Before finding "the one," most people will find themselves in a relationship or two that is so horrible, so traumatizing, that they have no other option than to cut it off and get out as soon as possible. Sometimes that decision can be life-saving and serves as a lesson for future relationships.
A Reddit thread recently asked people to reveal the relationship they ended at just the right time. The people in the following stories listened to the voice in the back of their head telling them that it was time to move on, and their decision couldn't come soon enough. All posts have been edited for clarity.
"My college girlfriend was a solid 10/10 and great in the sack. Everyone thought we would get married, but I never felt like I could trust her. She never cheated on me; it was just intuition. I broke up with her when I graduated and everyone thought I was crazy.
She ended up marrying a guy who was rich. They went on vacation in a foreign country and she put some controlled substances in his luggage. He got busted at customs and spent a couple of months in jail. While he was in jail, she liquidated everything and took every penny this guy had.
Eventually, the police got involved and they got her on tape admitting the frame and other things. She spent some time in jail. He rebuilt his life and he's doing OK now, but it took years to get back on his feet.
After having heard all the evidence that was presented at trial, there is no doubt that she is a sociopath."
"I went on a date once with the photographer from my cousin's wedding. I was in the wedding party, so we spent much of the day chatting, he was good looking and amicable, so I figured why not.
We went for coffee and it was perfectly pleasant. We chatted about the usual stuff and he told me more about his upcoming photo tour of Europe. Nothing unusual, but nothing special either. I got an awkward one-armed hug at the end, and he said we'd get in touch when he was back, which would be about four months later. Those four months came and went, and I just let it go. It had been pleasant but tepid and I guess I kind of forgot about it.
A few years later, I was browsing the news and I saw a familiar face. It was the photographer. He was in jail for an unprecedented collection of unique child smut. That he made. More of which, authorities guessed, was on the hard drive with military level encryption they'd seized that police still couldn't crack years later. That photography tour of Europe? Yeaaah, he was in Thailand."
"I went on one date with a girl I worked with. She was cute, but there were red flags; some obvious some not so much. She had been in jail and had an ankle monitor, and that was probably the biggest red flag. Other than that, she just seemed a little off. Things fizzled easily enough between us, no harm done and we didn't even do anything to make life at work awkward.
Then a coworker started dating her and before too long, both of them weren't working there anymore for unrelated reasons. We ended up finding out she murdered the guy. She stabbed him like 20 times in the back with a kitchen knife. It was sad because he and I were once pretty good friends and he definitely didn't deserve to go out like that."
"I almost slept with a girl in college. I was pretty into her and ready to go, but had a final exam the next day, so I didn't bite.
I kissed her goodnight and went back to my dorm. I studied for the next four hours before my RA called me to tell me that there was a girl in the lobby looking for me. I go down to find her, with a 37-page love letter (front and back) she had written about my kiss. She proceeded to hang outside my dorm room for the next four months. I had to start crawling out my window to get to class and eventually ended up dropping out and moving to another state to avoid her. She also busted out a window in my car and threatened a girl that flirted at me on campus.
When MySpace came around, she sent me a message telling me she read everything I posted on there even though she wasn't on my friend list. That was seven years after I had moved to another state."
"I met him on one of those sites that wasn't just a dating site, but is a dating site to find someone who shares your particular interest, and we seemed compatible enough to meet.
I much prefer talking face to face, so once I see someone who might be interesting, I generally set up a face to face date right away. We decided to meet halfway and we'd figure out where to eat once we were there.
We met in a parking lot, and I got in his car and he drove us around until we found a restaurant we both liked. We sat down and immediately he started chatting. He was fairly charming about it, but it got really creepy, really quick because he seemed to move the conversation onto every person I interacted with, and once he established how close I was to them, how often I saw/texted/talked to them, it's like he would look satisfied for a moment and then move on to the next.
This guy used the entire conversation to try and figure out how much I would be missed.
The hairs on the back of my neck were tingling for the only time in my life as he asked me about every friend, family member, co-worker, and roommate, how often I saw them, and how long I would go between texting and calling.
When I asked him what he did for a living, he told me he was a ghostwriter, and liked to do all his work at home, which was in the middle of nowhere. So in my mind, I was thinking, 'No one could hear me scream,' 'Works from home, perfect for when you have a prisoner,' and other crazy thoughts.
I realize how crazy those thoughts sound, but considering some of the things he had discussed being into online, added to the questions he repeatedly asked...it just skeeved me out. It's hard to explain, but I would tell a story about me and a friend, and he would ignore every part of the story and just got straight to questioning me about my friend. The only thing he seemed interested in them about was how often I interacted with them.
Him: 'Are you guys close?'
Him: 'How often do you hang out?'
Me: 'A few times a week.'
He nodded and brought the conversation to co-workers, asking me what my boss was like, was I always on time.
And he just did that over and over. I mentioned my parents and he wanted to know if I was a good girl who goes to see them every weekend and if I talked to my mom or dad on the phone every night.
