It is often difficult to know that your relationship is over long ago! Most people I have coached or treated were in relationships they knew were over for a year or so before they actually ended it. How do you know when it’s really over?
This is actually really common. It happens for many reasons.
- Fear of leaving something.
- Fear of being alone.
- Guilt of hurting someone.
- Hope that it will get better.
Not sure if it’s you or if the relationship really isn’t repairable. Not wanting to be the one who ends it. Thinking you can change someone.
Not wanting to live with something that has “failed”. Kids. Not wanting to move out or ruin the living arrangement. So many reasons. And it doesn’t matter if they’re valid or not. They are all real.
So then how do you know if the relationship is truly over and it’s time to move on?
I think this is one of the most difficult life questions to answer. It really is. I’ve struggled with it so many times.
But here’s the truth.
You will never really really know if the relationship is truly over. I’ve seen relationships rise from the dead. I’ve seen people rebuild after cheating and lying. I’ve seen people who can’t stand each other fall in love again.
There are so many factors, controllable and uncontrollable in a relationship that come into play. There are so many internal shifts that can happen that are unexpected.
There are revelations we have daily that change the dynamic and our choices. We are indecisive creatures who change like the wind, depending on our feelings and our thoughts.
Fuck, I’m one of the most indecisive people I know.
So it’s not about knowing if the relationship is truly over. Because miracles happen. Because anything’s possible.
Because people change. Because there is no relationship doctor that can predict outcomes with one hundred percent certainty.
It’s about asking yourself this one simple question.
Is the relationship causing you to break up with yourself?
Let me explain.
First let’s talk about what that actually means.
Are you losing yourself? Are you drifting from who you truly are?
Do you no longer like yourself, respect yourself, know yourself?
Do you feel invisible and powerless and have no sense of who you are anymore?
Do you feel hollow?
Before you answer those questions, you have to ask yourself how much of those feelings are due to the relationship and how much of them is on you and where you’re at in your life?
Many blame their relationship because they’re at a shitty place in their life. If that’s the case, you have to own your own shit and rebuild yourself.
As you rebuild yourself, the dynamic of the relationship will change. Or maybe it won’t if the other person is done. Remember, you’re only fifty percent of any relationship and that’s what makes knowing if it’s truly over impossible.
On the flip side, if it is your relationship that’s causing you to break up with you, then it’s just a matter of time before you become so unhappy it’s over.
There is a ticking clock and for some, depending on your fears, your story, your definitions and so many things, it could be months or it could take a year.
But it shouldn’t be a waiting game.
And this is the part I really want italicize. This is what I would like for you to take away from this article, if anything.
Especially if you’re in something right now and you don’t know what to do because you don’t know if it’s truly over.
Don’t. Just. Wait.
For the other person or the relationship to magically change.
Do something. I can tell you it’s your responsibility but I’m going to take another approach. There’s nothing worse than leaving something knowing you could have done more.