Have you ever found yourself in a relationship where the frustration level and the number of times you butt heads with each other seems to increase by the second? You say blue, she says red, and the fights just seem to be going in circles.
If the answer is yes, then you may be at what I call “the breakup point.” Here are five signs that your relationship may be past the point of fixing. Whether you are living together, married, or just dating, these breakup signs are usually loud and clear.
1. You stop relationship-building behaviors. In the honeymoon stage of a relationship, which we all know is the first 90 days of pure bliss, you are learning about each other and making efforts to create romantic moods and nice evenings. When you’re in that stage, you are really working at building your relationship. Then, at some point, you start to butt heads with each other. Critical relationship elements deteriorate. Maybe you stop kissing each other goodbye or stop texting each other during the day. Instead of adding things to the relationship, you start to resent each other like two five-year-olds who stop sharing their crayons. This is a breakup point.
2. You don’t understand each other anymore. The fighting escalates to a place where you no longer feel like you’re understood by your partner. Physical intimacy stops, communication stops, and you are living like roommates. You’re at the point in the relationship where you are trying to understand each other, but you get so frustrated because you feel like you just don’t understand each other anymore. This is a breakup point.
3. You start punishing each other. When you get to the point of no longer understanding each other, what happens is that you end up just kind of coexisting in the new dynamic. Resentment builds and you get in your head too much. You are no longer about feelings, and you start punishing each other. “Well, he hasn’t done this for me, so I’m not going to do this for him” are the kind of thoughts that take root. The longer you stay in that dynamic and the further away you get from the dynamic you had during the early part of the relationship, the less likely it is that you’ll ever get it back (and, after a point, you won’t). You have hit the breakup point.
4. You fight less. When you get to the breakup point, you actually fight less with your partner. You fight less because in your mind and heart you start detaching yourself from the other person, and you don’t care as much anymore. You have already made a determination that they don’t understand you, that they will never understand you, and that the relationship just won’t work out. The minute you get into a fight, you just walk away from it. That is a sure sign that you are at the breakup point.
5. You’ve taken the time to think it through. When you think you might have hit that breakup point, you must tell the person that you’re disconnecting from them. You need to be honest and raw. If you don’t think the relationship is going to work, or you know you’ve already disconnected based on how things have been going, then you might want to consider walking away for a week. When you’re in the thick of things, they never seem to be able to work out.
So take a break. Spend a week without your partner. Take the week to ask yourself some questions. Go visit some friends or family. Really think about what life would be like without that person. How would you feel? Then, go back and either take a stand for the relationship or break up.
Whichever decision you make, you need to be honest with yourself. Life is too short! There are a lot of wonderful, amazing people out there ready to meet you.
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