The feeling you get just by the thought of ending a relationship is overwhelming, let alone take the courage and leave a relationship.
It is very common for people to stay in a relationship that’s been broken, so much that things take a very unhealthy turn which drains and consumes both partners.
It takes time to make a decision and it can be difficult to act upon that decision, especially if it is a long-term relationship.
It is understandable, because we’re meant to create bonds, not break them (biologically and psychologically speaking).
You’re understood, and you’ve heard.
Here are the 17 subtle signs your relationship is over:
1. There’s a 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 a physical or emotional connection outside the relationship.
Betrayal and infidelity are forms of dishonesty and secrecy that are not healthy for either of the partners within 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.
2. No more 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 issues.
Intimacy involves (but is not limited to) genuine conversations, expression of vulnerability, sex, things like touch, flirting, and things that inspire desire (sexual or other) for your partner.
A lack of intimacy is also considered a lack of connection, freedom, and vulnerability within the relationship as well.
If the thought of intimacy – in any form of it: kissing, touching, sex, etc – with your partner doesn’t appeal to you, or at times even arouses unpleasant feelings then consider reevaluating and reflecting on your connection with your partner.
3. Unwillingness to work things out in the relationship
If you’re not discussing and solving issues within the relationship that you’re both aware of, it can be considered a sign of surrendering to the problems and not being willing to fight for the relationship to work out.
One or both of you are tired and emotionally drained from the relationship, your partner or you refuse to go to therapy.
You’re unconsciously or consciously choosing paths that lead to the sabotage of your relationship.
You find excuses to do things that harm and weaken the relationship and connection to the point where you grow distant from another.
For example, flirting with people in front of your partner just so you can infuriate them/make them jealous/make them sad, or even make it a cause to start a fight that could possibly end the relationship.
4. 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 and its forms lack so much genuinity that you can compare it to the way you communicate with a stranger. This includes (but is not limited to):
- You don’t feel comfortable talking about your feelings because you sense like you’re not on the same page;
- You don’t know how to communicate with your partner, you’re constantly questioning yourself on how to do that;
- You keep most things for yourselves and refuse to communicate them with your partner.
For example, if something big happens in your life, you don’t feel like sharing it with your partner unless ‘you have to’.
5. There’s no affectionate communication anymore
Your communication lacks emotional and affectionate language, as a form of a decrease in ‘speaking’ your love languages.
Whichever form you used to express and receive affection to and from one another, you’re no longer doing that. No touching, kissing, or affectionate words.
This is similar to a lack of intimacy. Communication is lacking a core foundation: a lack of desire to communicate with your partner verbally or physically.
6. You stopped being playful, and no longer laugh with each other
“Play is the pleasure of being inventive, mischievous, imaginative, and trying something new.” says 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.
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 judgment, and 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.
7. You can’t seem to feel anything positive about them
The negative feelings and emotions towards your partner started taking over.
You’re feeling contempt towards one another, not having a sense of wanting to understand one another.
The feeling of undeniable resentment towards one another, which you both feel and know to be present is 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 (in your head or expressing it to them) is draining for both pairs.
You struggle to find something positive in your partner. You’re tolerating their presence instead of cherishing it.
It is over since admiring and being admired is one of the fundamental reasons why most people stay in relationships (especially romantic relationships).
8. You don’t like nor know yourselves around each other
You become unhealthy and negative versions of yourselves when around each other:
- Your self-esteem is low because of the relationship;
- You’re losing self-respect and desire to take care of yourself;
- You’re seeing a negative part of yourself coming out;
- You just don’t feel like yourself anymore;
- You’re questioning your self-value, self-worth, and self-appreciation.
Unhealthy and maybe unsavable relationships can go to the point where you’re getting into unhealthy habits and lacking care for yourself.
9. Your friends and family are feeling worried about you
A dying relationship in a passive way can cause you to lose yourself, to stop taking care of yourself, and 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 your relationship with your partner, is one of the signs that the relationship is moving towards an end.
10. You stopped sharing
You stopped sharing valuable things such as quality time, presence, thoughts, opinions, smiles, and other valuable moments you appreciated at the beginning of the relationship.
