When Do You Know A Relationship Is Over?
When you first met your partner, you may have been convinced that they were “the one” based on your instant attraction to each other. Perhaps you were both on your best behavior. Maybe you didn't seek the advice of your friends, or perhaps you even ignored their advice. If the new person in your life had any negative traits, you may not have noticed or decided to ignore them.
Maybe you were under the delusion that you could change your partner. However, over the years, it might have become apparent that your relationship is not what you anticipated. Or perhaps the relationship has become toxic. You may realize that your love is deteriorating, and you could be contemplating ending the relationship.
Relationships can be complicated, but to be functional, they may require fundamentals such as understanding, support, and intimacy at the heart of all of them. Relationships that lack one or all these basic aspects can become unraveled.
You may be wondering how to recognize the impending dissolution of a relationship. The warning signs outlined below may help you accept that your relationship is either in danger or on its way to being over.
Signs That A Relationship Has Ended
Intimacy: Physical, Mental and Spiritual
Lack Of Physical Intimacy
Physical intimacy can involve sex, kissing, hugging, or even holding hands. This type of physical contact may be imperative to a loving and lasting relationship. When the physical aspect is all but extinct, it could cause the strength of your relationship to dwindle. Touching and being physically close to your partner offers various emotional benefits, and the lack thereof can cause anxiety, confusion, and feelings of rejection. If you feel you have to fight or beg for your partner to show you any form of physical affection, your relationship could be in danger.
Separate Lives, Separate People
Struggling to engage with your partner could be another key sign that your relationship might be over. You might remember the early days of your relationship when calling or texting was thrilling. If there has been a dramatic change in your communication habits, it could be a red flag. For instance, if you constantly try to contact your partner with little to no effort from them, the relationship may be changing for the worse.
You’re Not Having Fun
Another sign of a relationship that’s waning is when there seems to be no more fun. "Fun" can seem like a basic side effect of a strong relationship. However, when that exhilaration is all but dead, chances are your relationship is suffering. Ideally, having fun with your spouse should be effortless and enjoyable, at least most of the time. When the fun is nonexistent, the end of a relationship may be near.
When A Relationship Has Ended
The end of a relationship can oftentimes prove difficult. Still, there may be some strategies that can help. Before you end the relationship and move on, though, you may want to take some time to reflect on the relationship. Specifically, you might consider whether you’ve done all you can to repair it. There could be several questions you want to ask yourself before you make the final decision to end the relationship:
- What attracted you to your partner in the first place? Have you changed, or has your partner changed?
- Have you been focusing on the qualities of your partner that you find annoying? Have you considered your partner's good qualities? Have you been unfair or unkind in your accusations?
- Does your partner know how you feel? Have you been honest when the two of you have communicated? Are you or your partner guilty of keeping silent to keep the peace?
- Have you considered your own qualities? What negative comments does (or could) your partner say about you, and is it a fair assessment?
- Has either of you been guilty of infidelity? Have some accusations been untrue? Have you or your partner tried to forgive the other?
- Is jealousy one of your traits or one of your partner's traits? Is it unreasonable jealousy? Has jealousy resulted in physical or mental abuse or the threat of abuse?
- During your time together, has the relationship gone through similar situations where communication has broken down? Has either of you made promises that were not kept?
- Do you or your partner constantly criticize the other?
- Do you believe that you or your partner has anger issues? Does the anger come out of nowhere? Do you know what provokes the anger, and do you or your partner deliberately provoke the other to react with anger? Are arguments and accusations escalating?
- Do you dread being at home with your partner? Are things more comfortable when your partner is away? Do you make excuses to leave the house just to get away from each other? Do discussions always escalate to shouting matches and accusations? Are past issues brought up constantly in new arguments?
- Are you and your partner willing to seek professional help?
The Matter Of Abuse
The most significant indicator that a relationship has reached its end is physical abuse. Physical violence should never be tolerated. The person who is receiving physical violence should immediately remove themselves from the relationship in whatever way possible. If a person resorts to physical violence the first time, you can be sure it will happen again, and it will escalate to more severe violence.
Mental abuse is insidious and demoralizes the person who is abused over time. Sometimes, physical violence may occur after an individual has already been mentally abused to the point that they are convinced they deserve to be treated badly. They may also be afraid to leave because they have been threatened with more violence or even death.
If you are facing or witnessing abuse of any kind, the National Domestic Abuse Hotline is available for you. Call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or Text “START” to 88788. You can also use the online chat.
Some abusers may make the excuse that they were provoked or they couldn't help themselves. It could be helpful to remember that no one can provoke another to violence. Abusers resort to violence because they see that as a way of solving problems. They may be devoid of empathy, compassion, or self-control.
If you are in an abusive relationship, don’t keep it a secret. Tell someone you trust and get help if you need it to leave the relationship. Your abuser may promise to change but resist the temptation to believe their lies. Try to avoid making any excuses for their behavior. Make arrangements for a safe place to go and end the relationship as soon as possible. Leaving the relationship may be even more important if there are children involved, as their safety is paramount.
Benefits Of Therapy
When faced with the end of a relationship, you may have many mixed emotions. Whether you decide to call it quits or attempt to reconcile, professional counseling may be beneficial during this challenging time. You can opt for individual counseling or couples counseling, depending on the situation.
Many people with relationship problems hesitate to reach out to a counselor in-person. It could be that they are nervous about discussing these sensitive topics with a stranger. Online counseling is known to put some people at ease in therapeutic settings. You may also find internet-based counseling more convenient since you can access it from home.
