“Bad relationships are like a bad investment. No matter how much you put into it you’ll never get anything out of it”—Sonya Parker.
She isn’t wrong. Bad relationships and friendships can be draining. They may not always start out bad, and sometimes, just how bad they’ve become isn’t obvious to the parties involved. There are moments in our lives when we notice that a relationship or a friendship isn’t working anymore. Those moments are a wakeup call so that we can get out of a relationship or friendship that isn’t good for us. Over at Reddit, hundreds of users have shared tales of the moment when they realized it was time to get out of a friendship or relationship.
Luckily, with their insight, maybe we can learn something that’ll be helpful in our own relationships. Here are the 26 times people knew it was time to throw in the towel on a relationship or friendship.
26. Bad Phone Calls
When I saw their name pop up on my phone, and my immediate reaction was dread rather than excitement.
It’s one thing to occasionally feel that a friend is being needy, it’s another when literally every communication leads to you wondering, “Oh God, what is it this time?”
25. I Don’t Like Me Better When I’m With You
When I realized I didn’t like myself when I’m with them.
24. It’s Not Complicated
I had a group of friends in high school, and we stayed friends until I was about 21. I stopped hanging out with them when I realized that I wasn’t the same person as I was in high school, but they are never going to see anybody but the person they knew when they look at me. Attempts at self improvement are always met with something like “Why are you faking? That’s not what you’re like.”
Like they want to keep me stagnant as the 16-year-old girl they first made friends with. Things are better now. I’ll give an example. There was a girl none of us liked in high school for various reasons. A prank was played against her involving some ketchup several years before, and one of them mentioned how they had seen her at a restaurant or something.
She didn’t say anything, but placed a ketchup packet on their table as she passed by. I thought it was the funniest thing on the planet, but they were all furious that she would dare do something like that. I told them it sounded harmless and they kept insisting that I was supposed to hate her more than any one of them for some reason.
I said I didn’t and they kept insisting I that I should because she was someone I disliked six years ago. They just wouldn’t let anyone else in the group grow.
23. Relationship of Convenience
When I realized our friendship was at her convenience and if she didn’t need emotional support she would prefer I didn’t exist. I’m willing to bet good money that she hasn’t thought about me once since we stopped talking, despite her constant claims of how “important” I was. I’ve learned some seriously important lessons about people from it all, though, so I guess it isn’t all bad.
22. Don’t Put Me Down
I’m a little chunky and have a friend that is also a little chunky. I don’t really care, but she is obviously a little bit bigger than me. Weird thing is, she insists constantly she is 30 to 50 pounds lighter than me, says she’s half my pants size, etc. It’s weird but I chalk it up to insecurity. She would always make these weird, cloaked insults about my weight.
Once I was talking about how I was shopping at Forever 21 in the plus size section. A few minutes later, I complimented her skirt and she said “perks of being able to shop outside of the plus size section!” It wasn’t veiled enough for me anymore and I decided not be friends with someone that used their insecurity as an excuse to be mean to me anymore.
21. Happy Birthday
When I went to text him happy birthday and saw that the last communication between us was me texting him happy birthday a year before.
20. Growing Up
I had a realization that even though there was nothing wrong with the relationship, there wasn’t all that much right with it either. There was nothing that excited me. It was just a sort of low-level dissatisfaction with each other that was only getting worse, but never quickly enough to be able to point to an individual moment where we could justify sitting down and having The Talk.
We just sort of assumed we were happy because we were happy once, and things hadn’t really changed, so… stability, I guess? Yay? Eventually it just got to the stage where we were picking each other apart grain by grain, so I sat him down and explained that we were better off apart. He didn’t agree. It was a rough conversation, but it worked out for the best; shortly afterward he found someone that he was genuinely excited to be with, and they’re still doing great.
The realization that just because he was a good person, it didn’t mean he was a good person for me was a big turning point.
19. We Should Be Friends
When I realized that while I considered us good friends, I was just being tolerated.
18. We Never Hang out
I have this group chat with my friends from high school and we talk every day in it. I’ve asked multiple times to hang out but they’ve been busy or no one replies. I tried to be optimistic and give them the benefit of the doubt, but for the past two months I’ve seen a majority of them hanging out on Snapchat stories and I’ve never been invited once.
The last straw was me asking in advance if anyone wanted to go out to dinner and ice cream for my birthday and that I would pay for everyone. I know people saw it because it tells me, but no one said anything. So that’s the story of how I spent my birthday alone this year.
17. Focus on Me
Me: “Sorry, I got busy working on this nice project and I was also talking with my cousin.”
