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Time to Move On? Six Signs Your Relationship is Over

Updated on February 17, 2020
Deborah Demander profile image

Deborah is a writer, healer, and teacher. Her goal is to help people live their best lives every day by sharing her joy and love of life.

Listen to Your Heart

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Should I Stay or Should I Go?

You've been in a relationship for a while. But lately, things have been hard. Some days you don't want to go home, but sometimes you can't wait to see your partner. Some weekends are ruined with non-stop fighting, but sometimes you laugh and remember why you love each other.

Relationships are difficult. They go through periods of growth, periods of anger, frustration, happiness, loss. You experience the full range of emotion in your closest relationship.

Whether you are talking about a marriage, a living-together relationship, or the friendship with your best friend, how can you tell when it's really time to pull the plug and let it go?

This article offers six signs that it might really be over and done. Recognizing that it's over is relatively easy. Walking away is the hardest part.

Six Signs It's Really Over

1. You are not kind to each other anymore.

2. One or both of you look for ways to spend time apart.

3. You do not respect each other.

4. One of you has become abusive or one of you feels afraid.

5. There is no give and take.

6. You lie.

Can't You Be Nice?

You know the feeling when someone is unkind? They say something rude, or they ignore you, or they don't help you into the house with a load of groceries? Those are the big, obvious unkind things people might do to each other.

As a relationship comes to an end, one or both people may stop being kind. You no longer stop buy the things he likes at the store. In fact, if he likes Diet Coke, you start buying Diet Pepsi.

Or you don't answer her when she asks a question. You just keep watching the news, hoping she'll go away. You get up early, go for a run, then head to coffee with the girls, when you used to share breakfast and coffee with your partner.

These are little things, sure. Kindness is a little thing. It's really easy to be kind. When you are ready to move on, the little things begin not to matter. You don't do the small, kind gestures that you always did before.

Taken by itself, a lack of kindness in a relationship is not a reason to leave. When you put it with a pattern of behavior, it becomes a warning sign that things are really over. Lack of kindness is generally a sign that something bigger is amiss.

Separate Lives

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Drifting Further Apart

While spending some time away from your partner is healthy and helps you develop your own sense of identity, too much time apart can damage a relationship.

When your husband goes on a business trip and you look forward to some time alone, that's a healthy thing. Usually, by the time he gets back, you've had some time to miss each other and you are ready to catch up.

But. What if you can't wait for him to leave, so you can invite your boyfriend over? Or, what if you are leaving on a trip, but it's with another person and there is only Monkey Business involved? How about if you spend every weekend with your friends because you're just plain tired of your partner?

Creating excuses and scenarios to spend more time away from each other is a sign that your relationship is dying. Looking for ways to be anywhere other than here, that's a dangerous road to travel.

Spending too much time away from your partner, whether you are at work until the wee hours of the night, or at the bar with your girlfriends, or at the game with your buddies, creates emotional distance, as well as physical distance.

If you or your partner continually find yourselves looking for ways not to spend time together, this is another sign that your relationship is over.

A Little Respect

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Show Some Respect

When a relationship is over, then one or both of you may stop respecting the other. It seems like such a small thing, but respect is a critical component of a healthy relationship.

You know when you are being disrespected. Your partner rolls her eyes when you talk. He doesn't even look up from the TV when you speak. She ignores your requests. He doesn't even try to pick up after himself.

Small and subtle, yes, but the loss of respect is a sure sign that your relationship is over. You can't be in a relationship with someone you don't respect. And you shouldn't be in a relationship with someone who doesn't respect you.

Don't Be Afraid

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Never Tolerate Abuse

If your partner has become abusive, it is time to leave. If you are afraid of your partner, it is time to leave. There is no reason to ever stay in an abusive relationship.

If you are afraid of your partner, then it is time to leave. Love is not fear.

Where's the Give and Take?