Researchers in the field of mental health have determined that online therapy can be just as effective as attending sessions in person. A comprehensive meta-analysis of studies investigated nearly 10,000 cases spanning various populations and mental health challenges. It was determined that outcomes were largely similar, whether sessions were held in a therapist’s office or online.
There is no shame in calling a relationship over. Not all relationships are meant to last forever. Consider that you deserve to be happy, respected, and safe. If you need to talk to someone, whether individually or as a couple, there are licensed counselors available through ReGain who are ready to help.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Are The Signs When A Relationship Is Over?
Here are some signs your relationship is either over or struggling:
- You have feelings of contempt toward one another.
- Your partner is distant, or vice versa.
- You don't spend quality time together.
- Your partner blames all of the issues in the relationship on you.
- There's a lack of affection.
If you notice these signs that your relationship is over or signs that your relationship is in a bad place and want to work things out, you may reach out to a relationship expert such as a counselor or therapist for support. If your partner refuses to get help, it is another sign that your relationship is coming to an end; for obvious reasons, refusing to put in effort hollows out a relationship. It doesn't help you heal the relationship, and a lack of effort signifies that a person may be emotionally unaware, afraid of the emotional vulnerability required to save a partnership, or that they do not want to put in the effort to save it for whatever reason. Know that this is not your fault.
When Should You End Your Relationship?
Although it is not an extensive list, here are some reasons you might decide to end your relationship:
- They told you it's over, that they want to split up or want a divorce.
- They threaten to break up with you frequently.
- You have no desire to spend time with your partner, and rather than wanting to increase quality time, the idea of spending time with them is off-putting.
- They aren't interested in spending time with you, are spending more time away, or turn down all of your requests to spend time together.
- Any form of abuse, whether emotional or physical, is present. If this is the case, prioritize leaving safely. If you are experiencing abuse or believe that you might be, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1.800.799.SAFE (7233) or visit their
How Do You Truly Accept Your Relationship Is Over?
It's hard to say goodbye to romantic relationships. Often, when you're in a committed relationship, you envision that person as your partner for a long time, so when you know it's time to say goodbye to a committed relationship, it's hard. It may take time to accept that your relationship is over, and you may mourn at first. Once you allow yourself to go through the initial mourning stage, spend time focusing on yourself. Think about your aspirations. What do you want in life? Is there an activity that you enjoy that you haven't spent time on in a while? What makes you happy? Are there people that you care about but haven't talked to in a while?
These are all questions that can help you focus on yourself. If you are still looking at your ex's social media or are engaging with them in other unessential ways, you must stop. Even if you don't have any ill will, you may block them so that you can have the space you need to heal, especially if you find it tough to stop looking otherwise. This may be what's part of keeping them on your mind.
If you are struggling to accept that your relationship is over after some time has passed, seeing an individual counselor or therapist is a beneficial option. A counselor or therapist can help you work through your emotions and move forward. The end of a relationship is difficult, and it's not your fault if you are spending more time struggling than not, but you will heal.
Is It Normal To Love Someone But Not Want To Be With Them?
In some cases, it is very normal to love someone but not want to be with them. If you love someone but don't want to be with them, there are a number of potential reasons why this might be. For example, if you know that the relationship is not good for you or signs your relationship is not a healthy relationship, you may choose to leave despite loving someone. Additionally, you may leave due to disparities and incompatibility that can't be solved.
For example, if one of you wants kids but the other does not, you may not be able to compromise and may decide to leave despite your love. When it comes to relationships, sex, and life in general, it is essential to be honest with yourself about what you want. If you are struggling with concerns related to relationships, sex life, or anything else, you may reach out to a counselor who can help. Be proud of yourself for being truthful about your wants and needs, and know that although things may hurt right now, it is possible to heal.
What Are The Reasons To End A Relationship?
Whether it's the beginning of a relationship or you're in a committed relationship, there are some consistent signs that your relationship may be coming to a close. Reasons to end a relationship include but aren't limited to the following:
- Your partner withholds affection, gaslights you, calls you names, engages in stonewalling or blames all of the problems in a relationship on you.
- There is a lack of affection and no drive to fix it on one or both sides. If there's no drive to work through problems in a relationship and a lack of affection, it's a sign your relationship is on the rocks.
- There's a lack of communication. Communication is essential in any partnership, and a lack of it hollows out a relationship.
- You aren't happy in the relationship. In romantic relationships, if you're unhappy, it's reason enough to leave.
- You tried to solve relationship problems to no avail.
You deserve a loving relationship. Whether or not this is the one, it is possible to have a healthy, happy, affectionate relationship that lasts. If you're struggling with relationships or any other concerns in life, again, do not be afraid to reach out for the help of a counselor or therapist. Whether you see someone online using an online therapy website like ReGain or see a provider in your local area, you deserve to get the support you need.
What do you do if you feel that there's no longer any emotional connection between you and your partner?
What are crucial questions you can ask before deciding to break up with your partner?
What are the most common reasons why relationships end?
How do you know that it's not the time to let go?
What is the most difficult part of ending a relationship?
What are ways to try to save a relationship that has already ended?
Why is closure necessary?
Is there such a thing as a healthy way to end things between you and your partner?
How does one find closure from a past relationship?
What are some do's and don't's after a breakup?
How can you be sure that breaking up is the best solution?
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