Have doubts about what stage your relationship is? Here are six guides to help you out, as posited by experts.
A lack of excitement and communication
Leading dating coach and psychologist, Jo Hemmings, lists the top reasons that a relationship has come to the end of its course: “Rowing over inconsequential things that never bothered you before.
Or if really bad, not actually arguing at all, because you or your partner simply can’t be bothered even to row; a growing lack of communication or disconnect, both in and out of the bedroom; not feeling concerned about who they are with or what they might be doing; increasingly enjoying or looking forward to spending time without your partner; noticing flaws in your partner, where before you weren’t aware of them or even loved them for it; feeling that sex is a chore or lacks intimacy, and so begins to lack excitement.”
James Preece – otherwise known as ‘The Dating Guru’ – says that one of the most common reasons for couples splitting up is boredom: “If you don’t get excited about seeing your partner anymore, then something is wrong. You’ve both stopped making an effort and are stuck in the same routines. You go to the same place, do the same things and have the same conversations over and over. It’s possible to save a relationship by mixing things up again, but if you don’t want to, then your days are numbered.”
Resentment is also a strong (and strange-sounding factor) in a break-up, says James. “If your relationship is strong, then you are a team. Your partner’s successes and happiness are yours too,” he says.
“If you are heading towards a split, then you’ll start to feel these are personal slights against you. Every comment or action they take will begin to annoy you, no matter how well meaning they are.”
Of course, arguing is also high on the list. “Most couples bicker from time to time and it’s usually a healthy way to express your feelings. However, if you find yourselves doing it much more, then there are probably built up issues bubbling away. You’ll begin to snap at them for the tiniest little things,” comments James.
But a lack of arguing can also be a bad sign, according to James. “Even more worrying that arguing too much is when you completely stop. If you can’t be bothered to fight for what you want then you won’t be bothered to fight for your relationship.”
Your gut feeling.
Sometimes, your gut feeling is right: “If your relationship has run its course then you’ll both know deep down, even if you don’t want to admit it. It will be a nagging little voice telling you that things aren’t quite right. In this situation, it’s best to talk about what’s happening and plan a separation as amicably as possible.”