Relationships usually begin with high hopes and bright expectations. The key is to not waste precious time hanging onto one that is bringing up more and more question marks. 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. When 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. When 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. When you stay on, expecting things to get better.
Just like how you don’t live in the past, you don’t live in the future. You can hope that the future will be better, but the fact is you live now. If the only thing that’s making you hold on is the hope of a better future, the relationship isn’t exactly built on solid grounds. The future you wish for is one of the many possibilities that can occur, a possibility that may never come to reality. It’s dangerous to base the fate of the relationship on something that might not occur. A building built on a shaky foundation will crash to an unsightly end when the foundation gives way.
4. When 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. 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. 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. When neither of you feel the same way about each other.
Things change. People change. If the feelings are no longer there, it’s time to move on. Some of you might linger on in a relationship even though the feelings are gone. Perhaps it has become part of your routine and you don’t know what to do once you break away. Some of you continue on because the relationship still serves certain functional purposes, such as companionship.
6. When 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. 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. When you can’t get excited about the idea of marrying this person.
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. When 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.
9. When you no longer make plans with him or her in mind.
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.
“Many mistakes but no regrets,” would be a wonderful way to end every relationship that has outlived its lessons. To have travelled a journey that began with hope and ended with sadness is not a failure in life unless the partners use blame or guilt to erase what they needed to learn. When the parting occurs, and both genuinely respect what they have shared, a failed relationship need not imply a failed life. Very often, when successful in the next relationship, many people realize that their current positive outcome was a direct result of what they learned from the relationship they lost.