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Alexander has been contributing for THS for over a year! While he attained a major in communications at SFU, he also recieved a minor in Psychology. Despite those accomplishments, Alex has also never had a full cup of coffee (crazy right?!). Alex is a lifelong sports fan and will defend his Seattle Seahawks to the death, especially if faced against a 49er fan. While Alex's long-term goal is to become a marriage counsellor, he also has a strong passion towards writing that he looks forward to exploring.

Moving On: The Signs To End Your Relationship

Image Credit: Silvia Lenardo/Flickr

Breaking up with someone is hard to do. No matter what your reasons may be, the end of any relationship signifies the start of a new chapter in your life. My parents would always stress to me that just because you found a partner that you could not become complacent. To be the right partner takes dedication, commitment, and an active effort by both partners. That other partner may be your best friend, your rock, and on some days the only thing keeping you together. You talk to your partner typically more than anyone and there may be no greater influence on your life than the person you choose to date. It is this level of importance we give to our partner that may make it hard to see that any breakup is for the best.

Regardless of your career or aspirations, if you come home to a relationship that leaves you unfulfilled, it will take a big toll on your overall mental health. As your relationship progresses it is easier to see the life that you two have built together. However, with time can come complacency and the emotional distance that can cripple any relationship. It is when we stop putting in effort that certain key elements of our relationship start to unravel. When things break down it is important to remember that while breakups are tough, it is not as tough as staying in an unhealthy relationship.

When relationships first emerge for many couples, one of the biggest elements is physicality. You and your partner are canoodling left, right, and center and you probably seldom make it through an entire movie. Hand-holding is almost mandatory combined with longing looks into each other’s eyes. Yet that intimacy that you take for granted at the start of a relationship must remain throughout your relationship if you are to grow as a couple. When relationships stop having that physical element, you may start feeling more like a roommate and less like a partner. The lack of affection may lead to your partner feeling cold or distant, and this can be a springboard for other problems in your relationship. This is not simply because the individual misses being intimate, but because of what being physical can represent. You are losing a key element of human nature (sexuality) and the withdrawn nature of your once adventurous partner, may take a hit on your self-esteem. This may lead you to seek affection out in others, or suppress that side of you: Neither of which are healthy. It is important to set that time aside and to take the little moments to be intimate with each other. This does not have to be sex, but can be a simple gesture of rocking a cuddle during a Hell’s Kitchen. By keeping that closeness present, it is a constant reminder that you find the person attractive and want them to feel loved.

A big element as to why physicality may have dwindled is perhaps correlated with a sense of complacency in your relationship. You may stop telling your girlfriend how beautiful she looks and you may instead start to assume things. “Well of course she knows I think she is beautiful, I used to say it all the time!” Yet what that does is show an overall lack of current-day effort in your relationship. Every day that you are with your partner is an opportunity to show the other person that you love them. If you find yourself getting complacent in your relationship, it may be time to move on. It is that active effort that helps keep relationships working with one another. When relationships become ‘secure’ after a few years, it may be easy to let yourself go. However it is integral to remember that your relationship has advanced because of active efforts by both partners. As relationships become more serious, it is hopeful to see your intimacy not dwindle and that you will want to put in that time.

If your relationship starts to feel like too much work, it may be a sign to move on. Relationships are built off communication, but that is a skill that gets developed. If you do not want to put the time into fixing problems, the future rough patches may be overwhelming. It is okay to want to move on, but what is not okay is staying in a relationship that you have emotionally checked out of. Do not stay in a relationship because it is comfortable, but instead ask yourself if you are constantly putting in the effort to let the other person know they are appreciated. Is your partner putting in that effort as well? If your partner starts seeming like a ‘chore’ or just something that feels comfortable, think back to how you felt when you were getting to know them. If you cannot put that effort in, then you are going to waste each other’s time. Just because staying in a relationship may be easier than a breakup sometimes, does not mean a breakup should not happen.

As you realize your relationship is not worth your time, you may find yourself withdrawing both physically and emotionally. You may be less receptive to texts, you may start talking less, and your communication as a whole will suffer. Your partner will wonder what is wrong, but if you continue to pull away, you may as well pull out of your relationship. Stress, school, or a job are all reasons to pull away from a relationship at certain times  but the right relationship can also communicate that you need some space. If your partner is becoming more distant, it may be a wake-up call that you need a partner that is more attentive to your needs. Nobody wants to feel like a burden in any relationship, and if it is always one person putting in the effort, that is exactly how it will feel.

Image Credit: Getty Images/JGI

Relationships are all about self-improvement, and it is important to always be looking at your own sense of identity. How does your partner make you feel? If you feel like you are the only one putting in any effort, it may be a sign for some serious talks. Further, if your relationship is moving away from elements it used to have (such as regularity of sex) how does that make you feel? If your sense of identity is being hindered or masked by your partner then you need to do what is best for you. For a healthy relationship to work both partners need to be able to put in the work. If you are realizing you are too tired or emotionally checked out to continue the relationship then it may be a warning sign to move on.

There are countless reasons for any relationship to end. Your partner may have been unfaithful, distance may have come into play, or for some relationships, it may just be time.

Relationships take work, but the right ones are worth the effort. They take long nights, commitment, and communication to get through the tough times. A big warning sign that your relationship is ending, is that amount of apathy or emotional distance that you or your partner are putting into the relationship. It is very easy to take people for granted especially once you have become comfortable. What the right relationships preach is that you not only support each other, but that you care enough to put in the time. You communicate to each other so you grow as individuals, and not just as a couple. It is important to never stay in an unhealthy relationship because they used to be an amazing partner. People change, but your expectation on what you deserve in a relationship should not. You deserve to be loved and cared for by a partner that is willing to put the time and effort in. If you are with someone that does not feel you are worth that time and effort, then end that relationship and get back to loving the most awesome person in the world…

Yourself.

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3 Comments on “Moving On: The Signs To End Your Relationship”

  1. 333smp April 18, 2015 at 7:17 am #

    Wow!! Great post!

  2. Marie August 1, 2018 at 6:10 am #

    I’m currently involved with someone that becomes so complacent once he feels he’s got me – as this happened a few times and I exploded letting him have it last night.

    He knows other men are interested in me and when he knows that I’m agitated with him, he starts to step up. I’m tired of this merry-go-round with him, because I think this is his personality.

    He’s just a very lax person as I’ve gotten to know him over the course of five months and the most outrageous thing is he wants to get married and has been married twice.

    I don’t see him staying married to the same person successfully, because I don’t think he grasps the importance of effective communication and both people having a mutual understanding of one another.

    I’m disappointed in myself for giving him so many chances to try to show me that he can do better when each time he’s shown me that he’s complacent.

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