You get home from an emergency TP run. That’s when you realize the cashier tied the handles in a double knot. You need to go — and it’s practically impossible to get that knot untied.
The scary thing is that sometimes it’s easier to untie a tight knot in a plastic bag than it is to notice when your relationship is over.
If you’re experiencing any of the potentially unnoticeable experiences below, don’t just let the knot sit there because you don’t want to tackle it. Make the effort to untie the knot, and run far, far away.
1. If you prefer to spend time with anyone or anything other than your partner.
It’s time to end your relationship if you’d rather spend more time in unnecessary work meetings or driving behind a person going five miles an hour under the speed limit than with your partner, spouse, or significant other.
If watching paint dry or waiting for water to boil feels more productive than spending another minute with than your other half, your relationship is over.
2. If residents in a nursing home have a bigger future than your relationship.
If, in your heart of hearts, deep down inside your soul, you know your relationship isn’t going anywhere fast, medium, or slow, end it before it goes any further. Rose’s heart in Titanic will forever go on and on for Jack, but your love is dead in the water. That’s a sign you need to pull the plug on your relationship faster than you hit the “skip” button when that Celine Dion song sneaks onto your playlist.
3. If you’re on again and off again and then on again.
It’s off. It really, truly is off, and one or both of you just can’t seem to stay off. The only thing worse than a returning ex is recurring herpes — especially if the returning ex is the person who gave you those recurring herpes.
It may have been fun in high school to have the drama of the on-again-off-again relationship, but adulting isn’t high school, and high school relationships aren’t an example of mature adulthood.
4. Visions of breaking up have replaced your meditation ritual.
Stress is only useful in pressure cookers, and “stressed” is only good if you’re reading it in a mirror. (Hint: stressed backward = desserts.) If you’re significant other causes you more stress than a work deadline or that recurring dream in which you forgot to study for the big exam, it’s time to end the stress and stop being stressed.
A healthy relationship is a partnership of equal helping each other to become better people, not a partnership that requires daily doses of Celexa.
5. You’re already sleeping with other people.
If you’re in a relationship that doesn’t allow you to sleep with other people and you’re sleeping with other people, you’re no longer in a relationship. The sooner you tell your ex that they’re now your ex, the sooner you’ll eliminate the risk that Clark Gable III (of Cheaters fame) will show up at your doorstep. Besides, it’s better if you and your ex both can move onto healthier relationships.
6. You fight more often and longer than Mayweather and McGregor.
If you’re relationship consist of more fights than dinners, it’s a sign you should end the fighting by ending the relationship. Healthy relationships don’t consist of fight after fight (or fights that last all night).
End this relationship and find one with a better chance at including a diamond ring instead of a boxing ring.
7. If You’re not Paula Abdul and M.C. Kat.
They say that opposites attract, but you’re not a magnet nor a pop star. Relationships are interesting and exciting when you each have unique characteristics and interests. But, if you have less in common than James Carville and Mary Matalin, you might not have a future.
If you disagree with every word your partner makes and cringe at every breath your partner takes, you have no synchronicity and the relationship is over.
8. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it’s a duck.
If you feel like friends, talk like friends, and live like friends, you’re friends. We never want to hurt our friends, so we often don’t want the “relationship” to end. Even though it sounds cliché to say, “Let’s stay friends,” sometimes that works.
I mean, look at Will & Grace.
9. You have more fun with yourself than with your partner.
If you’d rather be alone than spend more time when your partner than don’t waste another minute with your partner. There’s nothing wrong with wanting the occasional alone time, but if you want alone time more than you want together time, don’t try to stay together forever.
9.5 You have more fun with yourself than with your partner.
If you’d rather polish the pearl or clean the pipe more than lie with your other, it may be time to go solo in life and bed. This isn’t to say that going solo when you’re having relations is bad, it’s just that healthy relations include a healthy amount of copulation.
It’s probably true that if your relationship is over you already know it. It’s just a matter of saying “it’s over.” Stein’s Law states that things that can’t go on forever won’t. If the end of your relationship is inevitable, then don’t avoid it.