Is It Time To Break Up? 9 Signs Your Relationship Is Past Its Expiration Date
Knowing when it's time to break up isn't easy. If a relationship is going wrong, you still might not be ready to let go of it. And if a relationship is good but not great, then it's really easy to just coast along in something that probably should have ended. Although the truth is, if you're wondering because you think it may apply to you, then that's already a sign. "If you are even thinking this question, I would say that is red flag number one," Marina Sbrochi, IPPY award-winning author of Stop Looking for a Husband: Find the Love of Your Life, tells Bustle.
But beyond wondering if it's gone on for too long, how do you actually know? Well, luckily there are a lot of different signs that the relationship has gone stale. Sometimes it's actually bad, sometimes it's just too flat, or something you've both changed so much you just don't work anymore. In any case, it's good to be honest with yourself about what's going on. Because if a relationship is past its expiration date, you're not getting what you really deserve and need out of it. And isn't the whole point of a relationship to make your life better and more fulfilled? Here are the signs it's probably time to call it quits.
1You Can't Let Go Of Past Problems
Maybe you thought you got over something — but as time goes on you just realize you can't let it go. It's a probably a sign to walk away. "If someone you are dating or involved in a long-term relationship with has betrayed you in a way that you cannot get past — cheating, lying, addiction — then it is time to end the relationship for your own emotional health," executive editor and founder of Cupid's Pulse Lori Bizzoco, tells Bustle. "Remember, ending a relationship with someone is a personal decision and only you know what is healthy or unhealthy for you."
2If You Can't Reach Each Other
Communication is the foundation of a relationship, so if you've lost the ability to be frank and open the you've lost a lot. "They’ve stopped communicating and get defensive when you point it out," Danielle Sepulveres, sex educator and author of Losing It: The Semi-Scandalous Story of an Ex-Virgin, tells Bustle is a sure sign it's time to leave a relationship.
3If Your Partner Has Checked Out
Sometimes, your partner just gives up on a relationship. "Your partner is not reliable, doesn't show up, doesn't keep promises," Tina B. Tessina, aka Dr. Romance, psychotherapist and author of How to Be Happy Partners: Working it out Together, tells Bustle. "Your partner won't work with you to solve problems or get things done [or] has too many emotional outbursts, throws hissy fits or temper tantrums when something goes wrong." If they've given up on the realtionship, then you need too too.
4You've Grown Uncomfortable Around Them
If you've both changed a lot over the length of your relationship, you may just not be as compatible as you used to be. "Always break up with someone if you don't feel like yourself when you are with them," life coach Kali Rogers tells Bustle.
5Your Fights Go In Circles
We all have those friends who just keep fighting with their partner but never resolve anything — don't be that person. "You should break up with someone if you continue to have the same couples' conflicts and arguments repeatedly and your partner refuses to support satisfying your needs," Dr. Fran Walfish, Beverly Hills child, parenting, and relationship psychotherapist tells Bustle. "A healthy working relationship requires two willing participates who want to please each other’s wants and needs." If your relationship is just spinning in circles, you're both wasting your time.
6They've Moved You Off Course
Relationships are powerful — and they have the power to change us. It's not always for the best. "If you find yourself unrecognizable to yourself and loved ones, it may be a sign you should break up with your partner," psychologist and breakup coach Joy Harden Bradford tells Bustle. "We all change in some ways in relationships, but the changes shouldn't be so drastic that there is little to no trace of the person you were before you got into this relationship." If you find that you don't recognize yourself, you need to take some drastic action to get yourself back.
7Your Gut Tells You
Sometimes you just know. "Listen to your inner voice," Boston-based clinical psychologist Bobbi Wegner tells Bustle. "What is your first thought when you ask yourself if you should stay with someone?" If you're thinking you shouldn't, then listen to that feeling.
8When The Spark Has Gone Out And You Can't Get It Back
"Pats on the butt, random hugs in the kitchen, and cuddling on the couch increases when activity in the bedroom is hot," Suzanne Casamento, founder of Fantasy Dating, tells Bustle. "When you feel connected intimately, you're more apt to show affection through touch outside of the bedroom. Conversely, when you're not intimately in touch, you won't be physically in touch." And if that goes on too long, you may not be able to get it back.
9There's More Wrong Than Right
A relationship is supposed to make your life better. So be honest with yourself — is there more good than bad? "You should break up with someone when the negatives have seriously started to outweigh the positives," psychologist Nicole Martinez, who is the author of eight books, including The Reality of Relationships, tells Bustle. "When the person makes you feel bad about yourself, and cuts you down [or] when the person you are with uses power and control to try and keep you in the relationship with them, and when the positive communication skills between the two of you are nonexistent,[it's time to breakup]," Martinez says. "Some relationships just do not work out, and you have to be honest with yourself when things have crossed the point of no return."
If you've been in a relationship for a while, you may be clinging on. But be realistic about whether it's gone on too long — because you deserve a fulfilling relationship, even that means breaking up to get it.