Updated: Mar 4
Most people know when their relationship is on life support, but somehow miss the announcement once it’s officially pronounced dead. It’s all too often that one or both partners hold onto the raggedy remnants of what used to be a strong union just for familiarity. Friends and family members alike drop hints, and some are even bold enough to be blunt. Some people just don’t get it. If you think you may be this person or know somebody that needs to get the message (here’s your last hint), check out these 10 ways to know if you’re forcing a dead relationship.
ONE OR BOTH OF YOU SPEND MORE TIME TALKING TO SOMEONE OUTSIDE THE RELATIONSHIP
This isn’t necessarily a super red flag because you have mama’s boys and daddy’s girls that are super guilty of talking to their parents more than their significant others. While annoying, it’s probably no cause to sound the alarm signaling the end of the relationship. Now, when this person is a friend/loved-one that you’re constantly confiding in about your partner, it’s a problem. You should always spend more time addressing issues with your partner than an outsider. What exactly is the outsider going to do except “cosign” your grievances and maybe mediate with your partner if you’re lucky. When the friend or family member knows more about your relationship issues than you do, it’s probably time to pack it up.
SPENDING TIME WITH THEM FEELS LIKE A CHORE
Sometimes quality time must be scheduled with busy partners. That’s understandable and no cause for alarm. However, when said quality time is dreaded by one or both of the partners, it’s pretty telling. If one of you just doesn’t want to be in the other’s company, it’s time to stop the torture. Life is too short to have to force yourself to hang out with someone!
OTHERS ARE ASKING IF EVERYTHING IS OKAY
Sometimes people are just being nosy, but most of the time, everybody else can pick up on your and your partner's terrible energy. They feel it… and it feels awkward. While you may not feel like anything is wrong or “that bad”, others can probably see it and feel it when you both walk in the room. Don’t necessarily let what others say about your relationship influence major decisions, but use it as a clue.
SPECIAL DATES ARE FREQUENTLY FORGOTTEN
I’ll give you a slight pass on anniversaries, BUT birthdays and significant holidays should not be frequently forgotten. The birthday is probably the most telltale sign. If he forgets your birthday… things are pretty much in the dumpster. He had ONE date to remember… one! This would really make me question is commitment unless he has some clinical condition affecting his memory.
SEX SEEMS FORCED
I’m not saying you have to be having sex like rabbits, but if it’s just not happening or seems like an unwanted obligation, that’s very shaky. If one or both partners take the “I don’t really feel like it” approach during sex, maybe it’s time to spice it up or just let it go.
YOU IMAGINE WHAT ANOTHER RELATIONSHIP WOULD BE LIKE
Do you catch yourself fantasizing about a better man when he get’s you in your feelings? There may be something to that! You could already be emotionally checked out and your brain will soon take your heart with it. Daydreaming about someone better places a “foot out the door”.
YOU NO LONGER SHARE COMMON INTERESTS
You may have had all the same interests when you first started dating, but people change and grow (good or bad). Typically, couples don’t lose every common interest in the process of growing/maturing. Most grow together in a way that compliments. If it seems like you have lost all common interests, try looking for new common interests. If you can’t find anything, it may be a sign of the end.
THE SMALL THINGS ANNOY YOU
If suddenly, the way he brushes his teeth sends you over the edge or hearing him chew turns you off, it may be time to let it go. This is like the “in love” phase when everything about your partner is cute. When it becomes the opposite spectrum, you may be headed down Breakup Boulevard.
YOU DON’T FEEL VALUED
This one’s pretty self-explanatory. When you no longer feel important to your partner, it’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s probably a safe bet that you may not be. This is nothing against you or your personality. While he may be busy, if he’s just not putting forth effort to validate you and/or make you feel valued, it’s not worth your time.
NEITHER OF YOU ARE INSPIRED TO TRY NEW THINGS TOGETHER
When couples see things start to go downhill, they typically try to introduce new experiences into the relationship to build on. If there’s no interest in trying new things or going new places by either party, things may have officially fizzled.
Honestly, if at least half the list seems familiar, you may want to “return to sender”. Relationships are work, but they definitely shouldn’t be this hard! Always do what you can to fix your relationship, but when it seems irreparable, sometimes it really is.