Have I Outgrown My Partner? 7 Signs Your Relationship Is Past Its Prime, According To Experts
We all want to believe our relationships will never end. Realistically, not every partnership is built to last — and sometimes the reason why is because we don't grow with our significant other the way we anticipated. It's human nature to change and develop, and our own personal growth won't always match up with our partner's.
"If you feel ashamed to bring your partner around certain people in your life because of the way they act, then it’s possible you’re outgrowing the relationship," Jonathan Bennett, a life and relationship coach, tells Bustle. If you're embarrassed to bring your partner to meet up with your friends, or made the plans without even thinking to invite them, your relationship may have ran its course.
As the all-knowing Lorde herself once sang, "When you've outgrown a lover, the whole world knows but you." Outgrowing a relationship can be hard to accept since there usually isn't some big blowup or specific problem to blame it on. But even though it's hard to accept that a relationship might be past its prime, you don't have to be the last to know. Here are seven signs that you're outgrowing your relationship, so you can, as Lorde would say, ~let go of this endless summer afternoon~:
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1. You Feel Ashamed Of Your Partner
Towards the end of a past relationship, I started noticing how embarrassed I felt whenever my boyfriend would hang out with my friends. I now realize it's because at that point I had already outgrown the relationship and no longer found the way he acted as endearing.
"If you’ve matured and your partner hasn’t, his or her previous so-called edgy, funny, and rebellious behavior can just be downright embarrassing," Bennett says.
2. They Resent Your Success
You can grow in your career without outgrowing your partner — but only if they're just as happy about your life plan as you are. "If your partner resents your success and tries to keep you down, then you’ve definitely outgrown the relationship," Bennett says. "You both have different life trajectories and the gap will only grow and make the situation worse."
3. You Don't Enjoy The Same Couple Activities Anymore
Outgrowing the hobbies you and your partner once enjoyed together could be a sign you're outgrowing the whole relationship. "If your shared activities and interests are no longer enjoyable to you, but your partner still likes them, it’s possible you’ve matured and they haven’t," Bennett says.
"This is especially true if these interests are more juvenile or reckless. And, if you have nothing else that bonds you, it’s probably time to move on."
4. Your Values No Longer Match Up
"Every relationship involves compromise, but if values are too different, it may be time to end the relationship and move on," Kimberly Hershenson, a licensed therapist, tells Bustle. If you're realizing one of you wants to eventually get married, settle down, and have children, but the other doesn't see that future for themselves at all, it's unlikely you'll be able to grow together.
5. You Make Plans Without Them In Mind
Do you not see yourself with your partner in your five-year plan? Do you also not see them with you at brunch next week? If so, you might be planning a future without your significant other. "If you’re intentionally — or even subconsciously — not wanting your partner to participate in your plans, it may be time for you both to move on," Hershenson says.
6. You Think About Being With Someone Else
If you're constantly wondering what your life would be like with a person that isn't your partner, you might be done with the relationship. "It's human nature to fantasize about what life would be like with someone else," Hershenson says. "It becomes a problem when you are constantly choosing to daydream about a life with someone else."
7. You're Always Arguing About The Small Stuff
Arguing about trivial things could mean that you're trying to find an out in your relationship. Lisa Bahar, a licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Bustle that constantly fighting about small things "may be a way to pick a fight about something deeper" or that you might be "feeling as though you want to leave or want them to leave you."
There's nothing wrong with realizing you and your partner aren't the same people you were when the relationship started. Sometimes people will grow together, and sometimes they won't — and that's OK.