It’s Over: How To Know When Your Relationship Has Run Its Course

Realizing that your relationship is on its last legs is a sad and frustrating experience. While it’s painful to acknowledge that your relationship won’t last forever, it’s necessary to face the problem head-on. You have to know where your relationship stands so you can prepare yourself for what’s to come. Here’s how you know when your relationship has run its course.

  1. All you talk about is the past. Some say that memory lane is the lowest point of conversation. If all you have to discuss with someone are your memories, then it’s possible there isn’t really a future in the cards. It’s fine to talk about the past; the issue arises when a couple doesn’t have anything else to talk about. This suggests that the relationship is a shell of what it once was.
  2. It seems like all you do is argue. Constant arguing is one of the biggest signs that a relationship is nearing the end. According to A Conscious Rethink, a couple who always fights is likely to have lots of built-up anger and resentment. When fighting becomes the norm, it suggests that the anger and frustration have taken over the good things in the relationship, and it’s the beginning of the end.
  3. Or you can’t be bothered arguing. Interestingly, another surprising sign that your relationship is over is the total absence of arguments in your relationship. Mind Body Green explains that healthy couples fight for several reasons. They both want to be happy in the relationship and so they air their grievances. And they feel comfortable enough to tell each other when things are bothering them. If you’re not fighting at all, it may mean that you’ve given up on trying to fix things.
  4. You spend more time feeling sad than happy. At the end of the day, a relationship should improve your life. If it doesn’t make things better, then you’re better off on your own. When you start to feel sad more often than you feel happy in your relationship, it may be a sign that the relationship is no longer serving its purpose. And therefore, it’s run its course.
  5. It feels like a relief when they’re not there. Everyone enjoys a little me-time. But when happy couples are separated, they begin to miss each other sooner or later. If being without your partner feels like a relief, like you can finally breathe or be yourself, then it’s a huge red flag. This could be your body trying to tell you that you’re not as happy as you think in the relationship.
  6. You want to see other people.  Do you find yourself flirting with other people when you never did before? Wishing you could flirt with them? Or just fantasizing about being single? Then it’s possible you’re headed for a breakup. It’s not an immediate red flag to occasionally think about others even if you’ve got a partner. But to constantly dream about either being alone or with someone else suggests that the love you had for your partner has dried up. It also shows that your respect and loyalty for your partner may have dwindled. This is another sign that your relationship is on borrowed time (more on that later!).
  7. You’ve already tried counseling. The good news about many of these signs is that they may indicate a breakup on the horizon, but you’ve always got the chance to address them. If you’ve tried fixing the problems you have and you’re still experiencing these clues, it’s not a good sign. Once you’ve tried counseling, talking through your problems, giving each other space, and other typical remedies, and things still aren’t happy at home, they may never be again.  There’s a good chance the relationship really is over.
  8. You can no longer see their positive traits. We all have both good and bad traits. Focusing on a person’s good qualities over their bad ones helps two people to build a bond and enjoy a happy relationship. You know things are over when you struggle to see their positive traits at all. When a breakup is coming, you’re likely to only be able to see your partner’s flaws.
  9. You no longer support or respect them. Once the respect and support is gone from the relationship, it’s usually only a matter of time before your union comes to an end. Perhaps you used to be each other’s biggest cheerleaders, and now you secretly want to see the other person fail. Or maybe you can’t talk things through because you don’t listen to each other. Verbal abuse used to be unacceptable but now it’s commonplace. These are all signs that you no longer respect each other, and your relationship is coming to an end.

How to end things when your relationship has run its course

So you’ve finally come to terms with the fact that you’re not meant to be together anymore. What now? Someone is going to have to be the brave one and broach the topic, and while you might not want it to be you, it may have to be.

  1. Be sure about your decision and stick to it. Before you decide to end your relationship, it’s important that you feel certain about it. Do you know in your gut that this is the right choice? Are you certain that the issues you have aren’t ones that can be resolved? If the answer to both of those questions is a resounding “yes,” you need to remember that gathering up the courage to make this change is the best thing you can do for yourself.
  2. Don’t put it off any longer than necessary. Despite knowing your relationship has run its course, chances are you can come up with a million and one reasons to put off ending things. You don’t want to hurt them. They’re going through a lot right now and it’s too stressful. You don’t want to be alone. Maybe things will change. Don’t do this. Waiting around and avoiding the inevitable isn’t going to make things any easier. In fact, it will probably make it harder.
  3. Be firm but gentle. When you break the news to your partner that things are over between you, it’s important that you’re straightforward and honest about why you’re making the decision. However, don’t be cruel. You don’t need to list out their faults in detail or place the blame on them for things going wrong. Relationships consist of two people and it’s likely that you played a part in whatever went wrong between you. The point is that it doesn’t really matter. You’re leaving, so don’t add insult to injury.
  4. Don’t leave leaving up for discussion. If your partner wants to stay together and vows to change, they may try to convince you to stay. Don’t listen to this. It’s important that you’re clear that your decision is final and not up for discussion. Don’t let them guilt-trip you or manipulate you into sticking around. Do what’s right for you and stick to your guns.
  5. Go no contact, at least for a little while. After you end the relationship, it’s important that you take a giant step back to give yourself and your former partner time to process what’s happened and how you’re feeling about it. Going no contact will make both of your lives so much easier, and even though it will hurt not to have their presence in your life, it’s ultimately for the best.
Vanessa Locampo is an Aussie writer who’s equally obsessed with YA fiction and pasta. Her time is divided between writing all the things, reading all the things, listening to Queen, and bopping her cat on the nose. She has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and has written for sites including and Discovering Montana, and currently works as an editor at Glam. You can keep up with her on Instagram @vanessaellewrites.