There’s this lack of generosity when it comes to giving to one another – Giving love, affection, and care through forms of communication.
There’s a myriad of things you can give to one another, but you just don’t, because the desire to do so has rapidly or gradually vanished.
As a couple, you’re more focused on what you’re getting, rather than on how you’re contributing to benefit the well-being of your connection.
11. 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 judgment for one another.
To feel free to give, to feel free to receive, and to grow takes compromise, and care for your partner.
Refusing to compromise, and not being interested in the idea of making your partner joyful can be explained as some sort of indifference towards one another.
Sometimes this 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 when it comes to making things work out, or making your partner joyful.
12. You don’t see each other in your future
Building a future with someone is another fundamental reason why we create relationships and why we stay in relationships.
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 find yourself fantasizing about being single again and finding it very comforting as well.
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.
13. You no longer feel emotionally connected
This is one of those warning signs your relationship is over.
Although there are two of you in the relationship, you feel lonely, you feel the need for comfort from another person.
You’re feeling disconnected in a relationship that it’s about connection.
It is normal to feel disconnected now and then, but if it’s been a long time since the spark isn’t coming back then it is one of the signs a relationship is over.
14. The relationship is no longer fulfilling
You see no way out of this, and it’s consuming you.
You make up your mind to leave 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.
- The relationship harms your emotional well-being;
- Fighting has become a pattern within your relationship;
- Issues seem unsolvable;
- There’s no relief, no solving, nor agreement after your arguments;
While fighting 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 coming to an end.
15. There’s a lack of empathy
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 toward one another’s feelings, emotions, and presence.
In the worst cases, there’s even abuse (sexual, physical, emotional, or other forms). Abuse is a clear violation of the very fundamental values of a healthy relationship.
16. You want to leave
Once you can’t seem to find any reason to stay, unfortunately, it is over.
It’s true that we become blind to the red flags because of the love for our partner, or the sake of a long time we spent together with our partner, 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.
17. Professional help doesn’t seem to solve your problems
You tried, you sought help, you tried 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 for you to reflect on yourselves, your actions, and your decisions for a while.
If the last attempt (assuming that it is professional help and advice from a couples’ therapist/dating expert/relationship coach) didn’t help in working things out, then you might want to take this as a strong sign that your relationship is over.
You couldn’t find 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 trying.
Understand that what you’re feeling and sensing right at this moment is human and normal for the situation and for what you’re experiencing.
What you’re feeling is your body’s and 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 to your partner what you feel about the relationship.
As a way of self-respect, respect for the time you spent with your partner, for everything you’ve given and taken, try finding a way to communicate what’s going on.
If the relationship is no longer working for you, you should communicate that to your partner.
Pick a time when you’re calm and not too overwhelmed with emotions and calmly let them know what your thoughts on the relationship are.
– Start working on your approach to self-care.
Breaking a connection is exhausting, and it affects a lot of aspects of your life, including the way you practice self-care.
Take this as a sign to start working on yourself, to put care into your well-being, and to see the possibilities of amazing things ahead of you.
Practice self-care by educating yourself about your feelings, emotions, senses, and perception.
Surround 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 and grow from.
It’s difficult to see it that way at the moment, and it’s understandable, 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.
Things to comprehend and consider when connecting the dots on whether your relationship is over or not
Here are some questions and things you should consider while coming up with a conclusion or decision regarding your relationship:
There’s a reason why you’re reading this article.
Are you reading this out of 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?
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 and when you’re not overwhelmed by strong emotions.
You’re heard and understood, you’re not alone.
Whatever your reason may be, there are a lot of people who are going or 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 to take your time.
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, reciprocation.
A little imbalance here and there is fixable with honesty, and sincerity shown and received through a healthy discussion on it.
But some imbalances are left unfixed for a while, and some things are left undiscussed and repressed, which at times are some of the reasons why amazing relationships start to fall apart.
We must take lessons from every experience, bitter or sweet, to learn to grow and move forward, with the understanding that amazing things are ahead of us.
Take good, good care of yourself,