Sometimes it can be hard to let go of a relationship when it's no longer helping you or healthy for you.
Once you fall for someone, it is really difficult to de-tangle your life from that feeling you have for him. Which is why it's all that much more important to choose wisely at the start.
Apathy is a sign that you may be done...
You might find that falling in love is like buying a house. Once you've committed, it's really hard to get out of!
But you also need to keep an eye on the health of your relationship. If you sense your partner is pulling away or is growing cold, you have to act fast to avoid ending that relationship.
That's why you need to know the signs to look out for to make sure you don't miss anything.
Sign #1 You need to leave: The oasis has dried up!
By "Oasis" I'm really talking about your sex life. If the sex stops, your relationship is withering.
Sex is the water that keeps your relationship alive. Many people underestimate the importance of physical intimacy in a relationship.
For men, the physical bonding is just as important (if not more) than any other kind of connection you have. This is because men EXPERIENCE love more than they interpret it or feel it from words.
This is often a real eye-opener to the women I coach, who see their time in bed with their man as a side-benefit.
Not that the sex isn't important - it just carries a different meaning. Women consider sex an expression when the connection has been established and secure.
A sexless love life is another sign...
For men, a big part of feeling the connection IS the physical part.
A REAL-ationship, as I call it.
Even when a woman sees sex as primary to the relationship, she often doesn't realize just how powerful this connection is for her man.
So you can't afford to let your relationship ever lose the sexual mojo. It's the kiss of death.
It never ceases to amaze me how many women - knowing full well that men NEED this contact in the relationship - still continue to play power games with it.
- Sometimes it's used as a power play...
- Sometimes it's neglected or forgotten...
- Sometimes it's ignored or avoided...
But it's never forgotten by him.
A little "ebb and flow" is normal. You may have some periods of slow-down... But overall you should be having a lot of physical interaction, even if it's not sexual.
Ensure your relationship has a strong sexual foundation, no matter what else may be going on.
Sign #2 It's over: You tried on another pair of shoes...
If you're starting to find yourself interested in another person - or he has been showing interest in dating others, you've got a problem that needs to be fixed right away. Or you need to move on RIGHT NOW.
And if you know for certain that one or both of you is not being faithful, it's another warning signal for your relationship.
When everyone else starts looking good, you may be done...
Look, the reality is that nearly everyone (and yes, probably even YOU - if you're honest) has cheated or been unfaithful in the past in some way. And let's not get into Bill Clinton cleverness at defining that unfaithful behavior.
We all might have our feelings of how we'd handle that betrayal, but if we really look at what happened, there's generally one of two things going on:
- You or your partner are just not ready to commit to this relationship. And other people will always be a problem for you.
- You ignored some critical areas of your relationship, and cheating was the emotional outcome to get your needs met.
I believe it's high time we stopped getting so indignant and self-righteous over infidelity. It happens.
It happens a LOT, in fact.
And because it does, we have to be willing to look at this behavior more closely.
A relationship CAN survive infidelity. And you can go on to have a stronger relationship because of it. But you have to get past your feelings of betrayal to do that.
Some people may never be able to get past their trust issues to allow that person back into their life. If you're a person who finds it difficult to trust your partner, it's worth mentioning that this will contribute to problems within your relationship.
You may have to work at it to rebuild. But even if it's only for you, it's worth working through those issues.
And if you're fantasizing about other guys, you know this guy isn't working for you. Let him down now and brave the wilds of being single for a while.
Sign #3 Your relationship is over: Snoooooze....
Plain and simple. Your relationship is boring you, and you don't know how to make it more interesting again.
You've lost interest in him, and maybe he's lost interest in you.
But you have to put in the energy to keep things exciting in your relationship. And boredom is a real killer when it comes to your connection with him.
We don't need to have constant excitement, but you do need to keep your eye out for laziness.
Even the simplest changes can spice things up. From wearing a wig to give yourself a new look, to trying on a new style of clothes.
Try something new...
Remember what I always say:
"Nothing in a relationship just 'takes care of itself.'" - Carlos
One of the cardinal sins of relationships is to assume that just because you fell in love that you can just put everything on cruise control. There's almost nothing in life that you can allow to just tend to itself and expect it to remain as you left it.
- Interests come and go...
- Desires rise and wane...
- Feelings ebb and flow...
You have to tend to your relationship like a plant, watering it, giving it the light and shade it needs, and watching for the overall health.
Sign #4 You need to leave: Boxing gloves instead of kid gloves...
When it's more fun to make war than love... You have a relationship that's in trouble.
Some relationships manage to boost their energy by amplifying the tension and arguments. There are some relationships that are founded and function purely on having arguments all the time. If they weren't bickering or arguing, you wonder what they would ever talk about.
I do feel I need to point out a tendency in some relationships that originates with the woman - I call it:
"Are you sure?" syndrome.
This is when a woman isn't quite sure where she stands with her man and wants to test the connection with him. She may start a fight just to see if he will get emotionally engaged with her.
Because on a gut level, we all know that if we can't get a person mad, they probably don't have ANY feelings for us. That's a dangerous zone of apathy, where there's neither love nor hate.
Love is a battlefield...
In fact, many men and women know this connection between love & hate. And they like to stir up trouble just to keep that energy going - and know they've still got their partner's attention and interest. Even negative attention is attention, after all.
This is also more prominent with women who have insecure attachment styles. This is a fancy psychological term for someone who finds it difficult to trust and believe in their connection with their partner. It often comes from childhood where one or both parents were distant and not very loving.
You do need the ability to disagree and have a little tension from time to time. It's only natural.
But if you were once peaceful with each other and resolved arguments amicably, and now you're just fighting all the time, you have to pay attention.
You also need the desire and willingness to work those disagreements out.
Sometimes we even pick fights to get the other person to break up and relieve us of our guilt about losing our feelings for them.
If the small things have really started to bother you, chances are your resentment is going to poison the love you have and it's time to take a hard look at your relationship.
Sign #5 You need to leave: Your connection is dead...
There are a lot of signs that your love connection has faded or been cut off:
- Your life goals no longer align - You find that you're not heading in the same directions anymore, and you want different things...
- You've asked them to go to therapy with you, but they avoid it. This usually means that they sense it's futile. In fact, if a relationship gets to the point of needing couples therapy, it's got a very slim chance of surviving...
- You realize they're not the person you thought (or imagined) they were. If you've lost respect and positive feelings in your relationship, or they're just not a person you admire, you're not going to have a meaningful, lifelong relationship...
- You can't seem to communicate anymore. When you talk to each other, there's always some kind of misunderstanding, or prickliness when it comes to talking about feelings. One or both of you may be over-sensitive, or easily triggered...
Is it time to cut the line?
Most people tend to stick around in a relationship way after the connection has been lost. Mostly out of fear of being alone.
And believe it or not - the average time they wait it out to break up is about a year.
The irony is that in all that time, they might have met their soulmate if they had only taken steps to end the "bad relationship" as soon as they knew it wasn't working out.
The reality is that you'll never really REALLY know if it's over.
You need to put your foot down and not wait for some "big blowup" or event that you hope will tell you the truth.
It's up to you.
But you can avoid most of the pain by making sure you keep the connection alive in your relationship now, and not let it get to the point of ending.
Your relationship demands that you keep your man obsessed with you.
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