How to Know When a Relationship is Over

Disinterest or changes in behavior may signal a relationship is ending.Disinterest or changes in behavior may signal a relationship is ending.

Not every relationship ends in “happily ever after.” Knowing when a relationship is over is important for your emotional health and eventual happiness. Although realizing and accepting that a relationship is over can be emotionally challenging, it can also help you find the courage to take the next steps and move on.

Silence Is Not Golden

Good communication is essential to the health of any relationship. When communication breaks down or changes dramatically, it might be a signal that your relationship is over. Failing to communicate can cause small problems in your relationship to spiral into big issues without warning, according to relationship coach Rachel DeAlto on the Cosmopolitan UK website. If you and your partner find yourselves unable to talk about important issues even when there are no distractions, it’s time to take a long hard look at your relationship and see if it’s time to let go and move on.

One Is Happier Than Two

Spending time with your partner should be one of your biggest sources of happiness. But when spending time alone or with friends becomes more appealing than being with the one you love, it may be a signal your relationship is on its way out. Avoiding your partner and filling up your calendar with activities that do not include him may be a signal that it’s time to call it quits, says sex and relationship columnist Liza Finlay on Today’s Parent website.

Make a List, Check it Twice

Realizing that you or your partner has changed significantly during your relationship can help you know when it’s time to move on. Relationship and health columnist Rita Wilson suggests taking inventory of your relationship by making a list of five to ten qualities about the other person that helped you fall in love, on the Psychology Today website. Look honestly at the list and put a star by the things that are still true. If the starred items do not outnumber the un-starred items it may be time to have an important conversation with your significant other about where the relationship is going. And if there is one missing quality on your list that far outweighs the other aspects of your relationship, it is a big red flag that the relationship is over.

That Little Voice Inside Your Head

Listening to the voice inside your head my sound cliché, but that voice is really your subconscious trying to communicate who may or may not be right when it comes to relationships. Listening to your inner voice—your true self—will let you know what is best in any situation, including where relationships are concerned. Paying attention to that gentle nudging that it is time to make a change or take a new path is your inner voice responding to your feelings of fear, doubt, conflict and overall unhappiness with your significant other.

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About the Author

Patti Richards has been a writer since 1990. She writes children’s books and articles on parenting, women's health and education. Her credits include San Diego Family Magazine, Metro Parent Magazine, Boys' Quest Magazine and many others. Richards has a Bachelor of Science in English/secondary education from Welch College.

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