Occasionally wondering whether you should stay together or break up is just part of being in a relationship for most people.
Every couple, regardless of how they might look on the outside, goes through rough patches. And even if you deeply love your partner, it’s not unusual to occasionally wonder if the relationship is a good fit.
Understanding the difference between the normal ups and downs of a healthy partnership and signs that a relationship has run its course isn’t always easy. Still, there are some clear signs to watch for.
Read on to learn more about these signs and what to do if things seem unsalvageable.
If you recognize some of the following signs in your relationship, it’s time to take a hard look at whether things are worth repairing.
You keep breaking up and getting back together
Remember how back in middle school everyone you knew was dumping each other and then making up? And you’d wonder why they even stayed together at all?
This kind of yo-yo behavior seemed like all fun and games back then, but it’s not as alluring when you’re an adult.
It’s OK to drift apart when you’re going through a significant challenge. But if you’re constantly separating and coming back together, it’s possible neither of you are acknowledging the underlying reasons for why you keep ending things.
You’re doing all the sacrificing
Every relationship requires sacrifice. This can be a healthy way to show each other your love and support.
Sometimes, this is just a matter of letting your partner choose which restaurant you’ll eat at or what show to watch on Netflix. But other times, these can be bigger decisions, such as moving across the country for a new job opportunity.
If you find yourself constantly giving everything for your partner without the gesture being reciprocated, it can create a power imbalance that breeds long-term unhappiness and resentment.
You can’t trust them
Always questioning whether your partner is telling the truth or feeling the need to go behind their back and search through their phone is an emotionally draining experience.
If your significant other has a history of lying or cheating, this causes a buildup of resentment that can quickly poison your relationship over time.
You’ve grown apart
Have you felt a rift between you that can’t be explained? Has it become increasingly difficult to communicate or share your likes and interests?
Many couples will often hold on to memories of when they first met and overlook the ways in which both people have changed. Feeling disconnected more often than not may mean you no longer want to hold on to the past.
Your major values aren’t aligned
Even if you connect with and care deeply about the other person, you might not be on the same page when it comes to big-picture things.
If your partner wants to settle down and start a family but you’d rather spend your days traveling, it’s a significant sign things aren’t meant to last.
You’ve stopped caring or putting in the effort
Have you stopped checking in with your partner to see how their day is going? Did you used to make an effort to reconnect but can no longer find the motivation?
While we all have our down days as a partner, if you consistently can’t seem to summon back the interest you once had, it’s a sign things have cooled off.
You’re experiencing physical or emotional abuse
Any form of abuse is a clear red flag that the relationship has become toxic. It’s never OK for your partner to attack, frighten, control, or isolate you.
While it’s easier to recognize the physical signs of abuse, it can be harder to identify the mental and emotional ones. Remember, you deserve to be treated with care and respect.
You don’t like yourself
Not liking yourself when you’re around your partner can wear you down over time. A healthy relationship should bring out the best in you.
If you feel like your partner brings out the worst in you, it’s probably a sign that things have become unhealthy.
You fight nonstop
While disagreements are an inevitable part of being a couple, you shouldn’t feel like you’re always waiting for the next explosion. Unresolved conflicts that turn disrespectful and demeaning over time can severely affect your emotional well-being.
Ask yourself whether you’re both finding a new reason to argue every day. If the answer is yes, it may be time for you to part ways.
You’re not getting your needs met
Part of being in a healthy duo involves actively working on good communication. When the lines of communication break down, you may start to feel a sense of longing, unease, and even bitterness.
Something’s off if you’re constantly craving affection that isn’t provided, or if you find yourself daydreaming of a more fulfilling relationship.
You think about breaking up all the time
Wondering whether to stay together every once in a while is normal. It’s when you can’t stop thinking about being apart that you should worry.
Being with someone shouldn’t be a continuous struggle of hoping for the other person to change. If you can’t imagine growing older with them as they are right now, it’s probably time to throw in the towel.
Aside from those related to abuse, the signs discussed above don’t always mean you need to end things right away, especially if there’s still love in the relationship. Think of them more as a sign that your relationship could use some extra attention.
Before ending things, consider trying some of these approaches to see…