The old saying is true – there are a lot of fish in the sea. Of course, we all generally desire to find one fish and hold onto it. While a committed relationship is an honorable goal for which to strive, the problem is, we all too often catch the wrong fish. We get into a relationship with the wrong person, and eventually the time comes that we have to decide to cast that fish back into the sea. If you are getting the inkling that things might not be just right in your relationship, consider these seven signs to decide whether it might be time to break up and go fishing.
1. He doesn’t respect you. A sign of a good relationship is mutual respect, evidenced by preserving the other person’s integrity, honor, and general well-being. If your boyfriend constantly makes fun of you, belittles you, or yells at you, he is not giving you the respect you deserve, and it might be time to break up.
2. He constantly chooses something else over you. A good boyfriend needs to make you a priority. Yes, he should have time to himself and with his friends, but the two of you should agree upon the amount of time you’d like to spend together. If you feel as though he is spending a disproportionate amount of time on something else – whether it’s bars, buddies, video games, or even work – it might be time to break up.
3. You are not on the same page about the future. In a healthy relationship, both people are on the same timeline toward the same goals. One person can’t be set on becoming an archaeologist in China while the other is tied to a dairy farm in Kansas. If you can’t get on the same page about marriage, kids, and careers, it might be time to break up.
4. You’ve met someone else. Now, I don’t mean to say that if you meet someone else who catches your eye, you should dump your boyfriend and try to date the other guy. What I am saying is that if you find yourself spending time with someone who has a lot of the qualities you realize you’d like to find in a future spouse, and your boyfriend doesn’t have those qualities, perhaps it is time to break up and find someone more suited to you.
5. Your parents don’t like him. In general, parents actually do know what’s best for their kids, and oftentimes, they can see things that are wrong with relationships when we can’t. I could have gotten out of so many doomed relationships earlier on with less heartache if I had just listened to my mother earlier. If it’s well past the first impression and your parents still get a bad vibe, it might be time to break up. Aside from their good judgment, if you got married one day, that constant tension between your parents and husband would be a huge burden on your marriage.
6. He doesn’t bring out the best in you. I was once in a relationship in which I was constantly irritable and annoyed, and I never felt like myself. In my marriage, on the other hand, I am able to be relaxed and comfortable, and my husband challenges me to be a better person. In a healthy relationship, each person brings out the best in the other. If you don’t feel like the best version of yourself in your relationship, it might be time to break up.
7. You feel generally unhappy. This might sound simple, but so often people ignore a feeling of unhappiness because they don’t want to end a relationship. I once reached a point in a relationship when I realized I was generally unhappy all the time. I blamed it on myself and thought I needed counseling for depression, but I eventually realized the unhappiness came from being in a relationship with the wrong person. When I got out of the relationship, the melancholy vanished. If you have a general feeling of unhappiness and you think there is a chance it is attributable to your relationship, explore that idea, and decide whether it might mean it’s time to break up.
When all is said and done, there is no perfect fish out there – but there may be one who is a lot more suited to you than the one you’ve caught. Breaking up with someone takes a huge leap of faith and often causes a lot of pain, but in the end, you can’t find the right relationship until you’ve gotten out of the wrong one. Happy fishing!
More dating advice from this author:
Ten of the Worst Reasons to Get Married
How to Get Over a Breakup in Twelve Steps
Nine Signs You’re Ready for a New Relationship