Relationship: When Is It Time To Call It Quits
All relationships have their ups and downs, especially if you’ve been together for a few years. It’s normal for all couples to feel like you’re in a rut once in a while, like things aren’t as great as they used to, to feel you need some alone time or some distance. The ebb and flow, the push and pull, that is what keeps things interesting in the long run; to distance oneself only to come back stronger than ever! So how do you know if it’s just a bad phase or if it’s time to call it quits, cut your losses, and pull the plug?
This decision is easier if it’s all bad all the time. But what about when it’s still 70% good, or even 60%? Ultimately, it all comes down to a gut feeling. It may sound a little esoteric but you will know when it’s time to end things, when you’re done making an effort, when it’s time to move on. It might not hurt any less, all breakups are hard even when it’s your decision, but you will just know it’s the right thing for you to do. When you evaluate your relationship, try not to think of all that you have invested so far that you might “lose”, instead think of all you could do moving forward on your own or with an eventual new partner that could be a better fit. Again, when it’s time, you will know.
So while you are waiting for that great instinctual realization to occur, here are some signs that the relationship is on its way to the end…
1- No Respect: if your partner is abusive or violent, then it’s a no-brainer: get out now. Unless they get serious professional help to manage their temper, things are not going to get better with time. I know it’s something that is easier said than done but seek help and start making a plan for yourself to leave an abusive partner. Lack of respect can be less obvious though. Do you feel picked on or ridiculed? Does your partner call you hurtful names, or demean you in any way? These signs of disrespect are major red flags that this relationship is unhealthy. Is that the future you want for yourself?
2- Your needs are not being met: we all have the same basic needs; emotional consistency, loyalty, intimacy, respect, to feel adequate or that you are “good enough”, and the need to feel in control of your life. If your partner acts in ways that limit your potential to fulfill these needs for yourself it might be time to re-evaluate the relationship.
3- Nothing in Common: they say that opposites attract, and a partner’s differences might be what drew you to them in the beginning. But too much lack of common interests, values, and lifestyle makes for a strenuous relationship.
4- Not attracted to them anymore: This may seem a little harsh but attraction is important in a relationship. Of course over the years you’re not going to remain this young hot thing you both were when you met, and one mistake is to think that attraction is about looks alone. Over the course of time people change, it’s normal, but if those changes in your partner’s personality, values, morals, and way of thinking are no longer attractive to you, chances are it’s already over.
5- Reluctant to make plans for the future: you’ve tried to talk about your future together and the conversation never seems to amount to anything. Maybe your significant other doesn’t really see a future with you, and conveniently forgot to let you know. Even worse! You’ve talked about the future and you don’t have the same vision when it comes to the big stuff: marriage, babies, city to live in, etc. Lack of future forward thinking is deadly for a relationship.
6- You feel relieved when you’re alone: this is pretty straightforward; if you feel like a weight is lifted off your shoulders when you are apart from your significant other, if you breathe a sigh of relief when they leave the house, if you think about your partner (do it right now) and you can’t seem to bring up that “happy butterflies in your stomach” feeling you used to have for them, then it’s probably time to leave.
My goal is not to doom all relationships here, but if you feel like one or two of these items are problematic in your relationship, it might be time to talk or walk. Only you will know when it’s time to end a relationship.