At first, she seemed like the perfect woman: beautiful, smart, great in bed and she even got along with your friends. Fast forward and you’re literally dating your worst nightmare. It’s clearly time to cut your losses but you’re dragging your feet. Your friends and family don’t understand what you’re waiting for, and frankly neither do you. What you do know is that you're over your not-so-better half but you keep thinking of (not so good) reasons to keep her around.
To give you the push you need, we gathered some sage wisdom from a relationship expert and guys just like you who struggled to ditch their GFs—but found happiness once they did. Their intel may just be the inspiration you need to finally set yourself free.
Because You Don’t Think You Can Do Better
You may think you can’t do any better, but if you’re totally unhappy in your relationship, that’s definitely not the case. “She may be the hot, but if you’ve been toying with the idea of cutting the cord, she’s clearly not the whole package,” says New Jersey native Mike, who after two years with a women he couldn’t stand, is now happily engaged to someone else. Terri Orbuch PhD, relationship expert and author of Finding Love Again: 6 Simple Steps to a New and Happy Relationship, agrees that holding on to a crummy relationship because you’re afraid you won’t be able to do better is totally wrong. “Staying with someone you don’t genuinely like isn't good for you psychologically. You’ll never be happy in that situation.” Another thing to consider: “If you don’t think you can do better you may suffer from low self-esteem. You’re likely picking partners who aren't good for you because you don't like yourself. It may sound cliché, but the best way to find someone who will make you happy is to work on your confidence and become comfortable with who you are first,” she says.
Because the Sex Is Worth It
“It’s hard to let go of a girl who’s a freak in bed—even if she’s possessive and drives you crazy,” says John of New Hampshire. “At the end of the day, though, I’m happier now that I’m with a woman who makes me happy and has an equally as impressive set of bedroom skills.” Orbuch concurs. “Yes, sex is important and vital to a happy and healthy relationship, but it isn't the only ingredient. If you can't stand your girlfriend, eventually those negative feelings will negatively affect the relationship and the sex.” The bottom line? There’s no point in dragging things out.
Because Your Family Loves Her
Your mom may describe her as “the daughter she never had,” but that’s no reason to stay with your GF if you’re no longer feeling it. “There are many factors that contribute and improve a relationship, and getting along with each other’s families is a big one. But this one factor, in and of itself won't yield a happy relationship unless you also care for her,” explains Orbuch. “Your family may be bummed at first when you brake it off with her, but remember that more than anything else, they want you to be happy.”
Because She’s Great Arm Candy
She may be the envy of all your friends, but c'mon, dude, you know that’s not a good enough reason to stay with her if the sparks just aren’t there. In fact, staying with her means you’re not making yourself available to meet other beautiful women who you might actually be compatible with.
Because You Don’t Want to Deal With Drama
"When I went to college, I tried to do the long-distance thing with my high school girlfriend,” Jared of New York tells us. “She threatened to break up with me every time I went out with my friends, so I knew I had to dump her. It was clear she would start a ton of drama if I left her, so I dragged my feet for months before finally cutting the cord. As I suspected, she freaked out. But it was totally worth it.” If you’re feeling apprehensive about saying sayonara to your sweetie for the same reasons as Jared, Orbuch suggests mitigating the damage by using a "we" statement (i.e. "We aren't compatible," "We’re very different," "We don't want the same things"). “‘We’ statements blame the two of you, not her, and soften the blow of a breakup,” explains Orbuch. “She may still be upset, but the situation will likely be far less dramatic.”
Because You Live Together
Cutting ties isn’t exactly easy when your GF is also your roomie, but it’s by no means a reason to stay put if you’re unhappy. The key here is having a solid plan in place before letting your lady know you’re not in it for the long haul. Think about where you might move after the breakup and find a friend who would be willing to let you couch surf for a while after you’ve pulled the trigger. Retreat at their place until the dust has settled. This way you and your ex can divide up furniture and talk about next steps after the initial anger and hurt have died down. If you still have a bit of time left on your lease and you can’t afford a new place, being respectful and civil is key; it’s the only thing that will make coexisting in peace even remotely possible.
Because You’re Afraid of Being Lonely
You’re a in-a-relationship type of dude, we get it. But think about it: If you’re with a chick you’re not into anymore, you’re probably already lonely, so that shouldn't be a reason to stay in the relationship. “Many people think that loneliness and being alone are synonymous, but they’re not,” explains Orbuch. “In fact, loneliness, sadness, and depression can occur when you’re in a relationship with someone you're not happy or in love with. When that’s the case, you’re better off being alone. People suffer the most when they want to connect with someone and it doesn't occur.” Simply put, breaking up with your GF will allow you to find the connection you’re looking for with someone else. It may even help you feel less lonely than you are now.
Because You’ve Been Together for Ages
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been together two days, two months or two years if you’re not into her anymore, it’s not fair to either of you to drag things out. “I dated a girl for six years, and although it wasn’t always great between us, we already knew so much about each other and had such a history. It seemed exhausting to go through that again with someone new,” Brian of Delaware says. “Finally, though, we broke up. And the person I’m with now is probably the women I’m going to marry. Sometimes you just have to cut your losses and consider the relationship a learning experience—not a waste of time—and move on.”
Because You’re Afraid You’ll Regret It
Have you ever regretted leaving a totally lame party? Didn’t think so. If anything, you’ve probably regretted wasting so much time there. Staying in an unhappy relationship is no different. If you’re no longer having a good time, it’s time to move on and find something better. You won’t regret it if you’re genuinely unhappy with the person you’re dating.