Merriam-Webster defines “love” as “a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person.” Everyone wants be in love, and to be loved. Love is a bond that can be one of the most beautiful things in the world. The thought of one day spending the rest of my life with my best friend is something that makes my heart flutter (Yes I know, I am a hopeless romantic). The one thing that I can tell you, from first-hand experience, is that love, can also be blind. So blind. We see what we want to see and make excuses for our partners shortcomings. We fight what our head knows, because our hearts just seem to not be able to let go. When in reality toxic relationships are no good for anyone and your head knows that. The warning signs are like that big huge pimple that shows up on your face the day before prom. On the day of prom we plaster the darn thing with as much makeup as we possibly can, of course, no one notices the pimple at prom, but when you wash off all the makeup, that little booger is still there. We may have tricked everyone else, but we haven’t fooled ourselves. As much as you continue to excuse certain behaviors, there are reasons you have to just know it’s time to walk away.
1. When It's More Work Than Fun
Growing up, my dad always told me one specific thing about relationships that has stuck out to me after all of these years. The saying goes “when your relationship is more work than it is fun, it’s not worth it.” Don’t get me wrong, relationships take work, they take a lot of work. Compromising and sacrifices are both components that make up healthy relationships. Choosing where to have date night should be fun, not full of arguing and work. What I am saying, is that the fun, should make the work worth it. If you feel like all you’re doing is working hard to make your relationship work and you don’t reap the rewards of the “fun” part of your relationship, it’s time to walk away. You can do it, I believe in you.
2. When You're Each Not Giving 100%
Earlier this week, I was watching Dr. Phil with my mom (She has gotten me so addicted since I have come home for the summer!). He made a statement that really resonated with me. Dr. Phil said that he didn’t believe relationships were made up of 50% of effort from one person and 50% of effort from the other. He believed that there should be 100% of effort given from each of the partners. If your partner truly loves you, they will give your relationship everything they have. Doing the little things shows a great amount of effort, grand gestures are not always needed. It costs nothing to show affection and love. Effort is making sure that your partner shows you that this relationship is a special to them. If your partner does not show initiative in your relationship, and does not give you 100%, it’s time to walk away. You can do it, I believe in you.
3. When It Becomes A Power Struggle
People often times reference the saying “Who wears the pants in your relationship?” Why does our culture insist that someone has to be in control and have the power at all times? A relationship should be made up of two equal halves. I will admit that not everything is always going to be split down the middle, but no one should be superior. If your partner insists on “wearing the pants in the relationship,” it’s time to walk away. You can do it, I believe in you.
4. When There Is A Lack Of Respect
Respect is important in everyday life, especially when speaking about the person you love. If respect is not given at all times, your relationship has reached its max. There is no possible way that the two of you can continue to grow and learn with each other when the basic building block of respect is missing. I am all for lighthearted fun. Teasing one another in a joking manner is all in good fun. When your partner starts to not respect you as a person, and in public none the less, that is a big no. Saying rude and degrading things about you in front of their friends for a laugh, is not cool. If your partner doesn’t respect you as a person and everything that makes you, you, it’s time to walk away. You can do it I believe in you.
5. When Something Seems Fishy (Or am I Just Paranoid)
You should trust your partner until they give you a reason not to plain and simple. But, when they give you a reason not to, run, and run fast. You should never feel like the other people in your partner’s life are threats. Now, I am not saying you should go psycho control mode and tell them who they can and can’t be friends with, because that is not healthy either, but when you’re partner seems to be paying more attention to what everyone else is saying and less attention to what you are saying, that is not a good sign. When a partner rubs in and asserts the fact that someone called them cute at the party they were at, I would say you’re not being paranoid, you have a real concern. Or when they start raving about “how hot so-and-so” is, it’s time to walk away. You can do it, I believe in you.
