Sex & Relationships

7 Valid Reasons To End A Relationship, Even If You Love Your Partner

Breaking up can sometimes be the healthiest decision.

by Laken Howard
Originally Published: 
Letting go of someone you love is painful, but sometimes it's necessary.
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When you're head over heels in love with your partner, it can be hard to imagine the possibility of breaking up — but the unfortunate truth is that many long-term relationships, even the ones most filled with love, aren't always built to last. While letting go of someone you love is so tough, there are very valid reasons to end a relationship: As powerful as the feeling of love is, on its own, it's not enough to sustain a healthy, happy partnership in the long term.

"While the idea that love trumps all appeals to society’s fantasy, to sustain a healthy relationship and overall quality of life, a person needs more than the promise of exclusivity and words of endearment," Justin Lavelle, relationship expert and chief communications officer for BeenVerified, tells Bustle. There are, in fact, things that are more important than love in a relationship."Financial stability, honesty, communication, and similar relationship goals are all needed if you want a successful and fulfilling relationship. If you do not have the basics, it may be time to re-evaluate your wants and needs and discuss the next course of action with your partner, whether it be a compromise or termination."

It's certainly not easy to end a relationship that still feels full of mutual love, but if there are significant issues in your relationship, sometimes breaking up can be the best decision for both of you. Here are seven examples of totally valid reasons to end a relationship, even if you still love your partner.


Your Partner Isn’t Truthful With You


We all tell little white lies from time to time, but if you notice that your partner has a habit of fibbing — or even feels comfortable telling bigger, more serious lies — that's one of the more obvious reasons to end a relationship.

"Perhaps it is the little things [they] cannot own up to, like why [they] forgot to take out the trash or why [they] forgot about dinner with your parents," Lavelle says. "These minor blunders are somewhat excusable. But what if the lies are bigger? As much as you want to stay with this person, if [they] cannot be honest about [their] past, how can you expect the foundation​​ of ​​your relationship — trust — to last?" No one likes being lied to, and being in love is no reason to tolerate being treated poorly. Honesty is essential to feel respected, which is why lying is a sign your partner does not respect you as they should.


You’re Not On The Same Page Financially

Issues surrounding money are one of the top relationship issues. "A partner who spends more money on wants rather than necessities, letting bills and unpaid debt pile up, is a red flag that this person cannot provide financial stability," Lavelle says. "Ditch the financial drama and choose someone as invested in the future as you are." While not every couple chooses to combine finances, if this is something you do want to do with your partner, it’s important that you’re on the same page with your financial goals.

Financial red flags aren’t the only root of money issues in a relationship. If you’re not in agreement on how much to spend and where, or what your financial priorities are, it can lead to too much strain and resentment to continue the relationship long-term, even though you may love them. Communication in all aspects of a relationship is vital, and this is especially true when it comes to finances.


You Don't Fully Trust Your Partner

One of the most important parts of any relationship is trust, and if your partner breaks your trust (especially more than once), it might be time to figure out how to end the relationship if you can't see yourself ever gaining that trust back.

"Trust is the foundation in any relationship," dating coach Julie Spira tells Bustle. "It takes time to build and a split second to lose. If you catch [your] significant other in a series of lies, or find out they’re having an affair, it will destroy the trust and bond you worked hard to create.” And who wants to spend their life with someone they can’t trust 100%?

“When you trust someone with your love, your life, your body, and your soul, you can admire and respect them,” Spira says. “If you can’t count on them to be loyal to you, emotionally or physically, often a relationship isn’t repairable.” You should feel at ease and relaxed with your partner, not constantly looking over your shoulder and feeling on edge.


You Have Different Goals For The Future

Falling in love with someone only to later realize that your goals for the future are incompatible is so tough — but if you know what you want for your future, you shouldn't settle for someone whose vision doesn't line up with yours.

"It’s also important to be honest about your life goals to see if you’re in sync with your partner," Spira says. You might have plans to pack up and leave your hometown the minute you receive your degree, but if they’re ready to lay down the roots and never step foot outside of city limits? That may be difficult to reconcile.

"I believe in being upfront on life goals such as marriage and children,” Spira says. “[If you're not] it will eventually come to a breaking point, or one filled with resentment. Plus, you’ll be wasting time with someone with dissimilar goals, when you could have been out meeting someone more compatible."


Your Partner Is Inattentive In Bed — And Unwilling To Change


There's a difference between needing to spice things up because they've gone stale, and having a partner who's totally inattentive to your needs and wants in bed.

"If your partner seems focused only on [their] pleasure, instead of making sure both people enjoy the experience, that's a possible sign of overall selfishness and emotional distance," Jonathan Bennett, dating and relationship expert at Double Trust Dating, tells Bustle. Again, communication is king. If there’s a rift in the bedroom, express how you feel and gauge their receptiveness. You’ll know pretty quickly if the topic is of concern to them or not. If your partner clearly has no interest in even trying to make the experience good for you, it might be time to cut the cord, even if you love them.


Your Communication Just Isn’t Working

Being able to communicate in a healthy, productive way is so important in a relationship, and if your partner shows a refusal to work on their communication skills over time, that's a perfectly good reason to end things.

"If you don't feel listened to, respected for your thoughts/opinions, even when you disagree, and comfortable speaking your mind — these are signs your relationship will not work out," Toni Coleman, LCSW, CMC, psychotherapist, relationship coach, and divorce mediator, tells Bustle. Lack of communication or one-sided communication is beyond frustrating and leaches into every aspect of your relationship. "If your relationship communication is characterized by misunderstandings driven by difficulty expressing feelings and hearing what a partner has to say — these can be worked on if both people are truly motivated to make these better,” Coleman explains. But if nothing has changed even after repeated attempts to improve your communication, it may be time to move on.


You Feel Like You Need To Focus On Yourself

Even if everything in your relationship seems picture-perfect, there's also the possibility that you simply need some time to grow and evolve on your own instead of being in a relationship — and you shouldn't feel guilty if that's what you decide is best.

"While a healthy relationship is certainly a beautiful thing, there are also plenty of benefits to staying single as well," Logan Cohen, LMFT-S, tells Bustle. "Someone who is single can have their immediate surroundings reflect their specific needs much more consistently than if in a partnership. Single people also have a lot more time to develop their platonic social network, grow professionally, and even do their own personal growth work while not being distracted by the concerns of a partner."

If you feel like you have more growing to do and it needs to be done solo, there’s no amount of waiting it out that will negate the feeling. It’s natural, normal, and totally OK to let go of someone you love if you realize that’s what you need. And who knows? After a time of learning and evolving as individuals, you might find your way back together in an even better relationship than before.

Ultimately, if you're unhappy in your relationship, you don't need one specific reason that you feel "allows" you to initiate a breakup — you should always feel empowered to make whatever choice is necessary for you to find happiness going forward. Is it tough to break up with someone who you still feel a lot of love towards? Of course, but if you know the relationship isn't going to work, it's better for both of you in the long run to go your separate ways.


Julie Spira, online dating expert and digital matchmaker

Justin Lavelle, relationship expert and chief communications officer for BeenVerified

Jonathan Bennett, dating and relationship expert at Double Trust Dating

Toni Coleman, LCSW, CMC, psychotherapist, relationship coach, and divorce mediator at Consum-mate

Logan Cohen, LMFT-S

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