If there was a perfect formula to make relationships work, everyone would all be happily coupled and blissfully in love. But the reality is, partnering your life with someone else's comes with challenges, and sorting out those challenges doesn't always give you the result you want. It's especially difficult when you feel like the situation is one-sided, with you putting in most, if not all of, the work. Taking an honest look at how to tell when you've done all you can for your relationship may give you the answers you need to decide if you want to keep giving, or move on.
Being invested in making your twosome thrive is crucial for a healthy relationship. The hard reality to face is what happens when you've exhausted all your options. Coming to the end of the road with ideas for your relationship means you really have done all in your power to revive what has been lost. But there comes a point when you need to be honest with yourself. If you're not sure that you've tried everything there is to try, see if you can check off all of these 11 ways to know that you've given your relationship your best shot.
1. You're Proactive
Making a relationship work — and go the distance — doesn't always come easy. You've read the books and listened to therapists, but the vibe still isn't right with the two of you. As obstacles in your twosome pop-up, constantly trying to be proactive in your approach shows that you have put your all into saving the relationship.
2. The Fun Is (Long) Gone
Having a good time in each other's presence is an important element of a healthy relationship, so if you are forcing yourself to spend time with your SO, you may be wasting your energy. According to Cosmopolitan magazine, avoiding time with your partner is a red flag that the relationship is in trouble.
3. You're All Out Of Fresh Ideas
When you're trying to put your all into a relationship, the goal is to keep things feeling fresh and alive. As psychosexual therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer told Oprah, relationships tend to become stale over time and need new ideas to keep them fresh. If you've used all your ideas and still know results, you've definitely done all you can.
4. You Do Small Things
Skywriting a love letter to your partner is awesome, but it's the everyday small things that show how much you're really trying. According to Health magazine, research shows that frequent small acts of kindness are a predictor of happiness in a relationship. If you have been paying attention to the details, you can certainly feel like you've given this relationship your best.
5. You're Exhausted
Being in a relationship may be hard at times, but it should feel easy and satisfying overall. If you've been working yourself to the point of exhaustion to keep the love alive, then you know you've been dedicated to making it work.
6. Your Friends Notice
Confiding in your friends about the state of your relationship is a great way to receive loving advice and support. If your friends mention how much they notice you are trying, then you know you have given your all.
7. You Always Ask This One Question
Being invested in your couplehood means caring about even the smallest things. In an interview with Prevention magazine, psychologist Angela Hicks said asking your partner, "How was your day?" is a key to sustained relationship happiness.
8. You've Been Clear About Your Wants
Expressing what you need and want let's your partner know exactly what you're seeking — no mind reading necessary. But unmet expectations can leave us questioning the viability of our partnership and connection, as Mind Body Green pointed out.
9. You've Kept It Steamy
It doesn't take a relationship expert to know that when the sex flame burns out (and stays out) things are going so good. If you have made repeated attempts to keep your love life steamy but nothing is improving, you've put in the effort on your end.
10. You've Been Grateful
If you've tossed criticism to the curb and shown your gratitude for your partner, you're taking action to make things improve. As the website, Cheat Sheet pointed out, being thankful and showing appreciation for your SO is way couples can become closer and feel validated.
11. You Show Interest In Their Interests
You may hate to watch horror films, play laser tag, and eat sushi, but if it's important to your partner, you're willing to give it a try. Sharing interests (or at least giving them a try now and then) can be a way to improve a strained relationship, because the experience can make you feel closer.