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8 Signs It’s Time To End The Relationship

8 Signs It’s Time To End The Relationship

Relationships are important – to each other, to our families, to our friends, to the people we care about. There comes a point in romantic relationships when things become serious and it becomes an actual Relationship, one where the idea of spending your life with this person and crafting your life together is a valid and understandable continuation of this relationship. When that isn’t achieved, the question becomes, ‘why not?’

Ending a relationship is no easier with age and experience, but sometimes we become so caught in patterns and schedules, the comfortable grooves of our lives, something as disruptive and jarring as ending a relationship can seem too much effort and fuss, even when we’re not at all happy. If you’re feeling as if you’re stuck in this place, searching for signs as to whether or not to break up, check out the list of go-to signs we’ve compiled for when it’s time to bite the bullet and end the relationship.

1. You don’t trust each other any more.

Trust is one of the most important parts of any relationship and when you lose that, it’s almost certainly time to end the relationship. The signs your relationship has gone through this is simple – you find yourself questioning the other person’s motives, abilities and reasons all the time. Everything from why she’s acting so nice to you, to how much you trust her to take something that is important to you and respect it.

If there’s mutual distrust on either side, it can lead to absolute crumbling of the relationship and the foundations it was built on, causing jealousy, anger, possessiveness and other negative feelings to leak free and poison the already tenuous relationship. Hitting this point is very hard to come back from and one of the reasons it might be right to end the relationship.

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2. You realize you have different values.

We all have our own values that are important to us – security, freedom, a conservative family, a liberal family, an open marriage. Whatever your values are, that’s fine, but when they begin to rub uncomfortably against your significant other, it might be an early warning sign all is not right in paradise and it might be time to end the relationship.

Every relationship has a process of compromise, negotiation and assimilation of your partner’s values into your life, but sometimes values are too distinct and different to ever be reconciled without a drastic compromise that will likely cause a rift as one of you struggles against what you really want and what you’ve decided you must become in order to fulfill the other person’s needs. If this is a serious problem in your relationship, it’s best for both parties to end the relationship and move on.

3. You no longer make plans with him or her in mind.

This one ties deeply into the idea if you’ve slowly been pushing your significant other out of your life psychologically, it’s time to actually remove them. We all make plans for the future, even if they only go so far as the next few weeks or month or so, and your significant other should always be considered as a part of them, even if the plans don’t directly involve him or her.

No longer making plans with your partner in mind is one of the major signs it’s time to end the relationship – if you’re not making plans with your significant other in mind, he’s no longer a big part of what you hold dear. If you’re subconsciously seeing him in a transient way, i.e. as if he’s not a permanent fixture or a solid part of your life, then you’ve already psychologically let go and are just treading water. End the relationship so both of you can move on.

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4. You no longer have any fun.

Relationships are supposed to be fun, and joyous, and if you’ve lost that from the relationship, it might be time to end the relationship if you find yourself unable to retrieve and reawaken the sense of fun you no doubt once shared with your significant other. Days have become dull, every attempt at excitement or some happiness-inducing activity is met with malaise or a general distaste for something that breaks you out of your routine. Nothing kills so much as endless, anodyne routine, and that’s the same with relationships.

A relationship should be responsible and grown up as well as fun, so there should always be a balancing of both sides. Being responsible and able to cut loose means you have the best of both worlds. If you’ve grown tired of the relationship, you’ve got to realize life is way too short to be with someone who doesn’t appreciate the same sort of fun you have, and if you’ve had this discussion more than enough times without gaining any compromise or leeway, it might be right to end the relationship.

5. You fantasize about life with someone else.

Everyone fantasizes – it’s a part of human nature, the ability to dream and creatively envision that which may or may not have been, or all that could have been, in either a positive or negative way. However, it begins to negatively affect your relationship when you cannot channel your energies into being in a relationship with your current significant other, instead choosing to daydream about a life with someone else – or, more honestly, anyone else.

This isn’t the same as having a little pleasant daydream about Liam Hemsworth or Kate Upton or Laverne Cox, and then going on in your daily life. The kind of fantasizing we’re talking about here is the persistent, half-serious daydreaming about someone who’s caught your eye and whom you could seriously see yourself sharing a life with. Maybe it’s the cute co-worker who always sits next to you and shares snacks with you, or the barista at the coffee shop who knows you by name and gives you a special smile. If you’re going down this route, then perhaps you’ve already given up on your relationship psychologically and emotionally, and it might be time to end the relationship you’re currently in.

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6. You can’t see a future with him or her.

The most important point of being in a relationship is the idea of creating a future together, shaping and designing your life you are actively choosing to share with your significant other. If you cannot imagine a future with this person, then it brings about the question about why you are in the relationship to begin with and why you’re choosing to remain in a situation with which you have little emotional investment.

That isn’t to say having casual relationships are stupid or pointless – they can be fun and an enjoyable experience – but if you’re in a full-on, long-term relationship with someone, the idea of spending the rest of your life with this person has to be a large contributing factor to the relationship. If you’re not seeing or wanting to envision a future with this person, then it’s time to end the relationship and move on.

7. You can’t get excited about the idea of marrying this person.

Marriage isn’t for everyone and that’s okay, but a way to assess whether or not it might be time to end the relationship, is to look to a possible future and imagine yourself getting married to your current partner. Not just the idea of marriage, but the whole shindig. The physical act of marriage. Chances are if you’re at the end of your relationship’s path, the idea of marrying this person and consigning yourself to potentially years of marriage with him or her sends a cold shiver down your spine and makes you feel absolutely terrified.

Getting married is a bit of an extreme circumstance, perhaps, but the idea of any form of strong, serious commitment with a person can induce feelings of panic and fear, and might be a strong indicator and sign it’s time to end the relationship. Things have run their course, maybe, and while it’s nice to cling to the idea of changing and getting over it, it’s not fair to the other person who might be more committed and ready to take that step where you cannot just yet.

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8. You realize he or she has become a stranger.

The final nail in any relationship’s coffin is the realization the person you thought you were going to spend the rest of your life with is a stranger to you. Sure, you might have the memories and feelings you still do for this person – the weekend away, how you told him you loved him – but who he fundamentally is to you has drastically and perhaps irrevocably shifted and transformed.

You don’t have the same ideals, the same dreams, the same supportive bond to each other you used to have. He is not the person you fell in love with, the person you shared a relationship with, and can you really continue a relationship on that? It’s impossible, untrue, and unfair, both to yourself and to the other person involved. Finding yourself lying next to a stranger who you used to call your one true love means you have to end the relationship, or spend years in regret and lying to him and yourself about what you really want. Life’s too short, after all.

More by this author

Chris Haigh

Writer, baker, co-host of "Good Evening Podcast" and "North By Nerdwest".

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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