Connections. Bonds. Associations. Friendships. Support systems, family, and interpersonal. How people regard and engage with each other is how relationships are generally defined. Everyone, young and old, has relationships. They are vital to ones’ existence. They’re designed to increase emotional well-being, create stability, and add value to life quality. As we go through life, our relationships with people change, sometimes for better or worse. It’s a part of life. But what happens when we remain in relationships that hinder growth? More importantly, why do we stay in those relationships?

Some people stay in stagnant relationships because they have created an unhealthy sense of attachment and loyalty to their partner. They stay because someone else needs them for their growth, even if it stifles their own. Other reasons people remain in relationships stem from an unhealthy sense of self-focus. This concept consists of someone solely focusing on their thoughts, needs, desires, and emotions.

When people develop this in relationships, they are prone to stay because of the “investments” in the other person, creating the notion that they must receive a “return” on said investments. When a person waits to receive a return on investments (time, money, intimacy), they become attached and refuse to walk away without believing their efforts were not in vain. Other reasons people stay include refusal of being alone, they don’t want to start over, they think they don’t have any other option, or they fear the notion of not having a long-term partner. Many believe these are valid reasons for staying in stagnant relationships. However, they don’t realize how it affects them and their future partners. So, why should people stop staying in stale relationships? Here are a few reasons why.

They keep you from growing.

Remaining in sluggish relationships of any kind stifles your growth in every aspect of your life. It prevents your growth because you’re bogged down with the weight of maintaining a connection that’s worth letting go of. If your primary focus is the relationship, you can’t focus on your needs. While we know and understand that relationships are about two people, you can’t neglect your existence to maintain relationships that cause you to sacrifice more than what it’s worth.

They lower your expectations.

Connections that cause you to become complacent also cause you to lower your expectations. When you become comfortable with someone who gives the bare minimum to keep you around, that bare minimum subconsciously becomes your norm. This becomes the norm because having low expectations shields you from being disappointed in your partner and the relationship in a sordid way. When this happens, you convince yourself to stay. This has to stop. When you have low expectations, you miss out on what God has for you and your relationships. You should always want and expect the best for yourself in every aspect of your life.

They drain you mentally and emotionally.

Relationships that show no signs of growth can exhaust you mentally and emotionally. The stress of being involved in relationships that leave you unfulfilled can affect your overall well-being. You may begin to adopt unhealthy habits for comfort, begin to doubt your self-worth, have feelings of hopelessness or fall into a state of depression. No relationship is worth this. If you find that you’re spiraling into destructive practices to fill mental and emotional voids, take some time to pray and ask God to restore you to the person He wants you to be.

They create a negative view of relationships.

Stagnant relationships of any kind can create a pessimistic view of how relationships should be. They can have you believe that real love doesn’t exist or that you are unworthy of having a productive relationship. It can also bring about fear and anxiety when engaging in other connections. You don’t want this to happen to you. Relationships are a significant and essential part of life and should be viewed. Everyone needs healthy connections to thrive in life because without them, you remain stagnant.

They don’t enrich your life in any way.

Apart from being supportive, a partner must bring value to your life and enrich it in different ways. Whether it is your aspirations, unique points of view or sense of humor, your partner should play a significant role in uplifting you. But if you feel they are only bringing you down, it is time to rethink your relationship. Well, they might be going through some hard times. You definitely should speak to them first and try to support them. However, if you feel that your only job here is to fix things for them, you may have to move on.

You’re not happy in the relationship.

While it might seem obvious, if you are constantly unhappy in your relationship, it is probably time to have a straightforward conversation with your partner about your concerns. They might think that everything is alright and nothing needs to improve. However, if they are unwilling to make changes despite telling them that you are unhappy, it could be time to leave the relationship and move on.

Thinking about leaving a relationship and moving on is never easy, primarily when you have invested years into one. People tend to lie to themselves and ignore the subtle signs. They assume things would change with time and that everything would turn out okay in the end.

However, it is crucial to understand that nothing else matters more than your self-respect. Leaving an unhappy relationship could be difficult, but that one decision could be incredibly liberating. Do you relate to the signs listed in this post? Then it probably is time to rethink your relationship.

Building a healthy relationship and maintaining the same is not easy as it looks. Several red flags emerge even in a relationship of months or years which may provoke you to leave your partner. If you feel like your relationship isn’t going anywhere, you should have a conversation with your partner before making any decisions. They may want to work on things or feel the same way and walk away.

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