Your Relationships: When to Move On

Whether it’s a romantic relationship or a friendship – or even a working relationship – it can be difficult to determine when it’s time to cut your losses and say good-bye. Below are some general guidelines to consider if you’re trying to decide. Of course there will always be exceptions, especially in a relationship that is longstanding and means a lot to you, but if you’ve gotten to the points where you’re considering cutting ties, these guidelines can help.

It’s just too much work

All relationships require work. But if it seems as if you spend all your time trying to salvage the relationship, you have to ask yourself: what is it you’re trying to salvage? Is there still enough there that’s worth holding on to, or are you just fighting for it because that’s what you’re used to doing? Relationships should be some work — but a lot of good times, too.

All give and no take

Relationships are partnerships, regardless of who you’re in a relationship with. They are about give and take, with each partner holding up their end of both. If you’re constantly giving everything to the other person — time, love, energy, money, support, etc. — and aren’t getting anything in return, that’s not a partnership — it’s a parasitic relationship. Though there will be times, such as during crises or emergencies, that the relationship becomes more one-sided, overall relationships should be mutually beneficial. If you reach out to someone in a time of need, that person should be willing to return the favor when you’re the one in need.

You’re just not happy

If on the surface everything seems to be perfect, but underneath you’re miserable, that’s not good, either. Relationships are about more than what’s on the surface. They should bring you some kind of fulfillment – whatever that kind of relationship is designed to fill. A relationship should add value to your life, and bring you happiness. If it’s not doing that, you need to ask yourself why.


Not all kinds of abuse are easily identifiable, though if you’re in a relationship that is obviously mentally or physically abusive – get out! You deserve better. If you’re not sure, think about how you feel when you’re with the other person. Are you afraid? Do you flinch when he or she approaches? Do you hesitate from doing things because you’re concerned how the other will react? Have you distanced yourself from your friends? Even if the “good” times make you happy, if the “bad” times outweigh them — especially if you answered “yes” to any of the questions I just asked — you should seriously consider getting out of the relationship. Seek professional help if you need it. There are many resources available to people in abusive relationships, and you shouldn’t have to live in fear. Your life is precious, and you deserve to be happy.


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