The feeling you get just by the thought of ending a relationship is overwhelming, let alone take the courage and leave a relationship that’s been draining both of you for a while now.
There are so many reasons to stay, but then again there are so many other reasons to leave. It is difficult to make a decision, especially if it is a long-term relationship, and you’re already seeing the signs, but you feel that your heart won’t be able to cope with the idea of living without this person in your life.
It is absolutely understandable and very human to stay in a relationship that’s been broken, so much that things take a very unhealthy turn which drains and consumes both participants in a relationship. It is understandable because we’re meant to create bonds, not break them (biologically, psychologically speaking).
Recommended reading: See if your relationship has toxic signs
You’re understood, and you’re heard.
Things to comprehend and consider when connecting the dots on whether your relationship is over or not
Don’t let your brain trick you.
There’s a possibility that you resonate with one or two of the signs, and your brain will unconsciously connect stories that are irrelevant to the other signs, but somehow they start to make sense and become relevant because you saw one or two signs previously. You find yourself imagining the things written, and finding ways to sort of convincing yourself that what you’re reading resonates with you. That doesn’t have to be your case. Have a pragmatic approach to it.
There’s a reason why you’re reading this article.
This leads to the questions: are you reading this out of the concern and hope that there’s hope to find a way to work things out in your relationship, or are you seeking signs to confirm your wish and intuition to end the relationship? Answer these to yourself before you continue reading the signs, clear it up for yourself and, understand the purpose.
Have you been thinking of ending the relationship before?
One of the reasons why we stay in relationships we’re unhappy in is because we are biologically wired to form connections, not break them. Hence just the thought of breaking the connection with this person is terrifying and awfully saddening, even though the relationship is draining and exhausting us more and more.
Take your time if you’re overwhelmed by emotions.
The emotional state you’re in plays an important part when reading the signs. Your thoughts are more rational when you’re calm when you’re not overwhelmed by strong emotions. In other words: when you’re not overwhelmed by strong feelings of emotions your judgment towards the situation and the processing of the information you’re receiving will be more rational.
You’re heard & understood, you’re not alone.
Whatever your reason may be, there are a lot of people who are going/went through almost the exact same thing you’re going through. You’re processing things no matter how difficult to accept them, and it’s okay. We’ve been there, we hear you, we understand you. You are not alone.
Here are the 12 subtle signs your relationship is over:
1. Lack of honesty – Betrayal, infidelity
One of the first signs that your relationship is over is when one (or both) of you is looking for either physical or emotional connection outside the relationship (if you both agreed to a monogamous relationship), and in a lot of cases one (or both) of you found either physical or emotional connection outside the relationship.
Betrayal and infidelity are forms of dishonesty, secrecy which are not healthy for neither of the participants in the relationship. You’re not being open with one another, you’re hiding things that matter to one another. It is a violation of one of the primary values of a healthy relationship.
Part of this can be that one of you (or both) is obsessively checking/looking for signs that the other is being unfaithful i.e. lack of trust in one another, which reflects on the part of the lack of honesty between you.
2. There’s no longer any connection being felt by both sides
This. This is one of those warning signs your relationship is over. Though there’s two of you in the relationship, you feel lonely, you feel the need of comfort from another person. And though relationships are about connecting, you’re feeling disconnected.
It is normal to not feel the connection every now and then, but if it’s been a long time since the spark isn’t coming back, since you’re both feeling that the connection just isn’t there when/where it’s supposed to be, then it is one of the big signs a relationship is over.
This does not mean that lack of connection in a relationship is something unsolvable, no. You can have a healthy discussion, or seek professional help, and solve things together, of course, if you’re willing to.
You feel trapped
You see no way out of this, and it’s consuming you. You make up your mind to leave every now and then, but somehow you manage to find excuses to stay in the relationship, yet again you end up feeling trapped into doing something you’re not very enthusiastic about doing.
You’re constantly picking fights and not solving anything
You’ve been failing to solve problems in the relationship for quite a while now. It might even become a sort of a pattern: you fight over the same things very often, and even after fighting there’s no relief, no solving, nor agreement.
While fighting every now and then is a sign of a healthy relationship, as it is a form of ourselves expressing our vulnerability, picking fights and not solving things way too frequently is a sign of an unhealthy relationship, and even a sign of a relationship being over.
3. Absence of physical intimacy
According to the NHS, loss of libido is often related to loss of sexual attraction, frequent problems, poor communication, and other things that are associated with similar relationship problems.
Physical intimacy doesn’t involve just sex, it involves a lot of things that lead (not always though) to sex. Things like touch, flirting, and things that inspire desire (sexual or not) for your partner.
