Why It's Important To Leave A Relationship That Doesn't Serve You, According To An Expert

Deciding when it's time to call it quits in a relationship is one of the most difficult decisions someone can make. If there's no major argument or breach of trust, it can be hard to tell if it's worth it to keep going or if it's time to break things off. In this situation, it can be tempting to hold on, even if something is no longer working, just to avoid having to make a final call. Unfortunately, however, this can cause more harm than good in the long run.


Olivia Taylor, a psychotherapist, licensed clinical social worker, and the owner of Coral Heart Counseling, shared some of her top indicators that you should leave a relationship with Glam. Watching out for these red flags can give you the clarity you need to decide if this is just a minor bump in the road or if a relationship is no longer serving you, helping you to avoid unnecessary confusion and heartbreak in this difficult situation.

Continuous boundary crossing

Establishing and respecting each other's boundaries is the core of a healthy relationship, and, according to Olivia Taylor, your partner making you compromise your limits or feel uncomfortable is a major issue. An accidental slip up here or there is nothing to be alarmed about — we're all human after all — but if this is a recurring issue, it's time for a check-in. "When your boundaries have constantly been crossed, then it's time to acknowledge that the other person may not care as much as you thought, and reconsider how you'd like to have that person in your life," she says.


It's not necessary to write out a strict set of rules, but vocalizing when something makes you uncomfortable can give you and your partner a more clear guide. Someone repeatedly ignoring your boundaries indicates a lack of respect, even if the issue itself is something minor. "Boundaries protect and guide people within relationships. Without healthy boundaries, you risk being taken advantage of and feeling disappointed and guilty after realizing that you were left with having little to no benefit from a situation," she says.

Negative self-perception

According to BetterHelp, an estimated 85% of people have experienced low self-esteem at one point in their lives. This phenomenon is normal, but if your relationship is actively making your perception of yourself worse, this is a bad sign. "With ongoing interactions that lead you to having continuous negative self-perceptions, you run the risk of getting into a state of depression and/or anxiety," says Olivia Taylor.


After being in a relationship for several months or years, it's easy to lose sight of its purpose in the first place. This is a partnership that should allow both parties to mature, grow, and feel supported by another person. "Relationships are supposed to assist both individuals in growing to become their best selves. A balance of compassionate correction and positive feedback is needed. However, when there's constant negative criticism that makes you think less of yourself more often than not, then it's time to think about if this person is really good for you, your mental health, and sense of self," she says.

Toxic relationship patterns

Most relationships will include a few disagreements here and there, but if you find yourself constantly arguing and saying things to intentionally upset the other person, it's time to make a change. "Sometimes, people unknowingly fall into toxic relationship patterns that cause them to act unlike their positive character traits. An example of this is when two individuals are constantly trying to emotionally or physically hurt each other. When this happens, you might find your worst qualities coming out as opposed to the best parts of yourself, which ultimately doesn't help you nor the other person grow as people," Olivia Taylor says.


This kind of behavior is easy to get wrapped up in, but it's important to occasionally take a step back and analyze what you're actually gaining from the relationship. If you're fighting more than you're happy and content, especially if any of those fights have escalated to physical violence, the relationship is no longer serving you.

Forced, major change

Relationships can cause change and positive personal growth, but if you find yourself turning your back on your favorite hobbies, conforming exclusively to what the other person wants, or losing your sense of self, you could be heading down a slippery slope. "Even within relationships, you still should be your own individual," Olivia Taylor explains. "Without being yourself, you run the risk of not contributing to the growth of the relationship when the other person can learn a lot from you. When you are forced to change who you are and conform to who the other person wants you to be, then the negative dynamics of power and control could be coming into your relationship."


Minor compromises and changes are to be expected, but if you're completely changing your life and personality just to be with this person, it's not worth it. In a situation like this, the other person is likely holding all of the power, making it less of a balanced partnership and more of a case of possession. "It's important to consider if you can really live with a different you while that person is in your life," she says.