It Doesn’t Matter How Long You’ve Been Together — If You’re Unhappy, Leave

If you’re not happy in a relationship, you absolutely have to walk away. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been together or how well you know each other’s families. It doesn’t matter that you have so much damn history. What matters is your happiness right now. You need to stop screwing yourself over and put yourself first for once. You probably know that already but here’s why it’s so hard:

  1. You might not be ‘in love’ but you definitely love your S.O. When you’ve been with someone for longer than you care to remember, it’s hard not to love them. There’s a reason you were together in the first place and, yes, you genuinely do care. Sure, the spark may be gone, but you can’t deny that you have feelings for them. It doesn’t matter how unhappy they make you right now; your niggling nostalgia will always pull you right back in with all the feels.
  2. The last thing you want to do is hurt them for no reason. Hurting someone you care about will cause you just as much pain as it will them. The idea of tearing out their heart and handing it to them on a plate is just too dark to handle. You’ve toyed with the idea in your saddest moments, but it always feels just a little too brutal.
  3. You’ll have to figure out which stuff is yours and which is theirs. After spending years together, you no longer feel as though you have stuff that’s just yours. You can’t even remember who bought what these days. Is that your ukulele or his? Who knows? The idea of sorting through all your belongings and divvying them up is enough to put anyone off a breakup.
  4. You start to get scared of being alone. It’s been so damn long since you’ve gone it alone. The concept feels almost alien to you. The idea that you’d no longer have a partner by your side is just plain odd. How would that even work? You’ve got so very used to having constant company that the idea of spending a vast amount of time by yourself terrifies you.
  5. Your family treats your S.O. as family too. Your partner calls your parents Mom and Dad. You wouldn’t just be splitting up from them, you’re tearing apart an entire family. Your parents and his parents are going to have to come to terms with the end of the relationship. Screwing with that many people’s lives seems a little extreme… even for you.
  6. Your friends are their friends too. Plus, you no longer have separate friend groups. You always hang out as a pair, which sadly means that you hang out with the exact same people. You have a group of couples and you wonder how things would go down post-breakup.
  7. You don’t want to start World War III. Your biggest fear, though you’d never admit it, is this: Your friends would suddenly have to choose between the two of you. You’d all pretend to be mature about it; you’d fake that you were all going to carry on as normal… but nothing would be normal again. Your besties would have to choose sides whether they liked it or not.
  8. You’re not sure you know how to be single anymore. Wait a minute. How on earth do you do single in this day and age? When you got with your guy, there was no such thing as crazy social media sites or online dating apps. It was a simpler time back then. In the world of technological romance, you’re not even sure you could keep up.
  9. You’re scared no one will ever love you this way again. And here’s the kicker: This person, who you’re going to break, loves you. I mean, they really care about you in a way no one else ever has. It’s really sad that you don’t feel the same and you know it but you can’t change it. You’re scared AF that no one will ever love you like that again and perhaps they never will.
  10. It will be painful AF for both of you. It doesn’t matter how unhappy you are, breakups hurt the best of us. Even when you know it’s the right thing to do, it’s just plain painful. The thought turns your stomach and makes you feel uneasy. Still, you have to remember this one thing: You’re not doing anyone any favors staying in a relationship that makes you unhappy. It’s nothing more than a farce. Get out now for your sake and for theirs. It’s the right thing to do.
Charlotte is a freelance writer who's addicted to binge-watching TV, drinking far too much coffee, and writing articles.