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Have you ever found yourself stuck in a confused situation regarding a relationship with a significant other, or even just a friend? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Just about everyone has likely felt this way before. The problem comes in when sticking to a friendship may cause you, or someone else, a decline in your mental well being. So when is enough enough? It’s never easy to say, but there are a lot of things to consider when contemplating stepping back from someone in your life. 

Ask yourself:

Do you like who you are when you’re with them?
Do you often find yourself compromising your own personality to fit their needs?
Do you feel heard, and not just heard, but truly listened to?
Is there compromise?
Is it a one sided situation?
Does your partner hear you out when you open up to them?

You may be looking at that list thinking “Wow. Those are high standards.” But truly, these are things that you deserve, and so does your partner or friend. When having these thoughts, or considering ending your relationship, it is important to be sure your partner understands what they are doing wrong. Are they aware that their actions are hurting you? You cannot expect change unless you voice the things that are eating at you. Before assuming that the bond is not worth the fight, try it. Sometimes fighting is a good thing, and everyone goes through it because every so often, arguments are necessary to voice opinions and get everything out on the table. Nothing can improve if no one can speak up about what’s bothering them. 

If things still aren’t improving after efforts are continuously made, and you feel like the remains of the relationship/friendship simply are not salvageable, maybe it is time to call it quits. Most people find themselves in an endless loop of thinking or hoping things will change, but never drawing any lines. This leaves your partner thinking that their behavior is acceptable, which it is not. There is almost always room for a second chance, but where do you set your boundaries? 

Boundaries are instrumental in any kind of relationship. When your partner crosses your boundaries continuously, disrespects you, or compromises your dynamics (personality, family, home life, interests, friendships, etc.), you should recognize that behavior and understand that there is no rule saying you must stay with this person. 

Disregard the amount of time you have been friends or in a relationship with the person, because that simply does not play a role in determining when to throw in the towel. The more chances you give someone to correct their wrongs, even when they have shown no improvement, is just another time they see you letting them off the hook. Know your limits, and do not be afraid to enforce them. 

Something that often keeps us anchored to a person that holds us back is the idea that many are scared of (including myself): being alone. Coming to terms with being on your own for a bit is nothing short of challenging, and it can scare us into a situation we don’t want to be a part of. A big step when deciding to be without a certain friend or partner is one of the first, and it will not be easy. It is a step that must be taken in order to achieve your own full potential. It’s important to show yourself love and put yourself first, and that occasionally means being selfish when it comes to your own emotional well being. 

Relationships must include mutual sacrifice. This is something no one can escape, and it is a very valuable part of any sort of relationship. Compromise is the only way to make it work, and that will always be the case. This allows each person to get their way, and allows a decline in arguments and an incline in agreement. An issue arises when the compromise becomes more of a give-all, take-all situation. Are you giving your all, or giving up more than you’re getting? Sacrifice in a relationship should not be one sided, and you should not be overwhelmed when trying to find middle ground. 

Understanding your limits is important, but sympathy toward making mistakes is also valuable. Before ending your relationship, understand that everyone is human. Don’t forget that you deserve someone that makes you feel happy, and like you matter. Try to keep yourself from settling for someone that does not give their all, but accept that no one is perfect. Expect and embrace the flaws of people around you, it is what makes them who they are. Don’t mute those red flags, though. You are not obligated to love every imperfection, or shut yourself down at their convenience. Recognize and state where you draw the line, and the right people will understand.


image credit: @lucialitman on Instagram.


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