When you’re getting mixed signals in a relationship, it’s hard to know if you should give up on your boyfriend or keep going. Sometimes giving up on a relationship is a mistake – and you don’t want to call it quits too soon! These tips will help you decide if you should move forward or start detaching from your boyfriend.
“I’m deeply in love with this guy and I’ve told him how I feel,” says Brittany on When You Love Someone Who is Scared to Love You Back. “I’m getting mixed signals. I think he wants to be with me but he is scared to hurt me because something awful happened to him a while ago. He said nobody can fill those holes. I really want to show him that he is not alone in life and that I will always be there for him. He deserves to be loved. Am I selfish for wanting to be with someone who is still hurt? What should I do? I don’t want to give up on him or our relationship. That’s not an option for me. But I’m so confused.”
Even the best, healthiest relationships can be confusing and frustrating! The most important thing is to listen to your boyfriend. If you are sensing he doesn’t want to be with you – or that he is incapable of loving or committing to you – then it’s time to give up on your relationship. But if you think you’re just going through the typical problems or difficulties that most couples experience, then keep going. Your relationship isn’t over yet.
Getting an outside perspective can be a great way to determine if giving up on your relationship is the right thing to do. Don’t ask strangers for advice; they don’t know you or your relationship. Rather, talk to someone in person. A counselor or therapist can help you decide if it’s time to give up on your boyfriend. So is a trusted friend, wise mentor, or even a pastor or elder at your church.
6 Signs It’s Time to Give Up on a Relationship
Giving up on a relationship doesn’t mean you aren’t good, kind, or loving. Letting a relationship go – or seeking change – doesn’t mean you’re a “bad” person or unloving Christian. You can love Jesus and let people go. God did it all the time.
Heed the still small voice. Follow your intuition.
When you talk to your boyfriend about giving up on your relationship, what does he say? If you’re not talking to him about your relationship – or if you and your boyfriend can no longer talk about your difficulties – then you have a different problem. Communication.
1. You can’t talk your boyfriend about your relationship
Are you and your boyfriend unable or unwilling to talk about how you’re relating to each other or where your future is going? Maybe you bring up the “relationship talk” but he shuts you down. Or, maybe you’re too scared or confused to start talking about your relationship at all. It’s good news if you and your boyfriend haven’t talked about your relationship because this means there is hope!
Don’t give up on your boyfriend if you and he haven’t had a serious conversation about your relationship. Maybe you’re both too timid to bring up relationship problems. Maybe you just don’t know how to talk to your boyfriend because this is your first relationship. Maybe you’re not struggling with when to give up on a relationship!
Maybe you’re struggling because you haven’t had many heart-to-heart talks with your boyfriend. Take heart, for it gets easier with time. You need to find the strength and courage to say what’s on your heart and mind. It doesn’t have to be complicated, smart, or well-thought-out. It just has to be from your heart.
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2. He gets angry, frustrated, or abusive when you talk
If you and your boyfriend talk about your relationship and he gets angry, frustrated or abusive, then your relationship can’t move forward in healthy ways. One of the most clear signs you should give up on your relationship – even if it means giving up on your boyfriend – is abuse. If your boyfriend is verbally abusive, critical, mean or insensitive then you have worse problems than deciding if giving up on your relationship is a good idea. The abuse won’t go away or get better. It’ll only get worse.
Are you and your boyfriend stuck in a cycle of abuse? Read 5 Stages of Leaving an Abusive Relationship.
3. Your boyfriend is reluctant or scared to commit
It’s important to consider your boyfriend’s mental and emotional health. If he is scared of a relationship or unable to be emotionally intimate, then he needs to work on his emotional health. You can’t solve his problems or save him by holding on to this relationship. Only he can work through his problems and get to the healthy place he needs to be.
You can’t make your boyfriend emotionally healthy – even if you refuse to give up on him for your relationship! In fact, refusing to give up on a dead relationship or unhealthy boyfriend can be a huge mistake on your part. It’s crucial to see the signs that are right in front of you and not be guided by your emotions.
4. Your relationship is preventing you from emotional health
How is your relationship or boyfriend helping you become stronger, healthier, and happier? What good things are growing in you? Nobody is 100% emotionally, spiritually, physically, or mentally healthy. The best we can do is keep working towards our best, healthiest selves. This means listening to our instincts, trusting our intuition, and always growing forward into who God created us to be.
What insecurities, fears, doubts or problems are you struggling with.? I’m not talking about giving up on your boyfriend or ending your relationship… I’m talking about you. What do you need to work on? If you aren’t getting healthier emotionally and spiritually, then you maybe focusing on the wrong thing. Instead of looking for signs you should give up on your relationship, start looking for signs that you are getting emotionally and spiritually healthier. If you’re healthy and whole, you’ll see your relationship more clearly.
5. You’re staying in your relationship for the wrong reasons
Why are you staying with your boyfriend? If you’re staying in this relationship because you don’t want to give up on him, or you’re worried he may not feel loved, or you’re scared of what people will think then you’re in it for the wrong reasons. Maybe you’re scared to be alone. Maybe you’re worried about what your boyfriend might do if you end this relationship. Maybe you’re scared of what your parents, coworkers, or Facebook friends will say if you “give up” on your boyfriend.
Write down five reasons you’re staying in this relationship. It might also help to write down the signs you think you should give up on your relationship. It’s really important for you to get clear on what you think, need, and feel. Don’t let other people tell you what to do with your relationship for life. Don’t let your own emotions and feelings tell you what to do with your life! Rather, be guided by your brain and gut instincts.
6. You feel compelled to give up on this relationship
Your gut instincts can also be called your intuition or that still small voice that leads you in the right direction. It’s the Holy Spirit telling you what you should do. You feel compelled to give up on your boyfriend or this relationship for a reason. You won’t find this reason by searching the internet for signs you should give up on a relationship! That’s because the reason is inside you. You need to look deep within you and find your reason for letting this relationship go.
Sometimes you have to give up things of the past in order to make room for new, fresh possibilities for today. Maybe it’s not about giving up hope for your boyfriend or relationship, but rather letting go of something that has already ended.
What if it’s not about giving up on your boyfriend? Maybe it’s about setting him free to get healthy and whole…and letting yourself go free as well. Maybe you’re not good for each other right now. Maybe you need to give up your relationship and make space for healing and growth in new directions. Or maybe you just need to end one unhealthy chapter of your relationship so you can make room for a new, healthy season.
God is calling you. That’s why you’re here. Take time to listen to Him, to follow His lead. Rebuild your relationship with Jesus, and He will help you know what to do about your relationship. If He wants you to give up on your boyfriend, He will give you the strength, courage and wisdom you need.
Your thoughts – big and little – are welcome below! What do you think about these signs you should give up on your relationship? Writing is one of the best ways to discover what you really think and feel. Take time to stop and listen to the still small voice. I read every comment, but don’t worry. I won’t give advice or tell you what to do. It’s your turn to talk.
Need marriage help? Get free relationship advice from Marriage Coach Mort Fertel.
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