The break up. When you know, you know… We’ve all heard this phrase when describing the feeling you have when you’ve found the love of your life. It’s the moment you meet another human being and can totally see your entire future in their eyes.
Well, I think it works the same way when it’s time to break up. You may go as far as seeking professional help, introducing weird things (or people) into the bedroom or even committing to a life of misery to avoid being alone. BUT… I think it’s safe to say, when you know, you know. And many times women check out long before the break up actually happens.
However, there are some occasions where there are so many gray flags in a relationship that it’s really hard to tell whether it’s time to break up or if there’s just a bump in the road. And I know you’re probably wondering, what is a gray flag?
The Gray Flag
All signs lead to maybe, I don’t know at the moment, and a bunch of confusion. What makes it worse than a red flag is the uncertainty of it. The agony of dealing with the unknown on such a personal level can be more harmful than the sure-fire hell no that comes with a red flag. The beauty with a red flag is that you know without a doubt that something is being done that you don’t like or that doesn’t align with your plans for the future. With gray flags, you see the potential, and it could be… but…
Anyway… In this post, we’ll explore some ways you can operate in the gray and still identify ways to know when it’s time to call it quits.
The Break Up
Break-ups are hard. They take so much out of you emotionally and leave you questioning your self-worth. And other times they make you look back and wonder what the hell you were thinking to accept such nonsense. Either way, they don’t feel good and take a toll on your emotional wellbeing.
But trust me, the future you will be so grateful for the lessons learned and having the ability to do better and level up. Below are a few ways to recognize when it’s time.
1. The overwhelming gut feeling that it’s over.
You know what I’m talking about. When the intimacy is gone; and not just sexual intimacy, also the sit on the couch cuddling up and watching a movie type of intimacy. Or the pillow talking and sharing details about your day type of intimacy. Provided that you’re still in the dating phase, intimacy plays a huge role in helping to sustain a healthy long-lasting relationship.
Without it, there’s obviously a huge disconnect and you might start to get that gut feeling that it’s definitely over. The sexual aspect could phase in and out but the natural affection and longing for intellectual and emotional closeness should remain.
Talk to your partner to understand what the issue is and if it can be resolved. If not, move along.
2. Goals for the future are no longer aligned.
It’s true, people change as they get older; and with new experiences, they often change their perspectives and outlook on life. This is completely normal. And when you’re in a relationship with someone, there’s a chance that eventually, your goals for the future will no longer align.
This doesn’t just happen in romantic relationships; it happens in friendships as well. And this is one of those gray area situations that leave you very confused and uncertain about what your next move should be. Having different goals for the future doesn’t necessarily mean that any love is lost or that you and your partner are no longer attracted or crave intimacy from each other, it just means that fundamentally, the relationship may not make sense anymore.
Especially if neither partner is willing to compromise. If you are repulsed by the ways life and experiences have changed the dynamic between you and your partner, it might be time to call it, sis.
3. Avoidance and discomfort with planning for the future.
This one is very simple. It could be another gray area situation so just monitor it if it’s still early in the relationship. If your partner refuses to discuss plans for the future and wants to just “enjoy the moment”… ehh I don’t know, Love, it might be time to at least start asking the hard questions.
This is why being aligned on foundational values is extremely important to discuss at the start of a relationship and throughout to ensure continued alignment. You don’t want to wake up 10 years from now and realize that you’re still living “in the moment” honoring all of your partner’s wishes and forgetting about the things you want.
That’s where resentment will start to glare its ugly face. First, get therapy to really get to the bottom of why you want/expect a certain outcome in a relationship; if it’s based on a core value that you’re not willing to compromise on, it’s time to call it.
4. Emotional and mental health breakdown.
And finally, if you’re just drained and the stress of your relationship has started to affect your mental and emotional wellbeing, then yes ma’am, it’s time. Initiate the break up ASAP. And it doesn’t always mean something is wrong with your partner.
You, could in fact, be the problem and require a mental health professional to help you work through some issues. In every break up experience you encounter, do your best to be introspective and do less finger pointing.
Final thoughts: The Break Up
It all comes down to this- imagine building a structure, let’s say, the glare shield in an airplane. You’ve taken the measurements, spent time cutting, buffing, adding fiberglass, refining the shape and prepping the attachments. And when it’s time to put the shield into the airplane, it doesn’t fit. WTF…. So you have 2 options. You could spend time re-measuring, re-cutting, and rebuilding the piece you’ve spent so much time working on with the risk of it still not fitting properly due to all the manipulation. Or, you can start fresh with a new piece; you have lessons learned from your previous work and a better understanding of how to make the piece fit.
Basically, don’t waste too much time trying to make something work that doesn’t work. Know when to call it quits and give yourself the best chance at the life and relationship you want.