We were born in a time of Disney, fairy-tales, and happily-ever-afters.
This makes it seem like a massive failure whenever we have to end our forever-afters.
The social pressures to succeed at any cost have crept into every aspect of our lives. But it has no place in your personal life. If you let it take root, it will rot your relationships at their core.
Learn to be ok with failing.
Understanding when relationships are no longer serving you is crucial to your happiness. The faster you are at figuring this out, the less damage to your emotional and physical health.
It always seems bad relationships become toxic very quickly.
So how do you know when to cut the ties?
Arguing with your partner over adding pepper to your salad isn't a sign of the end for your relationship, is it?
Of course not! And you should always keep in mind that relationships will always have ups and downs.
There are 5 red flags that can be an indicator that things may need to end. If the points below are part of your daily reality, it's time to have honest self-talk about the future of your relationship.
The Five Red Flags
1. You argue with no end in sight
Every relationship has arguments. I would be one step bolder and say that they are crucial to a healthy relationship.
What isn't healthy is the way you fight. Arguments should have obvious goals with clear boundaries for acceptable behavior.
If your arguments only ever seem to escalate. Or they break down into personal attacks or turn into a scoring system?
Either you need to completely change the way you approach arguments or face the reality. This relationship isn't healthy or good for anyone.
2. You keep asking permission to be yourself
When things aren't going well in a relationship it is normal for a lot of insecurities to flare up.
It is good to work through these insecurities with your partner - it even helps bring you together.
If you notice that your partner's insecurities project themselves onto you, be wary. They can make you question who you are or worse. If you feel forced to ask permission to be yourself then you have a problem on your hands.
No relationship will work long term if you are not free to be yourself with love and understanding.
Your partner should love you unconditionally, not once you change x,y,z about yourself. Tell them as much, and if they need help you can offer that they see a counselor.
If that doesn't help though, it's a sure way to know that it's time to move onwards and upwards in your life.
3. You still haven't introduced them to your parents or loved ones
Your subconscious is a powerful tool. It picks up on subtle hints your conscious mind often tries to ignore.
If you are still haven't introduced your partner to your parents or friends after a few months. It can be a sure sign that there is something is wrong.
You should never feel embarrassed by your partner. If you worry about how your family or friends will react to meeting your partner. Ask yourself if you may be that you are ignoring certain parts of their behavior.
Take the time to analyze why you are not being open about your relationship with your loved ones.
It doesn't always have to do with their behavior. Your parents or friends have unresolved issues too. If that case it may be time to have a hard conversation about how they affect your relationships.
If your partner's behavior is causing the issues though. Give them a chance to fix the most troublesome issues and explain the importance to you.
Be wary though, you should never expect someone to change or be who they don't want to be. You may end up becoming the problematic one in the relationship.
4. You only feel supported when things are good
It is easy to believe a relationship is healthy when things are good. Patience, understanding, and support are in endless supply when your relationship is happy. There's a saying "smooth seas make poor sailors." This is because good times don't test your relationship or prove anything.
The real test of a relationship is when things are bad:
- If you are going through a hard time and you can turn to your partner for support? Your partner isn't supportive.
- If you need to talk through an issue with your partner and they refuse to give you a minute of their time? They are not patient.
- If you bring up vulnerable issues and they belittle or shame you? They are not understanding and they may even be a little abusive.
How you treat each other when the relationship is at its lowest is the foundation you build on.
If you have difficulty feeling supported by your partner it is because you aren't. Everyone deserves to feel loved and supported by their partners, no matter the circumstances.
5. You keep taking breaks
I'm a firm believer in the power "taking a break" can have on your relationship. I even wrote an article explaining my views on this.
The issues arise when you keep seeming to take breaks.
It is physically and emotionally exhausting to be constantly in a state of limbo. If you return and start having the same types of fights again, it can be a sign the problems might be too big to overcome.
A break should be a time of reflection and strategy. With two people coming together to work on how to further their relationship. If you return and find only one of you has done the work, things will only degrade again.
It is ok to take a break and realize that the issues are too big.
It's ok to end a break and once settled back into the relationship realize that things aren't better.
Don't stick around and ignore the elephant in the room.
Be honest about how the relationship is playing out.
Instead of fantasizing about how you want it to play out, root yourself in reality.
It will save you extra heartache in the future and make you a better communicator now.