Are you in a relationship that isn’t working and you just feel like giving up?

Some people give up on their relationship early on, as soon as they face some challenges. Then, they no longer feel like having this relationship for some reason. Other people give up after making a lot of effort and doing all they can to make their relationship work. While you don’t want to stay in an unhealthy relationship that you cannot fix. Giving up without trying to solve your issues, you can be missing out on a beautiful relationship if you give up too soon.

In this article, you will learn what it means to give up on a relationship. By the end you will have a better idea if you should carry on this relationship or if it’s time to let it go and move on.

What Does It Mean to Give up on a Relationship

Let’s have a look at what it means to give up according to the Merriam-webster dictionary to then apply it to what it means to give up on your relationship.

  1. To cease doing or attempting something especially as an admission of defeat : QUIT —often used with on
  2. To yield control or possession of : SURRENDER
  3. To desist from : ABANDON
  4. To declare incurable or insoluble
  5. To abandon (oneself) to a particular feeling, influence, or activity
    to devote to a particular purpose or use
  6. To despair of seeing
  7. To allow (a hit or run in baseball) while pitching

Giving up in a relationship has an objective and a moralistic aspect. Objectively, giving up is a decision to end a relationship. Moralistically, it’s a process of doubting whether or not you should end it.

Approaching your relationship objectively is healthier. As it can show you the problems and the reasons why your relationship isn’t working and if you are able to fix it. An objective approach will look like this:

  • You are managing your emotions while expressing your feelings
  • You are hearing your partner out and try to see things from their perspective
  • Having a discussion about what problems you are facing and if both of you are willing to fix them and you know how to
  • If you don’t know how to, you can get a relationship coach to help you.
  • If at least one of you isn’t willing, then it’s about time to end your relationship

Here is what a moralistic and unhealthy approach to giving up on a relationship looks like:

  • You are staying together because of duty or obligation
  • You are ignoring all the problems
  • You avoid expressing your feelings
  • You are not interested in what your partner have to say and how they see your relationship
  • You are constantly doubting if you should stay in this relationship with the fear of being alone, personal insecurities or other people’s opinions

Staying together for the above reasons is unhealthy. It guarantees you being in an unhealthy relationship. Not only you are struggling and suffering. But, you are also denying yourself a relationship with someone with whom you could have a healthy relationship and who’s company you’d enjoy.

What Happens When You Are Giving Up on Your Relationship

When you’ve been in a relationship having lot of unresolved problems and are feeling sad and unhappy more often than not. It is quite likely that you want to end this relationship.

You probably had some good times at the beginning of your relationship where you felt your partner was the person you wanted to be with. But over time things changed and you no longer feel that you were made for each other.

The lack of communication in a relationship and the ability to resolve conflicts can turn the most loving relationship into a disaster. Communication and understanding are not inherent to us. We normally have to learn these skills if we want to have healthy relationships.

So, if you are thinking on giving up on your relationship. Take some time to reflect on the things that are not working and why. Be honest with yourself and recognise the contribution you are making to your relationship. Not only the good things, but the ones that are also making it unhealthy.

Once you’ve done this, you can have a conversation with your partner and ask them to do the same on their own time. Then compare what each of you are perceiving from your relationship. See if there are ways that you can address your issues, of course, provided that you want to save your relationship.

If you are interested in making you relationship work. You can try to do it by yourselves or look for the help of a relationship coach who can guide you through the process.

Not Giving up on Your Relationship

When you have an unhealthy dynamic in your relationship that has last a long time. You probably cannot pinpoint when things stop working nor how to turn them around.

This may be living you feeling overwhelmed and confused. But, it’s important to clarify what’s going on in your mind and in your partner’s. To identify how you both are experiencing the issues in your relationship.

Here are some ways you can approach it:

  • Identify what isn’t working for you in the relationship
  • Identify what isn’t working for your partner in this relationship
  • Express your thoughts, feelings and emotions
  • Listen to your partner
  • Establish healthy boundaries
  • Both of you should work on your personal development
  • Learn effective communication
  • Spend some time together to reconnect
  • Build physical and emotional intimacy
  • Be grateful and recognise how your partner contributes to your life
  • Be open to find professional help sooner rather than later if you don’t seem to make progress and keep going back to the behaviours that are causing problems in your relationship.

When to Fight for a Relationship and When to Give Up

When you are in the early stages of your relationship, you may face different challenges you don’t know how to handle. At this point, you could feel like giving up. If you do, at this early stage, you could miss out on a beautiful relationship.

As time goes by, unresolved problems accumulate in your relationship. You may keep trying to make your relationship work, but feel exhausted and disappointed that nothing seems to make a difference. At this point, you may be considering to give up.

When to fight or when to give up on your relationship may not be a straight forward answer. But, in general you can fight for your relationship when you and your partner are willing to make it work and just don’t know how to. There can be many reasons why you find that your relationship is over. But, as long as you are prepare to put all your effort, you could turn the unhealthy dynamic in your relationship around.

