Five things you should know before leaving a relationship

Asking these questions can help you make the right decisions for the future of your relationships.

Khalisa Zulkiflee

Creative writer and comedian on the side.

Published: 4 June 2021, 3:26 PM

It can be hard to call it quits in a relationship. 

If a relationship is constantly draining you – yet both parties are unwilling to resolve the conflict and would rather throw in the towel – it may be a sign that a relationship is no longer healthy. 

While some may break up in the heat of the moment only to regret it afterwards, others may also be hesitant to leave because ending things is never easy. 

Deciding if your romance is dead is not an overnight decision, so here are five questions you should consider before you decide to walk away from your relationship. 

1. What does your future together look like?

Life issues such as differences in religions, opinions on getting married or having children may lead to a stalemate in the relationship. These decisions can be harder to change as they have a big impact on one’s life. 

While a couple can make small allowances for each other, it might be unacceptable for either party to ask for major lifestyle or personality changes.

This is especially so if your partner has differing opinions on such major life issues and you and your partner are not able to find a way to work those issues out.


It can be daunting to think about the future, but when you’re with the right partner, it becomes a topic you’re both keen to discuss. PHOTO CREDITS: DIGITALSOFIA VIA UNSPLASH


If you’re happy with your partner, you probably are able to imagine building a future with him or her. But if you’re unhappy with your partner, thinking about your future with them will make you feel uneasy. You may start to think about whether the grass is greener on the other side. 

A healthy relationship allows couples to grow together and support one another. You should not feel like your partner is holding you back in any way. 

2. Are you meeting each other’s needs?

We all have basic needs that have to be met for us to thrive and survive as individuals. 

In a relationship, being together should fulfil our basic emotional needs through ways such as showing affection, being accepting of their partner, feeling secure and having trust.


When emotional needs are not met, you may find yourself feeling lonely, unloved and rejected. PHOTO CREDITS: ANTHONY TRAN VIA UNSPLASH


You and your partner should have your most basic emotional needs addressed by the love and connection you share to ensure a healthy and loving relationship.

However, if both of you have opposing needs and cannot find a compromise, it can lead to resentment, anger, and emotional turmoil. 

For example, one party shows affection by physical touch, but the other prefers words of affirmation over touch. When you’re not able to communicate and find a middle ground for this, it is an immediate red flag as showing affection is a basic emotional need that has to be met. 

3. Are you still in love with your partner, or just the idea of him/her?

Falling into a routine as a long-term couple can be detrimental to a relationship. Feeling as though you could predict everything that goes on in the relationship is a sure sign that the love has turned stale. 

If it feels more comforting to stay in the relationship than it feels like being in love, it may be time to rethink what your partner means to you. 

A long-term relationship should still feel fulfilling and not something that you stay with out of convenience or comfort. 


In a fulfilling relationship, both parties contribute to each other’s happiness without expectations. PHOTO CREDIT: BIN THIÊU VIA UNSPLASH


Fights, jealousy, arguments and tears are inevitable, but when you decide not to give up on each other, your relationship flourishes. 

If you can imagine a different life for yourself with someone different, perhaps you may be settling for a relationship without love or even just out of obligation. 

Additionally, if you’re still only hanging on to the relationship because it’s too daunting to leave them, all the more you should not be with them. It’s unfair to not only you, but also your partner, to stay in a relationship that doesn’t serve either of you any purpose. 

4. Are you being treated with respect, or are you respecting them?

One of the most important aspects of a relationship is respect. Being with someone you respect and admire is key to being in a healthy relationship. You should be proud of the person you’re with and the way you interact with each other. 

If you find yourself making excuses for their behaviour that you may find embarrassing, or hiding parts of your relationships from friends and family then it may be a sign that you’re not in a healthy relationship. 

As much as you deserve to be respected, you should also be able to be with someone you can respect. 


Knowing your own and your partner’s self-worth is crucial in a relationship. PHOTO CREDITS: BIA SOUSA VIA PEXELS


By having high expectations for yourself and treating yourself with utmost respect, you’ll recognise when your partner isn’t doing right by you.

5. Will you be happier with or without this person?

Before heading to Splitsville, you should also consider how it might impact your life and prepare for what’s to come. Your social life and daily routines as you know it may be some of the things to change. 

Some things you may be saying goodbye to could be daily good morning texts, weekly dates or other traditions and habits the two of you may have shared. 

Identifying what you could lose or gain if you leave the relationship can help you in making the decision. 

There could be certain things you’d risk losing when walking away, such as having comfort, companionship or security. Similarly on the flip side, you could also stand to gain other things such as freedom, discovery of self or even happiness.

You may find that it takes more than a few minutes to answer these questions, and that’s okay. It is a big decision and you should be thorough while thinking about these questions.

As you consider these consequences, it may become clear to you what you’d have to do in order to stay true to yourself and your happiness. 

If part of that entails leaving the relationship, I hope you have the courage to do so, and I applaud you if you plan on doing so. 

On the other hand, if these questions helped you in reflecting and realising a way to fix your relationship, I wish you all the best. 

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