How to know when it's time to end a relationshipPin

How To Know When To End a Relationship With Someone You Love

Last Updated on 2 years by Iva Ursano

You know, I’m no expert on relationships. I’ve had my fair share of doozies. I often struggle with knowing when to end a relationship. I hang on for far too long. But..

I probably also shouldn’t be giving out relationship advice but I have to pride myself on one thing (that may give me a little bit of credibility here), as I learn and grow from each toxic relationship, I do my best to help others “see the light” and find the courage to leave too.

Many of us stay in loveless relationships because leaving is hard and scary. I was that person. I stayed for many reasons.

  • I had nothing else
  • I had nowhere else to go
  • I convinced myself it wasn’t that bad (others had it WAY worse than me!)
  • I’m just being ungrateful for everything I do have
  • How is he going to be able to live without me

Do you recognize yourself in any of these ‘excuses’? Don’t feel bad. Many of us will.

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Ignoring the reasons to end a relationship

Oh, I had a list of reasons longer than my arm as to why I should stay. I fought to hold on for longer than I should have because I was sure things were going to get better. We had a fight, we talked about it after, he said sorry.

“Babe I love you, sorry, it’s just that….” < insert excuse of the week. After a really bad fight, I’d have to write out an email or letter so he would really get it. Pour out my soul.

But he always said sorry and I love you. That means things can only get better, right? That our relationship problems weren’t that bad. I held onto hope. I mean, they couldn’t get worse, could they? How much more toxic could this relationship get anyway?

I’d cry to friends and they would offer some relationship advice, or not. Sometimes they just offered soft, gentle, and loving words. I took it all in.

I ignored all the reasons to end the relationship and just kept hanging on.

Knowing when to end a relationship is tough

I mean, most of us already know that the relationship we are in is toxic, bad, frustrating, or whatever. We already know we shouldn’t stay but we hang on. We already know that ending a relationship is tough af. We’ve done it before. Or we haven’t which scares us even more!

It’s no fun. Because of that, we hold on in hopes that the relationship problems will go away or get better. Some of us just stay because ‘it could be worse’. That’s such a bad reason to stay. It’s a reason I used for far too long.

For most of us, it’s not so much about knowing when to end a relationship, but actually having the courage to do it. Some of us are in abusive relationships and they are hell to leave! Trust me, I know.

Having the courage to leave

It takes courage to leave.

And lots of it. Many women feel helpless without a man. Many of us ‘need’ a man. I used to be one of those women. We need to be a part of a duo, a team, a husband and wife thing. We feel validated or complete.

Something like that.

Many of us don’t want to or don’t like, to be alone. Being in a relationship makes us feel worthy. When we think about ending a relationship it kinda scares us. Can we make it on our own? Will we be ok? And a few of the bigger questions many of us ask ourselves is…

Will we find another man who is better? Are they all losers? Why do I keep attracting toxic men?

We have a million reasons to end a relationship

We know we have to end the relationship. We have a million reasons to go. And we know.

Oh, we know.

It’s not a matter of when to end a relationship anymore, it suddenly becomes a matter of how. How do we finally take the leap, make the step and go? A million more questions pop up in our heads.

The trouble with this is that these questions keep us chained to this toxic relationship.

Why? Because we don’t have answers. We’re scared.

No, wait. We’re downright terrified!

We keep hanging on to all the good. We keep discounting all the bad and all the red flags in a relationship. We keep telling ourselves it could be worse. You might like this article below. 

5 Red Flags in a Relationship Never to Be Ignored

Stop telling yourself this. It COULD be better. You deserve better. You deserve to be happy and in a loving and healthy relationship. That’s what we ALL deserve.

But we settle………….~sigh~

My relationship problems weren’t going away

They were getting bigger and bigger.

I was growing more resentful to this man every minute of the day. I knew it was time to end this relationship. I couldn’t hold on much longer. I was done.

Tired. Exhausted. Mentally and emotionally.

You might like the article below on the warning signs of mental and emotional exhaustion.

6 Warning Signs of Mental and Emotional Exhaustion

Then one day, it was just time. I couldn’t do it anymore. It was building up. 6 months of build up. Actually it was longer, maybe 2 years of build up. By the time I was ready to leave, time meant nothing. It didn’t matter how long I’ve been enduring this life.

All that mattered was that I was finally ending all this torment. Another toxic relationship. A life of turmoil, insecurities, lies, volatile love, and charades was coming to an end. I didn’t know what was going to be on the other side of this life for me. I was scared out of my tree.

Fear was my number one emotion. Followed by freedom.

I knew it was gonna be scary. It was time to face fear head-on and just push. This relationship had to end. There was nothing left in it for me. It was pure poison. There was love. Some love. But too little, and certainly not enough to hang on to anymore. He had some good, just not for me.

