What should you do if you’re in doubt about whether you should stay or leave the relationship you’re currently in? How do you know when a relationship is over?
Well, there’s many answers to this, and it’s quite nuanced to our individual lives, but here’s a very small list of signs that your relationship may be on the road to a break up.
1. You tend to tolerate more than you would with anyone else.
Now, in relationships, we’ll always be finding new ways to compromise, and tolerating your significant other’s silly habits or quirks, well, that’s pretty normal. This is stuff like not putting away dishes or leaving the front door unlocked or something annoying but insignificant.
But for example, if a friend or co-worker is constantly putting you down or finding new ways to make you feel self-conscious, you would probably stop communicating with those people, right? What if your partner constantly hurt your feelings or did things in spite of how badly you felt about them? If you’re in a relationship where your partner is consistently criticizing everything you do or making you feel worse about most things, evaluate if you react differently to your partner versus the rest of the world when it comes to how they treat you.
2. You do not have aligned life goals.
When you first got together with your partner, did you ever discuss whether it was just for fun’s sake or if you had other visions in mind? I.E. creating a family, owning a home, getting married, or something deeper? Do you think you have compatible life goals with your partner? For example, if one person wants children and the other person does not, this is a valid reason to consider leaving a relationship.
You both aren’t working towards a similar goal to keep you marching in the same direction as a team. When two people share a similar long term goal, they generally have a better chance at staying together. If two people have contrasting views on how they want their future to look like, this could eventually start to divide the commonality in a couple.
3. There’s a lack of attention from one or both people in a couple.
In order to give a plant the best chance of growing and thriving, it needs its basic ingredients: water, sun, and soil. This goes for couples in the same way. A relationship needs nurturing, time and attention to make it successfully satisfying.
What does this mean? In your relationship, do you have planned outings together? Are you going on dates still? Or taking vacations / staycations together? How are you both ‘sowing’ your relationship seed? If one person is always tending to the health of the relationship and the other person does nothing about it, this seems as if the lopsidedness of care will eventually make the one person who’s trying to help, give up. Let’s face it, all relationships take constant work. Make sure that you both are doing whatever is needed to make your connection stay strong.
These are just 3 common aspects that may indicate that a break up could be a possibility. Don’t let this sway you into giving up automatically, we can all change if we decide we want to and are given the right tools to do so.
If you’re struggling with whether to work on your relationship or leave, consider talking with a couples counselor before making any sudden movements. You can work out all the insecurities you have, as well as get a chance to talk about your concerns in a 100% confidential and judgement free space.