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Give a Little, Get a Little

Healthy relationships are all about giving and receiving. Some days, you give more. Some days, your partner does more. In a balanced, healthy relationship, you will both give and you will both receive. That is the nature of life, love and relationships.

When that balance has become skewed, then the relationship becomes unhealthy. If your partner only wants to take from you; your time, your money, your energy, your love and never gives anything back, then your relationship is probably over.

Likewise, if you find yourself only taking and not wanting to give anything in return, it's likely time to move on.

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

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To Tell the Truth

If you find yourself lying in any relationship, then it's over. What is the point of being in a relationship if you can't tell the truth?

What is the point of being with someone who isn't honest? If you can't tell your partner the truth, or vice-a-versa, then why are you even together.

If one or both of you is a liar, then the relationship is over.

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    • Deborah Demander profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Demander Reno 

      5 weeks ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      Dashing Scorpio, I love your comment! Oscar Wilde is brilliant, and you are as well.

      Wish you all the best.

      Namaste

    • Deborah Demander profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Demander Reno 

      5 weeks ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      Genna,

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my article. Yes, I agree. Love means different things, but should never include abuse.

      Namaste

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 

      5 weeks ago from Chicago

      Know yourself, Love yourself, Trust yourself.

      If you can't relax and be your authentic self move on.

      If you or your mate has to change your core being to make a relationship "work" it means you're with the WRONG person!

      Generally people don't change unless (they) are unhappy.

      Stop expecting someone to become who they are not.

      Life is too short to be trying to change water into wine.

      The goal is to find someone who (already is) what you want!

      Thankfully there are over 7 Billion other people on the planet.

      There are only two ways to experience joy and peace of mind in relationships. We either get what we want or we learn to be happy with what we have. Accept them (as is) or move on.

      The choice is up to us. Choose wisely.

      No one is "stuck" with anyone! Suffering is optional.

      "Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary."

      - Oscar Wilde

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      5 weeks ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Deborah....

      You've brought up some excellent points that can determine when the relationship is over. Love means different things to different people...but it should never countenance disrespect, abuse, or deceits.

    • Deborah Demander profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Demander Reno 

      7 weeks ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      Lucy, thanks for your insightful comments. Once you get past the point of no return, there really is no way to make things work.

      Namaste

    • Deborah Demander profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Demander Reno 

      7 weeks ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      Eric,

      You offer some great insight. When you are committed to make it work, you don't just walk away. You work together to find a solution.

      Unfortunately, sometimes there is no other option. Kudos to your wife and to you for making it last.

      Namaste

    • Deborah Demander profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Demander Reno 

      7 weeks ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      Dashing Scorpio, So good to hear from you. These are great additions to the list. Being unhappy is a huge signal that it's over. And I really love your Oscar Wilde quote. Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary."

      Words to live by. Thanks for commenting.

      Namaste

    • hallucinogen profile image

      Lucy 

      7 weeks ago from Leeds, UK

      Great article. These are some very real indications that either one or both people have transitioned out of the 'loving' phase. Typically, the relationship cannot be saved once such features begin to manifest and ending the relationship is the best thing to do.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      7 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Interesting piece. I always have that that being brutally honest and not storming away until resolution resolved these. My wife and I have had our issues but just walking away has never occurred to us as an option. And my wife would be the one who knows.

      Maybe an age deal.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 

      7 weeks ago from Chicago

      1. You're UNHAPPY

      Compatibility trumps compromise.

      Like attracts like and opposites attract divorce attorneys!

      There is no amount of "work" or "communication" which can overcome being with someone who doesn't want what you want.

      2. One of you has to change your core being to make it work.

      Life is too short to be trying to change water into wine.

      The goal is to find someone who (already is) what you want.

      There are three basic reasons why couples split up:

      a) They chose the wrong mate. (They're too incompatible.)

      b) A "deal breaker" was committed in one of their eyes.

      c) They fell out of love/grew apart over time.

      "Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary."

      - Oscar Wilde

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