How to tell that your relationship has run its course
Can you remember the moment when your last relationship died? Not the actual walking out, or the “it’s over” conversation, but the moment when you realised that the relationship had no future?
Deal-breaking moments are relatively easy to spot when you’re dating. You know the kind of thing: two hours into your third date, your companion burps loudly and you suddenly realise that you never want to sleep with them. Can relationships die in a single moment, too? Journalist Robert K Elder put that question to his readers, and he received so many anecdotes in response that he needed a website and book to put them in. The stories in It Was Over When (www.itwasoverwhen.com) are frequently funny and shocking, but they’ll ring true if you’re in a stale relationship.
“It’s over” moments are highly subjective and can be hard to spot at the time, but we’ve come up with a list of red flags to look out for in relationships and on dates. If any of them sound familiar, it may be time to start afresh and look for new love in 2012.
5 moments that mean “it’s over”
1. Your partner insults you in front of your friends
No-one should share their life with someone who is nasty and disrespectful to them, particularly in front of friends or family. Tactless teasing is bad enough, but hurtful insults are unforgivable.
2. Your partner shouts at you in public All couples argue.
Shouting isn’t ideal, but it happens, and if you both apologise quickly and sincerely it shouldn’t end your relationship. But if your partner explodes with rage without serious provocation, it’s time to consider walking away.
3. Your partner insults you in bed
A lover who insults your sexual performance or compares you unfavourably to previous lovers is not someone who deserves to be anywhere near your bed.
4. Your friends and family warn you off
If the people who know you best think that your relationship is no good for you, listen to them. Your relationship with them is as important as your relationship with your partner. You may not always want to hear their opinions, but respect them. Friends and family will be there for you when your other half isn’t.
5. Your partner has spent all your money
Most relationships go through stages where one person is more financially or emotionally generous than the other. But the imbalance should not be more or less permanent. Parasites don’t make good partners. If you been bankrolling you partner to such an extent that one day you have nothing left, you’d better be in a committed long-term relationship with someone who would (and will) do the same for you one day. If not, leave. And never try to buy anyone’s affection again.
5 dating deal-breaker moments
1. They flirt openly in front of you
Perhaps they want to keep you on your toes. Perhaps they’re wary of getting too serious too soon. Yes… and perhaps they should find someone else to go out with next time, because you’d rather date someone who’s only interested in you.
2. Saying the L word
You want your date’s attention, but you don’t want them planning out your future just yet. When someone says “I love you” when they hardly even know you, the effect is creepy rather than romantic.
3. They’re rude to the waiter
It’s excruciating to be on a date with someone who shouts at the waiter, or barman, or any passing human being. In that instant, your date turns from potential partner to embarrassing oaf – and you can’t help but wonder when they’ll speak to you like that.
4. They chew with their mouth open
Bad table manners aren’t even cute in a toddler. In a grown adult who’s supposedly trying to impress you, it’s frankly disturbing.
5. They answer their phone at dinner
So you’ve had a drink and a chat, you’re now enjoying a romantic dinner, and it’s all going brilliantly – until their phone rings, and they answer it. While they chat away to their friend, you might as well just leave. Let them pick up the bill.
I knew it was over when…
“I woke up, looked at my partner sitting on the edge of the bed and realised that I absolutely detested the shape of his head.”
“When I asked him who his best friend was, he said his ex-girlfriend. Who lived with him.”
“He thought that dinosaurs were a conspiracy theory.”
“When I learned he cheated on me, it was the best news I could have had.”
“I figured out he was just agreeing with everything I said and did. It was creepy, really. Like he had no personality of his own.”
“I heard him singing ‘Oklahoma!’ in the shower.”
Find more anecdotes, or submit your own, at www.itwasoverwhen.com