Has time run out for your relationship?
Is it beyond saving?
Would you and your partner be better off parting ways?
These are questions many people will ask when a relationship hits a rough patch.
To help you answer such questions, here are some signs that indicate things are simply not working.
That way, you’ll know when your relationship is really over.
1. You’ve tried to work through your problems.
The position you find yourself in has not come about suddenly. You’ve been struggling for a while.
In fact, you’ve already gone down the road of having a big heart-to-heart to air your feelings and grievances.
Perhaps you’ve even tried relationship counseling.
You’ve given it enough time for these things to work, but they haven’t.
One or both of you just don’t seem to be able to change in the ways that are necessary.
This is the biggest sign that your relationship is over because where else can you go and what else can you try if you’ve tried everything already?
2. You feel lonely in their company.
When you are with your partner, you don’t feel the loving, caring bond anymore.
It’s quite the opposite: you feel lonely.
Even though you are both in the same room, you might as well be on opposite sides of the planet for all the connection you have.
A relationship is more than just two people co-existing in a space or raising children together. It’s a partnership where two people function as a unit and work as a team.
You should feel like you belong together, you should enjoy being around them, and there should be a connection between the two of you.
Loneliness in a relationship suggests a breakdown in communication, which brings us nicely to our next point.
3. You don’t really talk.
Not proper talk, anyway.
You might still go through the motions of asking how each other’s day was, but you barely listen to the answers.
You don’t have a great deal of interest in what’s going on their life, and you certainly don’t talk about the deeper, more personal, more important things.
Communication is one of the most important foundations of a strong and healthy partnership, so when it breaks down, things are likely to go from bad to worse.
Bad communication leads to misunderstandings and disagreements which drive you apart. It builds walls between you and prevents you being vulnerable in each other’s company.
Fortunately, communication is one of those things you can work on that will significantly improve the chances of saving your relationship.
4. You’ve stopped doing “your” things.
Once upon a time, you would always do certain things together.
Friday night would be pizza and a movie whilst curled up on the couch.
You would go to concerts together or go on long walks in nature.
These things have long since vanished from your regular routine.
You may even seek out others to do them with instead.
When you no longer share quality time with your partner, it’s inevitable that your relationship will suffer.
Whilst love is not just about enjoying the good times, it is important to at least make some effort to create those good times. They energize the connection you have and help to maintain it.
When you neglect to spend enough time with your partner, you can expect more rough patches in your relationship.
5. You don’t miss them when they’re not around.
Gone are the days when you would think about your partner whenever you were apart.
You could now quite easily spend an entire weekend away from them and not have them cross your mind once.
This doesn’t have to be a sign that your relationship is over. It can also be a sign that you feel so secure and trusting of one another that you know they’ll be there waiting for you when you return.
There’s something to look out for that will indicate whether this is a good or bad thing: if you feel a sense of relief when they’re not around, it’s a bad sign.
It means you actively want to be out of their company, and this is not what a healthy relationship should be like.
If you’re asking, “is my relationship over?” – this is a big sign that it probably is.
6. Little things regularly annoy you.
We all have our flaws and our bad habits, and we all like to do things in our own particular way.
When your relationship was good, these things didn’t really bother you. You cut your partner some slack because you were well aware of your own shortcomings.
But now they have begun to really irritate you.
You can no longer overlook the dirty bowl left on the side, the sound they make when they chew their food, or the way they are always late for things.
It can be difficult to change your mindset regarding these things back to one where you don’t feel rage at them. It requires you to find your empathy and compassion for them once more.
7. You focus on their bad points.
It’s not just the little annoyances that you focus on – you find yourself thinking about all their bad points on a regular basis.
In fact, it’s only their bad points that you ever think about. You’re no longer interested in their good points.
It’s a sign your relationship is over if you’ve taken to openly criticizing them when they do something that gets under your skin, because you don’t feel like biting your tongue.
Unfortunately, criticism of this kind only drives the wedge further between you. It leads to resentment and defensiveness and anger.
Thoughts of this kind are self-reinforcing. The more you focus on your partner’s bad points, the harder it becomes to even consider their good points.
8. You fight a lot.
There’s a big difference between a disagreement and an argument, and an even bigger difference between an argument and a fight.
You are very much at the point where things turn into full blown fights on a regular basis.
You struggle to be civil with one another and resort to blaming and shaming as weapons of attack.
