I truly believe that one of bravest things a person can do is have the courage to admit when they’re in a bad situation, especially a relationship like a marriage. But even for those who haven’t taken wedding vows, sometimes we’re just as committed to the relationship and the person we love.
Of course this list isn’t a comprehensive assessment to end a relationship, nor does it contain obvious reasons to leave such as physical, sexual or emotional abuse, but it does contain some indicators that I believe may signal it’s time to move on. Finally, I’ve provided a list of resources for how to resolve your relationship woes and nurture a healthier connection.
- You’re not growing, as an individual or as a couple. You feel stagnant or stuck. Nothing is new, no new experiences, memories, it’s the same thing all the time. On one hand, familiarity can be a good thing because it makes people feel safe, but complete predictability in a relationship can lead to dissatisfaction and it’ll only be a matter of time before one of you checks out, emotionally.
- You have the same conversations over and over. Like, literally. Or you have the same argument. When you continually go back to the same issues, it means nothing is changing. This isn’t always a bad thing and there will certainly be times when one of you will repeat a story you’ve told before. That’s going to happen, regardless. However, if the issue is that you literally have the same conversations (like what how your co-worker pissed you off) or the same argument (you forgot to do something), that’s where things get problematic.
- You’re only staying because of…. kids, finances, too complicated to separate assets, you’ve been together for so long & you want to see a return on your investment.
- If you feel drained like you’re just going through the motions. Is your relationship just mundane? Do you literally talk about the same things over and over such as the weather, the kids, what’s going on in the news? If so, it could mean you’re no longer learning things about each other or worse, you’re no longer interested in learning about them.
- You feel like you have nothing left to give. This can be physical such as sex or financial giving or it can be emotional. Like, maybe in the beginning, you could laugh at their jokes, even if they weren’t funny. You’d patiently listen to them tell the same stories over and over without complaint. But now, you don’t even have the patience or the desire for daily conversation with them. Maybe you’ve had to carry the load of the financial strain for the majority of the relationship and now you feel like you’re tapped out for resources.
- You’ve lost yourself. Or you’ve found yourself but your partner is lost and you’ve grown apart. Maybe one of you is evolving but the other is stuck. Sometimes this happens when work or kids or even when life gets in the way.
- You still have love for the person but you really don’t like them. One tell-tale sign is that you are creating physical distance because you no longer want to be around each other. If you live together, then you try avoiding each other or maintaining distance by keeping conversations at bay. Maybe the things that you fell in love with in the beginning drive you crazy, now. Or maybe the things they did to win you over in the first place have stopped. The best thing to do here is to end it before things become contentious.
Help your relationship flourish with evidence-based strategies for newly committed couples