When Do You Know A Relationship Is Over?

Updated June 14, 2024by Regain Editorial Team
Content warning: Please be advised, the below article might mention trauma-related topics that include abuse which could be triggering to the reader. If you or someone you love is experiencing abuse, contact theDomestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Support is available 24/7. Please also see our Get Help Now page for more immediate resources.

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

Considering calling it quits?

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:

  1. What attracted you to your partner in the first place? Have you changed, or has your partner changed?
  2. 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?
  3. 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?
  4. Have you considered your own qualities? What negative comments does (or could) your partner say about you, and is it a fair assessment?
  5. Has either of you been guilty of infidelity? Have some accusations been untrue? Have you or your partner tried to forgive the other?
  6. 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?
  7. 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? 
  8. Do you or your partner constantly criticize the other? 
  9. 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?
  10. 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?
  11. 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. 

Considering calling it quits?

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.

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