Do you believe in the proverbial saying, “It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”? When you’re in the throes of a painful breakup, you probably won’t feel that way. But interestingly enough, in our perpetual search for love and happiness — such as trying to uncover the secrets to a successful marriage, the signs a couple is compatible, and which factors can best predict their long-term happiness in a relationship — psychologists have stumbled upon an unusual discovery: that breakups have unexpected benefits!
Indeed, there’s been a number of studies over the past few years exploring the not only how well people adjust after a breakup and what we can do to cope, but also of the personal growth and psychological rewards we can gain from it! So if you’re in a relationship right now and wondering if a break-up might be good for you, here are 6 signs, according to experts, that ending it and moving on might be the better option for you:
1. You repeat the same arguments.
Do you and your partner find yourselves repeating the same arguments or getting into fights that never get resolved? While it’s perfectly normal and healthy for couples to get into disagreements from time to time, just arguing over the same things over and over again isn’t productive. And that in and of itself is already a sign that there are certain things you just cannot agree on or refuse to compromise, most likely because it is something the both of you hold dear. So you’re probably both better off breaking up and finding someone else more compatible with you in this regard. Which brings us to our next point…
2. Your goals are no longer aligned.
For a relationship to withstand the test of time, you and your partner need to have a shared idea of the future together and mutually agreed upon goals that speak to your core values. So the moment these goals become misaligned, then it’s definitely going to cause a big rift between you two. One partner’s goals and plans might have to take priority over the other, or you would both be constantly compromising for each other. Either way, it’s better to break up than stay in a relationship that’s only holding you back.
3. Your needs aren’t being met.
As with any relationship, be it romantic or platonic, the emotional needs of both parties involved need to be satisfied in order for us to gain a sense of fulfillment from it. So if you’re in a relationship where your needs are no longer being met — whether it’s your need for quality time, affection, assurance, mutual trust and respect, or so on — then a break-up might be good for you. Otherwise, you’re just going to start minimizing and belittling your own needs, or becoming resentful towards your partner to failing to meet them.
4. You’ve grown closer to other people.
While your whole world certainly doesn’t need to revolve around your significant other for it to be considered a loving and healthy relationship, you do need to have a certain amount of emotional closeness and intimacy with one another. So if you’ve noticed yourself growing closer to other people and wanting to spend more time with them instead of your partner, then there’s a good chance that the two of you have already drifted apart. Breaking up with them would do you both good if you both feel that the relationship has already run its course and that all your best days as a couple are behind you.
5. You keep breaking up and getting back together.
Another tell-tale sign that a break-up might be good for you is if you’re stuck in an on-again, off-again relationship. And while there’s nothing wrong with finding love with the same person the second time around, there’s a difference between deciding to give the relationship another try and getting trapped in a vicious cycle of breaking up then making up. The latter is often confusing and emotionally draining for both parties involved because you’re probably only doing it out of loneliness and a desire for the familiar. Ultimately, it’s better to let them go and move on than to keep yourselves trapped in this unhealthy cycle of ending things then getting back together.
6. You’re not the version of yourself you like best.
Finally but perhaps most importantly, a break-up might be good for you if you feel that your relationship is what’s holding you back from becoming the very best version of yourself you can be. Does your sense of obligation to your partner keep you from chasing certain dreams or limit the opportunities you allow yourself to pursue? Do you feel that certain attitudes or beliefs they have clash with yours or keep your from being your most authentic self? Do you get the sense that your personalities don’t compliment each other well? This can be a difficult thing to admit, but you owe it to yourself to be honest. And if you answered yes to any of these questions, then it’s probably for the best that you call it quits.
So, do you relate to any of the things we’ve mentioned here? Did reading this list make you realize that a break-up might be good for you after all? While it’s never easy to let go of someone you love and end a once-happy relationship, the truth is that sometimes people grow apart and our paths can take us in different directions in life. As the famous Marilyn Monroe quote goes, “Sometimes things fall apart so better things can fall together.”
Ultimately, even the heartbreaking end of a relationship can lead to a lot of beautiful personal growth and self-discovery. Being single can help us gain a better understanding of who we really are, what we really want, and what we’re truly capable of when left to our own devices and not defining ourselves by any of our relationships.
- Lamothe, C.(2019). “When (and How) to Break Up with Someone You Love.” Healthline. Retrieved 10 October 2022 from https://www.healthline.com/health/when-to-break-up-with-someone-you-love
- Samios, C., Henson, D. F., & Simpson, H. J. (2014). Benefit finding and psychological adjustment following a non-marital relationship breakup. Journal of Relationships Research, 5.
- Miller, M. R. (2009). Growth following romantic relationship dissolution. State University of New York at Stony Brook.
- Franklin, A. (2015). The role of positive psychological factors and coping strategies following a non-marital relationship breakup (Doctoral dissertation, The Australian National University (Australia)).
- Tashiro, T., Frazier, P., & Berman, M. (2013). Stress-related growth following divorce and relationship dissolution. In Handbook of divorce and relationship dissolution (pp. 377-400). Psychology Press.