The signs that your relationship may be coming to an end

If you have to believe in almost every single song in the top 40 or the average romantic comedy plot, “love” is the fuel that keeps the world going. No wonder we grow up with the idea that an adventure ends well as soon as the main character reunites with his lover.

But in reality, love is much more unruly. How do you know if your relationship is still worth it? Are there signs from which you can read whether your relationship is just in a downturn or that love can no longer be saved? And if your relationship is irrevocably withering, what is the best way to end it?

Sometimes it’s clear that a relationship is not good for you: for example, if there is abuse or if you can not trust a partner. But even healthy relationships, which quietly and with mutual respect waves off, can at some point begin to pinch.

“First of all, I want to emphasize that no relationship is one hundred percent perfect,” says relationship therapist Kim Kromwijk-Lub from relationship practice De Kim. “It is often seen in the younger generations that the idea is that the grass is always greener on the other side, which means that they change partners faster. It is important to remember that you first have to go through a lot together before you can properly assess whether someone is something for you. ”


So you do not have to panic at the first bump in the road. Not every negative experience should immediately herald the end of your relationship. However, there are a few recurring signals that you can keep an eye on. According to Kromwijk-Lub, one of the first signs of fading love is getting more and more annoyed with each other. You start avoiding each other, in conversations there is a short response and there is less interest in each other’s lives. “You also become more critical of your partner’s qualities that you may have even liked before,” adds Kromwijk-Lub. “Things like a toothpaste cap that disappears over and over again become ‘proof’ for you that your relationship is no longer working. On the one hand, you pull away from your partner, and on the other hand, you look at everything that is wrong with your relationship with a microscope. ”

Fantasizing about another life

Another possible signal is that one is less and less interested in doing things together. While you used to look forward to a long trip in the summer, you now long for a life without your love. You start to fantasize about how wonderful it would be to live alone, or how amazing it would be to “pretend to be single” this summer. If you find that these fantasies give you a lot of calm, it may indicate a rift in your relationship. But: such fantasies can also mean that you are in a troubled phase that has nothing to do with your relationship. It is therefore important to analyze Why you want to have a different life – and how your relationship fits into it. Deep down, you often know what the answer to your relationship problems is. Often, it’s not so much about realizing it, but about letting go.

“Falling in love with someone else does not have to be a signal that your relationship is no longer working,” says Kromwijk-Lub. “Sometimes it can simply be that someone else arouses something in you, or that you are bored. It does not mean that you can not be happy with your partner anymore, but it could indicate that your relationship could use a little more passion. “


Another way you may notice that your relationship is on the edge is that you are lying awake and worrying a lot about what your short-term future looks like. The decision to end a relationship is an important decision. Even if you are not the one who wants to end the relationship but feel that your loved one is moving away from you, such a situation can eat you up for several months. Kromwijk-Lub compares it to the feeling as if you unexpectedly get small whiplashes for weeks.

“A near-break can also make you cling to what’s left,” Kromwijk-Lub adds. Such a rupture is accompanied by much uncertainty. You may be afraid that you will make the wrong choice or that without your partner you will be alone forever. To avoid thinking about the mountain of heartache that awaits you, focus entirely on your relationship.

Less intimacy

Even if you do not like to be touched by your loved one as much as before, it can be a bad sign, according to Kromwijk-Lub. But even here, the fact that you suddenly shy away from intimacy with your partner may also be due to something else. Maybe you are not feeling well for a while, but it has nothing to do with your relationship. So before you end a relationship, it is good to consider all facets of your life. “The signals we mentioned above need to be added together before you can conclude with certainty that your relationship is the problem,” she says.

It can also be the case that there is actually nothing wrong with your relationship, but that you are slowly but surely growing apart. If so, it can be hard to put your finger on the gnawing love wound, because when did you grow so far apart that it really does not work anymore? “People change every seven to ten years,” says Kromwijk-Lub. “If you came into a relationship at a young age, it may well be that at some point you no longer fit well together. What I always ask is: Do you still enjoy each other? Is there laughter, do you still cuddle often? If you feels that one belongs together, or if one feels that you actually still want to work on it: go for it. Do not take the other person for granted. In my practice, I hear from people so often that they let go of each other too quickly and that they regret it. ”

The break

When it is clear to you that there really is nothing that can be done about your relationship, how do you end it so most effectively? First, according to Kromwijk-Lub, it is important to start a conversation without becoming too convinced of one’s own right. “We often have such strong beliefs about ourselves that we jump to conclusions about each other. Respect each other’s needs, listen to what your partner says, do not start a ‘well-being’ conversation,” says Kromwijk-Lub. “Stay by yourself and do not point too much with your finger. It is also not recommended to gossip about an ex-partner. Even if it ended in a healthy way, it can still feel like another blow to your partner.”

Finally, heartache is a bitch, whether you were dumped or you are the one who made it. For some it may feel like a disease that preoccupies you physically and mentally, for others it is a karate kick that hits you in the stomach at an unexpected moment. According to Kromwijk-Lub, it is therefore important that you continue to take good care of yourself. You do not have to be in a relationship to totally pamper yourself on Valentine’s Day.

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