Going through a breakup is never easy. The person who once gave you butterflies, who knew you better than anyone else, and who you once thought might just be The One, is now packing up their things and exiting your life.
While ending a relationship might feel as good as chopping your arm off with a blunt saw, sometimes it's an inevitable part of life - and keeping one going for the wrong reasons can, in the end, be just as bad.
Here, 11 signs you're overdue for a breakup, or at the very least, a serious relationship review.
1. You’re fighting a lot
It sounds obvious but sometimes until you stop and think about it, the small daily fights can become so normal, they go unnoticed. Bonus points if your fights are always about the same things.
2. Or not at all
While fighting is draining, it can also be a sign of passion. If you find that your time spent together is mostly just ‘meh’, that’s just as much of a signal. Seriously, who wants to go through life just feeling moderately happy? There’s more out there, we promise!
3. You talk about it, but not to them
If you’ve started getting drunk and admitting to your friends that you’re not sure you’re in love anymore, that’s a lie: you’re sure.
4. Everything he (or she) does annoys you
If your SO can’t seem to say or do anything right, ever, it’s probably because you’re totally out of patience, read: totally over it.
5. Sex? No thank you
Think about having sex with your partner right now. If that thought makes you a) disgusted, b) squirmish, or c) just plain put off, it’s not a good sign. Sex is one of the first things to go for a woman when their feelings change towards their partner, and unfortunately, it’s pretty obvious to your partner that something is up.
6. You’re living in the past
Do you have fun together? Still? Or did that question take you back to an overseas holiday two years ago when you got drunk off tequila shots and danced the night away?
7. You stay with them because you worry about finding someone else
If your SO ticks all the boxes on paper, it can be hard to pack your bags and leave. Yes, being alone is scary, but so is looking back five years down the track and wishing you’d done it sooner.
8. Or you're scared of being alone
"We will stay with what’s familiar, even if it doesn’t feel good" Melissa Ferrari, Sydney-based psychotherapist, counsellor and couples therapist, says. "Sometimes we’ll do that because we’re trying to repair something from the past."
"For example, a person who grew up with an alcoholic father - and didn't have a good relationship with him - may stay with an alcoholic partner because of an unconscious desire to fix them," she explains.
9. You don’t miss them
Or if you do, it’s just because you’re plain bored and not because you miss their personality and company.
"In the very early days we have all the endorphins and hormones going through the body. As time goes on you may not feel those exact feelings again but you still need to feel some excitement for your partner, and see them in your future," Ferrari says.
10. There's no talk of the future
While this can be upsetting - especially when people around you seem to have their entire lives planned out - don't jump the gun too much. "Not talking about the future could be a sign that the relationship is over, but it could also mean the person just feels anxiety about moving forward," Ferrari notes.
11. You’re reading this article
Looking for a sign? This is it.
The silver lining is that if both parties want to fix the relationship, it is possible. Even if you feel like you're no longer in love and feel no sexual desire towards your partner.
"Humans react instantly with fight or flight responses," Ferrari explains. "If something doesn’t feel good – and this could’ve happened a year or two years ago – you can start to feel the response of ‘I’m not in love anymore’. Quite often, it’s not about love."
"You might still love someone but your body and your mind are telling you otherwise because there’s hurt or pain or anger. If you can identify the emotion behind it, there’s a high chance your relationship can be fixed.”