Physical intimacy is also considered as a form of us showing vulnerability, and showing vulnerability is very much related to connection and freedom you feel with your partner.
If your relationship has been lacking physical intimacy, then we can say that your relationship has been lacking connection, freedom, and vulnerability too.
The emotional connection is also felt through physical connection, and vice versa.
Dying of connection and physical intimacy are signs of a dying relationship too. Especially if the thought of intimacy – in whatever form of it: kissing, touching, sex, etc – with your partner doesn’t appeal to you, or at times even arouses unpleasant feelings.
4. Lack of will to work things out on the relationship
This somehow connects with the constant fights that don’t solve anything. It’s just two people pouring anger and resentment at each other with the unconscious excuse to ‘solve’ something.
If you’re not discussing and solving problems that you’re both aware of, it can be considered as a sign of surrendering to the problems and not willing to fight for the relationship to work out.
Another sign of lack of effort to work things out in the relationship, is when one or both of you, don’t agree with the fact that you need help, or simply refuse to get professional help (e.g couples’ therapy).
You’re unconsciously trying to sabotage the relationship
This relates to picking fights and not solving anything.
What unconsciously trying to sabotage the relationship means is: you find excuses (without even knowing that you’re doing it) to do things that harm the relationship and connection, things that weaken the connection, and grow you two distant from one another.
For example, feeling the need and want to have sex with your partner, but finding any excuse not to do it. Or, flirting with people in front of your partner just so you can furiate them/make them jealous/make them sad, or even make it a cause to start a fight that could possibly end the relationship.
5. The communication doesn’t feel sincere or genuine anymore
You’re constantly walking on eggshells, being careful what you’re talking about, and what you’re behaving like when around each other.
Communication(whatever form of communication, a door slam, a touch of a hand, a word) lacks so much of genuinity that you can compare it to a way you communicate to a stranger. This includes:
- You don’t feel comfortable talking about your feelings because you sense like you’re not on the same page, or you don’t even know if you’d be understood/understanding.
- You don’t know how to communicate with your partner, you’re constantly questioning yourself on how to do that. You don’t feel free of doing so, because it’s been a while since things started taking such a turn.
In other words, you’re no longer free around each other, you keep most things for yourselves and refuse to communicate them with your partner. For example: Whatever big thing happens in your life (good or bad), you don’t feel like sharing it with your partner unless ‘you have to’.
There’s no affectionate communication anymore
This means that your communication lacks emotional and affectionate language, as a form of decrease in ‘speaking’ your love languages.
However you used to express and receive affection to and from one another, you’re no longer doing that. No touching, unfelt kissing, no affectionate words towards one another, minimal eye contact.
A form of lack of intimacy but through communication whether that may be verbal or physical (as in, the body language).
You stopped being playful, and laughter is long gone
“Play is the pleasure of being inventive, mischievous, imaginative, and trying something new.” this, according to psychotherapist Esther Perel.
You’re no longer playful with each other, no more jokes, no intimacy, no connection.
Playfulness is another form of us showing vulnerability. Playfulness is one of the few things that the inner child provides us with, and we’re taught to hide those urges to show our playful selves. Hence they’re parts of our true hidden selves, which we rarely show in front of other people.
That’s why being playful around your partner is a sign of being free around your partner, feeling free of the fear of judgement, feeling that you’re accepted. When playfulness in a relationship is not present, the feeling of being accepted and not being judged is partly gone too, which ‘ruins’ one of the strongest building structures of a healthy and loving relationship.
6. You stopped admiring one another – You just can’t seem to see the good in one another
In other words, it’s the negative feelings and emotions towards your partner taking over – Feeling contempt towards one another, not having a sense or wanting to understand/understanding of one another.
The feeling of undeniable resentment towards one another, which you both feel and know to be present[the resentment], it’s not something that makes up a healthy relationship.
When someone falls in love, they start lacking judgemental thoughts towards the person they’re in love with. Focusing on the ‘negative’ traits of your partner and constantly judging them whether in your head, or letting them know about your opinions, is draining for both pairs.
The things you loved so much about your partner at the beginning, the things you admired about them, just don’t feel right to you anymore.
Their activities, words, opinions, actions annoy you, hence you’re avoiding each other, both of you feel & know it, you even don’t miss each other when apart.
It is over, as admiring and being admired is one of the fundamental reasons why most people stay in relationships (especially romantic relationships).
