Sometimes it’s easy to tell if a relationship is over; other times it’s confusing and unclear. These questions will help you determine the truth about your relationship.
Read this comment from a reader – you may see your own relationship in her words:
“My boyfriend and I have been together for a while, we have a kid together, and I really feel like our relationship is falling apart,” says T. on Is It Too Late to Repair Your Relationship?. “We don’t even hug in bed at night anymore. He says he loves me and doesn’t want to lose me, but I don’t think he sees how much he is hurting me and affecting our relationship. We don’t spend any time together alone anymore, and I’m getting really depressed about it. He say that he won’t go to couples counseling. I don’t know what to do anymore, but I know I don’t want to lose him.”
If your boyfriend isn’t interested in working on your relationship — or if he can’t or won’t see how much he is hurting you — then your relationship may be over. If you don’t feel good when you’re with him, then your relationship may be over. If you can’t tell your friends and family how he acts or what he says to you, then your relationship may be over.
Sometimes we know it’s over, but we can’t accept it.
If you’re devastated about breaking up, read Rebuilding: When Your Relationship Ends. Even if you haven’t actually ended your relationship, it may be time to start thinking about healing and moving on.
How Do You Know if Your Relationship is Over?
Of course I can’t tell you if the time has come to end your relationship – only you can make that decision! But, I found a few “diagnostic questions” from Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship.
These questions aren’t directly from the book; they’re my spin offs and thoughts. I encourage you to think carefully about each question. It’d be helpful to find a quiet spot, and take time to write down your answers.
Is your relationship meeting your needs? One of the best ways to know if your relationship is over is whether or not you’re satisfied and happy with your partner! If you aren’t happy, then you need to figure out the cause. Is it your partner? His ex-wife and kids? Then ask yourself…
Is your partner unwilling or unable to change? If your partner does things that make your relationship difficult, painful, or excruciating, and he refuses to get help or try to change, then your relationship is over. You can’t be in a relationship, and do all the work. Don’t force yourself to tolerate a man who won’t lift a finger.
Are you staying in your relationship for the wrong reasons? Women stay in loveless marriages for a variety of reasons, including their religious beliefs. “If God or some divine being told you it was OK to leave your relationship, would you feel relieved that you could finally leave?” asks self-help guru Steve Pavlina. “If your religion is the only reason you’re still together, your relationship is already long dead.”
Do you like and respect your partner – and does he like you? Not liking each other is a sure way to know that your relationship is over. Why do you want to be with someone you have no respect for?
Are you sexually attracted to your partner? If you don’t “feel the love” – and you’ve tried different ways to spice up your love life – then your love relationship may be over. Your friendship and parenting relationship may still be alive, but you need sex for a truly intimate marriage.
Does your partner enhance your life and support your dreams? If he doesn’t make you feel great about yourself, support your goals, and enhance your life in specific, measurable ways, then why are you hesitating to admit your relationship is over? You won’t be losing anything…you’ll be gaining a new lease on life.
Can you forgive your partner for the sins he committed? We all make mistakes, we all have weaknesses and flaws. If you can’t forgive and let go of anger or bitterness about the sins your partner has committed, then resentment will gradually replace love. Either forgive and move forward into a healthier relationship, or admit that it’s over.
Do you and your partner have fun together? Life is far too serious and short to stay in a relationship that makes you sad, depressed, or unhappy! When was the last time you and your partner had fun together? If you know your relationship isn’t over but you also know you need to learn how to laugh together, read 10 Fun Games for Couples.
Are your life goals compatible with your partner’s? You know your relationship is over if you want a career as a travel photographer, and he wants six kids and a white picket fence. If you and he don’t have mutual goals and dreams for your future together, then it’s better to end your relationship sooner rather than later.
If you’re still confused, read 10 Signs of a Bad Relationship – When It’s Time to Get Out.
What do you think – is your relationship over?
I'm glad you're here! My name is Laurie Kienlen; my husband Bruce and I live in Vancouver, BC with our critters. We can't have kids, and are learning to accept whatever life brings - both good and bad. I have an MSW (Master of Social Work) from UBC, and degrees in Education and Psychology. I hope you say hello below - I can't give relationship advice, but writing can bring you clarity and insight.