So, are you asking yourself when to end a relationship?
Every relationship has its peaks and troughs; healthy ups and downs are the backbones to every awesome relationship. But if yours has more gloom than good times it might be time to take a step back, be honest with yourself and consider if you really, truly want to be in it in the first place.
The good news is a lot of the niggles and issues in your relationship can be fixed – you just have to be honest with yourself and figure out if it’s something you want to work on or if you’ve already checked out. So, don’t jump on the breakup bandwagon just yet – let’s strip back your feelings between you and your lover and then you can decide if you want to continue down the road or pull off to the side for a breather.
What Does a Healthy Relationship Look Like?
Just because you are in a relationship doesn’t mean you should be.
Have a think about these important habits of a healthy relationship and see if you can relate to them.
#1 Are You Happy, Without Forcing It?
This might seem like a simple question, duh! But being happy in a relationship shouldn’t actually be a struggle if it’s the right fit. A surprising amount of people lull themselves into thinking they are in a truly happy relationship when they aren’t. Why?
Well, whether its a fear of being alone, telling themselves that ‘things will get better’ or simply being addicted to the ‘support’ a relationship gives; there are soo many (fake) reasons people give themselves that they are happy and better off in a relationship rather than owning up to their true feelings, even if they are a bit buried.
If you are finding that you are constantly telling yourself that you are happy in your relationship rather than just getting the feeling naturally, there may be some other bubbling issues in your relationship that you need to work on.
#2 Are You Gunning for Each Others Happiness, or Have You Stopped Caring?
Think about all your goals that you have. Whether that be your career, owning a house, taking an 8-month backpacking trip around Chile, having kids… have you got them in your head?
Think about how many of them are also your partner’s goals and dreams.
Some of them? All of them.. or none of them? If most of your ambitions are shared with your partner and you are both constantly encouraging each other to achieve them, you are definitely kicking some relationship goals!
But… if you were making that list and realized your paths have started to drift and your goals no longer match each other’s or, even worse, you’ve stopped caring about what each other wants, this could be a sign that your relationship is in trouble.
#3 How Do You Get Through the Good & Bad Times?
Ever heard of the expression ‘peaks and troughs’? It’s a pretty good example of what to expect in a normal, healthy, long-term relationship.
Let’s be real – you aren’t going to be swept off your feet and living a romantic fairytale everyday!
That would be unrealistic and kinda weird for the everyday human since we all have our down days. There’s going to be days where you’re super stressed at work, or your partner is unwell, you haven’t quite saved for your summer holiday yet, you not having as much sex as you want….
Whatever it may be, hitting speed bumps is a perfectly normal part of any relationship. But, are you dealing with them in a healthy or toxic way? Sometimes getting through the shit times together can actually build a super strong bond between the two of you. Not working together will do the exact opposite and make your relationship go down the toilet – quickly.
#4 Do You See a Future Together or Do You Live Week to Week?
This is where I want you to be really honest. Do you actually see a future with your partner, or are you just living week to week with them…. Because there is a massive difference (points #1 and #2 won’t ever be fulfilled in a week to week relationship).
Being truly happy in a relationship is jumping in with two feet together and building a future, not just living for the now. If you don’t have a clear picture of your future together, or worse, the thought of having one doesn’t excite you, you need to think about why.
If you couldn’t find any good points from above in your own relationship, let’s see if you’ve been living on the other side of the couple’s fence…
What’s Not Healthy
#1 You Fight More than You Love
Couples fight. That’s a given. It’s not a bad thing if you and your partner have disagreements – they are actually a sign of a healthy relationship.
But, there is a difference between the odd argument and a battleground.
Think about the last argument you had with your partner, whether it was something serious or about who didn’t buy milk. How did you approach it? Did you both genuinely listen to what each other had to say and try to come to fix it, or did you find yourself in the middle of World War 3, ducking between insults from each other and then walking off in frustration without any sign of a resolution? There’s a reason why the old saying ‘never sleep on a fight’ rings true. If you are fighting more than you love, this is a red flag.
