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All relationships change over time, so it’s natural to endure some challenges and growing pains. During transitions and bumps, you may find yourself questioning your level of commitment and wondering whether your problems can be solved. Getting back on track is a great feeling, but experiencing chronic feelings of dissatisfaction or doubt is a bad sign.
While it may sound ambiguous, sometimes there’s no major turning point that changes how you feel. Many breakups happen simply because you’ve gradually outgrown each other or one partner changes and the other is stagnant. Or your values or maturity levels are too different. This may be a harsh truth, but it’s OK to walk away from relationships that no longer serve you well.
If you’re at a crossroads and trying to evaluate if it’s best to part ways, consider these 10 signs that you’ve outgrown your relationship:
If you’re no longer interested in the hobbies you used to bond over and your partner still is, this may be a sign that you’ve matured in ways that no longer make you a good fit. If you can come up with new couples activities that resonate with you both, you will create present and future opportunities to grow together.
However, if your partner is stuck on activities that no longer speak to you and is unwilling to explore new interests together, it may be best to move on and date someone who is more like-minded.
Sometimes the very things that used to attract you to your partner now get on your nerves, or worse, make you feel ashamed of your partner. That may be a sign your relationship has probably run its course.
It’s also time to move on if the things you used to love about your partner now embarrass you in public or you are not proud of who your partner is. If you feel you have to hide your relationship from friends and family because you’re embarrassed, this is a sign that something is wrong.
If the future you dream of isn’t about “us” or plans for two, it’s likely your feelings have changed and your relationship isn’t a priority. Making plans without your partner on a small or large scale is definitely a sign that you’re drifting away.
Fighting with regularity can symbolize unresolved issues in the relationship. If you’re having the same arguments and it feels like neither one of you is giving ground, you may be prolonging the end of a broken relationship. You may subconsciously want your partner to leave you to protect yourself from the guilt associated with initiating the breakup.
Maybe you don’t want to break your partner’s heart by leaving first, so picking fights becomes a way to sabotage the relationship and motivate him or her to break up with you.
You may not speak up or fight at all if you’ve stopped caring altogether. You may begin to tune out your partner and let things go because you’re no longer present or invested.
You’re not supposed to feel the same level of passion you felt in early dating as your relationship progresses and years go by, but failed attempts to keep or reignite your passion, love, and desire are huge signs that you’ve outgrown your relationship.
In healthy relationships, your partner will support you in achieving your personal goals, and there will be balance between your individual identities and your identity as a couple. Losing yourself to try to please your partner or giving up on your major dreams and goals to keep your partner is unhealthy for your mental health and future of your relationship.
Also be aware of red flags that, in extreme cases, can turn dangerous, including your partner resenting your success, preventing you from having outside friendships, isolating you from loved ones, and acting paranoid or overly defensive.
Our values drive our choices, so you’re likely to be frustrated if your values differ from those of your partner’s. Making joint decisions may feel literally impossible.
Having different perspectives and misaligned goals is likely to create a natural disconnect and prevent your relationship from standing the test of time.
To a certain extent, it’s natural to daydream about what your life would be like if you had made different choices in your relationships. It’s also normal to be attracted to other people.
However, it’s only fair to you and your partner to consider ending your relationship if another person (or ex) is taking up space in your mind and you fantasize about cheating or leaving your relationship for someone else.
At some point in a failing relationship, you feel like you’ve lost yourself. Maybe it’s hard to put your finger on what’s changed, but you’ve lost your spark and your relationship no longer brings you joy and satisfaction.
You may feel more fulfilled by other relationships, look forward to spending time outside of your relationship, and feel the need for space. Maybe you want to focus on personal growth and work on yourself, and you feel you have little to give.
You may have intended to grow together, but sometimes there’s no major event that breaks your relationship. Then you drift apart as one person changes and matures more than the other.
As the differences in maturity or perspective become more apparent, you may feel stuck in a relationship that no longer challenges you, satisfies you, or makes you a better person.
The hope is that you and your partner will grow together, but sometimes the opposite takes place. Know that it’s OK to be honest about your feelings and give yourself permission to end the relationship. Breakups can be painful, but so can the constant torture of staying in a miserable relationship or knowing deep down you are settling.
Also, above all, take any gut feelings about your partner or relationship seriously.