Do you feel like you’re stuck in a relationship rut but aren’t sure whether things will ever change? It’s normal for relationships to hit the odd rocky patch, but if you experience three or more of the signs below and ‘the chat’ hasn’t resolved anything, it’s often a sign that the fat lady has sung and Elvis has well and truly left the building. In other words, it’s over.
Incompatible goals for the future
They say that opposites attract, but when you want children and your other half panics at the mere mention of parenthood, or your partner wants to immigrate to another country and you want to stay put, this kind of opposition can cause a problem. Whilst it’s possible to work through such mis-matched goals and reach a fair agreement that both parties are happy with, sometimes it’s hard to do that without thwarting your – or your partner’s – dreams.
Perhaps the most unhealthy thing you could do to your relationship at this point is try to persuade one another to sacrifice future plans in order for you to stay together. Not only is this selfish, but more often than not it leads to feelings of resentment between you and your other half, which often results in a break-up anyway. If there’s no compromise and you feel as though your plans for the future are being jeopardized, it’s probably best to part ways for the sake of your freedom and happiness.
The key to a great relationship is honesty and trust, so if your partner is sneaking around then it defeats the object of being in an intimate relationship and you need to tackle the problem head on. Go about it carefully though; following him/her into town to ‘catch them in the act’ only to find that they were purchasing your surprise birthday present could lead to all sorts of complications, and you don’t want to risk being the embarrassed guilty party.
Instead, it’s a good idea to communicate with a secretive partner to make it clear that you’ve noticed they’re up to something and you’re offended that they couldn’t talk to you about it. If you still feel like your other half is up to something, it might be a good idea to call it a day on your relationship as the trust barrier has clearly been broken.
No special gestures
After weeks or months of being wooed by your other half in the early stages of a relationship, when the dust begins to settle it can feel as though Cupid has disappeared off the face of the earth and suddenly you’re stuck in a relationship rut. We’re not expecting to be swept off our feet and taken away to an exotic island to be showered in expensive gifts, but many couples often lose sight of the small romantic gestures that make the relationship feel that bit more special.
If special gestures are sparse in your romance, this by no means suggests that it’s over; you may just need to make a little more effort to be romantic – suggest more things to do together and the problem should be resolved in no time. However, if after a conversation you realise that all romantic gestures have stopped because you no longer feel as strongly for your partner as you once did, this is a sign that your relationship should come to an end.
You can’t seem to leave the past in the past
Relationships where the past can’t seem to be left where it belongs are often a recipe for disaster. If you’re having an argument, respond appropriately to what is happening here and now, not what happened six weeks ago. Granted – past issues can cause an underlying problem in the relationship if they are never spoken about, but once a problem has been addressed it’s time to move on from it.
It’s a common deal-breaker in relationships to keep bringing up past issues during an argument to use as ammunition against your other half. If you can’t learn to forgive and forget – or your partner can’t learn to forgive and forget a mistake that you have made – then it might be time to cut all ties and start afresh.
You’re constantly bickering
Arguing is a natural way to get things off your chest and emphasise what’s upsetting or annoying you to improve your relationship in the long-run, but when things have soured to the point that you spend more of your time arguing than not, it’s often time to raise the red flag.
Healthy relationships are about having good conversations and being happy when you’re around your other half, not constantly being surrounded by negativity and feeling angry or upset. Don’t be tempted to stick together when all you do is fight; as easy as this is to do, you will end up feeling even more miserable in the long run.