No one likes endings, especially when it comes to romance. Broken relationships are sad; they’re embarrassing, and they’re hard to get over. They steal your dreams and make you think nothing will ever be the same again. Is it any wonder you tend to ignore the major signs your relationship is over?
When it is, it is. These signs that your relationship is over can take many forms, of course, because relationships die in a variety of ways. Some go out in a raging fireball while others just sort of wither away. No matter what the overall pattern, though, most dying relationships share a few common themes, which we will discuss below.
While everyone knows what it’s like to be in a dying relationship, remarkably few people actually act as soon as the signs appear. However, if you can recognize the signs your relationship is over, you may not only save yourself a lot of heartache from being stuck in a relationship that has ended, you may actually be able to save it. Whether these signs prove it’s time to move on or serve as motivation to patch things up, they can help you live a better, happier life.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at these signs.
1. YOU’VE STOPPED HAVING SEX
This is the number one sign your relationship is over. Seriously, if one or both of you loses interest in sex, there probably isn’t much hope for you guys. Science shows that sex is a main factor in whether or not people fall and stay in love, so if you don’t have it, chances are extremely high you’re in a dying relationship.
Believe it or not, a lack of sex alone can cause one or both of you to fall out of love with one another. The good news is that if sex is the only sign your relationship is over, it may mean you have a much better chance of solving your problems simply by seeing a sex therapist or working on your physical intimacy.
2. YOU AREN’T PHYSICALLY ATTRACTED TO ONE ANOTHER
This sign your relationship is over is related to the above one, but it isn’t the same thing. Physical attraction is an important ingredient in any relationship. That doesn’t mean one of both of you has to be a model; it just means you have to find the other’s body and appearance at least somewhat pleasing. Note that this isn’t particularly related to body type. People are attracted to others with large or stereotypically unappealing body types all the time; similarly, you may not find your man’s rock-hard physique at all attractive. The main point is this: If it’s not rocking your world, that’s a major sign that your relationship could be over.
Unfortunately, when this situation plays out, it frequently is one-sided. This may mean you’re no longer attracted to your guy, but he still wants you. Or, and this can be worse, it may mean he’s really into you but you’ve moved on, and your eyes are looking elsewhere. This is a top sign your relationship is over, so do the decent thing and end it before he gets any more hurt.
3. YOU NO LONGER TALK
Just like sex, setting aside special time to engage with one another is a crucial ingredient in any relationship. Watching television or movies together doesn’t count; spending time in groups doesn’t count. If you aren’t getting one-on-one verbal interaction with your guy – and especially if one or both of you doesn’t even want it – that’s a pretty big sign your relationship is over.
Luckily, this sign is easier to respond to than most we’ve listed here. If you feel like you never spend time with your other half anymore, just ask him to go for a walk or sit outside with you and chat. You can talk about any problems you feel have cropped up, but make sure to spend a lot of that time in simpler speech. Gossip about mutual friends, complain about work or school, talk about your dreams, tell a joke. These interactions are crucial to a healthy relationship, and if you can’t get them back, your relationship will most likely perish.
4. YOU DON’T FEEL TRUE AFFECTION
The definition of affection is “fond attachment, devotion, or love.” Notice that there is no mention of sexual intimacy or physical attraction in this definition. That’s because every relationship requires a degree of platonic love, or love that exists outside of that romantic component. If you don’t feel that comfortable, familial love for your boyfriend or hubby, you might be looking at the end.
Sure, those old feelings may linger. In fact, they may never truly disappear, especially if this guy was a big milestone for you: a husband or a first lover. But if you don’t actively, routinely and usually feel affection for him, this may be a sign your relationship is over.
