How do you know when your relationship has reached its expiration date? Human beings have the tendency to idealize things that they want. Studies have shown that being in ‘love’ actually makes your lover seem more attractive, intelligent and desirable than they really are. Everyone experiences low points in their relationships. That’s normal and most couples work through these times. There are no formulas for deciding when to break up, but, there are signs to watch for. If you experience more than a few consistently over a long period, it’s probably time to move on. Here are some signs that it’s time to end your relationship and take loving care of yourself.
1. You enjoy time away from your boyfriend/girlfriend:
You’re starting to enjoy times spent alone more than those spent together. You have drastically more fun out with your friends than you do hanging with your significant other. Dates have now become too much effort. When stumbling upon some sort of cool event, they’re not the first person you automatically think of to bring along. Maybe you’ve lost interest in each other and don’t care where he goes, what he does, or even when you’ll see him again. You don’t even miss him all that much. In fact, you feel relieved he is no longer in your face. You feel like you can finally breathe.
2. You start imagining a break up
You’re projecting when in the future would be the most opportune time to break up. You’ve started to formulate a list of options you’d have if you broke up…and have even considered starting to lay some groundwork.
3. You probe for arguments to erupt
You find yourself taking out your bad mood on your BF/GF, perhaps hoping it’ll blow up into an argument. You used to be appalled by people who fight in public. Now, you totally get it. Your relationship has turned into war games. You’re lobbing insults, rude remarks, or are constantly in competition. You can feel your significant other trying to coax you into arguments, so that you guys can actually communicate. Little things that used to bother them have now turned into colossal aggravations. It seems that everything they do annoys you, or vice versa.
4. You do not care enough to voice your opinion
One extreme is the constant arguments, the other extreme is silence. For instance, if you strongly disagree with something your significant other has said, you don’t even care enough to voice your opinion on the matter. It has reached the point that you are really not bothered with them anymore. The faster the ‘conversations’ will end, the happier you are.
It is also a tale tell sign it is time to move on when you’re constantly focusing on each others’ faults instead of your fabulousness.
5. Routine things have become a heavy task
While before you used to look forward to your partner’s texts and calls, these days you genuinely forget to respond to their texts. It is no longer just chatting; you have to think deeply about your responses, before you respond. These days just seeing a text from them makes you feel fatigued.
Greeting each other used to be a celebration. Now, it’s like a teenage girl greeting her father after he told her she couldn’t go out for her friend’s party. Quirks of theirs that you used to find endearing have now become incredibly annoying.
6. If you found out they’ve cheated on you, you wouldn’t be crushed
You yourself have started to really invest some time with your ‘flirt’. Getting hit on/striking up a successful flirty discussion weirdly energizes you more than it otherwise would. You have clearly written this person off, just let them know!!
7. No more talk of future plans
If you are in college, you guys used to talk about doing stuff years in advance. That talk has considerably slowed. You’re trying to plan a romantic weekend and s/he flakes out. Or you talk about going to a friend’s wedding and s/he says s/he has plans that day, even though s/he hasn’t even checked his/her calendar. Or you get invited to a friend’s barbecue and s/he’s being cagey about going. If s/he can’t even commit to a barbecue with your friends, how’s s/he gonna commit to anything with you? Just count your losses and leave that relationship. They aren’t doing you any justice.
8. Communication is at an all-time low
You’re not necessarily keeping secrets, but you’ve stopped telling him or her mundane daily things you always used to. You increasingly fantasize of a life where you don’t have to answer to anyone. While eyeing randos on the street, you increasingly fantasize the single life. In the beginning, you couldn’t get enough of each other and talked about everything. Now, your conversations are difficult and distant. It could be that you’ve grown apart and don’t share the same goals and values. Or you’ve both simply become unhappy. Stop holding onto a sinking ship, get into the life boat and sail away to joy at the shore!!
9. Your tastes no longer match
Your cultural tastes have become too far apart to consume media together. You no longer enjoy the same music, neither movies. Whereas before you could pick out a movie together and enjoy each other’s company. Now you cannot even agree on a movie.
10. Silences are no longer comfortable
Before you could sit next to each other for long with neither of you speaking and it was cool. You enjoyed your partner’s company. These days however, while sitting in silence, you cant help but wonder what is going on in the other’s mind and when they will spill, whether they know you aren’t happy, if they want to break up too… silence between you two has become torturous and full of anxiety.
You may feel that you’re not ready to face what’s happening or a future without him or her in it. But that’s fear talking; don’t let it rule your life. If you keep trying to make the best of a losing situation, you’ll eventually lose yourself in the end.
So listen to your instincts. Trust your gut. Stop investing your time and energy into a relationship that’s not working. Admit your relationship is over and start taking care of you. It’s time to break off this relationship and break through to a happier life. Healthy relationships require that we value our needs, wants, and most importantly, ourselves. Your partner should enhance you, not deplete you!