None of these fights ever get truly resolved. Apologies and reconciliations are rare.
What normally happens is you go round and round in circles, arguing about the same things again and again.
In a healthier relationship, the ill-feeling fades soon after the fight is over. But if your relationship is beyond help, you hold onto your anger and the bad thoughts you have about your partner. These eat away at the bond you have with each passing day until it’s gone completely.
9. You’ve stopped going out your way for each other.
There was a time when you would bend over backwards to help them.
Nothing was too much for the one you loved.
How do you know if your relationship is over? You now feel resentful if they ask you to do something for them – no matter how small.
You don’t want them to lean on you when they need help. You want them to deal with their problems by themselves because you don’t see those problems as being anything to do with you.
You are no longer a team, working together to help each other out. You are two individuals who fight their own battles.
10. You prioritize other people.
A healthy relationship often means your partner is your priority.
Sure, you still have your own life and other important people in it, but they fit around your relationship.
But the tables have now turned and you purposefully put other people first.
You’d prefer to see your friends or family at the weekend rather than spend it with your partner.
Not only does this restrict the amount of quality time you can spend together, it leads to further resentment. You both feel as though you are second best or an afterthought if your partner can’t find something better to do.
You don’t feel valued by one another or even liked, because if you liked each other, you’d want to spend time together doing things as a couple.
11. You’ve stopped thinking about a future with them.
It used to be that you could see a bright future for the two of you.
Depending on what stage of your life and relationship you were in, that might have involved moving in together, getting married, having kids, travelling, or something else altogether.
But no such thoughts ever cross your mind now. You have no hopes for a shared future.
12. You’ve started thinking about a future without them.
You have begun to fantasize about what your life might look like if your partner weren’t in it.
You often think about the practicalities of separation – who’d move out, who’d get to keep the dog, what happens to any shared money?
Then there are daydreams of all the things you could/would do when you were single again.
You may even imagine a new partner – it doesn’t have to be anyone specific, but just the type of relationship you would like to have in future.
The more time you spend on thoughts of this nature, the more you want that future to become a reality.
You only think about the positives, of course, because why would you want to daydream about all the challenges of breaking up?
If that’s not a sign that your relationship is over, what is?
13. You can’t be yourself around them.
When you are with your partner, it’s like you are a completely different person.
You lose touch with your authentic self, your personality, the person you were at the start of the relationship.
You hold many of your emotions back – you stifle joy, hold back tears, and cool any shred of positivity.
You talk and act differently to when your partner is not there.
Sadly, this further alienates your partner because they don’t get to see the person they fell in love with in the first place. They just see the shell of that person and nothing else.
14. They can’t be themselves around you.
You’ve also noticed how much they have changed since you first met them.
The person you fell for has been hidden out of sight because of the tension that often exists between you.
The both of you feel unable to show any vulnerability in front of the other. It’s like you are carrying shields and wearing masks the entire time.
A relationship lacking in authenticity will struggle to last for long. If you are merely actors playing roles in a relationship, that relationship becomes a work of fiction in the sense that nothing is real.
15. Physical intimacy is either non-existent or forced.
You barely touch each other these days. Kisses are rare and involve no passion. Sex is even rarer.
Or if you do have sex, you literally go through the motions without any emotional satisfaction.
Physical intimacy of any kind feels forced, and you could happily go without.
A physical connection is so important for most people that without it, the emotional connection suffers too. They are linked with one another.
It is especially difficult when one person has a higher sex drive than the other. That person is then left sexually frustrated which can lead to all sorts of negative behaviors.
It can feel as though the other person is withholding something from them that they need.
16. You no longer trust them.
Whether or not there has been any sort of infidelity, your trust in them has disappeared.
And yet, you don’t get jealous. You just don’t care either way.
If they did have a physical or emotional affair, you wouldn’t be that sad and might even see it as an easy way out of the relationship.
If you want to know when a relationship is over and beyond saving, look for a complete breakdown in trust.
Trust is pivotal to relationship success – without it, the relationship will struggle.
Trust doesn’t only involve knowing that your partner is being faithful; it is important for you each to feel able to express yourselves and how you are feeling.
You need to be able to trust that they will listen to your concerns and take them seriously and not use them against you later on in arguments.
17. Your friends or family comment on how unhappy you seem.
You have probably spoken at length about the state of your relationship, but even beyond this, the people who love and care about you have noticed how down you seem about it.