#2 You’re Always Pissed off with Them for Nothing
There’s a difference between little irritations and giant elephants in the room. Leaving dirty socks on the floor or being late for dinner is definitely annoying…
But if every single thing your partner does pisses you off – it’s unhealthy.
What might start off as small niggles have the power to snowball and before you know it, having your partner in the same room as you or even talking to makes you see red.
You’ll find you aren’t pissed off that they are around, but you are actually frustrated by a lot of issues boiling underneath the surface, and if you don’t (or can’t) talk these out, it can severely affect your relationship. Think about what’s actually pissing you off so much and if you think you can fix it (or not).
#3 You’ve Completely Lost Yourself
Are you finding that you are looking in the mirror, and not recognizing yourself? I don’t mean physically, but emotionally and mentally. Have your days just turned into putting yourself on autopilot without you realizing and you’ve become disconnected from your life? The problem with being on autopilot in your relationship is that it can mean you have actually checked out of the relationship without knowing it or wanting to admit it.
On the flipside, if you’ve stopped feeling completely comfortable in your relationship or feel like you have to walk on eggshells around your partner this is a warning sign that things might be starting to go downhill.
If you are keeping things to yourself and not talking to your partner, or you feel a bit on edge about your relationship as a whole, it may be time to really think about if your partner is right for you.
#4 Everything Seems like a Struggle (or You Just Can’t Be Bothered)
If you were once a social bug who used to count down the seconds until your partner got home from work or excitedly organized surprise date nights for them, but now you find you just can’t be bothered to really make an effort, this could be a sign that you’ve checked out.
Think about the last time you and your partner did something that you would’ve enjoyed in the beginning of your relationship. Like meeting up with friends, going out for dinner, watching a movie or even having sex games. Were you excited? Or did it feel like you were going only because you had to… or worse, did it just seem like a massive struggle and not worth the hassle? If your answer is the latter, it’s time for the alarm bells to sound.
#5 When Compromises Become Unhealthy
There’s a difference between natural and healthy compromises in a relationship and those that you should definitely not be making. What’s the difference between a healthy compromise and a toxic one?
We aren’t talking about little things like turning your music down if your partner is one a phone call; if you are seriously compromising your own core beliefs, goals and happiness just to make your partner happy, this is a sign that your compromises have crossed the border and you need to check yourself.
Our Advice: Try to Work It out Before Throwing in the Towel
Don’t freak out if you’ve read some of our points on what an unhealthy relationship looks like and you are now seriously considering ending it. That may actually be the right decision in the end, but first you should see if you and your partner can figure it out before throwing in the towel.
Talk out Your Issues and Break Them Down
This is the simplest and easiest way to sort out your issues together (if they are willing to). Really hash everything out and see if there is a way that you can both move forward through healthy compromises and really listening to what each other is saying. Hear your partner, respect their points of view and see if your relationship and future is something that you want to work towards together.
You Can Take a Break
Honestly, taking a break doesn’t always have to be a bad thing.
It could even end up being the wake-up call you both needed to sort your issues out, both within the relationship and in your own lives, and come back to each other fresh and excited.
On the other hand, if you take a break and you find that you don’t miss your partner and you truly feel happier by yourself….
PS – Whilst thinking about the break, you can even take a look at these 17 principles of successful relationship, and see what matches in your relationship.
It Might Be Time to Break Up
Breaking up is never going to be easy. But it also might truly be the best for you both. If you decide this is actually deep down the best way forward, our advice is to do your best to end the relationship in a healthy way and without resenting each other. Try and be positive, talk about the good times you both got to share together and try to end it with both of you knowing it’s for the best.
Don’t be brash. Don’t be hasty. Don’t be pressured. Ending a relationship is one of the biggest decisions you will ever have to make, so it is really important to have a clear head when deciding whether to cut the cord. If you feel like you are in an unhealthy relationship, try and talk to your partner, talk to your pals about going forward, talk to a therapist, or just talk to yourself.
The only way you won’t regret your decision is if you make it yourself.
So go on, and trust yourself!