Breaking up is never an easy thing to do, but relationship expert Dr Lurve reveals the six major signs it's time to call it quits before things worsen.
If there's one thing that's true for relationships, it is that breaking up is hard to do.
Break-ups are painful, no matter the reason, because invariably someone is going to get hurt. It's very rare that both parties are mutually agreeable when it comes to calling quits on the relationship.
It's usually one person making the decision and the other getting hurt. But what's perhaps worse is when a relationship continues on when it shouldn't.
Here are the key telltale signs that it could be "time's up" on your time together.
1. Less communication
Communication is key when it comes to a healthy relationship, allowing each person to really connect with each other. Whether it's simply talking about your day, venting about a colleague or expressing your true desires, communication can be the thing that binds two people together. A lack of communication for long periods of time can signal that one of you (or both) may have emotionally checked out of the relationship.
When communication is difficult or is lacking in a relationship, it generally means conflicts aren't being resolved. That means the relationship can become a pressure cooker of its own making, causing an array of disagreements, misunderstandings or driving a wedge between you.
To fix communication problems in a relationship, both parties have to agree to make a concerted effort. Switch off the TV, ask more questions and take an interest in your partner's life. If communicating with your partner feels like pulling teeth, this could be a sign that it's time to move on.
2. Stagnant sex
Most couples experience a honeymoon phase where sex is aplenty however that can tend to peter out after a few months.
The lucky couples may be able to keep the spark alive forever, however most will find that it will begin to ebb and flow (this is completely normal). At the beginning of a new relationship each person is curious about the other, and that curiosity flows into the bedroom when learning about each other's bodies and what they enjoy.
If your sex life starts to feel stagnant or non-existent it could point to the sexual chemistry having fizzled out.
Before you call it quits however, take some initiative to spice things up by introducing date night, some sex toys, or some sexy lingerie.
If that doesn't work, maybe the fire has burnt out.
3. You don't feel appreciated
If you constantly feel as though you're the one putting in the effort for your partner without it being reciprocated or even appreciated, it's time to re-evaluate the relationship.
It's a great thing to want to do things for your partner but if they don't acknowledge or thank you for it, they're not showing you the appreciation you deserve.
More so if they never seem to do anything in return for you, or if you ask them too, they make you feel like a burden.
Sure, the relationship could seemingly be going along smoothly, but if you constantly feel like you're not appreciated, it needs to be discussed. Simple gestures and acknowledgment of each other and the sacrifices they make is extremely important. A thank you always goes a long way!
4. Disagreements leading to fights
Let's get one thing clear – disagreements and fighting in relationships is completely normal. In fact, it's healthy because it means you're able to communicate effectively.
It's almost impossible to agree on everything and any relationship will eventually experience a disagreement. What's not normal however is when disagreements are never resolved, and constant bickering turns into constant fighting.
If issues get buried and there never seems to be a solution to anything, your relationship could be headed for trouble. Coming to an agreement on issues can be difficult however being able to put the issue to rest should be a priority for all couples.
5. Fantasising about others
It's normal to occasionally find someone other than your partner sexually attractive.
However, this feeling should be fleeting or a quick moment of appreciation, not an hour-long daydream. If you're finding yourself constantly fantasising about being single or being with someone else, it's a pretty clear sign that you're detaching from your current partner.
Dreaming about your life without them could mean you're ready to move on. Your partner deserves your sole attention, and you deserve to be with someone that you are 100 per cent devoted to.
6. Someone's been cheating
Cheating can tear a relationship apart, violating and betraying a person's trust. Without trust in a relationship, two people cannot be comfortable with each other and the communication centres will start to shut down.
What's more, cheating can sever the victim's self-esteem, causing insecurity and lack of confidence.
The good news is that some relationships are able to rebuild the trust after someone cheats. It takes work and a lot of forgiveness, but it can be done.
There are experts like myself available that can guide a couple through a turbulent time and provide coping mechanisms for progression. If the trust isn't able to be regained then it's best to let the relationship come to a natural end.