5 signs your relationship has run its course, according to a therapist
Wondering if your relationship has run its course? There are a few ways to tell, says therapist Karolina Jurasik.
Breakups are an inevitable fact of life. Most of us won’t end up staying with the first person we thought we were in love with but hey, maybe some of us will. Despite this, admitting to yourself that a relationship has run its course is never an easy task.
In recent years, divorce rates in Ireland have risen by 800%. When you think of all the relationships that people enter into that just don’t work out, it’s easy to see why statistics like this exist. So if you don’t just feel like the spark is gone but the whole thing is starting to malfunction a bit and maybe has even slightly caught fire then here are five signs that your relationship is over.
Everything that they do starts to grate on you
Things that you used to find charming and funny now make your toes curl and the hair stand on the back of your neck. You start to wonder if it’s them or you that is the problem.
One little thing that bugs you constantly can be easily gotten past but when it’s every little thing they do from the way they chew their food to the way they wear their hair to the way they punctuate every sentence with “ya know?” then your relationship is on a downward trajectory.
You no longer feel a sexual spark towards them
Remember back when you started seeing each other and you couldn’t keep your hands off one another? If those days feel like a lifetime ago and you now find yourself feeling repulsed rather than in the mood then that is a major indication that the relationship is on the way out.
While sex is not the be-all and end-all of a relationship, it is a good way of gauging how well the relationship is going. Feeling attracted to other people is normal, however, when you are simply not attracted to your partner anymore, this is something that will need to be addressed sooner rather than later.
You’ve started to look at other people… a lot
Leading on from the last point, it is totally normal for your eye to wander from time to time. Monogamy is a social construct and we are naturally a non-monogamous species, much like many of our monkey distant cousins after all.
However, if you find that your eye is not only just wandering every now and then but it’s gone off on a solo trek to find itself then you need to really question your commitment to the relationship. Would you really be thinking about what you and your handsome neighbour’s children would like if you were properly committed?
The fights are never-ending and are never resolved
While every single couple will argue at some stage or another in their relationship, every interaction that you have should not end up in a screaming match. Conflicts are inevitable when you’re trying to make it work with your partner and occasional lovers’ tiffs are nothing to worry about but when you’re picking fights over the way he/she/they made your coffee or are dragging up the past then you’re arguing to push them away.
If the feeling of being really low, unjustly accused, blamed or put down as a result of fights becomes just too familiar, it might be a sign that things are becoming really serious and you need to make some decisions. Rather than slowly and painfully pushing them away, a clean break is often the best and kindest thing to do. You might even be able to remain friends in time to come.
If you have no trust in your partner, this is a big red flag
There is no trust whatsoever
Rule number one of relationships: trust is EVERYTHING. If you have no trust in your partner, this is a big red flag. Now, this may be down to you or your partner having their own trust issues from past experiences.
However, if neither of you is willing to work on this to move forward together, or worse, your partner has done something that makes you not want to trust them, it’s going to be a slow and painful decline. No one wants to be in a relationship where their anxiety is on overload whenever their partner is out with other people so maybe moving on might be the best thing you could do for yourself.
Unresolved issues that are often swept under the carpet become a huge part of why we drift apart from one another
Remember, people change over time. Our plans change, our preferences change and maybe even our goals. At the beginning of a relationship when the hormones and endorphins are coursing through our veins, we tend to be really positive about everything. We are certain everything will just work out and we will be able to navigate any of those possible differences.
But sometimes the reality is different. When you talk and discuss things and maybe even fight but feel that you are just not moving forward, these unresolved issues that are often swept under the carpet become a huge part of why we drift apart from one another. When you stop talking about certain things, this only leads to unresolved conflicts.
If you’re noticing yourself feeling really distant from your partner and you have fewer and fewer things in common with them, and perhaps you’re just feeling disinterested or just numb or neutral towards the relationship, this is a sign that something needs to change.
Karolina Jurasik is a therapist with MyMind. MyMind provides affordable counselling and psychotherapy online or face-to-face in their Dublin, Cork and Limerick centres in over 15 languages. Visit www.MyMind.org to book an appointment or call 076 680 1060.
This article was originally published in May 2022.