When you’re blissfully in love, time stands still. You smile more often, and your mood is uplifting. However, if you find yourself wondering how to know when your relationship is over, there’s trouble in paradise.
Though the divorce rate in the United States is on a downward trend, even serious couples call it quits sometimes. Read on to learn about how to tell if your relationship is over and it’s time to have “the talk.”
1. You Spend More Time Apart
Do you remember the honeymoon phase of your relationship? You couldn’t get enough of each other back then. Being together 24/7 takes high priority for all new couples, and yours was probably no exception.
Once the relationship matures, the need to spend time together fizzles out a little. That said, if you’re in a stable serious relationship, neither partner should look for excuses to stay away from the other.
If you find that you’d rather spend time alone or with friends than with your partner, that’s a bad sign about the state of your relationship. Also, if your partner starts visiting his friends or family without inviting you, this might be a cause for concern.
It’s fine to have time and interests that define you as a person. Your individual identity is an important aspect of a healthy relationship. But if you’re spending so much time apart that you’re no longer sharing mutual experiences or communicating enough, it’s a sure sign that it’s time to move on.
2. You Fight More Frequently
It’s true: All couples argue sometimes. But successful couples argue constructively and respectfully. They argue to resolve an issue, not to hurt each other over reoccurring problems that never quite go away.
If you argue constructively, you and your partner are careful not to personally attack each other. You also listen to each other’s point of view instead of turning your debate into a yelling match.
However, if almost every conversation you have with your partner turns into an argument, you have to learn how to get over that someone special.
These are the signs of an unhealthy argument pattern:
- Every conversation leads to an argument.
- Both partners take verbal jabs at each other.
- The harsh words become more hurtful as the argument progresses.
- You argue over the same issues every time without resolving them.
- You focus on your own feelings instead of listening to your partner.
- You criticize each other and bring up past transgressions.
The longer a negative argument pattern continues, the more you resent each other. A relationship where negative feelings fester isn’t one worth continuing.
3. Counseling Is Off The Table
Have you and your partner tried couple’s therapy?
Sometimes, when a couple can’t resolve their problems on their own, an objective perspective is really insightful. A couple’s counselor can help you become aware of negative patterns He or she can teach you how to communicate better on an emotional level.
Current studies show that couple’s counseling has an approximate success rate of 75 percent. However, if your partner refuses to try couple’s therapy, your relationship is DOA.
There are several reasons why either you or your partner might be against couple’s counseling. Perhaps you’re skeptical of therapy in general. Perhaps he associates counseling with a previous negative experience in terms of therapy.
Whatever the reason may be, since you or your partner can’t prioritize your relationship enough to try counseling as a last resort, Your relationship is not as important as it should be. If you’re both at an impasse and you refuse to get outside help, it may be time to go your separate ways.
Is your partner the one who’s refusing couple’s counseling? If so, you should still consider individual professional help.
You may need one-on-one coaching to deal with your breakup, for instance. It might also be helpful to work through your past relationship patterns with a therapist in order to be aware of them for the future.
A professional can help you spot red flags in prospective partners. Also, it’s an opportunity to learn how to reflect on your own flaws with some guidance.
4. Your Life Goals Shifted
One of the reasons successful couples stay together is that their life goals are compatible.
You don’t have to share your partner’s interests and goals to the tee. In fact, there’s some evidence that couples who don’t have much in common can maintain a successful relationship.
However, your goals should align. For instance, if you want kids and he doesn’t, that conflicting life goal can cause trouble for you long-term. Neither of you should give up major wants and needs just to stay together.
Even if you started out with similar goals, what your partner wants out of life may have shifted over time. Sometimes, this has nothing to do with the couple and everything to do with the individual.
As you grow older, you may develop a different perspective on your job, having kids, or even the kind of partner you want. This can happen even if you live through the same experiences as the one you love.
5. Your Sex Drives Don’t Sync
Many couples say that sex is the best problem solver in a relationship. This mindset is highly debatable, but it’s true that sex is an essential component for most healthy couples.
In a long-term relationship, sex is a stress reliever and an outlet for self-expression. So when you or your partner are never in “the mood” at the same time, or if you avoid sex altogether, it becomes a source of frustration instead.
6. How To Know When Your Relationship Is Over For Sure: Your Partner Is Abusive
Abuse is difficult to spot when it happens to you. This is especially true if it occurs at the hands of the person you thought was “the one.”
That said, about 24 people per minute endure some form of abuse from a domestic partner in the United States. When the abuse turns into physical domestic violence, it can even be deadly.
Here’s how to spot the less obvious signs of abuse in your relationship:
- Your partner controls your every move.
- Your partner isolates you from family and friends.
- You feel like you can never do anything right in your relationship.
Abuse is never ok. Whether it’s sexual, physical, verbal, or emotional abuse, it should be a universal deal-breaker for every relationship.
If you feel that you’re in an abusive relationship, a long-term marriage and family therapist might be able to advise you on the steps to take next. Here are some resources to look into if you are afraid of leaving your abusive partner.
Is Your Relationship Over?
If you do find that your relationship cannot be resolved, your next step is to learn how to get over someone you love.
You’ve learned how to know when your relationship is over, and now it’s time to move on. Learning to find yourself again after a bad breakup is often harder than the breakup itself. But staying in an unhealthy relationship is not fair to your quality of life.
If you’re having trouble getting over someone you love, look at my one-on-one coaching. Seize the day and learn how to make the best of the single life.