They may have mentioned it to you, commenting on how you don’t seem like your usual self or how there is always an unspoken tension between you and your partner.
Maybe they see you acting in ways you wouldn’t usually act or bending to your partner’s will rather than speaking up for yourself.
These people know you best, so it is worth listening to them if they have noticed a difference in you.
18. You feel anxious, depressed, or angry all the time.
Your friends and family have seen a change in you because you are battling inner turmoil on a regular basis.
Your failing relationship has led to anxiety, depressed thoughts, irritability, and anger.
And this doesn’t just show itself in dealings with your partner, but in everything you do and everyone you deal with. You feel the weight of the relationship dragging you down.
Your eating habits have changed, you have disturbed sleep, you can’t concentrate at work or school. You don’t feel emotionally stable at all.
19. You can’t empathize with each other.
Healthy relationships involve a lot of care and concern for the other person, but you don’t seem capable of that these days.
If they get home from work and complain about their boss, you struggle to see things from their perspective. Instead, you may tell them that they’re overreacting.
Or you may not really say much at all, instead just offering a few nods and a shrug of the shoulders.
The way you now feel about your partner stands in the way of true empathy, and so you can’t put yourself in their shoes and imagine how they must be feeling.
This leads to feelings of being abandoned by each other, as though you aren’t being heard or understood.
Neither of you feel like you can rely on the other to be there to offer support because you’re on different wavelengths.
Empathy is up there as one of the most important aspects of a romantic partnership, so if it’s gone, the relationship is over already – it’s just a matter of time before the breakup is official.
20. You don’t laugh together anymore.
Couples that share lots of laughter are generally in a pretty solid place, even if there are a few troubles here and there.
But smiles, giggles, and guffaws have long since vanished from your relationship.
This is because you don’t joke around like you used to. You’re much more serious around each other because this keeps emotional distance between the two of you.
The happy hormones that are released through shared joy no longer get released into your bodies and so the bond these hormones help to create weakens over time.
Nor do you create the kind of happy memories and moments that are the glue that holds a relationship together.
21. You’ve become two very different people.
It’s actually not that common for opposite to attract, but you and your partner have grown in different directions and are now quite different to when you first met.
Growth does not always change us in ways we’d expect, and if the two of you no longer share the same interests, passions, or moral standpoints, the writing is on the wall.
Sometimes, only one person in a relationship grows and changes, and this person then feels like they have outgrown the other. This is more common in younger couples where one person matures quicker than the other.
If you are wondering “is my relationship over?” – it’s a good idea to ask how you and your partner have changed since you first met and whether you are actually a good match for one another anymore.
This is nobody’s fault because growth isn’t something we have total control over. Whether you are both growing in opposite directions or only one of you is growing at all, that’s just the nature of being human.
22. You don’t respect each other anymore.
Respect is one of the cornerstones of any good relationship, but the respect you have for one another has dwindled over time.
The difficulties you faced have driven a wedge between you and even basic courtesy is a challenge at times.
You may hate the way things are between you, but respect that was once earned has now been lost.
23. One or both of you treats the other poorly.
When respect is lost and empathy is absent, it becomes a lot harder to treat each other well.
Instead, you treat each other in ways that you wouldn’t normally treat people.
You have less patience, a shorter temper, and are generally less friendly to them.
In some circumstances, this can degrade further into one or both parties verbally abusing the other, or worse.
If abuse of any kind ever becomes a part of a relationship, its days are numbered.
24. You just know.
Deep in your heart of hearts, you know that the relationship is over.
You may have been feeling this way for a while, but have been in denial about it.
But you can no longer push the thoughts and feelings down. It’s over, and there’s no going back.
You can’t always explain this feeling other than a sense of what is the right choice for you.
The signals your body and mind are sending all reach the same conclusion: you have already accepted the end of the relationship.
25. You want out.
You no longer want to be a part of this relationship and are actively thinking about the best way to end it.
If you’ve reached this point, you don’t need anyone else to tell you that the relationship is no longer working.
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- If Things Aren’t Working Out, This Is The Right Way To Break Up With Someone
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- Why Do Breakups Hurt So Much? The Pain Of A Relationship Ending.
- 20 Relationship Deal Breakers That Shouldn’t Be Up For Negotiation
- Is Arguing Healthy In A Relationship? (+ How Often Do Couples Fight?)
- 16 Ways To Get Your Relationship / Marriage Back On Track