When either of you stops growing in a positive direction.
If you discover that you and your partner are not growing and going in a good direction in life, then it may be time to let each other go. If you find that neither of you supports each other's goals from every aspect of life, or even if you feel stagnant, it's time to move on.
7. When you begin to feel alone.
Many people believe that engaging in intimate relationships will resolve their loneliness. Not true. Many people are actively dating, engaged, cohabitating, or married, and they are lonelier than those who are single. If you feel your partner is starting to neglect the relationship or you as a person, it may be time to walk away.
8. When you can no longer communicate effectively.
Listening with the intent to understand. Engaging in face-to-face conversations. Speaking to each other with respect. Making your needs and wants clear. Making sure your partner understands what your needs are. If these things are lacking in your relationship, head for the hills. Communication in any relationship is key. Without it, there is no relationship.
9. Any form of abuse.
Physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, financial, intellectual, substance, etc. Abuse of any kind is not okay. If you are being abused in any way, walk away and seek help for your healing.
10. Your goals and vision for life don't align.
If the things you want in life do not or no longer align with your partner, then you have two options. You can stay and accept your partner's vision as long as it doesn't interfere with your goals. The other option is to bow out gracefully and move forward with your life.
11. A lack of security.
This can look a few different ways. One way is that your partner can belittle you to hurt your self-esteem. They can behave jealously and make you feel like you aren't worthy of having a relationship with them. Or your partner makes you feel insecure about your commitment to each other. They may do things like walk out of the room when the phone rings, communication begins to fade or their interactions with you suddenly change without reason. If these things are happening, then it's time to leave. Every person deserves to feel loved and secure in every relationship they encounter. To receive and expect anything less is inhumane.
Relationships are hard, but they are a necessary part of life. If you find that your relationships of any kind do not bring out the best in you, then take a minute to reevaluate them and walk away if necessary. On the other hand, if you believe that you do not bring out the best in the people you're involved with, then you should walk away for their sake. Relationships are about both person's well-being, and every party involved deserves to be happy. Once you've decided to leave a relationship, do the following:
- Take some time for yourself to heal.
- Reflect on the relationship to see where you made your mistakes.
- Pray and ask God to help you through your healing process.
- Don't jump into another relationship too fast. Embrace and engulf yourself in your healing.
- When you're no longer vulnerable, be open to engaging in another relationship. Remember the lessons you learned from your previous one, and leave the negative baggage behind.
- Be patient. The love you deserve will be on its way, and you can enjoy it freely once you are healed.
I pray that each relationship you have blesses you and those around you beyond your imagination as you go through life.
Photo credit: © Getty Images/Ridofranz
Author Liz Lampkin is an experienced writer, teacher, and speaker. She is an advocate for singles who encourages them to live their best life God’s way. Follow her on Instagram @Liz_Lampkin.