7. You don’t like and/or know yourselves around each other
You become unhealthy and negative versions of yourselves when around each other. It means that the relationship is getting so unhealthy that:
- Your self esteem is low because of the relationship;
- You’re losing self respect, and/or desire to take care of yourself;
- You’re seeing a bad part of yourself coming out;
- You just don’t feel like yourself anymore;
- You’ve got no clue how to act in public when you’re with one another;
- You’re questioning your own self-value, self-worth, and self appreciation.
Unhealthy and maybe unsavable relationships can go to the point where you’re getting unhealthy habits, and you’re lacking care for yourself, this being a form of the relationship consuming you so much that you don’t even recognize yourself nor your partner anymore.
Your friends and family are feeling worried about your well being/happiness because of the relationship
A dying relationship in a passive way can cause you to lose yourself, to stop taking care of yourself, can cause stress, or even depression.
The people that love you and care about you notice such differences about you, even if you don’t. This is why a close person to you being worried about your happiness and well being because of the relationship, is one of the signs that the relationship is moving towards an end. Or at least it should, because it’s not serving you well (if not both of you, at least one of you is getting damaged by it).
8. You stopped sharing
You stopped sharing valuable things: quality time, presence, thoughts, opinions, smiles, valuable moments you appreciated in the beginning of the relationship.
There’s this lack of generosity when it comes to giving to one another – Giving love, affection, care through forms of communication (e.g talking, or even body language); Giving presents, giving help to one another.
All these things you can give to one another, but you just don’t, because the desire to do so has vanished (whether rapidly, or gradually).
In some cases you even keep count of the few things you do for one another. I’m talking about the “I did this for you, you didn’t do that for me” kind of counting.
In other words, you’re more focused on what you’re getting, rather than on how you’re contributing to benefit both parties (you and them) involved in the relationship.
You refuse to compromise – You’re not aiming to make each other happy or joyful anymore
A relationship is about two people connecting, and surrendering to one another. To lack judgement for one another. To feel free to give, to feel free to receive. To grow. This takes compromise, and care for your partner.
Refusing to compromise, and not being interested in the idea of making your partner happy or joyful can be explained as some sort of indifference towards one another. Sometimes it is shown through passive aggressive behavior, and a ‘taken for granted’ behavior, which highly affects the mental and emotional state of the affected person.
A relationship is over when you two refuse to compromise, whether it is about making things work out, or about making your partner joyful. Which makes you constantly think about where the relationship is standing, because it just doesn’t feel fulfilling any longer, and being fulfilled is one of the reasons why people create and stay in connections and relationships.
9. The thoughts & conversations about the future together are no longer on the table
Building a future with someone is another fundamental reason why we create relationships, and why we stay in relationships.
You’re no longer talking about a future together, you don’t involve each other in your future plans – it’s like you’re both building paths for yourselves to grow apart from each other.
When thinking of the future (no matter how distant it is), you don’t think of your partner. You even find the thought of being single again appealing to you.
You might as well find yourself fantasising about being single again, and finding it very comforting as well.
10. The empathy is not present anymore
You don’t feel empathy for one another. You don’t feel their pain, they don’t feel yours either. You don’t feel their happiness and joy, they don’t feel yours either.
The respect is gone, and you feel good when you hurt them/hurt them back and vice versa. You’re no longer supporting one another, because you’re indifferent towards one another’s feelings, emotions, and presence.
Unfortunately, in the worst cases:
There’s abuse in any of its different forms
Whether it is sexual, physical, emotional, or any other form of it, abuse is a clear sign that empathy and respect are no longer present in the relationship. It is absolutely damaging in a lot of aspects. With the abuse being present, it means the respect, care, empathy are gone too.
It is a clear form of violation of the very fundamental values of a healthy relationship. Such values being violated, means there’s nothing left to stay for in the relationship.
11. Professional help couldn’t solve your problems
You tried, you sought help, and tried again…
It didn’t work out, and unfortunately, you still didn’t solve the issues. This is a clear, clear sign that your relationship is over, or at the very least it needs a break in order for you to reflect on yourselves, resee and rethink your actions and decisions for a while.
Professional help is one of the last things that couples think of trying, it is one of the things that pops into their heads when everything else fails. Now, that doesn’t have to necessarily always be the case, but it usually is.
If the last attempt (assuming that it is professional help and advice from a couples’ therapist/dating expert/relationship coach) didn’t help on working things out, then you might want to take this as a strong sign that your relationship is over.
12. You(one of you, or both of you) want to leave
Once you can’t seem to find any reason to stay, at least to just convince yourself to stay just a little longer, it is over.