I realized that ending this relationship, no matter how scary it was going to be, was something that I had to do for ME!

I realized that I deserved BETTER. I deserved more.

I realized that all our relationship problems were never going to go away. Nothing was ever going to get better.

They just got worse and worse with each passing day. There was no light at the end of the tunnel on this one anymore. It was just time.

The day I decided to end the toxic relationship

And then I did it. I packed my stuff, what little I had, and left. I knew there wasn’t going to be any turning back, ever. And I felt this huge wave of relief wash over me. It was like a tsunami, really. Like a tsunami of emotions. I was sad, I was happy, I was angry, I was so mad at him.

But I finally did it. It was a big ballsy scary thing for me to do. He was all I had and leaving him was going to be life-changing and exciting, frustrating, and sad.

So many angry questions went through my head:

Why couldn’t he change to suit me? Why couldn’t this work? Why did it have to be like this? What am I supposed to do now?

I had nothing. Inside or out. I was empty, broke, and had nothing to my name. No wait, I had two things, really…

…faith and hope. 

And then something else happened.

Life opened up for me. Freedom. A freedom I have never known in my whole life. A freedom that called my name, loudly. It wasn’t just a whisper anymore. Freedom was yelling at the top of its lungs.  “Iva, it’s about time!”

And I embraced life like I never have, ever before. And life was beautiful. And so was I. I wasn’t all those things I had been told for so many years. I was better than all that and I was about to prove all that to myself.

Knowing when to leave a relationship

Do we stay and fight to keep it alive or do we leave? Is the relationship worth fighting over and trying to maintain? Do you think there’s hope?

Your relationship should feel good to you. It shouldn’t feel like it is chipping away pieces of your heart and soul. You must be able to be yourself, not have to live in fear, and not have to second guess yourself or your relationship all the time.

This is the only life you have. You should be living your life in joy, love, peace, happiness, and pure bliss. If you are with someone who takes all that away from you, then you know it’s time to end this relationship.

Your happiness is the most important thing in the world. If you aren’t happy in your relationship then know it’s time to go.

You might really enjoy this article about relationship anxiety and learning to love yourself

The Main Cause of Relationship Paranoia (and how to stop it!)

Taking care of yourself is of the utmost importance

I realized by staying in that toxic relationship I wasn’t honoring or loving myself. I wasn’t doing what was best for me.

You have to remember that you are number one and you are the most important person in your life. Taking care of yourself should be at the top of your list and if it isn’t, it’s time to put yourself on the top!

I get that ending a relationship with someone you love is hard but you need to love yourself more. I wrote this mini self help eBook on how to love yourself that I think you might like. Click on the link or the image below to grab your copy now!

How to Love Yourself

how to love yourself eBookPin

It’s all about me now

I get to do things I’ve always wanted to do and never did, right down to eating cereal for dinner and staying up late and sleeping in on the weekends. I also got to find out who I am. Who I really am. What my purpose and my passion are.  I answer to myself only, and God.

I do the best I can with what I have and my best is to spread love and joy and help others who are struggling with knowing when to end a relationship and how to be happy.

Are you ready to end a relationship?

In case you still aren’t sure and need someone to talk to, I now offer one on one coaching. Click here to book a free 30 minute discovery call to see how I can help you!

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A simple, small and lovely way to say “Thank you Iva”!! Click the button below. Thank you love you!! xoxo

Peace and Love


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  1. Hello Iva, I can relate to your story very well. I am just starting this journey of passion, my beliefs about myself that seems to hinder me and my never-ending procrastination. Thank you for sharing. I’ve started rather late fin my 50’s. I’m pretty clueless what direction to take. Have a good evening. Yvonne.

    1. Hi Yvonne. Thanx for your comment. Like you, I was pretty clueless in the beginning too and then I realized I just needed to start taking action. It was fear holding me back from a lot of things and I was just making excuses. You’ll find your passion and live your purpose :)

  2. New Life New Adventure, I did it – after 14+ years I walked away, took me 12 weeks to figure out I needed to figure out what to do. Have spent since the end of June creating a new life, moving from isolation to having a life – it is wonderful! And as you say..freedom…and I am happy. Make mine a double, heavy salt, hold the lime.

    1. Heavy salt!! My kinda good for you for moving on. We would be lying if we said it’s easy. It’s not. Takes time to figure shit out. But once we do….unstoppable!!!! Here’s to you and your new life! Cheers!

  3. I need to read this. I left a toxic, very long marriage and lived on my own for 3 years. I moved into a studio flat with the deposit lent to me by my life saving colleague and friend. I made that place my own, colour everywhere and a safe haven. Due to circumstances I have since moved in with a wonderful man but he has issues. I crave my own space again and realise that I cannot live with anyone else. But in todays financial life its impossible for me to rent on my own again. The rent I paid before would not cover a room in a house in the area I live in now. Im too old to house share.

