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.
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.
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.
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.
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.