No matter how perfect a relationship seems, it has its ups and downs, just like anything else worth doing. We’ve all had hard times with the people we love, but a healthy relationship shouldn’t be too worried about the occasional fight. At some point, though, you may have a hard-to-ignore feeling of doubt. You feel like you’ve lost touch or that something bad has hurt your trust. So, how can you tell if the relationship is over? You should look more closely at how you connect with your partner.
Taking a look at the good and bad times can help you decide if it’s worth working through your problems or if it’s time to part ways. Even if you still care about each other, staying together might not be the best choice for either of you. When we care a lot about something for a long time, it can be easier to ignore disagreements (even if they happen more often than they used to). It’s never easy to think about ending a relationship with someone you care about. But if you know how to tell when a relationship is over and how to deal with it afterward, you can figure out what you should do next.
If you don’t know what to do, look for these six key signs that a relationship is over.
There is no emotional link.
It’s hard to tell if a relationship is worth saving when the spark is gone. One of the most important signs that your relationship is coming to an end is that you are no longer open and vulnerable with your partner. Part of what makes a relationship happy and healthy is that both people feel safe enough to share their thoughts and opinions with each other.
“We “hide” our true feelings from ourselves and others…
When we act in ways that aren’t typical of us, we might need to do some introspection to figure out where our attitude is coming from “Suzanne Degges-White, Ph.D., who is a licensed counselor, agrees. If you don’t say what’s really on your mind, it could mean you don’t want a deep connection anymore. Also, if you don’t have as much fun banter with each other or find it hard to have interesting conversations, your bond may be weakening.
You are no longer interested in physical intimacy.
During a relationship, sexual desire can go up and down. If you’re in a rut and can’t seem to get your sex life back on track, that doesn’t mean the relationship is over. Degges-White says to think about the first time you got close to your partner and figure out how that makes you feel. “If you can get back there in your head—and you like where your mind takes you—then you are probably still sexually attracted to your partner,” she says.
On the other hand, it could be a problem if your passion has died down and you no longer care about your partner at all. A lack of sexual interest is often a sign of how healthy a relationship is and how long it might last. “When just the thought of your partner being close or touching you intimately is off-putting, [it could] signal that the relationship is in need of an overhaul, or that a breakup is potentially near.”
When a couple is on the verge of breaking up, sex can be the first thing that starts to fade.
Nothing is easy to agree on.
Another sign that you’re going to break up is that you no longer agree with each other. When people always disagree with each other, it can make both of them angry.
“When fighting is unrelenting, to the point where there are very few minutes of calm, take it seriously,” says licensed clinical psychologist Andrea Bonior, Ph.D. Even if it seems odd, not arguing enough can also be a bad sign: “Some couples get so tired of arguing that they just stop… They often stop talking to each other about anything, and they can’t disagree with each other in any way.” When the only thing you agree on is that you can’t agree on anything, it’s not a good sign for your relationship.
Someone else seems like a better choice.
Even though it’s normal to fantasize about other people, it can be bad when your desires make sex with your partner seem less important. Whether you’re stuck on your ex, have a crush on someone at work, or want to be with a stranger, it’s time to think about how you feel.
“You’re probably crossing a line you shouldn’t,” says Degges-White, “when your fantasies take time and energy away from what you should be doing with your partner.” “Sexual fantasies about others can be fine if they add to your relationship, but if they create a world in which your partner’s role is shrinking, it’s time to either put someone else in your fantasies or begin a conversation.” If your partner isn’t your top priority in bed anymore, you should talk about it.
No one can be trusted.
Whether your partner cheated on you or just doesn’t keep their word, it’s hard to trust them again. If you don’t feel like you can trust the person on your side, it’s hard to connect with them in a meaningful way. Bonior says, “Trust is the foundation of a committed relationship, and a lack of it hollows out a relationship from the inside,” To get it back, both partners need to pay attention not only to trust, but also to the problems that caused it to break down in the first place.
Your Goals Don’t Fit Together
When people in a relationship want different things, it’s one of the hardest things to deal with. No matter how much you care about each other, it’s hard to align your hopes if you don’t want the same things in life. “Sometimes even relationships [with] a great deal of love can be stymied by goals that are totally different,” says Bonior. Couples often disagree about things like whether or not they want kids, what they want to do for work, or where they want to live. “There can be hope with compromise, but without that, the warning signs are hard to ignore,” she says.
No matter what’s making your relationship fall apart, it’s never an easy situation to be in. If you still love each other and want your relationship to last, you might go to counseling to learn how to talk to and understand each other better. Every relationship has problems, so if you’re sure your partner is “the one,” try to find new ways to solve your problems in a way that’s good for both of you.