Blogger Prodigal Academic says that in some collaborative relationships, there comes a time when it's best to just break up. "Maybe you are doing too much of the heavy lifting. Maybe your interests or goals have drifted apart. Maybe the work of maintaining a long distance relationship is no longer balanced by the benefits, or the specialized knowledge your collaborator had is now available in your lab," the blogger writes, adding that "at that point, it might be time to end it." This is especially true for academics who are vying for tenure, because they "can't afford to have collaborations in name only."
The repercussions of breaking up with a collaborator can have a sustained effect on one's work long after the separation, Prodigal Academic says. "In the short term, we are now racing to finish a set of experiments before they do something similar," while, "in the long term, the door is still open to work together again," the blogger writes.