I’m finally in a relationship that doesn’t make me cry like, every second of every day and it’s just occurring to me that I had a spectacular habit in my teens and 20s of “hanging in there” even though the guy I was dating was a monster who made me miserable because he probably hated me. It feels good to try and make something work, it’s a fun little challenge. I get that. But like the shirt in your closet that never has or never will look good on your figure, you need to toss a relationship that’s NAGL on you out. Or leave it in one of those D.A.R.E. drop-off boxes ‘cause being charitable is super cute.
Here’s nine signs that your relationship is as over for you as the asymmetrical silk blouse you bought because it was on sale even though it’s an unflattering shade of green and you don’t really have the shoulders to pull something like that off.
1. You’ve stopped laughing.
The little quips that used to make you laugh now make you sigh and look out the window. Jokes that used to read as a playful ball-busting are now the source of hours-long arguments about “character” and “what you really think.” Once the LOLs are dead, so’s the relaysh.
2. You never fuck anymore.
Maybe not never, but if sex feels like a chore or happens maybe once a month after two too many cocktails, it’s safe to say you can toss out your partner like last week’s milk.
3. You only fuck.
Amen for those first six months of a relationship where you want to do it everywhere from the kitchen counter to the bathroom at a rest stop Wendy’s. But at some point every successful couple puts down the strap on and picks up the phone to make plans with friends or look up movie times or make a dinner reservation. If the majority of your time spent together is boot knockin’, you’re in a glorified fuck buddy situation. If that’s what you want, great, but unless you’re discussing your shared values and treasured memories in a sixty-nine, this isn’t something that’ll go the distance.
4. You’re v unclear on who you are.
Remember before you got into your relationship and all that mattered to you was seeing your friends and doing well at work and taking your weekend hikes? And you know how now you only see his friends/never see anyone’s friends because you’ve entered a bubble of isolation? And how your work is suffering because you spend half the day on Gchat assuring him that no, you don’t want to fuck any of your co-workers? And how you stopped taking hikes, put on five pounds and cannot remember what fresh air smells like? Go ahead and try to keep it up, but the real you will resurface—and when she does? Everybody better watch the fuck out.
5. S/he hates all your friends.
It’s just impossible. There’s no way that someone who loves you could dislike every single one of your friends. The significant other who claims that you only hang out with assholes is just pissed that you have other playmates. Or they’re socially maladjusted and like, no thanks.
6. You’ve had the same fight more than three times.
Maybe she keeps telling you to delete your tweets. Maybe she’s overly flirtatious when she’s drunk. Maybe he gets into loud, inappropriate debates about politics at small dinner parties. Maybe she records over all your favorite shows on the DVR. Maybe he keeps trying on your thongs and won’t give you an explanation. If you find yourself unable to come to some sort of resolution after fight one and fight two, either they’re not listening or they’re not trying and that’s why they say relationships are work, babe.
7. You can’t share your happiness.
You ever burst through the front door and scream, “I got it! I got the job!” and your partner’s like, “Cool.”
What about winning ten bucks on a scratch ticket and being told you’re ridiculous for buying scratch tickets?
What about finding a record you loved as a kid on vinyl only to be told that it’s actually kind of annoying and can you please turn it down?
Yeah, that sounds like a person you want to grow old with. Totally.
8. S/he has crossed the line.
If you’re getting called a cunt or a small-dicked loser or grabbing/”playfully slapping” each other in anger a little harder than you should, you need to back the fuck away. Quickly. Once someone has showed you that they’re capable of saying or doing truly nasty things, there’s no coming back from that. Sure, they may apologize and ask for forgiveness, but once something like this has transpired, you’ll never be able to forget it. It’s the pink elephant shit in the room that will leave a stink on you as long as you try to stay.
9. “Let me finish” is the phrase you use the most.
I think of Jake and Vienna from The Bachelor breaking up on the air when reminded of this dreadful form of argument. Both parties are so enraged that they’re just screaming, “can I finish? Will you let me finish? I was talking; I’d like to finish my thought. I let you talk, are you going to let me finish what I was saying? Of course, you never let me finish.”
Even typing that gives me hives. If the bulk of your fights involve any variation of “let me finish,” just be finished. Period.