Unfortunately, not every relationship is meant to last forever. This can even be true of relationships that feel really good in the moment. Sometimes, a long-term future with someone starts to feel more and more like a fantasy. If you've ever wondered, " Can you stop seeing a future with someone?" the answer is a resounding yes, according to relationship expert and love coach Susan Winter.
Once you and your partner have been together for an extended period of time, it's totally normal to start imagining what a long-term future could look like. The longer you're together, the more time you've probably spent thinking about it. Expectations can get high, and if they aren't met, this is typically what causes someone to start doubting a future together. "If your partner consistently lets you down, you'll stop seeing a future with them," Winter tells Elite Daily. "They've proven, over time, that they're either incapable or unable to participate in the life that you'd expected and planned."
Winter refers to the future planning that happens in relationships as "futurizing," and when it goes wrong, the strength of the partnership often suffers. "'Futurizing' and failing is when your partner has fed your hopes by creating beautiful dreams of your future together," explains Winter. "They've vividly outlined this mental picture, yet failed to deliver. You've arrived at the sad realization it's just a 'dream,' and [it] will never become a reality."
Once you start having doubts, figuring out if you should continue the relationship can be tricky. According to Winter, bringing up your concerns is important. Although it can be tempting to keep your thoughts to yourself, this might not be the best move if you still have hope things could work out.
"Tell your partner exactly what's happening, and why," recommends Winter. "Give them a chance to make a correction before you bail." The longer you let your negative feelings about the future fester, the harder it can be to fix the issue. "Lay out specific goals that have not been met, and explain how this has let you down," continues Winter. "This has created a 'loss of faith' in the relationship." Once you've let your SO know how you're feeling and why, Winter notes that shifting to a more solution-oriented approach is key. "If your partner sincerely wants to correct this and create a future with you, there have to be tangible makers of those goals attained," she adds.
Sometimes, once you've decided that a happy future with someone isn't in the realm of possibility, there's nothing they can say or do to turn things around. If this is the case, then that's totally OK too. Everyone deserves to be in a fulfilling relationship, so don't feel like you ever have to stay with someone or try to make it work if that's not what you want. Ultimately, working through doubts about the future can be really tough, but the sooner you voice them, the sooner they can be addressed.