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A relationship can start with you feeling on top of the world, but it can go downhill over time. So, if those butterflies in your stomach have turned to rocks, it’s time to think about your options. Although it can be tough, remember that breaking up isn’t failing; it’s an important learning experience for the future.

This can help if:

  • you’re not feeling right about your relationship
  • it feels like you’re always the one making the effort
  • your partner is being disrespectful or is upsetting you
  • you and your partner have frequent arguments.
Boy and girl sitting away from camera

Signs that it may be time to move on

If you’re feeling that all isn’t rosy in your relationship, have a look for these red flag signs that it may be time to let it go.

Your partner uses the silent treatment and withholds kindness or contact

The key to a good relationship is being willing to talk to each other, which is exactly what’s not happening when your partner gives you the silent treatment.

It’s totally okay to need space to think things through after a disagreement, but a lengthy period of deliberate silence that is designed to ‘punish’ you is the best way to destroy your chances of moving forward.

If your partner is withholding contact, through not talking with you or touching you, it’s impossible to sort things out. Their behaviour is designed to make you feel guilty, and gives them the power to decide the status of your relationship.

Minor disagreements turn into constant arguments

No relationship is a bed of roses. But some kinds of conflict don’t help you or your relationship to grow.

If a small disagreement turns into an argument that’s easily resolved afterwards, there's probably no cause for alarm. But, if this is starting to happen a lot, or you feel unable or scared to disagree with your partner, then that’s a serious warning sign that the relationship may need to end.

If these fights ever become physical, that’s abuse, and you need to end the relationship as safely and quickly as you can.

Your partner doesn’t like you hanging with your mates

A lot of people see their partner as their friend, too. You can talk about anything with them and they know how to make you laugh, plus you’ve got a large helping of romance on top. What’s not to like?

If your partner is trying to be your only friend, your relationship is drifting into a toxic area. If they make you feel guilty about hanging out with other friends, or insist that they accompany you on all your friendly outings, they’re not being your friend or the kind of partner you need.

This kind of possessive behaviour can cause you to become isolated and lose important friendships. If this is happening to you, it might be best to talk with your partner about allowing each other space. You can then decide the direction you want your relationship to take from there.

You feel worse about yourself since you started the relationship

Casual negative comments from your partner can affect you, because you value their opinion. Has your partner been saying or doing things that have gradually made you feel worse about yourself since starting the relationship?

Negativity can be direct, like saying you suck. Or it can be subtle, like making you feel that no one else would ever love you.

Whichever form this kind of negativity takes, remember that your partner doesn’t decide your worth as a human being.

You seem to be doing all the work to keep the relationship going

A healthy relationship involves equal effort and interest, as well as mutual support. If you feel like you’re making all the effort to plan fun dates and to talk about interesting stuff, your relationship sounds as if it’s sliding into stagnation.

What can I do now?