How do you know when your relationship is really over? Nine times out of ten, the warning signs are present but we live in denial and refuse to accept the reality. Ending a relationship is hard, and getting over it is even harder. When you part ways with the person with whom you shared your life, things are bound to get emotionally messy.
But at some point, you have to acknowledge the obvious and begin the process of healing. Because how sustainable is your denial? Kimber T. Barber astutely said, “The loss of love is not nearly as painful as our resistance to accepting it is.” Keep this in mind as you read about the signs your relationship is over.
How Do You Know When Your Relationship is Really Over?
Each couple goes through the relationship rough patches which are hard to navigate. Things can’t be sunshine and rainbows all the time. But when the differences become irreconcilable, when the partners can’t see the relationship going anywhere, and when they are drifting apart like two icebergs – it is normal to wonder, are these signs it’s over?
The instinctive response of a partner is holding on to the relationship even tighter. How can we as consenting adults who chose to be in a romantic relationship accept when it ends? The aftermath is terrifying to consider, especially in the case of a serious relationship. So, what are the signs your long-term relationship is over? And no matter how heartbreaking it seems, when do you really know that you need to call it quits?
Consider these briefly:
- You’re constantly fighting about even the smallest things.
- They are not your friend anymore and you don’t feel the same excitement in sharing good news with them like before.
- You begin to find your partner clingy and look for excuses to not hang out with them.
- It seems like the trust factor in the relationship is gone and there’s nothing you can do about it.
- The spark in the relationship is over. Your time spent together isn’t as fun or romantic as it used to be.
Did you resonate with any of these? Are these things which are happening in your relationship too? Or are you wondering how to know when your relationship is over once and for all? Well, let’s dive deeper into the 10 signs that your relationship is over.
10 Signs Your Relationship Is Over
There are some evident signs that indicate its time to end things with your partner. Each relationship is unique and has its own trajectory. But there are a few common signs that each bond exhibits when it has reached an end. Objectively evaluate if your relationship is exhibiting signs it’s over. Read through with a clear mind and focus…you’re not alone.
1. How do you know when a relationship is over? You have a gut feeling
Breakups, like fingerprints, are individual, unique, and different. However, people usually feel the breakup incoming in their bones. Your feeling could be prompted by the specific actions of your partner (like cheating, lying, abuse), but in most cases there is not tangible proof. How to know if your relationship is over? You just intuitively know that things are going downhill. To quote Dean Koontz, “Intuition is seeing with the soul.”
A reader from Milwaukee wrote, “I was uneasy for the longest time before my relationship actually ended. And there was no way to put a finger on it. I didn’t even do much about my discomfort but accepted that the end was inevitable. That was the first way in which I knew things would not last.”
2. Listen to your body for signs it’s over
My best friend’s parents separated when he was 7 years old. When asked, his mother, one of the most honest women I know, used to say that she saw physical signs of the discord. Her son had started stuttering because of the stress and her own heart had begun palpitating when she was with her husband.
She knew she’d be critical if she continued and felt responsible for the speech defect her child had developed. She knew divorce affects children but that would still be better than exposing her child to daily stress. She left her marriage and both the parties are happier now. What your body tells you and the way it reacts to your surroundings is a primal warning mechanism you possess.
Trust it when it tells you that you are repulsed by your partner, or that you are not happy. Your body can help you see the signs your relationship is over. They may be overt (sweating, nausea, stress headaches) or covert (anxiety, obsessive thinking, depressive phases). All are signs that your relationship is over.
3. You’re lying to each other
This is one of the most important signs your relationship is over. When either of you begins to lie in the relationship for whatever reason, things are not okay. After sharing an intimate space, lying or withholding information is a way of creating distance. This distance, though not created deliberately, is a crack in the pavement that will grow over time.
And the lies can be of two kinds. Trivial details about where you are, what you ate, and major life incidents like losing a job, or having an affair. In either case, they corrode the foundations of trust in the relationship and cause pain to both partners. This is how to know if your relationship is over.
4. When do you know a relationship is over? Your partner is no longer your go-to person
A surefire way of knowing you need to wrap things up is when your partner is not you go-to person anymore. They are not your safe space and you don’t feel the need to discuss your problems or life with them. Maybe the both of you still share your achievements and accomplishments. You call each other and give basic updates. But it is quite evident that the priorities have shifted in the relationship.
5. The end of rituals are signs that your relationship is over
In the New York Times’ Modern Love column, there was an essay by a man whose wife used to cut his hair until he came out as gay and their marriage ended. The essay recounts the last haircut she gave after their breakup. They both decided then, that parting ways was the wise thing to do.
Having that morning tea, kissing when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s, going to the hill station every year; relationships are made of rituals and pilgrimages taken together. When such rituals end, though not always so amicably, it does confirm the end of a relationship. They portray that the shared blocks of life are being taken apart step by step.
6. The lows are lower than the highs are high
The clear sign of a relationship ending is when you’re miserable together instead of happy together. When the fights and showdowns start to weigh more than the kisses and conversations. And don’t get me wrong, having arguments is normal. It is healthy up to an extent too.
But bickering constantly, nagging each other. and being disrespectful just go to show that you should call it quits. When do you know a relationship is over, you ask? If you find yourself wanting to be alone more than wanting to be with them, it means that you prefer their absence. If you don’t terminate things in this phase, it can morph into a toxic relationship very quickly.
7. Saying it makes it true
When you or your partner talk about breaking up, and not in a dark humor kind of way, it might be a premonition. If thoughts of ending the relationship have been frequenting your mind, then that’s one of the clearest signs your relationship is over. This becomes all the more true if your knee-jerk reaction to fights is breaking up with each other. When leaving each other is a topic that comes up frequently, perhaps it’s time to do just that.
8. How do you know when a relationship is over? By introspecting
If you haven’t already broken up and are confused, ask yourself, why am I in this relationship? what would I be without it? The answers to these can be a big help. If you’re afraid of ending up by yourself, then understand that not wanting to be alone isn’t good enough a reason to be with someone. Your relationship is unhealthy if this is its foundation.
My aunt used to say something I’ve followed like a touchstone, “I will not end up being married to someone I barely tolerate, just because I don’t want to be lonely for two hours every evening!” Radical as she may sound, it is worth noting that marrying someone just because you need them to keep you company for a while is selfish, and unfair to the both of you.
9. When kindness has left the building
Being kind to each other is fundamental in a relationship. When you cease to be empathetic, compassionate, and kind toward your partner, it is one of the ultimate signs your relationship is over. You used to share your hearts, your bodies, and your souls with each other; nasty language and behavior indicate that this sharing has ended.
Another tell-tale is the inability to forgive or let go. Petty grudges become the norm of the day. Forgiveness in relationships is quite important; if you find your heart hardening toward your partner, you can stop asking when do you know a relationship is over?
10. How to know when your relationship is over? If you’re happy and you know it
Knowing it is over may not always be a sad thing. Sometimes some old, broken relationships drag people down. Knowing that you both are not carrying that load anymore can be a liberating feeling. Being happy without each other, without ill feelings, are signs it’s over. Yet how wonderful it was while it lasted! Cherish the memories and honor the relationships, but rejoice in the possibilities open before you.
If you’re contemplating ending things with your partner, don’t stall, and just do it. You know how you feel, and you can identify the signs your relationship is over. Just because you’re not with someone, doesn’t mean you are alone. There’s plenty of fish in the sea!
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