Ex: “That’s dumb.”
Me: “Um, which part?”
Me: “Because they take my attention away from you?”
Ex: “Yeah, basically.”
I broke up with her two days later.
16. No More Mr. Nice Guy
When I had the moment of realization that I became the typical nice guy trope towards a friend. I realized it was unhealthy for me, and wasn’t fair to her, so I pulled away to working on bettering myself and not drag her down.
15. You Know That You’re Toxic
In my late 20s, I got rid of a poisonous social group of people where a few members were harassing me with “pranks” like stealing my mail, slashing my tires, harassing my work, and just generally being jerks while pretending to be my friends. I was in denial for a while, thinking “these are not how adults act,” and it was a string of coincidences until a few other members came to me with evidence and “Uh, I think you should know…”
I never knew why they did it. The gist I got, and it’s piecemeal based on some of the legal stuff I had access to, but it started out as “harmless pranks” that just got out of hand. One of them said in a confession to avoid prosecution, “We just couldn’t stand to see him succeed. We loved doing stuff to him, and then him ranting about it online. It was hilarious, we never knew that [other people] were going so far as to do [illegal stuff].”
He blamed it on mob mentality. Sadly, they went too far with the work thing, and my work went after them legally in a big way: two lost their security clearance, one was suspended from her job without pay, and another lost his entire business—which was operating illegally, but still. The rest just allowed it to happen or decided it was none of their business.
It was only then I found out how a lot of these seemingly unrelated events were all planned out. It just seems so surreal.
14. Mean Girl
I ended a friendship because whenever we would spend time together she just wanted to talk about all the people she disliked—which was A LOT of people—and brag about herself. If I visited her parents’ house with her and tried to have a conversation with them she would interfere and say things like, “why would you think anyone wants to hear what you have to say?”
Her mother had a lot of health issues and didn’t get out much and this girl I was friends with thought it made her boring and not worth spending time with. Also, her boyfriend had a very old cat who was blind and walked very slowly. Whenever it got in her way she would kick it and scream at it. Recently found out that even her family, who are lovely, have broken contact with her because she has treated them appallingly.
Oh, she is also the kind of person who goes traveling to third world countries to take pictures with the locals for her social media and acts like she’s a saint for going there and blessing them with her privileged presence.
13. Room for Four
My ex-best friend from high school was supposed to be my roommate when we went away to university. We talked about it a lot, so when he and another two friends went to that town to find us an apartment, I was pretty excited to hear the news. Upon returning, he said that they found a great place, three bedrooms. I said, “well, there are four of us, who is sharing a room?”
He said, “no one, one for me, one for Jay and one for Jason.” I said, “where is my room?” He said, “oh, um, I didn’t know you wanted to get an apartment together.” That was a very fast beginning of the end.
12. Put it Off
When I told him that I didn’t have the money for a wedding right now and we needed to push it back a year. He said, “Well if we don’t have it now, we’ll never have it.” I suggested we just go to the justice of the peace, and he said, “No, I want a real wedding.” He and his family didn’t have the money to even help…so he expected me to pay for my own wedding by myself.
He had some friends over a few days later, and I was having a call with my bridesmaids, and I overheard him say, “Oh, I stay out of all that stuff…the wedding is for her, you know.” It was the first time that I had ever heard him outright lie to someone about something so trivial and dumb.
I broke off the engagement the next day after I told him we need to postpone, because I’m not trying to go into debt for a day and he still said no. He finally confessed that he wanted to get married because he wanted something in his life that was secure. I was like…and what was I going to get? A bag of problems is what. I am so thankful for my wandering ears overhearing him talk to his friends.
11. Behave Yourself
In college, an old friend of mine came to visit and was really rude to my girlfriend. Like “men are talking” type rude. It was subtle and rude, not in your face or aggressive, but rude none the less. The friend, let’s call him Joe, is the sort of guy that is simultaneously god’s gift to women in his own mind but has also never had a relationship of any kind, the least of which is because he is nothing to look at and out of shape.
Joe is a broken ego chauvinist. Post college. I now live with my former girlfriend, current fiancée. Joe wants to come over. He does it again. Same exact thing. Any time she tries to join the conversation he acts like it’s the dumbest thing he’s ever heard and brushes it off. We agreed to have him over that night because I felt bad about having no old friends in our wedding party. I still asked him to be a groomsman. It is one of the biggest failures of judgment I’ve ever made.
I haven’t seen him privately since that night, almost a decade ago. I do not plan to.
