05 March 2007

Relationship over?

Things are generally a lot easier to get into than out of. Are you stuck in a relationship that's basically over?

Things are generally a lot easier to get into than out of. Most people, at some time in their lives find themselves in a relationship that is basically over.

We hang on, because it is not quite uncomfortable enough to warrant the upheaval of a breakup, but we know that the end is inevitable.

No one likes a drama, though, so if your partner is faintly tolerable, many people hang in there out of pure habit.

If more than five of the following things are applicable to you and your partner, maybe it is time for you to bail out:

  • Who's that? Your partner starts to go out constantly with new friends that you don’t know. New and unfamiliar names crop up in conversations.
  • Future imperfect. He starts talking about the future in ways that obviously do not include you – babies and Himalayan expeditions do not go hand-in-hand.
  • Sorry, sorry, sorry. You find yourself constantly apologising for things which are not your fault, just to keep the peace.
  • Just us? The two of you are no longer able to do nothing together. The thought of a long weekend away in the mountains with just the two of you, where there are no distractions, makes you come up in hives.
  • Didn't I tell you? Your partner confides in other people rather than in you. They know about the drama at work, or the financial crisis, before you do.
  • Beds are for sleeping in. You don’t really respond on a sexual level to your partner, although you find other people sexually attractive.
  • Strictly business. If your partner had to go on a business trip on your birthday, you would not be entirely devastated. You can think of quite a number of fun ways of spending the day - or the evening.
  • Safety in numbers. You prefer to socialise with larger groups of people rather than being alone with your partner.
  • Women only. You start taking part in activities that obviously exclude your partner, such as a women’s writing group or a men’s fitness group.
  • A 'space' cadet? The word ‘space’ starts creeping into your conversations. No couple can do everything together, but wanting space all the time means it's time to pack those bags.
  • Out with the ex. You find out that your partner went out with an ex-girlfriend and it does not upset you at all. In fact, you find yourself oddly hopeful. In fact, your exes are starting to look more and more attractive.
  • That's not right Your partner criticises or corrects you in front of others (Should you be eating that with all the weight you’ve picked up?)
  • Not that again. You no longer find your partner’s jokes funny and you jump each other’s punchlines. You feel as if you could commit murder if you heard the story about her grandmother's poodle one more time.
  • What was that again? You forget anniversaries and other details about your relationship, such as where exactly you met, where you went on a first date and so forth.
  • Marooned? If you had to choose a person with whom to spend a week on a deserted island, you are not sure it would be your partner.
  • Bad gifts. You don’t give any thought to buying the right present for your partner for birthdays or Christmas. Even worse, you send someone else, such as a secretary, to buy the gift.
  • Guns blazing. Your choice of movies swings from romantic to movies concerned with violent retribution. No more 'Sleepless in Seattle' - you now take out 'The Punisher' or 'American Psycho'.
  • Who's jealous? You feel consumed by jealousy when you see your old boyfriend with his new wife. And she's pregnant, to top it all.
  • Going, going. You start making mental notes about how the furniture and the friends could be divided. And where you could go if you had to move. And how you could afford it.

(Susan Erasmus, Health24)

Post a question on our sexology forum.

See you around?


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Mental health & your work »

How open are you about mental illness in the workplace?

Mental health in the workplace – what you can do to help

If you know that one of your colleagues suffers from a mental illness, would you be able to help them at work? Maligay Govender offers some helpful mental health "first aid" tips.

Sleep & You »

Sleep vs. no sleep Diagnosis of insomnia

6 things that are sabotaging your sleep

Kick these shut-eye killers to the kerb and make your whole life better – overnight.