Everyone understands the heartache that comes with breakups, each one coming with distinct emotions and memories we never truly forget.
But sometimes, despite the pain and emotional turmoil, we know breaking up is the right thing to do for a non-marital relationship that is dissolving or severely frayed. And that's okay. As we get older and get to know ourselves better, we also begin to understand what we seek in a partner and therefore what we want in our personal, romantic and long-lasting relationships. Therefore, breakups essentially end one chapter and allow us to write a new one, in which we can find exactly who and what we need to be happy.
So what does it look like when we're no longer getting what we want from our romantic relationships that might signify it's time for a breakup? Here are 10 internal warning signs you need to be aware of and keep in mind when deciding whether a breakup is right for you.
1. You're crying. A lot.
And sometimes, you don't even know why. People cry when something is wrong or when they are hurting, so it would only make sense that, when you're in a relationship that you're not happy in, the water works can turn on unexpectedly.
2. You find any excuse to be away from your significant other.
You find yourself accepting invitations for drinks after work, dinners on the weekends -- any excuse to turn down time you would ordinarily want to spend with your sig-o.
3. Sex is one big “ugh, no thanks.”
You're suddenly noticing things about your partner that makes them less sexually attractive; they smell like a hard-boiled egg, or you don't like the way they kiss, all of a sudden. Ultimately, you realize these little things were microcosms for a much larger issue: You're not sexually attracted to your partner.
4. You can't see a future together anymore.
Things come up, and suddenly, timelines and plans you once made together are pushed back indefinitely. While these unceremonious delays are okay in a broad sense, if you feel hopeless or indifferent about whether or not they'll actually come to pass, that's something serious to take note of.
5. The idea of taking the next step makes you uneasy.
Uneasy. Terrified. Like you want to throw up. NBD…
Actually, it is a BD. No matter what your reaction is, even if you can't pinpoint it, you know it's not how you want to feel when you think about building a life with that person. So, in fact, it's a BFD.
6. You can't or don't want to talk to each other anymore.
It's common knowledge that successful relationships are built on a strong foundation of communication. That's why, when one person isn't receptive, overly-sensitive or easily angered by a given important topic, or you can't get beyond small talk and can't have a meaningful, productive conversation, it's time to reassess what's up.
7. You appease the other person just to keep an even keel.
You do things you don't want to do, and you avoid proposing a solution or standing up for yourself, just to avoid an argument, and because you figure it doesn't matter anyway. That kind of hopeless attitude only results in bitterness toward the other person, and it's no way to go through your day. Fix it, one way or another.
8. You're thinking about what else is out there.
OK, it's relatively common to admire a good looking passerby or have a celebrity top five list. However, the moment you become really curious about who else could be out there, if there's someone who could make you happier, or worry that you missed your “one,” you need to have a real heart-to-heart with yourself about what you're not getting already and what that means for your relationship.
9. The 85 percent.
You know there's nothing wrong, but there's an undeniable voice in your head telling you it's just not right. I call this the “85 percent,” where the majority of the relationship is good, but it's that last 15 percent that's missing. There's not a lot on the surface and in the moment, but it's big enough to be important when determining whether or not to commit yourself to another person. It's also the difference between an “A” and a “B,” if that helps define it a bit.
10. The only reason you're staying is to avoid breaking someone's heart.
He's the sweetest person. She doesn't deserve that kind of pain. He's never going to trust anyone ever again if I end it.
We've all been there: staying to avoid causing someone else pain or because the other person can't handle it emotionally right now. No matter how noble it might seem, it's not a good enough reason to stay. And think about it: If you're not happy, you're thinking about what else is out there, or you're not attracted to the person you're with, what kind of quality will the relationship be in, if you do stay?
As the adage goes, breaking up is hard to do. That's true to matter the circumstance. Ending a relationship requires strength, courage and an understanding of your own self-worth. So put these 10 thoughts into context with your own relationship to determine what you need and how to proceed.
In a parting thought, flip this article on its head; if your significant other was feeling any of the above about you, would you want them to stay, just for the sake of toughing it out?