5 Signs It's Time to Leave Your Queer Relationship

October 31, 2023 Daniel Lyons

Sometimes, you have to leave a queer relationship. All breakups are hard, no matter how you look at it. I have found my queer breakups to be particularly challenging, however. I think for some of us, this can have to do with living portions of our lives authentically, and when we finally are dating the gender or genders of partners that we truly desire, emotions can become intense, and so can connections. My excitement about being with a woman for the first time blinded me from being able to see some of the major issues in our dynamic. But now, I've identified five signs it's time to leave your queer relationship that I wish I had thought about earlier.

If you see these elements in your relationship, it may be time to evaluate whether or not the relationship is working for you. As a reminder, I can't give advice as to whether or not your relationship is right for you, but hopefully, these signs it's time to leave a queer relationship can help you take an honest inventory of your relationship. If you find that they apply, you may consider talking them over with a trusted confidant or mental health professional

5 Signs It May Be Time to End Your Queer Relationship

  1. The fighting is constant. This one is pretty straightforward. If you start to feel like you live in a constant state of conflict, it may be time to consider leaving your queer relationship. For me, in a recent relationship, I started to feel emotionally drained, and it never felt like our conflicts got resolved. New wounds opened before old wounds could heal. We also really triggered each other's trauma during conflict, and both of us experienced a lot of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in the relationship. If you spend more time fighting than loving each other, it's time to take a serious look at leaving your queer relationship.
  2. You've lost yourself in the relationship. If you start to neglect your own self-care, hobbies, and the things you love, it may also be time to leave your queer relationship. In a healthy relationship, there is room to be yourself, take care of yourself, spend time with friends, and engage in hobbies. One friend told me I "disappeared" in my last relationship, and they were right. I got swallowed whole by my relationship and neglected a lot of things and people that I loved. It's important to be able to be your own person and not to lose yourself in the context of a romantic relationship.
  3. You don't trust the other person. This is a big one. Trust is the foundation of any healthy relationship. If you're struggling with jealousy, it may be that you need to take a look at where your jealousy is coming from. Is some of your jealousy valid and even healthy? Or are you jealous because there are cracks in the foundation of trust in your relationship? Maybe your partner is just not trustworthy. Whatever the case may be, I encourage you to look at issues surrounding trust and jealousy in your relationship. If you truly feel you can't trust your partner, it may be time to leave your queer relationship.
  4. You're unhappy. This might seem obvious, but this one is really important. Breaking up with people is hard for me. Because of my trauma history, I often feel I don't have a right to leave relationships. I was really unhappy in my relationship and started to toy with the idea of leaving. I'd threaten to do it but ultimately would get cold feet and would feel afraid of hurting her, so I stayed despite being unhappy. My codependency kept me in it, and my partner even began questioning why I was staying. If you're consistently unhappy, this is also a sign to leave your queer relationship. 
  5. You fantasize about what the relationship can be but isn't. We've all been here—living in a fantasy of a relationship but not the reality of it. I have often imagined how I wanted a relationship to be in my idealized world, but the reality of the situation was much different. The truth is that living in a fantasy relationship just isn't sustainable. What does your reality look like? If you can't accept that version of it, it may also be time to go. 

What to Do If the Signs Indicate It's Time to Leave Your Queer Relationship

If you see some or all of these elements in your current relationship, fret not. A lot of us have been there. It just may mean it's time to seek support if you're having trouble leaving an unhealthy dynamic. A therapist may be able to help, and there are also 12-step programs like Al-Anon or Codependents Anonymous (CODA) that can help you be in healthier relationships and work on codependency issues. For me, I am finding that therapy, in conjunction with a really solid support network of friends, is helping me to move on from this relationship and get back to feeling like myself. 

Ultimately, no one can tell you if it's really time to leave your queer relationship. Hopefully, you feel like you have people you can be honest with about how your relationship makes you feel and the unhealthy versus healthy elements of it. But one word of advice: don't let your queerness justify codependency. Lesbian relationships can get a reputation for being emotionally intense, and honestly, we can also be really codependent. Don't let your identity become a reason to justify unhealthy relationship dynamics. Seek support if you need out of a relationship and feel that you can't get out. 

APA Reference
Lyons, D. (2023, October 31). 5 Signs It's Time to Leave Your Queer Relationship, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 30 from

Author: Daniel Lyons

Daniel Lyons (they/he) is a writer and mental health therapist who is passionate about the intersections of gender, sexuality, and mental health, and he lives in Oakland, California, with his service dog Noche. Find Daniel on Instagram and Medium.

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