So, there are three main ingredients to make your relationship work, willingness, time and effort. Without them, there is no true commitment to have a healthy relationship.

You can decide if you still want to make your relationship work when:

  • You still have romantic feelings for each other
  • You want to stay with your partner
  • You enjoy your partner’s company
  • You care for your partner
  • Both of you are willing to make an effort to make your relationship work
  • Both of you are open to hear each other’s point of view on your relationship and on each other
  • Both of you are willing to work on yourselves separately and together to improve your relationship
  • Both of you are open to get help from a professional if you can’t figure things out by yourselves

If at least one of you is not ready to do any of the above. Then, there’s no point to keep trying and as sad as it may be, giving up on your relationship may be for the best.

Signs It Is Time to Give up on Your Relationship

  • You or your partner no longer have the willingness to make your relationship work
  • You no longer enjoy being with your partner or talking to them
  • You feel emotionally suffocated and overwhelmed
  • You and your partner have different life goals
  • Your relationship goals doesn’t align
  • You cannot see a future together
  • You have been together for a long time, yet there are no plans for the future
  • You are having more and more unresolved arguments and you are growing resentment towards each other
  • You have different sex drives and it’s causing conflict and frustration
  • Your feelings have changed, and you drifted apart
  • You developed feelings for someone else
  • You are sacrificing for the relationship
  • You feel your partner or your relationship are holding you back
  • You are constantly blaming each other for the issues in your relationship


When you give up on your relationship it means that you stop from trying to make it better or make it work. You accepted that you are no longer interested in attempting making an effort to work on your relationship. Hence, you are quitting your relationship and walking away.

Giving up in a relationship can happen at two stages in a relationship. At an early stage when you are starting to face some challenges and you don’t know how to handle them. Then you prefer to give up without trying to fix the issues and quit your relationship. And, the other stage is later on when you’ve been together for a while and have had many issues and have accumulated unresolved problems. In this case, you have tried everything you could to make it work, but nothing is working or making a difference. Then, you feel like giving up.

It can be healthy to end your relationship or you may rush into it. If you give up too early, you are not even giving a chance to your relationship. On the other hand, if you insist to be in a relationship that is clearly not working and there is no way to fix it. Then, there’s little point continuing in such relationship. This will only bring you suffering and prevent you from being with someone else you actually enjoy being with.

How do you tell if you are giving up too early? You know you haven’t given your relationship a chance when you decide to walk away at the first challenge or when your disagreements turn into arguments. Even if your relationship is not going to work out long term, there’s still a learning opportunity in trying to make it work.

At the same time if you’ve been trying for several years and your relationship is still not working and you are still having the same problems and you don’t know what else you could do. Then, your relationship may just run its course and it’s in deed time to let it go. In this case, even if your relationship ends. You would have learn more about yourself, what it takes to have a relationship, how to resolve the problems and who would be a better partner for you.

All of these can significantly increase your chances of having a healthier and more exciting relationship in the future. At the same time, you don’t want to stay in a toxic relationship that isn’t working for too long. As at some point, particularly if there’s nothing else you can do about it, it becomes a waste of your life.

There is not a definitive point between these two. Your decision to stay or end your relationship depends on many factors; including your feelings, needs and circumstances.

It can be difficult to objectively approach the decision of ending your relationship particularly if you feel like you would be giving up on it. This is where a relationship coach can really help you to get clear on your situation, feelings and needs.

Help and Advice to Help You Decide if It’s Time Give up on a Relationship

  • Get clear on the reasons for wanting to give up on your relationship
  • Are you together because you want to be together, or because of your insecurities, social pressure, expectations, etc?
  • Don’t give up on a relationship before giving it a chance, or making an effort to make it work
  • Avoid staying in an unhealthy relationship that isn’t working once you believe you’ve done all you could to make it work

If you don’t know if it’s time to give up on your relationship and need professional help and advice, we’ll be happy to help! Check out our coaching options here.

Frequently Asked Questions

When to give up on a potential relationship?

When you don’t have common relationship goals
When your life goals don’t align
When you have different values, beliefs and expectations

What do you give up in a relationship?

In a healthy relationship you wouldn’t be giving up on anything. Such relationship is contributing to your life, not taking away from it.

Is it ok to give up on a relationship?

It’s ok to end a relationship after you tried to do as much as you could to make it work. Or, if your relationship is unhealthy, and either you or your partner are not willing to make it work.

Should you give up friends for a relationship?

A relationship should never be restrictive or prevent you from being with friends or family. Giving up on friends for a relationship is unhealthy.

How to not give up on dating?

If you have negative experiences while dating, recognise that those patterns where only a small portion of people in the world. Maybe you haven’t dated the right people or you need to get to know yourself better first. Once you know your beliefs, values and preferences. You would be in a better position to recognise who would be the partner that can contribute to your life.

When to decide to leave a relationship?

When your relationship isn’t working and you’ve done everything you could. Now, you no longer have the willingness to make the effort and don’t know what else to do to make a difference.

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