10. Friends First
We were fighting over the dumbest things. Time spent together felt like a chore for both of us. Despite all of it I love her very much and she’s an amazing person. We were friends before lovers, I respected our relationship enough to cut it off. It was turning toxic and it’s not my intention for her to hurt, so it was the best for both of us.
It hurts sometimes and I regret it but… yeah.
9. Allergic to Jerks
Best friend was a very attractive female. The type who knew it—as in frequent invites to Miami, coming to meet with us in Lambos and Bentleys driven by older guys with funny rings on their second to pinky finger… She asked me to help her move into the condo her parents bought her. She asked me to take a day off work to do this. She also asked me to use my own car for this.
Whatever—it’s my friend. I show up to help, she goes to lunch the moment I get there. I go upstairs while she’s getting sushi and NOTHING IS EVEN PACKED. I pack the apartment and move everything while she’s gone—maybe four boxes remain of the ~12 I moved. She gets back. In passing, I mention I’m hungry. She offers me her leftovers and then laughs saying “oh yeah, you’re allergic to this food anyway.”
I decided right then and there that I don’t need to know this person anymore.
8. Negative Nelly
I’ve hit this point with a friend recently. He’s become extremely negative in the past year or so. Anything anyone says or does is wrong. I bought a tire pressure gauge, and tread depth gauge for my new car, and he went off on a rant about how I’m spending my money on “pointless things.” I told him that I learned to drive in a diesel car, and I’m finding it hard to adjust to a petrol.
He went on a rant about how all diesels are crap, and how I need to learn my car better. I mentioned that I was looking for a new job, and he went off about how he would have fired me months ago anyway because of my mental health. He never used to be like this.
7. Sons and Fathers
It’s funny to say it but I saw a thing on Facebook that said: “if I close my eyes and imagine the men I want my boys to be is it their dad.” It’s funny because it was basically the one simple thing that woke me up. I couldn’t let my two boys watch how he treated me and think that’s how you treat someone you love. So when my older son was three and my younger son was four months old I left!
6. Moving on up
Had a really good friend for about 15 years. I went to college a little late. We were working together at Walmart for the longest time, and when I announced I was going to be cutting my hours to go to college, he scoffed and accused me of wanting to be “elite.”
5. Last Ride
Last Friday when my friend, riding in the passenger seat, wanted me to drop her off at her boyfriend’s so she could live there… While her husband was in the backseat with their child literally crying because he is genuinely scared he will be unable to provide for their baby. Like I had to give him 20 bucks for food because this chick did not care what happened…
The mother did not care as she was heading off to get with her new boyfriend.
4. Facebook Friends
Open Facebook chat with friend.
Begin typing “Hi!”
See that I already wrote it five times in the last nine months, without any kind of reply.
Close Facebook chat with ex-friend.
3. Be There
When I realized that certain friends were never around when I needed them but would expect me to actually listen and help them out in their problems.
On the flipside, a relationship ended when I couldn’t be emotionally mature enough to provide the support my girlfriend needed after her father’s death. I was, and am, an emotionally reserved person and couldn’t process what exactly she needed from me. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. That, and me not being financially stable. Before you ask, these aren’t conjectures, I did have an honest talk with her after her breakup and she explained those reasons why she broke it off with me.
It was only later that I found out what problems I had with her, but I took what she tried to tell me to heart and work on myself every day to be a better version of me.
2. Going to the Chapel
I had a friend who was supposed to be the best man at my wedding but texted me the day of the rehearsal that he wasn’t going to make it.
But it didn’t end there. Some years later he put out a FB invitation to a BBQ at a park, which turned out to be his own wedding. That was a surprise. The following day he texted me “Guess we’re even missing out on each other’s weddings now.”
I told him to lose my phone number at that point.
1. Get Out
I tried to stay friends with my ex. My girlfriend at the time was cool with it she was very confident and secure so she didn’t worry about my ex being any type of threat.
The ex, however, wouldn’t give up on things, it came to a head when she came over unannounced one day when she knew my girlfriend was out of town. We talked for a few and then she just started undressing and told me how much she missed me being inside her and she knew I missed what she did for me, she said it could be our secret and we could keep it going for as long as I wanted she would never speak of it.
I kicked her out and told my girlfriend about it right away, she asked me to end the friendship so I did. Haven’t spoken to the ex since despite her attempt to contact my girlfriend, and tell her that we slept together that day, and had been for some time. Thankfully my girlfriend knew she was a being spiteful, and just trying to get back at me, and my girlfriend trusted me, I haven’t, and wouldn’t, cheat on her so things are good and the ex has left my life for good now.