By Jennifer Oikle, Ph.D. for GalTime.com
Has your relationship been the cause of more stress than sweetness lately? Perhaps the guy that used to bring a huge smile to your lips now sparks more of a knot in your stomach, a tear in your eye, or just a plain sigh. If it seems like your relationship has seen better days, it may be time to ask the obvious question:
Is it best to move on?
In fact, the biggest mistake people make is staying too long in a relationship that is heading nowhere. If you love yourself and your partner, you owe it to both of you to look the ugly in the eye, be honest with each other, and make a courageous decision that frees you both for what you really long for: A love that actually works.
How do you know when it’s time to call it quits?
Sign 1: It Hurts More than it Feels Good
A happy, healthy love feels good most of the time. Sure, even good relationships include an argument every now and then, but if you feel sad, mad, or anxious more of the time than not, it’s a clear sign this isn’t the right relationship for you.
Sign 2: What You Used to Love is Now Annoying
Opposites attract and in the beginning, they can create hot chemistry. But over time, those differences can breed contempt. So at first, when your outgoing boyfriend was the life of the party, maybe your shy side felt alive, important, and sexy. But now, you find his endless energy draining, and his flirtatious, extrovert behavior makes you feel insecure. Once the sparks die down, if your fundamental personality differences become the source of constant conflict, realize it isn’t fair to ask either of you to change who you are. Move on to a better fit instead.
Sign 3: You’d Rather Be Somewhere, Anywhere Else
At the start of a romance, you want to be together all of the time. You text and call constantly and spend every available moment together. While it’s normal for that to die down to allow back in your other interests, if you find you just feel apathetic about being together, avoiding his calls, or always scheduling some girl time instead, that’s a red flag alert. Apathy about your partner has an even worse prognosis than vicious fighting, because if you are bored and just don’t care anymore, it usually means your connection has run it’s course. Better to part as friends now.
Sign 4: You Keep Having the Same Old Fights
The mark of a relationship that works is being able to resolve conflicts to create a deeper connection. If you keep fighting over the same issues over and over, with very little progress, it’s a clue that a fundamental part of your personalities just isn’t the right match. You might as well admit that you don’t naturally meet each other’s needs and move on to a partner who doesn’t have to twist himself into a pretzel to be your dream guy.
Sign 5: You’ve Developed a Wandering Eye
When you’re really into a guy, you naturally only have eyes for him. It’s as if your guy-dar turns off and no other man exists in the world. If suddenly your barista is looking sexy, you’re making excuses to talk to the cute co-worker in the next cubicle, or you’ve accepted a lunch offer from your ex, chances are your heart has become curious about new possibilities.
By paying attention to the most obvious signs that it’s time to move on, you can honor both yourself and your partner and give both of you the biggest gift of all: The freedom to find a love that’s meant to last.
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Jennifer Oikle, Ph.D., is a relationship psychologist and dating coach for GalTime.com. Her passion is coaching singles in Authentic Attraction so they can step into their best self and attract the kind of love that lasts a lifetime. She’s also an expert in helping singles dissolve the deepest obstacles that keep them from creating fulfilling relationships. After meeting her husband through Internet dating, she now enjoys assisting singles in finding real love online. Her work has been frequently featured in Cosmo & Happen Mag, as well as Redbook, Women’s Day, the John Tesh Show, and others. Find out how to become a Mate Magnet by taking her quizzes at mysoulmatesolution.com and meetyourmateonline.com.