    1. Hey Michelle. When I left my partner I had just declared bankruptcy, didn’t have a job, didn’t have two cents to rub together, nothing. When you open and have faith, the universe delivers. I hope things work out for you.

  4. I’m going through the same thing ladies, & it’s not my first time I seem to attract toxic men, after 24 years I had to take the steps to walk away. I’m a lot older, hopefully a lot wiser, it’s very scary out there a whole new world. I’m still trying to pick up the threads & its a battle. I just have to take it one day at a time. I can see a glimmer of light in the distance I’ve just got to get to it.

    1. Yup, it’s scary alright Carolyn. Every now and then I come across the path of a man that tests me and challenges my boundaries. I think I got them covered pretty good though ;). Good luck to you.

  5. Hi Iva I felt that u have written my life story .But I am still in the toxic relation as have 2 kids 10 and 8 yes totally depended as I am a homemaker.Totally confused to leave or live the way it is for the sake of kids as they are doing fine.

    1. Hi Deepali and thank you for your comment. I’m no counsellor and I can’t tell you what to do but if you think your kids are fine, then that’s all that matters. Know that kids aren’t dumb. They see and feel what goes on and eventually figure it out. If you think this is best for the kids, well, I certainly hope you’re right.Good luck to you. xo

    2. So glad I came across your article I’m going through the same thing. Been with my boyfriend on and off for 10 years and he’s from Ohio but has lived in Florida since he was in his 20’s . We both have our own places bc I find myself that every time we lived together it was too much and I needed my space. I’m a very positive energetic outgoing person and he is completely opposite. Things are not like when we first met. His immediate family is in Ohio and I’m about the only person he has in Florida. I feel stuck a lot leaving the relationship bc I feel bad . I’m 44 he’s 59 and started acting like he’s 90 and started being so negative it has started to suck the life out of me complaining all the time even to the point he complains about traffic just ridiculous. So thank you for your awesome article . Time to live for me and not feel guilt for leaving him and say non voyage . Do I have to actually do the break up or can I just do a simple block disappear idk .

      1. Oh good grief yes are still so young and have so much life in you. You are not responsible for him. Tell him you’re done and go. xxoxo

  6. I can only imagine how much strength it requires to rescue yourself from a toxic relationship. Most often we don’t understand how it is affecting us, or we are just too afraid to make changes. But it is important to look ahead into a better future, and realise that we are the most significant people in our lives.

    1. It takes so much strength. Some days I amaze myself ;) Thanx for stopping by Basundhara! xoxo

  7. I’m so happy for you!! Thank god I never got into a relationship like that, and so kinda can’t understand people who wouldn’t leave it… but I guess that’s just because of that lack of experience! I know many people around me that fought the same battles as you and not all of them won them – in fact, most did not and I never understood. So big congratulations to you!! Keep enjoying your life ;)

    1. It’s hard to understand when you dont’ know what it’s like. I never used to until it happened to me. Thanx for your kind words and for stopping by Monika xoxox

  8. Happy that you left a ‘toxic’ relationship. The thing is relationships are hard. Sometimes things are not as peachy as they should be. What’s important to know is whether the relationship is worth salvaging and working on. If the person you’re with is making you miserable more times than happy then yes it’s time to go but if there’s still love there then it’s worth working on. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanx for your great comment Kasia!! Appreciate you stopping by! xoxo

  9. I love this! It’s so important for people to read this and know it’s going to be okay when they leave. I too know the freedom of leaving toxic relationships. It’s always hard and scary but life on the other side is so much better. I hope you inspire so many to take control of their happiness!

    1. Thanx so much Amiekay. Hard and scary for sure but so worth it!! xoxo

  10. We do need to value and believe in ourselves for sure! And I really don’t mind some alone time to do what I want. And it is much better for anyone to be themselves than to be in a toxic circumstance for sure!

  11. It takes a lot of courage to walk out of a life into the unknown. The fact that you are now happy and have been able to find a freedom and zest for life you didn’t have with this person is evidence that this was the best choice for you.

    1. Yup it sure does take courage and lots of it. Thanx for stopping by!! xoxo

  12. This also extends to all of our other relationships. I’ve recently had to rid my life of toxic people. It was the best thing I ever did xx

    1. Yup, you’re right, including family :/
      Thanx for dropping by. xoxox

  13. I don’t let myself be around toxic people, much less be in a relationship with one. It’s just not the way to live. Many could definitely use your wake-up call.

    1. Toxic people are time vampires!! Thanx for dropping by Tahna! xoxo

  14. You wrote my feelings. All of it. Tired of these relationship things now :/

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