There are few things more emotionally scarring than ending a relationship. It’s all too easy to trick yourself into staying in a loveless situation equally out of habit and avoidance of the inevitable end. Really, a lot of it comes down to the difficulty of how to know when to break up with someone. There’s always a lingering fear that you may be ending something too soon, or you will never find someone more compatible thus condemning yourself to a life of loneliness and piercing existential pain.
After all, what if they really can change? What if one of you falls violently ill and soon realizes that your relationship was the one glowing element of truth and beauty in your life? Have you considered that the earth might crack open and rapidly consume humanity in a fire because of the universal imbalance your breakup will incite?! These are all very pressing and unlikely possibilities!
While there is obviously no fool-proof formula for detecting whether a relationship is ultimately doomed or potentially salvageable, there are some common red-flags that generally indicate it’s time to pack up your bags and move to greener and sexier pastures.
1. All Of Their Quirks Suddenly Make You Wanna Die In A Fire
During the honeymoon phase of romance every toss of your partner’s head can feel like the most nauseatingly adorable quirk in your disgusting love-blinded head. While the phase of blind infatuation will inevitably fade regardless of long-term compatibility, it’s likely time to end things if every time they do their fake laugh you find yourself seething in silent rage.
2. You Find Excuses To Spend Time Apart
Often the most healthy relationships involve two people who know how to make time for themselves and maintain their identities as full people. However, there’s a big difference between regularly setting aside time to hit up happy hour with your crew and finding every excuse to do activities without your partner. If you don’t want them involved in your social life, that’s a pretty big red flag.
3. Your Relationship Is More Emotionally Draining Than Supportive
While many relationships have seasons in which one partner needs more emotional support than the other, there’s a difference between temporary emotional drainage and a dynamic in which you’re constantly being wrung out with no support in return. If you feel like spending time with your partner leaves you feeling more lonely and stressed out about your life than before, it’s likely not worth the effort.
4. Your Sex Life Is Unsatisfying Or Nonexistent
Sex can make or break a relationship. As we all know, a natural sexual chemistry can amp up feelings of intimacy and romance while bad sex (or no sex at all) can increase frustration and resentment towards a partner. If you’ve communicated feelings of sexual dissatisfaction to your partner and there’s been no improvement, or you find your sexual attraction has completely faded — this may be a deal-breaker. We are carnal creatures and sex is a big factor in a successful relationship.
5. Your Life Paths Are Leading In Opposite Directions
No relationship worth keeping is going to come wrapped in a shiny package of perfectly synchronized life-goals. However, there is a notable difference between making small sacrifices and compromises in support of one another, and having life goals that completely contradict each other. Is one of you investing in a career in your current city while another desperately wants to move away? Do you have opposite ideas about the potentials of marriage or family? Are the people you keep company with completely repellant to each other? While sharing your differences can serve as a strength and grow you as a couple, if you have completely opposite definitions of what a happy future looks like, your bond will likely buckle under the tension.
If this list has successfully confirmed what you already knew about your relationship, great! Get out there, reclaim your singlehood, and break up with your person like a champ.
Original by Bronwyn Isaac @BronwynIsaac