It’s the Disney dream, to meet someone, fall in love, get married, and stay together forever, isn’t it? However, life doesn’t always work out like that… It can be really hard to know when to let go of a long term relationship, especially if you have never had another relationship.
There are a few red flags and a few warning signs to look out for, and there are some great ideas out there on how you can say goodbye to a relationship that no longer serves you. Let’s have a look a little deeper…
If we were to pick just one thing that can make or break a relationship, it would probably be communication. If you can’t talk, you just can’t relationship!
Communication is key to explaining how you feel; what you need; to supporting each other, and to developing and deepening your bond.
If you cannot communicate with your partner without slipping into arguments, name calling and resentment, this is a big red flag.
Talking about things that are important to you, and listening to your partner talk about things that are important to them, is very important in any relationship.
And no, we’re not just talking about “What do you want for dinner?” type of conversations!
Respect involves a lot of different things – valuing each other; being able to talk honestly and openly; and supporting each other with your needs and wants.
If you and your partner no longer respect each other, it will be very hard to maintain a functional, healthy, long term relationship.
If you respect your partner but they don’t respect you, this can be a sign of an unhealthy or abusive relationship. If your partner respects you but you don’t respect them, then do them a favor and release them to find someone who does.
They say that “Where there is no respect, there is no love” – and I think this is a good mantra to live by.
Relationships are big on compromise. In fact, any other human that you live with must be compromised with on a daily basis (I know, no one really wants to do they? Wouldn’t it be more fun to get your own way on a daily basis?!)
Being stubborn and refusing to give way on anything can often lead to fights and disharmony, and you may find yourself getting wound up over small things that don’t matter that much.
If you find that you are always compromising while your partner always gets their way, this shows an imbalance in the relationship, which is not healthy for either of you.
If you are the one that always gets their way while your partner is left in the cold, you may need to have a word with yourself.
This one should really have come at the top, shouldn’t it? If you are in a loveless relationship, you’re not really in a relationship at all.
That being said, it’s fine if you don’t feel the same burning passion that you felt in the early days – but if you don’t actually love or like your partner, you should do you both a favor and end it.
If you find yourself fantasizing about other people, or comparing your partner unfavorably to others, this can be a sign of there being not enough love in your particular relationship.
(You should know though, that if the other person that you are fantasizing about is Jason Momoa, you’re probably completely normal!)
No Shared Interests
We’re not saying you have to spend all your time together and share all of your hobbies. However, having at least a few things in common is good for a long term relationship.
Suddenly not being able to talk about things you were both once interested in, or finding that there is nothing you enjoy doing together, can be a warning bell.
It’s healthy to have your own life, and things that you do and enjoy away from your partner, but there should be at least a few areas of shared interests.
Especially if your partner is dismissive of your interests, you should be aware that this is a big problem.
The physical side of a relationship is an important part too, as well as all the talking and sharing. However, it is common for this to slide into a bit of a rut over time.
If you cannot manage to jazz this up with new ideas, positions, toys or costumes, it may be a sign that your relationship itself is becoming rather stale.
As with everything in a relationship, it is important to talk things through with your partner, and try to discover if you can work through your dry spells or if you should call it a day.
(If you AND your partner are happy with a platonic relationship, then there really is no problem, as long as all the other boxes are ticked.)
If you have tried to fix your relationship before but nothing has changed, then this may be a sign that it is time to move on from this particular relationship. There’s only so long you can go on flogging a dead horse!
Outlining concerns to a partner should encourage them to work with you to improve your relationship.
When the same issues have been ongoing for a long time, it can not only get really wearing, but can be a sign that it is time to move on. Relationships are growing and changing all the time, and you need to be doing so together for it to stand a chance.
Although we all dream of falling in love and staying together quite literally until death do us part, this is not always practical – or even advisable!
Although a relationship ending can be really hard work, and upsetting for both parties, you may well find that everyone’s life is improved once the deed is done.