Finding yourself at the end of the road in a relationship is never easy. You worked hard to get to where you are with your partner, and realizing that it's time to let go of what you have is just plain old hard. Whether you're starting to feel like it's time to move on,or if you're still struggling with figuring out if there's something left to salvage, knowing how to tell a relationship is really over can be difficult. Especially when you factor in the idea of starting over, separating your lives, and moving on. But there are signs that it's time to let go of your current relationship, and whether or not you pay attention to those signs is up to you.
Every relationship is different, there's no question about it. But some things are universal. The following ways to tell your relationship is over are warning signs for any relationship, no matter how nuanced and complicated it may be. So if you're feeling out of sorts in your relationship, not sure whether or not you should keep trying to make things work, take a look at the following signs your relationship is really over, and see if they apply to you. Because while ending things with your partner is never easy, if you're hanging onto a dead end relationship, you're making things even harder on yourself.
1. You Can't Bring Yourself To Engage With Your Partner Anymore
Fighting is difficult. It drains you emotionally and mentally, it's hard on your relationship. But The Huffington Post noted that if you've lost your will to fight for your relationship, and to fight to make it a better partnership, you've already given up. If you find yourself thinking that it's not worth it, or that you just don't have it in you anymore, your emotional ship has sailed.
2. You're Making Generalizations About Your Relationship
If everything from you or your partner's mouth has been how they always do this, or you never do that, it's a sign that you're pretty far gone. Psychologist John Gottman told Men's Health that it's that kind of weighted general criticism that's a pretty good predictor of a split. “The reason it’s so harmful is that it’s so non-specific,” Gottman said. “It’s really damning the entire character and personality of the partner.” And when you're relegating your partner's entire character to a negative connotation, you've already made the decision that you're over it. Now it's time to put it all to an end.
3. If Your Communication Is Empty
Communication is key in any relationship, especially those of a romantic nature. Once your communication comes to a halt, or becomes empty of anything at all, it's the kiss of relationship death, according to The Huffington Post. If you and your partner have stopped sharing your daily lives with one another, you're not in a healthy relationship. Empty communication is a signal that you're detaching yourselves from one another emotionally, even if you're still technically in a relationship together.
4. Your Discussions Get Defensive
Fixing something that's wrong doesn't always have to turn into a fight. When you're in a healthy relationship, constructive discussions can be had about things that have gone wrong, or things you're both trying to work on. Unfortunately, when those discussions become defensive, your relationship becomes destructive, according to Gottman. “It takes two forms. One is the counterattack—I’m going to attack you 10 times harder than you attacked me,” Gottman said. “The other form is acting like an innocent victim, whining as you’re talking. Why are you picking on me? What about all the good stuff I do?” If you or your partner are having a hard time admitting to your mistakes, you're no longer committed to the health of your relationship, and should reconsider where you stand.
5. You're Not Invested In Fixing What's Wrong
According to relationship expert Susan Winter, when neither party has the interest of pursuing a reconnection or fixing what's wrong, it's over. In order to make a relationship work, you need two people who are willing to communicate and put in the time and energy to work through things. If one party's checked out, things will never truly heal.
6. Your Sex Life Is Off Limits
Monica Lieser, a licensed marriage and family therapist, told Men's Health that if you and your partner can't openly talk about your sex life, regardless of frequency, that your relationship is as good as done. “Frequency is just a measure of behavior,” Lieser said. Having sex with your partner every day doesn't mean anything if you're not communicating about your likes and dislikes. Emotional intimacy creates desire according to Lieser, and if your relationship is lacking emotional intimacy, you can kiss your relationship goodbye.
7. You Can't See A Future With Your Partner
A good gauge of whether or not your relationship has a future, is whether or not you can actually envision that future. If you close your eyes and think of you and your partner together, can you see what tomorrow looks like? How about six months? A year? Five years? Ten? If you can't see a future with your partner, sex researcher Amy Levine told Today that your relationship has passed its expiration date.