Relationships move through patches. Sometimes they coast along beautifully. Sometimes they splutter. Sometimes they gasp for breath on a cold stonefloor. And sometimes they couldnt even be bothered doing that.
So how do you knowwhether its time to leave or time to fight harder to hold on? How do you know the difference between a bad patch and a permanent stagnation?
Knowing whether or not to call it quits isnt always easybut if you pay attention the clues will bethere. There are plenty. Here are 12:
Youre getting the its not you, its me chat.
This can be heartbreaking, I know, but dont fight it. The reality is that it doesnt matter if its you or your partner. If this is what youre hearing, it means the combination of both of you just doesnt work anymore. That doesnt mean theres anything wrong with either of you. What it means is that he or she cant or wont love you the way you deserve to be loved. Hanging on to that sort of relationship is such a waste of you. And as for that one-way love thing youre just too good for it. Let it go so something better can find you.
Oh the disappointment.
When you come home to be surprised by a candlelit room, a dozen roses and him or her preparing your favourite meal, youre disappointed because you have your favourite mag in one hand, your favourite takeaway for one in the other and, well, when you imagined tonight it didnt look like candles and roses and favourite home-made dinners. Nup. Nothing like that at all.
When theres no us in future.
When you think of your future, it doesnt involve a picture of you-know-who at all. Instead, youre jumping out of parachutes on your own and planning a trip to Italy with friends to learn how to cook pizza and howto say, Buongiorno the way the locals do.
The perfect Saturday night. It just looks different.
Your perfect Saturday night is snuggling up on the couch, eating takeaway and watch a movie. By yourself.
What would you do if
If this was the last day of your life, who would you want to be spending it with? Okay. Times up. The answers him or her. If youre still wondering whether or not your partner makes it on to your top five list of maybes, its probably time to move on.
Two types of days. Or not.
There used to be two types of days days with your partner and days without. Days with were the very best days of all. Notanymore.
Talk about the future holidays, Christmas, having kids, growing old together leaves you cold, though probably not as cold as the tumbleweeds that roll past inthe silentvoid that follow every time theres talk about thefuture Babe Ive been thinking you love kids, I love kids do you think six would be too many? (At which point youre wondering if by kids, he means with someone other than you to which you would give your greatest blessing and, when the time came, an appropriate gift of a stuffed dogora little yellow onesie.)
If something happened like, say, a nuclear holocaust, and every man or woman on the planet except yours was taken out, how would you feel about spending the rest of your life together? Relieved? Grateful? Devastated? Do you weep quietly? Howl like a fishermans widow/er at how damn unlucky you turned out tobe? Feeltoo distressed at the end of online shopping to feel else anything at all? Pay attention.
Youre not you anymore.
Are people telling you that youve changed? Lost your spark? Dont seem happy any more? Whats telling is that you secretly know exactly what theymean because youve been thinking the same thing for a while.
You might be working hard to ignore the problem but your body wont lie. Its an annoying fact of being human that your body knows whats going on often before the rest of you is ready to wise up. Are you having more than your usual share of headaches, muscle aches, back aches? Has your appetite changed? Is your sleep disturbed?They can all be signs that youre off balance, and not just because of a dodgy pair of heels. Whats going on?
You make two lists: Reasons to Stay and Reasons to Leave. When the Reasons to Stay list ends up longer youre disappointed, until youquickly decide that our eyes arent the same colour is a completely legit reason to leave.
The things you used to love about your partner have become annoying, or nothing to you at all.
Ending a relationship is hard, even if youre the one ending it. Listen to the clues. Giving up is very different to knowing when to walk away. Relationships are never a smooth road and periodically will require a fight of warrior daring to keep it together even the good ones.
The most important thing is knowing the difference between having a relationship thats worth fighting for, even if you get tired of the fight for a while, and knowing whentheres nothing left to fight for at all. Therewill alwaysbe a corner of you that will know the answer.