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5 Reasons to Break up With Someone for the Sake of Your Own Happiness

Mary Grace Garis

Mary Grace GarisApril 28, 2020

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Photo: Getty Images/Klaus Vedfelt

Even if you’re not in the happiest of relationships or have realized that the person you’re with isn’t your forever mate, it’s understandable that a part of you might want to cling to the good stuff right now. When we’re faced with uncertainty anxiety about nearly everything else in the world, having someone close to hold onto may be the only thing you can…well, hold on to. But if a relationship is serving you additional duress during this time and the reasons to break up with someone are mounting, you may actually find yourself happier being single.

But how do you know the lack of joy in your partnership isn’t just a by-product of the COVID-19 blues, and that you genuinely would feel lighter without a love interest? Below, find five reasons to break up with someone in order to boost your own happiness.

Check out 5 reasons to break up with someone for the sake of your happiness, according to pros.

1. You have cyclical arguments

You both feel past the point of compromise and effective problem-solving, as evidenced by you having the same argument repeatedly. In this case, it’s particularly important to recognize if these are arguments that started before the lockdown, though. Because if the issues started before the world began crumbling, there’s less evidence that you can blame external stressors for dismantling the otherwise healthy status of your partnership—and it may be time to accept the inevitable.

“No matter what you do and how you try to rectify issues that arise with your partner, there is no peaceful solution,” says relationship expert Susan Winter. “The two of you keep coming back to the same arguments, without conflict resolution. This process is exhausting and disallows any partnership growth.”

2. The thought of freedom is exhilarating

It’s not just that you feel trapped with your partner—although if you’re quarantining together, you might actually be trapped with your partner. Rather, it’s that you’ve started daydreaming about what your life might be like without being weighed down by their baggage and BS. You watch shows about people out living single, freewheeling lives, and you envy them. And not because they get to drink and play pool with strangers, and not even because they can have the kind of thrilling sex that knocks over bookshelves. Instead, it’s because the only person they have to deal with is themselves.

“There’s no long-term happiness possible for anyone in a partnership that constricts their serenity. Sometimes the only action is to move forward.” —Susan Winter, relationship expert

“Ending a relationship where there is a continual lack of conflict resolution is a liberating experience,” says Winter. “There’s no long-term happiness possible for anyone in a partnership that constricts their serenity. Sometimes the only action, and the best action, is to move forward.”

3. Your points of view are infuriatingly different

To be fair, during isolation, there’s so much you could be disagreeing about—but in your case, those simple disagreements feel fundamental yet simultaneously high stakes. Like, let’s say you two share different schools of thought regarding how to safely social distance: They wander around without a mask on and post on social media about how “everyone’s overreacting,” and you just can’t even with that. It grosses you out, it embarrasses you, and fighting about it won’t change the crux of your different beliefs.

“If you feel embarrassed in front of others when your partner speaks, breaking up might make you happier,” says relationship therapist Laurel Steinberg, PhD. “Additionally, you may be left wondering if people feel bad for you because of having this partner, which could cause you to distance yourself to avoid feeling this way.”

4. You’re no longer sexually attracted to them

It isn’t necessarily that you’re just suffering from a pandemic-related low libido. Instead, according to Dr. Steinberg, if you feel like you have to force yourself to be with your partner, virtually or IRL, it’s a telltale sign that you’d be happier playing the field. (Just be sure to keep the field-playing to screens for now, okay?)

5. There are too many long-standing resentments

A little different than outward conflicts, these are the issues that curdle within over time. Whether it’s cheating, or making a big life decision without looping you in first, or something else, the thought alone makes you feel sick. This is always in the back of your mind, and has made so many interactions tense. “Resentments kill our attraction, desire, and intimacy,” says Winter. “Resentments that are allowed to linger will eventually destroy our love.”

And it isn’t just that you can’t tolerate the present with your partner; it’s something you’re going to carry with you when we’re finally let loose back into the world. Resentment doesn’t allow anyone to really flourish forward, and that means even if you emerge from the pandemic with a relationship in tact, reasons to break up with someone still may well exist. And that may mean your overall happiness remains stuck on lockdown.

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