Ah, the holidays. There’s nothing like some forced Christmas cheer and bonding time to make you question your relationship. This time of year, when we’re thinking about gratitude and love, it’s common to wonder, “Is this relationship actually right for me?”
It’s natural to question if you’re relationship is healthy (in fact, we encourage it!), but if you’re experiencing one or more of these signs, it might be time to wave the white flag. We often associate the holiday season with stress, excess spending, and lots of family time. However, it’s also a great time for some self-reflection and mental clarity.
What could be better than starting a new year knowing your relationships are healthy and you are feeling your best? We think nothing.
Let’s take a look at ten signs it’s time to say auf wiedersehen to your significant other.
10. That Weird Show on Netflix Looks a Whole Lot More Interesting
All of a sudden, you’re spending a lot more time doing things you don’t really care about to avoid intimacy. You might be binging new shows, picking up a new hobby, or heck, just sleeping more, but avoiding sex is a clear trigger that something’s changed in your relationship. If you find yourself making every excuse to “not have the time,” it’s time to check-in with yourself about why you’re avoiding the deed. If it’s because it’s simply with your partner, it’s time to reconsider your togetherness.
9. Your Job Suddenly Seems More Demanding
Similar to sign number 10, using work to avoid being with your partner is a common symptom before a break-up. Staying late at the office could be to avoid the relationship trouble you know is brewing at home. Remember: avoiding your partner won’t make your relationship better, but talking him or her about why you’re unhappy just might. Tell your partner you don’t feel devoted to your home life any more and see what they say, you may be able to work it out, or quickly realize you’re both just not into it anymore. Either way, don’t let work take over your romantic life.
8. You Have a Real Crush on Someone Else
If you’re seriously considering playing the field, or even worse, have someone specific in mind: it’s time to move on. Fantasizing about an alternate universe in which you are single is normal for everyone in small amounts. Fantasizing about your life with another person? Not so much. If you’ve found yourself thinking about someone else on a daily basis, it’s time to break up with your partner. Even if you’re not into your current relationship anymore, you owe her or him the respect to break it off before you pursue a new, ahem, interest.
7. One of You Is Cheating
This is a hot-button relationship topic. People generally are very polarized on this issue and either believe that: 1. Cheating is a horrid act and the person whom is cheated on should end the relationship immediately, or: 2. Cheating is a symptom of a relationship problem both of you can work through together. Want to see both ends of the spectrum? Watch one episode of Real Housewives. Whichever side you’re on, it’s important to think about just how hurtful cheating can be for a partner. If you’re cheating or being cheated on, you and your partner are at greater risk of STDs, stress, anxiety, and breaking up. We don’t like those odds.
6. Your Partner is So. Freaking. Annoying.
A tell-tale sign it’s time to call it quits romantically is when you’re partner is driving you insane. Suddenly, that cute way she bites her nails is completely disgusting. That laugh that used to make your heart skip a beat sounds like a coyote dying. Their crappy dish-washing capabilities sends you into a tailspin. When you’re finding things about your partner that annoy you more than things you admire, it’s time to say buh-bye. Both people in relationships deserve to feel valued, appreciated, and respected. Just think: You’ll be so much happier when you stop finding hair in the sink.
5. Intimacy is Weird
So, we already know it’s common to avoid sex altogether when it’s time to end a relationship. What about when it just feels… different? You might feel like your partner doesn’t kiss you the same way, or the sex is totally un-spontaneous, or maybe sex is the only time you’re happy. A change in sex life (quality, frequency, etc.) is a sign that something in your relationship has shifted. You can certainly work through intimacy problems with your partner, but sometimes sex is the manifestation of what’s going on inside your head. If you feel neglected, hurt, or disinterested, your sex life and relationship can suffer. Not ready to throw in the towel? Talk to your partner about how you’ve noticed changes in your sex life, chances are he/she has too, and you’d both like it to be fiery all over again!
4. You’re Terrified of Being Alone
Raise your hand if you’ve ever thought, “This relationship is better than nothing.” If going to weddings alone sends shivers down your spine or the thought of doing all of your household chores makes you queasy, you may need to check your relationship. Staying in a relationship (despite boredom, unattraction, or even abuse), just because you hate the idea of flying solo is never a good idea. Chances are, you’ve “always been a relationship” and simply have a fear of the unknown. More than ever, it’s important for you to find yourself before you identify what you want out of a relationship. You may not need a whole “Eat, Pray, Love” journey, but it’s a beautiful world out there, spread those wings and fly!
3. You Think Your Partner is Going to Change
You may be perfectly aware that your relationship is in trouble. Heck, you may even realize your relationship right now is not worth saving. So, why are you still in it? Some people stay in unhealthy relationships because they are waiting for the other person to make a big change. Some of these changes may include: Quitting smoking, drinking less, changing careers, adopting a new religion, or having a personality transplant. The point is: It’s not going to happen and, if it does, it’s not going to fix everything. When there’s an obvious “problem,” it can seem like fixing that one thing will make everything better. Couples with fertility struggles often feel that having a baby will “repair” everything in their relationship. Unfortunately, this is not realistic. If you’re waiting around for a change, it’s time to pack your bags. Be the change, babe.
2. You Don’t Feel Yourself Anymore
This is really what’s most important: Don’t make so many sacrifices that you can’t recognize yourself anymore. Listen, most of us are decent individuals, roaming the Earth, trying to do our best. We make decisions to help ourselves and others and generally try not to hurt people. However, if you’re in a relationship that makes you feel like you’re a bad person with nothing to contribute to the world, find an escape route. Arguing all the time, feeling jealous, or not being sexually satisfied can all bring out the worst in us. If you feel like you’ve traded in kindness for contempt, leave your partner before things get really ugly. No relationship is worth you questioning your character, especially if you’re fairly certain you’re not a totally outrageous narcissist.
1. You Made It Here
If you’re in a decent relationship, you probably didn’t read 1,000+ words about when it’s time to break up with your partner. If you’re online reading articles about breaking up, chances are you’re unhappy in your relationship. Do you want the truth? The truth is, you should trust your gut. Your natural instincts prepare you to make decisions to keep yourself healthy and happy. If alarm sounds are ringing in your head, listen to them. Only you know how you feel in your relationship and what you want out of a partner.
Disclaimer: This should go without saying, but this list has obviously excluded one thing: Abuse. If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, it is always the right time to get help. To reach the National Domestic Violence Hotline, call 1-800-787-3224.