It got creepy and I was freaking out in the back of my head, and it was getting really hard not to get up and just leave. Awkwardness scared me more than getting kidnapped, though, and having to call someone to give me a ride home because I thought the guy was interviewing me to be his victim just sounded nuts in an already intense situation for me.
I just started lying.
So I mentioned brothers. He, of course, asked me how many. I said five and started going into vivid details about how overprotective they are, how they check in on me constantly, how one is a cop, the other a private investigator.
I also mentioned how my friend made me do a safety call.
Either I was paranoid or it worked because he did take me back to my car and I got to drive away and never contact that guy again.
I figured if the guy was casing my life out, those would be red flags for him."
"I was a senior in high school and a pair of twin girls with obvious behavioral issues got pretty aggressive with me to sleep with them both. They lived a block away, so we rode the same school bus. I was getting a weird vibe and definitely had a 'this is too good to be true' feeling from it. Every day on the bus ride home from school, they tried to convince me to come over to their place. They were super trashy, white, chubby girls and I just didn't know how to handle it, so I basically avoided them until I got a car and started driving home instead of using the bus.
Eventually, after a month or so of stupid flirting and stalking, one of them got one of the other kids on the bus to hook up with them. He got them both pregnant, one with twins. They lied and said they were on the pill. Both of them wanted him to marry them, and it got bitter and nasty between the two girls. Their parents kicked them out (he was black and their parents weren't very happy), and then the dude had to bail on his college plans to support three kids and pay two women for child support at 18.
They all got heavy into pills and are in and out of jail."
"I dated this girl for a while and she was an ok girlfriend, but her mom was overbearing. We broke up for a bit, but we were still sleeping together. And then she got pregnant.
I was pressured by her family and mine to 'do the right thing,' and get married. I didn't want to, but I stupidly agreed to it.
For a little while, things were good. We both worked, we had date nights, we went to doctors appointments, and we rarely fought. However, her mom kept interfering in our business. She'd intervene in our arguments, she'd make decisions for us, and she'd undermine my decisions.
Several months after we were married, she had a miscarriage, and the relationship pretty much died overnight. We were both really torn up about it, but I internalized the problem, and she sought comfort from other guys.
We fought constantly and then she turned mean and vindictive. She started openly cheating on me, quit her job, and spent the money I'd been saving. She messed up my finances, put me in a huge amount of debt, and caused me to get my car repossessed. She also stole my cat when she moved out.
When we finally got divorced, I was ordered to pay her alimony for a year. At least I didn't have to pay her child support for 18 years.
She's currently on her fourth husband and third baby daddy. I'm the only ex that didn't have a kid with her.
I'm happily divorced and never getting married again. I still don't have kids and don't want kids. I thank my lucky stars every day that she had a miscarriage. Sometimes I feel like a jerk for feeling that way, but I'd be pretty unhappy if it had worked out differently.
Following the divorce, several of our mutual friends knew I was distraught over the loss of my beloved cat. They tried to talk some sense into my ex, but she was listening to her mother at the time and hated my guts. She refused to give the cat back, no matter what.
I knew I'd have to do something drastic, so a couple sympathetic friends and I came up with a plan.
I had one friend take my ex-wife out to the bar for drinks to get her out of the house. Her younger sister would be working that night, and not home. Her mom worked 2nd shift, and was never home at that time, so the only person left at home would be her dad.
I had another friend visit my ex the day before the 'heist' and leave his backpack and laptop in the garage. He knocked on the door, talked to the dad, and had him open the garage. While the friend and her dad were looking for the laptop, I went through the back patio door and stole my cat back.
The ex called me the next day and accused me of stealing the cat. I denied it, and suggested maybe the cat got outside with the dog (which has happened before). I'm pretty sure she knew I had the cat, but she had no proof that I'd taken it, or that it was at my apartment. She did threaten to call the police, but the police never talked to me.
She had mutual friends ask about the cat and several of them showed up at my apartment unannounced. She persisted for about six months after the divorce, then she started dating someone and left me alone.
That was almost 20 years ago. I'm pretty sure its past the statute of limitations on stealing a cat back. Sadly, my cat had to be put down a few years ago. He lived to be 20 years old and was an awesome pet!"
"I dated this guy briefly in college. He got into a horse riding accident early on in the relationship. The horse fell on him and broke his ankle, pelvis, and hip. He also apparently had a prior addiction to pain pills that I was completely oblivious to.
He quickly relapsed and turned into a crazy pill-popping psycho. I tried sticking it out and helping him, but I couldn't handle it. When I told him I was done with the relationship, he proceeded to call me the worst names in the world. He then begged me to forgive him and tried asking me to come hang out after he had called me the biggest harlot in town.
It was sad. When we first met, he was doing well but after the accident, he was a completely different person. It was like night and day. His dad tried many times to warn me about his habits. Even tried to explain to the doctors that he really didn't need another prescription and that he was milking it for the painkillers.
Eventually, he started trying to pawn off his grandma's things to the sketchy dealer in town. It was an overall bad situation. I tried to help him, but eventually, you can only do some much when someone refuses help.
