It seems that for so many of us our time becomes occupied by those almost great loves. The types of relationships that are hard to walk away from because it’s almost right; we’re almost there, we’ve almost made it, or even, we’re almost in love. So how do we know when is the right time to walk away from a relationship?
The reality is though that almost never becomes a reality.
But this is a truth that we struggle with and fight because there is a part of us that wishes we could make it different than it is. So sometimes the years pass, and we suddenly find ourselves in the situation of how to know if it’s time to walk away for good.
See, the reality is that sometimes we marry our “almost’s.”
At times it’s our almost that we settle for, we barter happiness in exchange for getting what we want or what we think we need without realizing that sometimes we’re meant to give up. Love is not always an equal exchange, and while not getting what we want can end up becoming the greatest blessing, the reality is this lesson often needs to be learned the hard way. Regardless of whether we’ve spent a few months dating someone or married over a decade, there are a few telltale signs that it’s time to give up and walk away.
The thing with love or at least the kind of love that so many of us are looking for is that it won’t arrive until we make room for it.
You’ve gone from adoring to tolerating.
You have the belief that no one stays in crazy passionate love forever, yet this is only a lie told by those to make themselves feel more comfortable about their own choices. The truth is that while the honeymoon stage of a relationship can fade, the honeymoon feelings can last if the spark between two people is based on more than the initial first underlying attraction. If you find yourself tolerating quirks, habits or even the preferences of your partner instead of adoring them for who they are then this is the first sign that you are falling out of love with them—or that you already have.
You find yourself compromising your happiness to make it work
Love requires compromise; there is no doubt about that, but it shouldn’t be to the extent that your happiness begins to suffer because of it. If you find yourself cutting away those activities or even people that you before enjoyed or that made up a part of you to somehow cause the relationship work then the reality the relationship is already over.
The kind of relationship that inspires us to become more ourselves and to grow will never actually need us to give up those essential parts of who we are to do so. As adults, we know that we rarely get our way, or least tell ourselves that in an attempt to justify why we aren’t happy. In love, we sometimes think that it’s okay to have to change parts of ourselves to have that relationship. In healthy productive relationships, we’ll never have to change who we are to gain the love of someone else.
You look at sex as a chore.
While we all have different levels and preferences of sexuality, if sex with your partner has become as dutiful and routine as emptying the dishwasher and just as quick then it’s time to start looking at why. Sex is the barometer for our relationships, and as long as we don’t buy into the false norm that after a certain amount of time none of us care about sex, then it will keep being an important part of your relationship.
Whether you have been dating for a few months or you are six months post-partum sex matters, and not just because of climax but because of the importance of grounding the relationship in physical intimacy. If you find yourself passing on sex more often than it probably is time to take a look at why you are physically pushing your partner away.
You find yourself crying more often than smiling.
It may seem like an obvious one, but it seems that sometimes when we are in relationships so deep, we become more obsessed with making it work than actually stepping back and stopping to consider if we even should. No relationship is perfect all the time, but there should be more good times than bad.
There should be more times that make you smile than induce tears, anxiety, arguments or even apathy. If you find yourself playing on your phone, creating Pinterest boards rather than cuddling watching a movie or jumping in the shower to surprise your lover it might be time to stop and start considering why. Not every relationship has to last, and in reality, the majority of our relationships don’t, but they can teach us something, not about love but ourselves as well.
Our romantic relationships mirror where we each are at in our own lives.
If we have trouble believing we are deserving of love, then we will end up pursuing someone whom it seems like we’re begging for love from. If we lack self-confidence, then we will attract someone who will make us feel like less than ourselves. Likewise, if we are self-secure and committed to learning about ourselves, then we will draw someone mutually curious and respectful.
Life is all about growing and expanding so, that is the purpose of our relationships. No one wants a relationship to end, whether it’s because you’ve been on a few fun dates or because you share children with someone. But the truth is often the moment we consider if we should give up and walk away is the moment we already have. We won’t be doomed in love because of one, two or even three failed relationships; but you will be if you don’t believe that you deserve better.