If you have ever given relationship advice to one of your closest friends, you probably found it easy to tell them what to do:
Oh course you should break up with him, after all he did cheat on you!
If you aren’t happy, just leave.
She’s a total a*shole; I don’t even know why you got with her anyway.
Reality is if you were to analyze your own relationship, (or have someone else do so), you might not be so keen to swallow your own, or anyone else’s, advice so easily. Why? Because as much as we would like to believe, love is not a black and white concept. As multifaceted as this emotion can be, the one thing that is clear as day when it comes to love is how you feel in a relationship. So what’s with all this “It’s complicated” nonsense? It comes down to a two things:
- Not understanding what your heart and your head are trying to tell you
- Ignoring what you already know
And shit, I’ve been there. Who hasn’t?
A true relationship is not without its ups and downs. Yet, as much as you like/love your partner, you can’t help this nagging feeling in the back of your mind that something is missing or that even if things are going good, they are not “great.” If you find yourself thinking there might be something missing in your relationship, or you feel something just does not feel right, you might want to consider these 10 signs that it’s to re-evaluate your relationship:
You make excuses for your partner’s behavior.
In high school, my now ex-boyfriend would never allow me to visit his family or his home. Although he would always come over to mine and hang out with my family, he mentioned the reason why I was never invited over to his is because his mother wouldn’t approve of a black girl and the fact I didn’t speak Spanish. As much as it bothered me, I would blow it off. I mean, at least he was hanging out with my family, right? (Yeah, no). I was ignoring what I already knew – that if he really loved me, it would not matter what his parents thought. Instead, I tried to rationalize his behavior because he was visiting my family to try to soften the blow.
In any relationship, there will be things your partner does that will bug the shit out of you but you most likely can deal with it. However, if find yourself making excuses to justify your partner’s behavior, especially when you don’t like it, (e.g., they never want to visit your family with you, constantly blows you off for work or always forgets your anniversary), then you need to re-evaluate how great of a partner they actually are if they don’t care about the things that matter to you.
You’ve lowered your standards, too much.
According to University of Maryland Psychology Professor, Ty Tashiro’s explains in his book, The Science of Happily Ever After, that the secret to finding love is the willingness to embrace settling for less. Obviously if your standards are too high, you might weed out the perfect person for you because you are so focused on believing the ideal partner must match every single trait and physical feature on your personal check-list to even approach you. However, the opposite is also true. If you’ve lowered your standards so much that you don’t even expect anything from your partner, then this makes them free to be indifferent to your feelings and needs because they assume they are not doing anything wrong. Talk it out with your partner and raise the bar and see if they rise to the occasion to better meet your needs. If they are unwilling? You might want to think about finding someone who can or is willing to try.
There’s no fire.
They say “love is friendship set on fire.” We all know the early stages of love involves a blazing ball of heat. As time goes by, even if the fire of your love dies down, it never goes out. If you find yourself thinking about your partner and not being able to remember what even sparked your relationship, or you no longer feel the heat in your heart, body and soul when you hear their name, it might be time to think about if the fire has actually gone out and if it’s worth rekindling the flames.
The glass is half full.
You’re giving your all but your partner is not even meeting you half way. They keep taking and taking until you feel there is nothing else left for you to give which is seriously unhealthy for your own well-being and totally unfair. To survive as one in a relationship, you both have to be equally committed to giving your time and love.
You and your partner have become complacent.
Now there’s nothing wrong with being comfortable in your relationship (don’t we all strive to be able to fart in front of our significant other without embarrassment)? but being complacent is a whole different ball game. What happened to Netflix and chill? Romantic dinners for no reason? Weekend get-a-ways? Falling in love is easy – staying in love takes work. It will always be the little things you and your partner do for each other, the adventures you both share and even the ups & downs that will continue to help move your relationship forward.
You both have irreconcilable differences.
It’s a given that you and your partner will not always agree on everything. Plus, opposite attract, right? They say fake it until you make it but there is no way you can fake you like something, believe in something, or want something if the fact of the matter is that you never, ever will. Example: if your partner wants children and you know you will never ever want a child, (your own or adopted), then you have to realize your relationship can’t move forward without compromise. If what you both disagree on happens to be an irreconcilable difference, unfortunately your relationship will be stuck in a stalemate.
You are expecting your partner to change.
You love your partner to death but the fact they always leave their dirty dishes in the sink drives you nuts. While people are capable of change, people tend to become more settled in their ways as they get older. Additionally, trying to change a person is not the easiest thing to do (and you really shouldn’t go into a relationship wanting to change someone anyway). It is important for you to know and understand your pet peeves before committing who demonstrates them. If your partner is unwilling to change their behavior based on your needs, you will need to either accept your partner as they are or not be with them.
You fear being alone.
You’re staying in a relationship because it’s better than sleeping alone at night. This is unfair to you and your partner because you rob each other the chance find real happiness with the right person. It easily to feel that after investing so much time into a relationship you rather try to stick it out instead of ending it just to start all over again with someone new. While all break-ups suck, I can vouch that being alone simply opens up the right opportunity to meet The One.
You’ve broken up one too many times before.
Before things got serious between my now boyfriend and I, (yes we were still in the dating stage where I was one of those crazies), I broke up with him about a good five times for a variety of stupid reasons: he didn’t buy be stuff, take me out enough, and a bunch of other reasons I can’t even remember. However, when we finally got serious, things have been freaking amazing since we finally worked together determine the shit that really matters when it comes to our relationship. I am not one to judge based on how many times you and your partner break up. (Remember, love is never black and white). The only thing I suggest you ask yourself is what’s the real reason why you’ve broken up so many times? Chances are if you continue with this never-ending cycle of breaking up and getting back together, you haven’t determined what the real issue is.
You’re just not happy.
This is simple – why stay if you aren’t happy? Sure, maybe your partner provides you financial stability, loves you unconditionally and is most nicest human being you have ever met but if those things still don’t make you happy, you have to find the courage within your self to admit it and find out what will. Some people believe they have to stay in a relationship for a variety of reasons, but you don’t owe anyone anything. Decisions of the heart should be made by you, and you alone. Love is what it is – if you aren’t feeling it, you shouldn’t have to lie to yourself and pretend you do.
Are you currently in a rocky relationship? How did you and your partner over-come the obstacles? What did it take for you to decide it was time to move on? Share your story in the comments section below!