It’s true that we become blind to the red flags because of the love for the partner, or the sake of the long time we spent together with our partners, just so that we can stay a little longer.
It is the moment that we finally accept it to ourselves, the moment that we finally admit to ourselves that there’s nothing left to seek any longer, it hits us and makes us realize that the relationship is and/or has been over for a while now.
No reasons to stay – What you can do about it
If most of the signs resonated with your situation it is time for you to:
Take your time to process everything.
Process everything as it is, take all the time you need so that you can be able to accept everything. Not as your fault, not as their fault, but as something that happened despite the tryings or not tryings.
Understand that what you’re feeling and sensing right at this moment is human, is normal for the situation and for what you’re experiencing – it’s your body’s, mind’s way of reacting to the situation.
Understand that you will be okay as time goes by, and the healing has just begun.
Find a way to communicate what you feel about the relationship.
As a sign of self-respect, a sign of respect for the time you spent with the person, for everything you’ve given and taken, find a way to communicate what’s going on. You’re wanting to be the one who speaks up first and ends the relationship which has been over for a while now. It’s difficult, I know, but it’s the healthiest way out.
Start working on your approach to self-care.
Practice self-care by educating yourself about your feelings, emotions, senses, and way of perceiving things. Practice self-care by surrounding yourself with people who you love and respect, people who love you and respect you too. Practice healthy activities, or anything that brings you joy and calm (e.g meditation, dancing, walking, etc).
Try to be understanding towards yourself.
It is a way of self-care practice. Avoid blaming yourself, and think of this as an experience you can learn from, and you can grow from. It’s difficult to see it that way at the moment, I understand, but take the time you need, it is okay whatever it is that you’re feeling. Take your time to understand yourself as I understand you right now, as you’d understand a best friend you love, as you’d understand a family member you appreciate.
You’re a human experiencing life with everything it comes with. You’re alive, you’re supposed to experience joy, pain, pleasure, and everything you experience. You’re living, you are, and are going to be okay.
If you don’t/didn’t find yourself in this article
First of all, I’m glad that you didn’t find yourself in this article, that your relationship is healthy. Second of all, I’m not that glad that you came to this article, and didn’t find yourself in it.
Here’s why: This could be a sign that you over-thought something that happened recently, or events/ situations/problems that were left undiscussed and unclarified recently by both of you.
As you saw from above, people in unhealthy and dying relationships experience a lot more difficulties, a lot bigger issues than just a small fight. Now, I understand that you like/love this person so much that you don’t want to lose them, but I’d like you to consider a few things…
1. Try to have a more positive approach to your relationship and your partner.
Relationships are amazing as long as you’re willing to make them so. They can be fun, positive, joyful, and unforgettable.
It is understandable that we forget that relationships have such potential, hence it is good to have some time to yourself and reflect in order to see those positive and joyful details about the relationship.
2. Try not to overthink small things that bother you.
Overthinking can lead to you having a negative rather than pragmatic approach which is something not healthy to practice in a relationship. Especially if you’re seeking something meaningful and fulfilling in the relationship.
So, try not to overthink small things, small actions of your partner that bother you. Instead:
3. Find honest ways to communicate what’s bothering you to your partner.
You have no idea how wonderful a healthy discussion on ‘problems’ that are bothering both of you is for the relationship. A healthy discussion is about open and genuine communication on whatever it is that you’re trying to address to your partner. Give it a try:
4. Have a calm and understanding approach to situations.
When infatuated or in love or highly attracted to someone, things can seem slightly more dramatic than they are. Because we’re processing so many things at once, and we’re overwhelmed by this amazing person, and it’s difficult not to see things so dramatic (it’s in our nature at the end of the day).
However, it’s a lot healthier to take some time (however much it is that you need), to calm down, relax, reflect, and see things clearer with a better understanding.
Practice healthy ways of communication (be it verbal, physical, body language, etc), practice genuinity and understanding, you’ll be fine.
Oh, and don’t google about signs your relationship is over after every little fight again. Not the best idea.
Conclusion – Signs that show your relationship is over
Relationships are about caring and being taken care of, loving and being loved, respecting and being respected, in other words giving and receiving. It is healthy to find a balance between them.
A little imbalance here and there is fixable with honesty, sincerity shown and received through a healthy discussion on it.
But some imbalances are left unfixed for a while, some things are left undiscussed and repressed, which at times are some of the reasons why amazing relationships start to fall apart.
It is important that we take lessons from every experience, bitter or sweet, in order to learn to grow and move forward, with the understanding that amazing things are ahead of us.
Take good, good care of yourself,