For the purpose of this experiment we’re going pretend that you’ve met this great person and you’ve found yourself in a relationship with them. It’s all sweet, fun and romantic. You’re having the love affair to end all love affairs. Well, let’s fast forward to the real shit. The bit that rears its ugly head once the honeymoon stage is over. The parts that are hard, gritty and real. The stuff no one likes to talk about and everyone pretends doesn’t exist while they upload cheesy happy snaps on social media.
Maybe it has only been a few months since you started dating or perhaps you’ve been with them so long that you can’t actually remember what life was like before them. Either way based on statistics you’ve come to realise that this probably isn’t ‘forever’ and that is 100% okay. In fact, recognising that every relationship is a work in progress and may end all together is not only honest but also brave. Sometimes though, our love goggles have a way of clouding our better judgement and we struggle to see that the connection we’ve made is actually toxic and needs to end.
Now, I want to be able to say that I would have been open to someone sitting me down and pointing out the warning signs in my past relationships but let’s be real… I probably would have told them to kindly take their opinions and shove them up their own ass. I have however spent years listening to my friends describe tales of their busted ass relationships and watching my own go so effortlessly down the toilet. So just for today, I’m going to stick on a moustache and pretend to be Dr. Phil, while I share the 6 ways you should be able to tell that your relationships is over.
#1. Dishonesty. If you’re finding yourself hiding information from your partner, you really have to ask yourself why honesty – which we all know should be the foundation of every healthy relationship – isn’t a priority any more. Likewise, if you’re spending all of your time trying to convince your best friend or your Mum that everything is peachy because it’s too hard to speak the truth, it’s probably done.
Lying about how you’re feeling is dumb. Nothing is going to change if you carry on pretending that everything is fine. Give yourself and your partner the respect you both deserve and tell the truth.
#2. Lack of intimacy. When you start to withdraw from emotional, physical or sexual intimacy with your partner, you owe it so yourself to look deeper. Why have you pulled away? Are you stressed about things outside of your relationship and currently trying to pull yourself out of a funk? Or, are you unhappy in your relationship and simply no longer interested in being connected to the person that you’re with in that way?
Chances are your partner has already started to feel the ripple effect of how reserved you are being. I am hyper aware that it is a hard conversation to have but no one wants to feel unwanted, undesirable or pushed aside with no explanation. If you’re finding yourself compromising the things you truly need, it may be time to let each other go.
#3. Arguments. Every relationship has its ups and downs and it is totally natural and normal to disagree and to have to navigate a difference of opinions. Now, I know some people get off on fighting just so that they can have make-up sex but let me tell you… There is nothing worse than being ‘that couple’ that can be heard screaming bloody murder one minute and then sheer ecstasy the next from every level in your apartment complex.
Shouting abuse is never cute. Stop and think about it, are you even hearing each other anymore? Or have you just discovered a way to pretend that constant yelling or even worse; punishing each other through silent treatment is a healthy way to live?
#4. Communication. I’ll never understand why couples who struggle to communicate effectively continue to put themselves through this shit-storm of an emotional rollercoaster. Is it really okay to be with someone who doesn’t ‘get’ you? Continually trying to figure out if your partner is simply going along with whatever you are saying or if they’re actually hearing you is the absolute worst.
It is a total disservice to you and your partner if you settle into relationships that feel like a daily struggle. Communication will come easily – if the connection is real. Good comunication will feel natural, supportive and leave you feeling understood. If you don’t feel emotionally or physically safe enough to have real, raw, honest conversations with the person you are trying to connect with, then what is the point exactly?
#5. Control. Just as a friendly reminder, you are actually the one calling the shots in your life and your lover or partner should not feel as though they are dictating you or your choices. People often make excuses for controlling behaviour by saying it is jealousy. Jealousy has long been described as ‘healthy’ in a lot of articles surrounding relationships but the truth is that trust – trumps – jealousy. Every damn time.
If your relationship feels suffocating or as though you have to give up things you care about in order to make the other person happy or interested in you, how is that okay? Compromise is obviously inevitable but eventually, you will need to be honest enough with yourself to realise that it’s okay to say no and when it’s time to stand up for yourself.
#6. Self Esteem. This should be a no brainer. If you are in a relationship with someone who makes you feel shit about yourself or if you are making ‘your person’ question their own worth, then get out. Get out, right now.
Strong, healthy relationships are meant to support, guide, motivate and inspire you to be the best versions of yourselves that you can be. If the person you love has a habit of putting you down, undermining your existence or thrives on sabotaging your sense of self, please know that you would be better off without them. I promise.
When it is all said and done, no one needs to understand why we make the choices we do while we’re in love. Everyone may be trying to convince you that the person you love is bad news and they may actually be right but they also aren’t you and they don’t get to decide what your limits are.
Look, we all know relationships require hard work but it shouldn’t be a drainer! Just know, that when you’re ready to be real and eventually figure it all out, a stronger and happier you is waiting on the other side – regardless of whether you decide to stay or go.
No one enjoys breaks up, it’s not easy or fun but neither is staying with someone who isn’t right for you. We aren’t here to just punish ourselves though shitty relationships in the hope of ‘fixing’ it or them or ourselves. The sooner we can grasp that it is less about feeling a sense of failure and more about the realisation that some things just aren’t destined to work out, the better.
We are all fundamentally flawed and (even if we don’t want to admit it) searching for someone who will love us because of our ridiculousness and not in spite of it. Don’t settle for anything less than you deserve. Promise?