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Is staying in a relationship out of guilt okay?

Is staying in a relationship out of guilt okay?

You’re ready to leave the relationship you’re in, but your partner seems happy. It makes you doubt your own feelings and whether you should leave them.

You feel guilty because there’s a big difference between how you feel and how your partner feels in the relationship. But is staying in a relationship out of guilt a good thing? The short answer is no, but today we will look deeper into this.

Breakups are never easy to go through and they’re very emotional. However, you shouldn’t feel guilty about being the one that ends things, when it becomes necessary. 

Why you shouldn’t stay in a relationship out of guilt:

1- You both deserve happiness:

Staying in a relationship out of guilt or to avoid the other person any pain is not realistic. You owe it to yourself to seek happiness and your partner deserves it too. If you want out, that’s completely fair. You have to be responsible for your own happiness. If you’re not happy, you can’t stay in that relationship. 

The longer you stay in a relationship that you don’t want to be in, the more difficult it will be to leave. Additionally, the more miserable you’ll become. It will become a burden and it’s not fair to anyone involved. It’s also very unhealthy. 

2- Understand it’s inevitable:

Let’s say that you don’t think it’s the right time to end things. You feel too guilty, so you need some time to prepare. In doing that, you’re only prolonging the inevitable. It doesn’t matter how many excuses you make up or how long you wait, breaking up is inevitable if that’s what you really feel you both need. 

You might as well have control of when it happens instead of blurting it out at the worst possible time. If you’ve already decided you want to end things, there’s no point in avoiding it. Whenever you look at your partner, it will be the only thing on your mind. 

3- It’s the right thing to do:

When you think beyond how your partner will feel after the breakup, you’ll realize you’re doing them a favor. Why? Because you are setting them free to find the right person for them too. Breaking up is not only good for you, but it’s also good for them. 

It’s awful to feel like someone is with you only out of duty. Everyone deserves to be loved and cherished. If you can’t be that person for them, you have to let them know and then let them go too.

People can tell when someone has mentally and emotionally checked out of the relationship and that’s painful to watch every day. You can check this article out on why most women leave a relationship mentally and emotionally before they physically take themselves out of it. It’s way worse than the pain of a breakup. 

4- You shouldn’t settle:

If you’re second-guessing your decision because you feel bad about your partner, you have to understand that staying in the relationship would be settling. If you’re not into your partner, there’s no way you’ll have the loving and fulfilling relationship you deserve. 

If your partner is not what you’re looking for, you need to let them go and move on. You will find the right person and you shouldn’t settle for anything less than you deserve, nor should you date “any random person” just not to be single. If you stay with the wrong person, you will miss your chance, and life’s too short for that. 

5- Things won’t get better:

The fact is that when you want to end the relationship, you have a good reason to do so. Postponing it won’t make things better. Unless you’re actively working on it to fix whatever the issue may be together. And even then, it’s not guaranteed that it will work.

You can give it a shot, but if it doesn’t make a difference, the best thing you can do is walk away. The most likely scenario is that things will just get worse.

The longer you stay, the more annoyed you will become because you just don’t want to be with this person. The short-term guilt is not worth the long-term unhappiness you will feel for as long as you stay. 

6- You can’t fake feelings:

After the spark is gone, it is very difficult to get it back. When feelings change, that’s usually permanent. You can definitely try to get them back or work around them. The one thing you can’t do, at least not successfully, is fake feelings or pretend. 

You can only play pretend for so long and why would you want to do that anyway? You would be lying to your partner all day, every day. That sounds exhausting!

If your feelings change, you have to acknowledge and accept that. It’s impossible to force yourself to feel one way or the other. 


Staying in a relationship out of guilt is not sustainable and it will only make things worse for your partner.

You both deserve to be free to find the right person and have fulfilling, healthy, loving relationships. End the relationship with respect and kindness, but go through with it if you’ve already made up your mind. 

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