Making the decision to break up with someone, especially if you’ve been in a relationship for a long time, is never easy. Are you making the wrong decision? Will you regret this forever? Will you EVER MEET ANYONE ELSE EVER AGAIN? (Probably not, maybe, and almost certainly, by the way).
Petty niggles and annoying habits aside, though, when do you know when you really should break up with someone? Speaking on the ‘Art of Charm’ podcast, marriage counsellor Linda Carroll (who also happens to be Courtney Love’s mum) has detailed the four reasons you should immediately leave your relationship – some less obvious than others.
If you’re in an abusive relationship
Perhaps the most obvious of the lot, Carroll urged anyone in an abusive relationship to “get away, move away and protect yourself”.
Abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, verbal or financial – whatever the type, anyone on the receiving end of abuse should take steps to leave.
(For more info on abusive relationships, check out this article from charity Family Lives).
If your partner lies loads
Again, a fairly obvious one – but Carroll says that if your partner exhibits a persistent pattern of lying to you about things you should consider ending the relationship.
If your partner lies occasionally – especially about minor things – that doesn’t spell the end of a relationship, though: it’s only if dishonesty is part of a wider pattern.
Nothing is working to solve your problems
Tried to fix your relationship problems before to no avail? It might be time to throw in the towel.
And doing this doesn’t mean that someone’s “bad”, Carroll says.
“Maybe you got together because you were needy or you didn’t choose well,” she explains. What works for someone when they’re 22 can also change, she says – so when you say “it’s not you, it’s me”, you may actually be telling the truth.
You ‘just know’
Okay, so this might not help if you’re still not sure what to do – but sometimes you just really, really know.
“It’s not an intense feeling of ‘I can’t stand this person!’,” Carroll explains, or the “I’d rather be single!” feeling you get when your partner annoys you. It’s calmer than that, apparently.
“You know, for your own reasons, that you really are done,” she said. “And it’s probably much less to do with the other person than you.”
But what you absolutely shouldn’t do, though?
Leave a relationship because “your partner is an ordinary person”.
You’re unlikely to feel passionate and loved up every day, Carroll stresses, and you’re always going to feel annoyed or irked by habits or traits your partner has (and your partner probably feels the same about you).
So next time you consider redownloading Tinder when your partner leaves their dirty socks on the floor or doesn’t do the washing up when they say they will? Just remember annoyances are all part of healthy, long-term relationships.
(Image: Fox Searchlight Pictures)