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Everyone hopes that their relationship will last forever. Unfortunately, that is not always true. Not every relationship will end in a white gown and a pair of rings. Instead, many of them will end in tears, heartbreak and shattered hopes. That some relationships are doomed to fail does not mean that you should give up on pursuing the one that will last until your dying day. It does mean, however, that you need to be able to recognize when a relationship is no longer worth the time and energy you are investing in it. Painful though it may be, there is no point in trying to feed a fire that has gone out. In those cases, you are best served to accept that the relationship is over and start working on moving on. First, however, you need to know how to tell when it is time to give up on the relationship.

You dread spending time together.

Relationships should be one of the high points in your life. You should look forward to spending time with your significant other and be excited to see them. Even if you are too tired or irritable to enjoy anyone’s company, your significant other should be able to soften your heart at least a little bit. If the relationship is still going strong, you should not dread spending time with your significant other. You should not find yourself looking for excuses for why you cannot make date night or being grateful when terrible weather keeps you and your significant other from going to a concert as planned. If you deliberately stay late at work so that you have a legitimate reason to not be your significant other’s plus one at a party, it is time to call it quits. Your partner is no longer a source of happiness and joy.

Relationships will always have their ups and downs, and everyone has bad days. Those lows and bad days, however, should never reach the point that the mere thought of spending time with your partner makes you miserable. If you cannot stand being in your significant other’s presence, accept that the relationship is over. Move on and find someone that completes you, and let your partner find someone who will love them.

They never have time for you anymore.

There is an old adage that says that people make time for that and whom they love. If your partner never seems to have time for you anymore, it may be because you are no longer a priority in their life. You can usually tell if someone truly does not have time for you in their life anymore. They never respond to your texts or calls. Every time you try and make plans they are unavailable. They have to stay late at work that day. They already made plans with someone else. They already saw that movie. 

Being unavailable can also mean being emotional unavailable. If your partner is emotionally distant, you should probably cut your losses. It is very hard to break through the sort of apathy that emotional distance causes, and the fact that apathy was born in the first place says that the relationship was probably doomed from the start.

Your partner suggests taking a break.

If you or your partner wants to take a break from the relationship, you are best served to simply assume the relationship is finished. It is true that some couples manage to get back together after a brief time apart, but neither you nor your partner should live with the expectation that the other is going to put their life on hold. Backing out of a relationship that is not a good fit is the best thing to do so that neither you nor the other person waste their time. If you or your partner leave, however, there is no guarantee the other person will wait. The other person has no way of knowing how long it will take the person who wants a break to deal with their issues. It might take a few weeks. It might take a few years. If your partner wants a break, treat it as a break-up. If you two are truly meant to be together, you will end up meeting again and rekindling your relationship at a later date. Do not, however, put your life on hold and sit around waiting for someone else to come back to you. They might not.

You feel like you cannot trust your partner.

Relationships are built on trust and respect. If either of those things has disappeared, the relationship is over. You need to be able to trust your partner to respect you. You also need to be able to be vulnerable with them. Vulnerability is a key part of intimacy. If you cannot trust your partner to treat your fears, hopes, dreams and secrets with the care they deserve, you will be unwilling to be vulnerable around them. When this happens, the relationship is at best a waste of time. At worst, it is unhealthy. Cut your losses, and get out while you can.

Everyone hopes for a relationship that will last forever, but sadly, that will not always be the case. There will be numerous relationships that end in tears and sadness. That does not, however, mean that you should give up hope. Love is out there, and you will be able to find it one day. Before you can be with the person you are meant for, you have to let go of the relationships that are not right for you. It is never pleasant, but you have to walk away from relationships when they are over so that you can find the one that will last forever.