Being in a relationship that you fear has hit a dead-end isn’t easy. Although your friends might tell you to GTFO, you might be torn between leaving and making things work. Here’s how to tell if you should stop making an effort and let this thing die:
Those “small” annoyances don’t feel small anymore. It used to bug you a little when your boyfriend chatted to his ex, but now it’s so infuriating! You’ve grown to dread hearing her name come up in conversation. But take a deep breath and ask yourself if you’re fearing their friendship out of paranoia, or if at the heart of it you feel you can’t trust your boyfriend. If it’s the latter, then it could be time to get out.
His drama becomes your drama. Everyone goes through some drama, and the support of a romantic partner can make all the difference in dealing with it. But maybe this isn’t small drama — it could be something huge that can’t be fixed quickly, such as massive debt or a drug addiction. If so many of your resources are going towards trying to help your partner but he never helps himself, then you shouldn’t waste another minute with him.
He betrayed you. You might think an affair makes a relationship stronger, but that’s one piece of dating advice that needs to die a quick death. If he betrayed you, you shouldn’t be doing anything to make the relationship work. He’s got to pull his weight here. If he doesn’t or you just can’t seem to get over what he’s done, do yourself a favor and get over him.
You’re holding onto the good memories. It’s often the case that you’ll think back to a better time in your relationship when everything was peachy. If you’re living in the past, it’s a bad sign that there’s not much to enjoy in your relationship in the present or future. Think hard about what memories you’re making now — will you want to look back on them one day, or will they make you cringe?
You’re changing. And not in a good way. Since you’ve been with your boyfriend, you’ve misplaced your goals, you don’t look that happy, you’ve let your appearance go… Eek. The guy should make you want to become better than you were. If he doesn’t add something positive to your life, then you don’t have a healthy relationship at all. Any effort you make won’t help.
Your needs aren’t being met. You’ve spoken to your partner about what you need from the relationship, but things haven’t changed. Why stay? You deserve to have your needs fulfilled, both inside and outside of the bedroom.
You try to convince yourself things could be worse. Sure, your partner isn’t an alcoholic or abuser, so at least things aren’t that bad. But why do you have to convince yourself of this? Clearly there are things that bug you in the relationship. If your partner loves you, then he’ll be open to working on them with you. That’s key: the minute there’s no effort from both partners, then there’s no relationship.
You’ve forgotten your dreams. Your dreams for the future have taken a back seat. In another car. You don’t even have the energy to pursue them anymore. You need to work on your own goals and life in a relationship so that you feel fulfilled. If you can’t strike this balance, you need to find out why. If the reason is because your partner is holding you back or pressuring you to be something you’re not, then the only thing that should be thrown on the backburner is him.
The bad times have brought out the worst in you. Every couple goes through stressful times at some point, but it’s how you and your partner deal with them that matter. If the bad times bring out your worst sides or you end up treating each other like punching bags, then that’s not a sign of a healthy relationship. Bad times should bring you closer if the relationship is worth fighting for.
You’ve already lost the spark. You’ve been dating for a year or more and the spark’s already gone? Gees, what hope is there of it coming back for the long haul? Of course things aren’t going to feel like a honeymoon all the time, but you should still feel a spark for your partner. You should still feel like you want to be intimate with them regularly and spend time with them because they interest you. The minute they become boring, you shouldn’t try to make them interesting again; that’s not your job.
You change it up, but things remain the same. If things feels stale in your relationship, you should take the initiative to freshen them up. This could include changing your routine, doing something different on date night, or going away together. But if you’ve tried these things and your relationship still feels like it’ll never be what it used to be, then you have to wonder if perhaps it’s run its course. You deserve more.
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