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How do you know when it’s time to call it quits, versus when you’re just going through a rough patch?
We spoke with relationship experts to get a list of eight crucial signs to look out for. If several of these apply to you, and if you’ve worked on them to no avail, it could be time to cut the cord.
YOU’RE FIGHTING OVER EVERYTHING
Fights happen. And some couples just naturally fight more than others.
But if your argument pattern is changing and you’re starting to pick fights over the littlest, most insignificant things, that could be an indication that something’s awry, says relationship therapist Rachel Sussman, L.C.S.W., author of The Breakup Bible.
YOU’RE STAYING LATER AND LATER AT THE OFFICE
“The whole essence of being in love is that you always want more,” says Jane Greer, Ph.D., New York-based relationship expert and author of What About Me? Stop Selfishness From Ruining Your Relationship.
If you’re not feeling any desire to hurry home after a long day at work, ask yourself why.
EVERYTHING YOUR PARTNER DOES BOTHERS YOU
This is when a partner’s habit that didn’t bother you before makes nails on a chalkboard seem enjoyable.
Maybe it’s all the hair she leaves in the shower or all the clothes she leaves lying around. Or maybe 97 percent of what she says gets on your nerves these days.
If this is happening more and more, it could be a sign that you’re drifting apart, says Sussman.
YOU COME UP WITH EXCUSES NOT TO HAVE SEX
During the honeymoon phase, you and your partner probably wanted to jump each other every time you were in a room together.
It’s totally normal for things to cool off a little bit when you’re months or years into a relationship—but if you’re actively avoiding sex, that’s not normal, says Sussman.
YOU CAN’T WAIT FOR GUYS’ NIGHT
If you’re scheduling more and more activities with friends—and “turning to friends or family or other people to share the nuances of you life”—that’s a sign that something’s off, says Greer.
Obviously, you can and should be excited to spend time and swap stories with the guys—but the reason for your excitement shouldn’t be because that night gives you a break from your partner.
YOU’RE INTERESTED IN OTHER PEOPLE
Getting a little worked up when you watch an Angelina Jolie movie is one thing, but if you’re out with your friends and find yourself seriously flirting with and feeling interest in other people, that likely means you’re not totally happy with the partner you’ve already got, says Sussman.
YOU HAVE NO INTEREST IN MAKING SACRIFICES FOR HER
Lots of us don’t get pumped about dinner with the in-laws or going to a partner’s work event, but we do it because we care.
If you notice that you’re completely uninterested in these kinds of activities, that they don’t even seem worth it to you, consider that a sign that you’re less invested in the relationship, says Sussman.
YOU CAN’T PICTURE THE FUTURE TOGETHER
“Your lives really do have to fit together,” says Sussman.
If you imagine your life five, 10, or 20 years from now and you can’t see your partner in it, you might want to ask yourself if that’s because he doesn’t belong there.
The article 8 Signs It’s Definitely Time to Break Up originally ran on WomensHealthMag.com.