The 6 Absolute Worst Reasons To Stay In A Relationship

You're miserable, but you won't leave.

Last updated on Jun 19, 2024

Couple hugging awkwardly, not wanting to stay in relationship Andrii Iemelyanenko | Canva

It can be confusing to sort out your feelings for someone, especially if you've been in a committed relationship with them for a long time. We make up all kinds of crazy reasons to stick together rather than break up, but just because you've been together a long time, that doesn't mean it's healthy for you. There are lots of obvious reasons to break up, but the ones on this list disguise themselves as reasons to stay together.


Here are the 6 absolute worst reasons to stay in a relationship:

1. "He hasn't done anything wrong."

Variations: "He's such a good person," or "He's a great boyfriend." In every other area of life, not doing anything wrong does not earn you an A+. It earns you a passing grade, but a passing grade is not the same as a stellar significant other. Not doing anything wrong does not equate to doing everything right. You deserve someone more than a C.

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2. "He loves me so much."

Variations: "He cares about our relationship a lot," or "He treats me so well." Yes, nice people tend to do that. As do respectful people and everyone interested in girlfriend or boyfriend retention. This phrase leaves out the key component: you. Just because you are loved doesn't mean that you love in return. It's a major flaw when the thing you like best about your relationship is how much your partner likes you.


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3. "It would be so horrible to break up."

Variations: "I don't want to think about it now," or "It's not a good time." It's never going to not be awful. Breaking up sucks, no matter if you're being rejected or doing the rejecting. But chances are, life isn't going to hand you a perfect opportunity. You'll both always be stressed, always have other things on your mind and it will be unpleasant no matter what day you choose to pull the trigger.

4. "I don't want to hurt him."

Again, you're going to have to. It's awful and cowardly to stay in a relationship because you feel guilty and afraid of hurting your partner's feelings. It's far less cruel to leave. Would you want to have a boyfriend or girlfriend just because the guilt was making them stick around?


5. "But I love him right now."

You powered through the early stages of a relationship without feeling much until you finally learned how to love the other person. Not the most magical love story. It might seem virtuous to stay, but your relationship shouldn't have continued past the third date. Both of you deserve to find someone else who fascinates you, excites you, and stimulates you.

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6. "I'm scared to be alone."

Variations: "I don't think I'll be able to find anyone else," or "I like being in a relationship." This isn't flattering for either of you. If you're staying with someone because you're afraid to be alone, you owe it to both of you to try to find someone else. Your partner deserves appreciation and adoration. If you're not the person who can provide that, let the relationship go.

@dannymorel If You’re Scared Of Being Alone, Watch This 🙏🏼 #consciousness #awakening #relationships ♬ original sound - Danny Morel

If you've been saying one of these things (or more) to justify staying with your partner, you need to realize that staying together isn't fair to either of you. And unless you're an incredible actor, your partner is going to notice that you're less enthusiastic, less committed, less engaged, and less fulfilled by the relationship. Your psyche will suffer, your behavior will reflect your mental distress and it will be noticeable. Remember: The meanest thing you can do is stay; the nicest thing you can do is leave. It feels terrible at first, but you need to give your partner a chance to find someone who feels lucky to have them. Trust me, both of you will be grateful later.


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Anna Karimo is an international relationship expert as well as a dating coach, motivational speaker, and prolific author.