When Do You Know A Relationship Is Over?

By ReGain Editorial Team|Updated July 12, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Kimberly L Brownridge , LPC, NCC, BCPC Counsel The Mind, LLC

When you first met your partner, you may have been convinced that they were “the One” based on your instant attraction to each other. You likely behaved in a loving way toward each other and were both on your best behavior. You probably didn't seek the advice of your friends, or maybe you ignored their advice.  Perhaps you didn't focus on negative traits, or maybe you simply didn't notice them. You likely made excuses for some of their behavior because you had already decided that you would rather be with that person rather than being alone.

Maybe you were under the delusion that you could change your partner. However, over the years, it has become apparent that your relationship is not where you anticipated, and perhaps the relationship has even become toxic. Now you realize that your love is deteriorating, and you are contemplating ending the relationship.

Relationships can be complicated, but there should be understanding, support, and intimacy at the heart of all of them. Relationships that lack one or all of these basic aspects can quickly come to an end.

So, when do you know a relationship has ended? Many signs can lead one to believe that their relationship with their partner is over, and the signs outlined below may help you accept that your relationship is either in danger or on its way to being over.

Signs That Tell When A Relationship Has Ended

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Intimacy: Physical, Mental and Spiritual

Physical intimacy can involve sex, kissing, hugging, or even holding hands. Physical contact is imperative to a loving and lasting relationship. When the physical aspect is all but extinct, this 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 have to fight for your partner to show you any form of physical admiration, your relationship could be in danger.

Intimacy can also take the form of a conversation with your partner. At the start of your relationship, you couldn't keep yourself from sharing the most private details with your partner. Whether about your past, present, or future, no topic seemed off-limits. The closeness of sharing intimate details with one another is a vital part of a relationship. If conversing is like pulling teeth, then your relationship might very well be on the rocks. Interest from both sides about the inner workings of each other's minds is essential when it comes to sharing your life with a dedicated partner.

Separate Lives, Separate People

Struggling to engage with your partner could be another key sign that your relationship could be over. Calling or texting at first was thrilling. There wasn't a moment when you couldn't look at your phone and see a text or call from your partner. Now, if you have to constantly try to contact your partner with little to no effort from them, the relationship is likely changing for the worse. Nagging is never a good idea, but you shouldn't have to tell your partner to pick up their phone or text you back.

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 dying. Having fun with your spouse should be effortless and enjoyable at least the majority of the time. When the fun is nonexistent, relationships often follow right behind.

When a Relationship Has Ended, Moving on is Best

The end of a relationship is never fun and oftentimes difficult, though there are strategies that can help. The death of anything is hard to cope with, especially when you shared something incredible and special with a partner. When that bond ceases to produce both physical and emotional happiness, your relationship might be on its way out.

At the end of the day, your satisfaction and fulfillment are the most important factors, and if you have a partner that no longer offers this type of support, it’s in your best interest to move on to find a partner that gives you the intimacy you crave and deserve.

Have you done all you can to repair the relationship? There are several questions to ask yourself before you make the final decision to call the relationship over.

  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 only 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? Are you above reproach? 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 have been untrue? Have you or your partner tried to forgive the other honestly?
  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? Have you or your partner been confronted with broken promises? Have you or your partner logical reasons for not keeping the promises?
  8. Do you or your partner constantly criticize the other? This behavior results in the partner being criticized for losing their self-esteem and eventually believing they are in the wrong, and it has a demoralizing effect.
  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 normal when your partner is out of the house? Do you make excuses to leave the house 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. Have you and your partner be willing to seek professional help? If one of the others has refused to consider counseling, the relationship is doomed.

The most important action that determines whether the relationship has ended is physical abuse. There is no excuse for physical violence unless one partner is acting in self-defense. 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. Usually, physical violence occurs after this person has already been mentally abused to the point that they are convinced they deserve to be treated badly or afraid to leave because they have been threatened with more violence or death.

Want To Repair Your Relationship - Or Something Else?

If you are facing or witnessing abuse of any kind, the National Domestic Violence Hotline is available for you. Call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or Text “START” to 88788. You can also use the online chat

Physical abuse is an indication of contempt for the other person. It is an act of hatred. Some abusers make the excuse that they were provoked or they couldn't help themselves. No one can provoke another to violence. They resort to violence because they see that as a way of solving problems. They are devoid of empathy, compassion, and self-control.

Don't keep the abusive relationship a secret. Tell someone you trust and get help if you need it to leave the relationship. Resist listening to promises to change, and try to avoid making excuses for their behavior. It is hard for true love to exist where there is violence. One sure way to be safe is to leave. Make arrangements for a safe place to go and see to your finances.

If the abuser is willing to seek professional help, there may be a chance of reconciliation, but only if the individual who was experiencing the abuse does not agree to continue or return to living together in the meantime. Trust has been broken, and the abuser will have difficulty regaining that trust. It’s possible that trust may never be fully regained. Leaving the relationship is even more important if there are children involved, as their safety should be paramount.

There is no shame in calling a relationship over. The shame and guilt are only in your mind. No one is going to think poorly of you if they know the truth. Safety should be the one thing that you need to concentrate on when you are experiencing violence.

Not all relationships are meant to last forever. You deserve to be respected, and you deserve to be 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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