7 Valid Reasons To End A Relationship, Even If You Love Your Partner
When you're head-over-heels in love with your partner, it can be hard to even 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 breaking up with someone you're still in love with is so tough, there are times when it's necessary: as powerful as the feeling of love is, on its own, it's not enough to sustain a healthy, happy relationship.
"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. "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 in the long run. Here are seven examples of totally valid reasons to end a relationship, even if you still love your partner.
1. Your Partner Lies To 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 a good reason to end the 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?"
2. Your Partner Is Financially Irresponsible
Issues surrounding money are one of the top relationship-killers, and it can be seriously devastating to realize that they're displaying too many financial red flags for you to continue the relationship long-term, even though you may love them.
"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 the financial stability for you and your dreams of being a family," Lavelle says. "Ditch the financial drama and choose someone as invested in the future as you are."
3. You Don't Trust Your Partner
One of the most important parts of any relationship is trust, and if your partner breaks your trust (perhaps even more than once), it's totally valid to end the relationship if you can't see yourself ever gaining that sense of 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. When you trust someone with your love, your life, your body and your soul, you can admire and respect them. If you can’t count on them to be loyal to you, emotionally or physically, often a relationship isn’t repairable."
4. 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. "I believe in being upfront on life goals such as marriage and children. ... [If you're not] it will eventually come to 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."
5. Your Partner Is Selfish In Bed — And Unwilling To Change
There's a difference between needing to spice up your sex life a little because it's gone stale, and having a partner who's totally inattentive to your needs and wants in bed. If your partner is the latter, it might be time to cut the cord, even if you love them.
"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.
6. Your Partner Refuses To Communicate
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. "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."
7. 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."
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 long-term, it's better for both of you in the long run to go your separate ways.