He then started doing smack and has been involved in a hit and run accident, where he killed the guy. He moved the body, fled the scene, and dumped his truck in a parking lot with a surveillance camera. He ended up getting caught and had to serve some time in prison.
Talk about a bullet dodged."
"I had a miscarriage at 12 weeks from a guy I was in an abusive relationship with for seven years. It was heartbreaking and I didn't understand why I was losing this baby I thought I wanted.
It's been six years since then and I'm now married to the most wonderful man, and it's the healthiest relationship of my life, plus I don't want to have children anymore.
That miscarriage was the best thing that ever happened to me."
"I dated a guy for nearly four years. I was constantly trying to change his pathetic, childish ways. Mommy and Daddy were rich and mouth fed him with a silver spoon his entire life.
His mom came and cleaned his apartment (which they owned) and stocked it with groceries. He refused to learn to cook or clean or even grocery shop. I'm health conscious and not super tidy, but pretty clean, so it was frustrating to go over and the fridge was full of junk food and the place was a mess until the one day of each week where his mom would come clean up after him. I communicated again and again that I didn't want to be his mom's replacement if we ever got married and was so turned off by his entire lifestyle and weak mannerisms that I just broke. I told him his parents (his mom mostly) made him into a big baby and a poor excuse for a man and I was done.
I'm pretty sure he's exactly the same now at 27 as he was then, which is the same as the person I started dating when he was 22. He refused to grow up and was afraid of everything (due to his crazy mom's fears of everything and always needing to be ridiculously prepared).
When I have kids, they'll grow up to be independent, mature adults who are capable and confident, rather than constantly paranoid and living on an inheritance. I also have a wonderful MAN now who's the same age, but has his act together. Good job, confident, handsome, spontaneous, and independent.
I'm pretty happy with my decision, too. I feel so much happier and relieved. It feels like two tons of bricks were taken off my shoulders!"
"I dated a girl for about three years. I decided to leave because I thought she was going to get me in trouble and it turns out that I was right. We were teenagers and experimenting with different substances. She wasn't happy about me leaving, and so she reported me to the police.
A good lawyer and 18 months of probation saved me from serving decades in prison for distribution.
My lawyer worked out a deal, so I got off after my 18 months, which was actually only nine because of good behavior. The case expunged from my record following the probation, so I feel I got off pretty easy."
"I almost had a baby with the craziest person alive. I thought we had real chemistry and he had proposed (sans the ring) and we both wanted a baby. We started trying and his true craziness came out, so I started taking Plan B pills and going to family planning clinics to check everything out because I did not want a baby with him after he showed his true colors.
I feel bad about losing my chance of having a child but I'm so glad I didn't have to raise a mini-him and be stuck in his life. I've since blocked him on every social media platform and all the phones in the house."
"I was with my ex (he was a terrible person). He liked to make a game of hiding my birth control. Not for long, just so I would miss a couple of days before the pills would magically reappear.
Of course, I ended up pregnant. Miscarried after he threw me off a porch. It was such a dark time for me. I never knew my baby, but my baby also never knew that jerk.
I don't have any regrets and the experience was actually good for me. But at the time, it felt like I would never know happiness again. Now I appreciate every little bit, even if it's just a cheesy lasagna I've been craving!
The day I finally left for good, he tried to keep me there and started getting physical. I stabbed him in the face with my key, then called the cops.
I'm not going to lie and say it didn't feel good, but I definitely hate that it came to that."
"I dated a girl in high school who was super Christian and very much into purity culture. Every conversation we had somehow wound up back at how she was waiting until marriage. I was extremely lonely and was just happy to have someone who said they cared about me, so I didn't mind. She dumped me our freshman year of college.
We went to the same school since she didn't get into the 'prestigious' Christian college she wanted. About a month later, one of her friends called me and wanted to talk. I'm glad she did because it gave me some closure. As it turned out, my now ex was getting spit roasted on the regular by most of the cooks at her job plus her boss and many others.
I found out that she was dating me to maintain her country Christian girl image. Everything that came out of her mouth was a lie. She ended up married to a speedfreak former soldier who threatened to kill me if I ever contacted her again, even though I hadn't talked to her since we broke up.
Now she's a single mom who works as a waitress and sells multi-level marketing crap while posting about how much she loves Jesus."
"I had been talking to a guy for a couple weeks and we'd gone on two dates, which were fine. I liked him enough to bring him to my friend's house for a small gathering.
That night, he started acting really strange, like he was on something. I could sense that he was making everyone uncomfortable, so we ended up leaving early. I brought him home before I went back to my own place.
Later that night, my friend texted me that something had seemed off about him and she had decided to google the guy. She found some pretty weird stuff about him (weird videos he'd posted online that made him look like a total creep) and saw that he had been arrested for drinking and driving, which he had lied to me about. I had a previous relationship end due to drinking so it's more important to me than it might be to other people. It's also the dishonesty surrounding the situation that's a dealbreaker for me. I understand that stuff can happen but if you lie to me about it, I'm not going to date you.
I ended things right then and there (although he texted me incessantly for about a week after). I was so glad I found out he was a creep before things had progressed any more, and my skin crawled thinking about what might have happened."