The clock is ticking, and you in need of a committed relationship. It seems, though, that the relationship that you’re in now is going nowhere. You feel frustrated, stuck, even lonely at times. You love this guy, you have fun together, but his commitment is wishy washy. He promises a lot but does not seem to deliver much. He does not seem to make you feel secure and certain that he can be the one for you.
When you’re feeling the pressure of time passing away and you’re in a relationship that’s not quite hitting the mark, it can be like a constant weight on your heart. From a therapist’s perspective, here are some emotional signs that might suggest it’s time to set yourself free and seek the happiness you deserve elsewhere:
Lack of Emotional Fulfillment: Do you feel at home with this person? Do you feel like having your heart nourished with a warm, comforting meal when you are with him? Do you feel that he is there for you practically and emotionally? If you have answered no to the above questions, chances are that you are emotionally starving. If you consistently feel emotionally unfulfilled in the relationship, despite your efforts to communicate and address your needs, it may be a sign that your emotional needs aren’t being met.
Different Life Goals: If you and your partner have fundamentally different life goals, such as marriage, children, career aspirations, or values, and there’s no room for compromise, it can create a fundamental incompatibility. Are you both willing to change your life goals to accommodate each other’s needs? Are you willing to compromise or does a compromise in these aspects feel too difficult and impermanent?
Feeling Stuck: When you feel stuck in the relationship and it’s preventing personal growth or hindering your pursuit of other life goals, it’s a sign that the relationship might be holding you back. A successful, committed relationship is one that gives fertile ground for growth and change. It is one that not only allows, but it also motivates and promotes each person to thrive. Feeling stuck and unable to cover your drive to move forward is a red flag that you are on the wrong path with this person.
Repetitive Patterns: Continuously experiencing the same negative patterns, such as arguments, misunderstandings, or conflicts without resolution, can be exhausting and indicate an unhealthy dynamic. Evaluate, being with this person in your everyday encounters:
How does being with him make me feel?
How does it make me feel about myself?
How do I feel when I am there with him and what feelings follow me when I am gone?
Attending to your feelings by addressing the above questions can give you a clear indication if your relationship dynamic is toxic or not.
Lack of Effort: If one or both partners have stopped putting in effort to maintain the relationship or address its issues, it can signal that the relationship is no longer a priority. If you cannot be a priority in each other’s life today, then maybe you should not be in each other’s life in this way.
Unresolved Issues: Lingering unresolved issues or past betrayals that continue to cause pain and distress can make it challenging to move forward and may indicate it’s time to let go. Holding onto resentment or bitterness can be toxic to both the individual and the relationship. If forgiveness and healing seem impossible, it may be time to consider moving on.
Physical or Emotional Abuse: Any form of physical or emotional abuse is a clear indication that it’s time to end the relationship. Your safety and well-being should always be the top priority.
NOTE: that words and hurtful comments can be even more damaging than physical pain.
Lack of Trust: Trust is the foundation of a healthy relationship. If trust has been repeatedly broken, and there’s no progress in rebuilding it, it may be best to part ways.
Intuition and Gut Feeling: Sometimes, your intuition tells you when something isn’t right. If you have a persistent gut feeling that the relationship isn’t working despite external pressures, it’s worth considering.
Personal Happiness and Well-Being: Ultimately, your own happiness and well-being should be a priority. Are you happy in this relationship? Do you feel your needs and wants to be met? Can you see yourself building a happy and fulfilled life with this person? If you answered negatively to the above questions, reconsider. If the relationship consistently causes unhappiness, stress, or emotional turmoil, it may be time to prioritize your own mental and emotional health.
Regardless of how great this person is, bottom line is whether you are suited emotionally and physically, if you bring out the best version of yourselves in this relationship and if you can fulfill each other’s wishes and build on the same dreams.
Moving away from a relationship is a significant and often difficult decision. It’s essential to seek support from friends, family, or a therapist during this process. A therapist can help you explore your feelings, clarify your priorities, and make informed decisions about your future. Remember that letting go of a relationship that isn’t fulfilling or healthy can be a step toward finding a more fulfilling and meaningful connection in the future.
Psychologist and Psychotherapist
ECP Accredited, PCA Supervisor