It can be very difficult to know when a relationship is over, or when it is just going through a tough time that will pass. When speaking of marriage, there are very few times that it is really over. Abuse of yourself or a child in the home is one of these times, infidelity can be but doesn’t have to be, but other than that, there are really not many reasons that a person would have to justify the breaking of these extremely serious vows. In dating relationships, however, there aren’t those same vows and promises that must be kept, so there is a lot more middle ground to cross. Thus, for the purpose of this article, we are going to focus on dating relationships, rather than marital ones.
One of the things that can signify that a relationship has run its course and should come to an end is when you or your partner have begun to lose sight of all of your dreams and goals. This often happens because you become overly involved in the other person. Although this may sound like it’s not such a bad thing, it will be over time, and is a sign of dysfunction, probably caused by one person’s lack of self-worth. Both of you came into this relationship with goals and dreams. In a healthy relationship, these will be encouraged and even assisted by the partners, one to another. If one person is losing theirs, it is time to move on.
Abuse of any sort is not acceptable in a relationship. Physical abuse is fairly easy for most of us to identify when it occurs, but there are other forms of abuse that can be a bit trickier to really put your finger on. Emotional abuse in a relationship can start out very slowly, yet over time you will probably see it for what it is. Are you being demeaned and/or called names? If so, it’s time to go. Sexual abuse, when you have been in a consensual sexual relationship with the person, is another difficult one to really identify. The key is to remember that “no means no” whether you’ve had it before or not. No one, but you, should be determining when you have intercourse and if it is being forced on you, this is abuse, whether you’ve consented in the past a hundred or a thousand times.
Think about the time that you are spending together and what you are doing. Are you doing only the things that one or the other of you enjoys? Or, is there a healthy combination of both going on? It is true that opposites often attract and this can have to do with more than just personality, it can also have to do with hobbies and interests. If you are a lover of museums and you are dating a biker, you should be participating together and apart in both of these types of activities. Often, though, one will win out constantly over the other and that isn’t fair. Neither is it healthy. Just as with your goals and dreams, your interests are important, too. If you are no longer participating in them, or are always doing so alone, the relationship is probably going to need to end.
When you think about the person that you are dating, it is not necessary for your palms to still get sweaty and your heart to leap, but neither should you be having feelings or dread or disappointment on a regular basis. If you are in the beginning of your relationship, there should certainly be some sort of positive emotional response still, but over time, it will become more commonplace feelings. This is not terrible, but when the feelings about being together become negative, there is a definite problem and it is likely time to say farewell to one another if there isn’t a defined reason for them that can be resolved.
If you just want the relationship to be over, that’s another reason that’s plenty good enough. You don’t owe this person your life. You are dating, not married, and there are people who stay in relationships, following through all the way to the altar, knowing that they really are settling for something that is less than what they wanted. By then, the commitment is really made and it’s too late to just say good-bye and walk away. If a relationship is over, it doesn’t mean that one or the other of you is a bad person, it only means that you weren’t quite right for one another. There is someone else for both of you, and the end is only the chance for a new beginning.