6. When Everything Becomes A Competition
There is no room for competition in a relationship. Two people in love should push and inspire one another to be the best versions of yourselves, but it should end there. No one has to be better than the other. You will both not do the same exact things all of your lives. One person may go to an Ivy League school while the other person may go to community college. You are both working towards degrees, who cares? When someone loves you, they don’t assert themselves as being better. When you don’t study for a test, and do well, they act like they could not care less, but expect you to be through the roof with joy for their exciting accomplishments. If you feel like they try to one-up you every time something good happens to you, know they are insecure and competing with you to ease their self-confidence issues. If your partner makes you feel inferior and competes with you, it’s time to walk away. You can do it, I believe in you.
7. When You’re Not a Priority Anymore
Girls need “Girl’s Nights Out” and guys need “Boys Nights” that is so crucial. Couples should not together 24/7. Hanging out with other people is so important to healthy relationships. That being said, your significant other should be one of your top priorities. When you haven’t seen your partner in a week because every time you try and make plans, they already have them with other people, that is not ok. When you and your partner are sitting watching a movie and they get texts from other friends to hang out and they choose to leave you alone and not invite you, they are slapping you in the face saying, you are not a priority. Being together all of the time is not healthy but you need to know where you stand. If your partner makes you feel unimportant, it’s time to walk away. You can do it, I believe in you.
8. When They Don’t Know What They Want
We are all a little indecisive sometimes. Heck, I have to make a Pros and Cons list every time I make an important decision, but constantly never knowing what your partner wants is beyond frustrating. It starts with little things, they can’t choose a movie or a place to eat. Then it turns into bigger issues like, they can’t pick a college or where to live. Then before you know it, they can’t decide if they want to be with you or not. Every time they are “in limbo” they push you away, to come crying back. If they aren’t capable of deciding anything, make the decision for them, leave. If they don’t know what they want, it’s time to walk away. You can do it, I believe in you.
9. When They Start to Pick, Pick and Pick
Nothing you do is good enough. Remember that pimple I mentioned earlier? Yeah, they point it out to you. They have to just pick apart everything that you do. “Why do you smile like that?” “Why are your legs so big?” This is never acceptable behavior. People who love you, love all of you. They don’t make fun of things that you can’t change about yourself. They also don’t make fun of your choices. Your significant other should never pick on, where you go to school, what clothes you choose to wear or how your body looks. Picking on others is what weak people do to build themselves up. If your significant other is picking on everything that you do, it’s time to walk away. You can do it, I believe in you.
10. When Abusive Behaviors Prevail
Abuse comes in all shapes and sizes; verbal, physical, emotional and sexual. If someone loves you like they say that they do, they will not participate in abusive behaviors. Abuse is not ok. There is no excuse for it. Physical actions that cause harm to a partner and unwanted sexual acts or coercion is unacceptable. Someone who loves you would not make you do something that you do not want to do. Physical violence does not equate to love. When your partner makes you anxious all day long in anticipation for what venom they could spew at you today, this is verbally and emotionally abusive. If your partner says cruel things and plays mind games with you, it’s abusive behavior. It’s a control thing. They make you feel like you’re the problem and that you’re crazy, this is emotionally abusive. If you’re significant other is abusive in any way, shape or form, it’s time to walk away. You can do it, I believe in you.
11. When You Realize You Deserve Better
You deserve better, you deserve to be loved, to be a priority, to be respected and supported. If you’re not getting every single one of those in your relationship, walk away. It’s easier said than done, I know. Just wake up, look in the mirror and realize that you deserve better. You’re putting 100% into a relationship that you may be getting 20% back. Relationships are about effort and being equals. 20% is not only pathetic, it’s also very unequal to your 100%. If you have experienced any of the reasons listed above, your partner is breaking you. Most likely you do not notice it now, but when you end things you will notice. They are chipping away at you as they don’t respect you, as they tear you down and spit on you. Take a step back and put that 100% you have been giving to your significant other and put it into yourself. You will be amazed at how your life changes for the better. Once you become whole again, love won’t blind you like it did before. I promise you, that you will find someone who embraces your quirks, rather than pick them apart. You deserve nothing but 100%, and not to be someone’s punching bag. When you realize that you deserve better, it’s time to walk away. You can do it, I believe in you.