We’ve all been there – you’re in a relationship that you know is not working. But you don’t want to break up. You want a concrete indication, something to tell you it’s definitely over. So, here are 20 signs that you should perhaps be calling time on your relationship.
20. You don’t feel like yourself anymore
If you’ve lost your sense of self in your relationship, that’s a bad sign, wrote life coach and family therapist John Kim on the Psychology Today website in a 2016 blog about the subject. “This usually happens due to a distorted understanding of love as self-sacrifice, rather than thinking about it in terms of healthy compromises and growing together,” he explained.
19. You’re always trying to prove yourself
Do you feel like your partner doesn’t listen to you? Like they always dismiss your opinions? Maybe you even feel invisible. These are certainly bad signs. In fact, according to Kim, your relationship is “the one place where you shouldn’t have to prove your worth.”
18. You’re just going through the motions
Instead of actively taking part in your relationship, you find yourself as a passenger. Kim wrote, “You can start to go through the motions of life rather than fully living your own. This can also happen in relationships, too.”
17. You are always getting the blame
Does your partner seem to blame you for everything? Speaking to the Independent newspaper in 2016, Julienne Derichs, an Illinois-based clinical professional counsellor, said, “You are in a dead-end relationship if your boyfriend or girlfriend doesn’t want to work through conflicts with you and blames you for all the problems in your relationship.”
16. They’re not helping you grow
It might sound a little new-agey but it’s true – if your partner doesn’t help you develop as a person, it’s not the right relationship. Scientists call this the “self-expansion model.” They say the more you can grow in your partnership, the better that partnership will consequently be.
15. You’re ignoring your friends’ opinions
It’s horrible when your friends don’t like your partner. But if they’re saying he should go, they might be right. Research carried out by Tara MacDonald and Michael Ross of Canada’s Queen’s University in 1999 suggested that roommates’ estimates of how long a relationship would last were more accurate than those of a couple’s parents.
14. You find yourself thinking “this is better than nothing”
Do you often think, “I’d rather be with this person than be single?” That’s certainly not a good reason to stay, folks. Indeed, as New York-based licensed clinical social worker Rachel Sussman told BuzzFeed in 2015, it’s not “honest or fair” to stick with a “not-great relationship.”
13. You no longer ask how your partner’s day was
It seems like a little thing, asking your partner how work was, or what they got up to that day. But don’t take it for granted. Clinical psychologist and author Seth Meyers wrote on the Psychology Today website in 2016, “Once you stop caring how the other person’s day was, you have lost interest and likely just don’t care enough about that person anymore to make the relationship last over the long term.”
12. You’ve already broken up impulsively
If you’ve decided to break up but then got back together just because you’re feeling down, it could be a sign that the relationship is not meant to be. Indeed, author and relationship counselor Rachel Sussman told Buzzfeed, “Skip the dysfunctional cycle of getting back together… and remember that you broke up for a legit reason.”
11. You keep having the same fight
Finding yourselves complaining and arguing about the same things again and again? You might in fact be with the wrong person. Writing on the Psychology Today website, relationship coach Kira Asatryan explained, “Having the same fight over and over is a worse indicator of relationship health than we usually recognize.”
10. You no longer see each other as equals
This sign is more insidious than the others – you may not even realize it has happened in your relationship. According to Asatryan, you might either see yourself as better than your partner, or not as good. “Both versions are a sign that it’s time to get out,” she explained.
9. You’re spending more and more time apart
If you’re not spending time together it seems obvious that you might not necessarily be in a great relationship. But you might not notice you’re doing it. Indeed, as Florida-based mental health counselor Stephanie Sarkis wrote in a 2012 blog on Psychology Today, “Having separate interests is a good thing. Using separate interests as an excuse to get away from your partner is not.”
8. You don’t share any beliefs at all
You can totally have different views than your partner and still be in a solid relationship. But mental health counselor Sarkis warned, “Differences in interests, hobbies, or movies aren’t that big a deal, as long as you still have common beliefs and understandings.”
7. You feel more relaxed when your partner’s around
If you feel calmer and more like yourself when they’re not around, it’s a huge sign. So the sooner you end it, the better. Sarkis explained, “It’s very different, though, when you are constantly saying to yourself, ‘Thank God he’ll be gone for the rest of the day.’ That’s a problem.”
6. Small annoyances seem huge
The way he chews his food used to be endearing but now you can’t stand it. His dimples were cute, but now they make you crazy. If little irritations now seem insurmountable to you, it certainly could be time to end it. Relationship expert and author Pepper Schwartz, Ph.D explained to BuzzFeed in 2015, “It’s hard to leave something you’ve put a lot of time and emotion into, so you might be fixating on smaller things instead of the bigger problem.”
5. Your interactions are superficial
Of course, everyone needs a little mindless small talk in their lives but if you and your partner never talk about anything real, it might not be right. As clinical psychologist and marriage counselor Randi Gunther explained in a 2014 blog on the Psychology Today website, it’s a sad but common situation for many couples.
4. You’re avoiding real intimacy
We’re not talking about sex. We’re talking about being emotionally intimate with your partner. If that’s gone, the love might be too. Psychologist Dr. Seth Meyers told BuzzFeed in 2015, “A relationship won’t have a future — or a good one, at least — if one member of the couple constantly puts the brakes on developing more intimacy.”
3. Sex is the only thing between you
On the other hand, it’s also not a good sign if sex is the only thing keeping you together. “Some individuals prioritize needs like sex and physical attractiveness. And while those relationships can last for years, they typically don’t last for many years,” claimed Meyers.
2. You find yourself looking for something else
It’s natural to find yourself checking someone out from time to time but if you spend your evenings secretly on Tinder, something is wrong. “Most people won’t get all their major needs met by a relationship but they should get most of their needs met,” Meyers told BuzzFeed.
1. You’re jealous or suspicious
Jealousy has been the downfall of many relationships. So if your default reaction is jealousy, or your partner is suspicious, it’s not going to work. Meyers explained “You are not ready for a committed relationship if you have a jealous streak and haven’t worked on it by going to therapy or reading self-help books.”