5. YOU’RE THINKING OF CHEATING
There’s no bigger sign your relationship is over than considering this ultimate breach of trust. It’s hard to trust again after you’ve been cheated on. Cheating is never okay and never excusable. Still, women may manage to rationalize it to themselves for many reasons, including:
- He never pays attention to me anymore, so this will show him
- He won’t even notice
- He cheated first
- It’s over anyway
- If I’m not getting it from him, I’m going to get it somewhere else
To which we answer:
- This isn’t the way to show him
- He will notice if only because you feel so dang guilty you can’t hide it
- It doesn’t matter if he did it first; it’s still wrong
- If it’s over, end it
- You can’t sleep with someone else and be in a healthy relationship, so again, just end it
The truth is, cheating can feel really good in the moment. We all have a cruel, vindictive side, and you’re certainly “showing” him by throwing yourself into the arms of another. But this isn’t the right way to keep your relationship alive or to end it, so don’t do it.
6. THE TRUST IS GONE
Naturally you don’t have to cheat to destroy trust in a relationship. There are plenty of other ways to do it, including lying, breaking dates and plans, forgetting promises made, asking one another’s loved ones to keep secrets from each other and so on. After enough of these incidents, whether the perpetrator is you or him, your relationship probably won’t be in a super healthy state.
If you feel no trust, or you can tell he feels no trust for you – or both – that’s a good sign your relationship is over. Just like with romance or talking, this is something you can fix through open communication and better behavior in future, but if you guys don’t take strong measures immediately, it probably won’t stop.
7. YOU’VE STOPPED WORKING ON YOUR PROBLEMS
Along with sex, this may be the biggest sign your relationship is over. Being in a long-term relationship or marriage requires lots of love, sacrifice, hard work and compromise. With those things, even long-term relationships can end. These are hard things to address, and require that we move beyond the boundaries of our selfish wants and whims. When one or both people in the relationship can’t make sacrifices for the good of the couple, the chances are good that things are over.
8. ONE/BOTH OF YOU IS/ARE CONTROLLING OR ABUSIVE
If you are in a relationship that is controlling and/or abusive, that is not a sign that things “might not be great.” That’s a sign that you need to get out immediately, and not return. If your partner is jealous, possessive, unkind, cruel, restrictive or irrational, you don’t have to take that. If he tries to isolate you from family and friends, if he is envious or unsupportive of your job, or if he tries to keep you from engaging in activities or pastimes you used to love, that’s not a good relationship. It’s time to leave.
It’s important to recognize that even if you’re not the one getting abused or controlled, it’s still not a healthy relationship if your partner is bringing this out in you. Women, as well as men, can be controlling and unkind to their spouses. If you realize you’re displaying these traits, you may only need to get out of a relationship that contributes to you acting that way, or you may need help dealing with these issues.
9. ONE/BOTH OF YOU AVOIDS HOME
One of the biggest signs your relationship is over is when one or both of you start avoiding your home. Maybe you find as many excuses as you can to go out with friends. Maybe you work longer and longer nights at the office. Or maybe you sit at home waiting for the person you love to come back to you to no avail.
Your house is supposed to be a sanctuary, a safe place that makes the world better, not worse. If you can’t stand to go there anymore, or if your partner never shows up when you need him, the relationship probably isn’t healthy and may be over.
10. YOUR FEELINGS JUST AREN’T RETURNED
And now, it’s time to face the saddest sign your relationship is over: You are pining for someone who doesn’t love you anymore. Whether or not we admit it to ourselves, we all know what love looks like. If your partner doesn’t seem to love you anymore, it’s, unfortunately, most likely because he no longer does. This is a distressing fact to realize, but the sooner you do, the sooner you can move on to greater happiness and contentment, so don’t wait.
Relationships don’t die in a vacuum. If you look, you can usually see a trail of breadcrumbs leading from the time when you were still happy to the end. If you want to save yourself needless pain and suffering, it helps to follow that trail, recognize when things have run their course, and get out sooner. It’s not unusual for a relationship’s participants to be blind to the fact that it is dying or that the other partner wants out, but that still doesn’t make it any more fun, so do yourself a favor and move on as gracefully as possible.
Keep in mind that if you catch these signs soon enough, you may be able to save your relationship, which is another reason for watching for any signs the romance may be wilting. Either way, though, even if you can’t save it, it’s always smart to stay realistic. The truth may hurt, but in the end, you’ll be stronger for it.