Humans is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.
How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.
How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.
To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.Show less
You know that feeling, something isn’t quite right. You try, but you just don’t feel the same as you did before… Is it the honeymoon phase ending? Or is your relationship doomed?
Try not to be too sad (easier said than done). It just means this isn’t the right person for you, but learn the warning signs and get out before you end up stuck in a loveless husk of a comfort zone for the rest of your life.
The terror of ending a relationship, particularly a long term one, is all too real. This person is part of your life, your routine. You probably share friends, you might live together, you might even have kids or pets together, but beyond all of that, it might just not be working for you. It could be doomed. Here are some warning signs:
Lack of Intimacy
The honeymoon period of a relationship is amazing, isn’t it? You just want to touch and kiss and roll around naked together, everything is fun and new and exciting. The butterflies before you see each other, heart skipping a beat when they text you a billion heart emojis, taking care to look your very best for every meeting so you continue to impress them. That first time you say "I love you." It is amazing… it is, of course, unsustainable.
Relationships ultimately become your real life. Once this person has succeeded in planting themselves firmly into your daily grind, it will become a norm. I personally think that the honeymoon phase ends when you move in together. There’s no more mystery: he knows what you look like with no make up on, in your sweaty gym clothes and you have shared a bathroom with him and washed his dirty pants. It isn’t all Shakespeare and roses, sex and candlelight.
It may feel as though you are having sex less, once you move in together, and you probably are. When you are dating, you see each other once or twice a week and those are your only chances for intimacy, so you grab them. When you live together sex can happen at any time… it doesn’t, because you both have lives, but it could.
It’s also just normal for sex to be a little less frequent the longer you live together… but it should still be a priority. Intimacy is a very important part of a relationship, if you feel like you are not having your needs met, talk to your partner about it and let them know, if you feel like you don’t desire your partner anymore then you could be falling into a comfortably dangerous friendship… my partner is my best friend, but I still want to fuck his brains out (pardon my french). It is normal for desires to come and go, but keep an eye on your relationship. Do you snuggle and touch? Do you still kiss and hold hands? When was the last time you had sex? If these things just don’t happen anymore, you might just be friends… your relationship could be doomed…
Although the thought of your partner fantasising about someone else is not ideal, the thought that they might find someone else attractive is hurtful… it can happen. Actually, it is pretty normal. I don’t get offended if my other half points out that another female is particularly hot… There are a lot of attractive women around, especially on the television and the internet. He still compliments me and I know he loves me. Just like I know I’m not doing anything wrong if I think someone is attractive… that’s just a physical assessment, it means nothing.
However, if you find yourself constantly fantasising or daydreaming about other people, watching porn is fine, but if it becomes an escape from your relationship, if you feel your other half or you spend more time looking at other people than each other… it could be a sign your relationship is doomed.
One of you has cheated.
Pretty obvious—if one of you has cheated, you’re not happy. Some couples try and stay together and fix the problem but, after staying with a cheater in the past, there’s not much you can do to fix that situation once it has happened. Your relationship is doomed.
There is no trust.
Following on from the cheating point, this is the biggest issue for me. Trust is the key component of a good relationship. Without trust, you don’t have the firm ground to base a loving and long lived relationship on. Trust means that you don’t worry about what your other half is doing, because whatever they are doing, you know it’s nothing that they shouldn’t be doing. You know they wouldn’t lie to you or hide anything from you. It means not going through their phone, it means they know all your passwords because you have no secrets but also because you know they’d never use them.
For me, this is the most important thing, if my other half didn’t trust me, what would be the point of continuing? If you don’t trust each other, your relationship is, ultimately, doomed.
EVERYONE gets bored. That’s life, and unfortunately life can’t all be surprise holidays, amazing experiences, work promotions, wedding days, new babies, expensive dinners or spontaneous sex on the kitchen counter… it just doesn’t work like that. We live in a world where it is increasingly hard to make a living and afford all the things you want whilst still fitting in having a life.
Be aware of falling into a routine in your relationship. It happens, especially with work and kids. Your days are set around a clock. But try and make room for moments of fun and spontaneity, try and keep a spark in your relationship, even if it’s going for a nice walk one weekend and discovering a cute coffee shop, or going for drinks at that weird underground cocktail bar you always walk past and never venture into. Little experiences that can break a habit.
It is important to express to your partner if you feel stuck in a rut or bored and try to work through it together, because growing bored of your relationship means eventually growing bored of each other, and at that point, your relationship is doomed.
You don't communicate.
If there is a problem, you need to address it. There is nothing worse than sitting on an issue... it will eventually surface, and once you’ve harboured it for days, weeks, months… it will be way worse than when it initially arose. Communication is a key component to a successful relationship, why? Because human beings are not mind readers. You can probably tell when something is bothering your other half, but how many times have you either ignored it and waited for them to say something (and they haven’t) or asked and got the response “I’m fine..." pro tip: They aren’t fine.
Sometimes you really need to dig to get them to open up—that’s ok, do the digging. You will both feel so much better once you’ve voiced your concerns, and if you don’t or you would rather sit on your issues and allow them to build and build and build until they one day implode in some form of stroke… your relationship may just be doomed.
You have unrealistic expectations.
An ex once told me that expectations were the worst thing you could have. At the time I didn’t understand, but now I do. Putting your own expectations on to another human being will only set you up for disappointment when they don’t fit the mould you have created for them. Learn to love the person they are and the things they do, and if that isn’t working for you, then your relationship might be doomed.
It’s not fair to expect someone to propose to you when you want them to, no matter how badly you want it and how perfectly it would fit into your plan. It’s not fair to expect the rose covered bedsheets on Valentine's day and if they work late or they do something different, to resent them. It’s not fair to expect them to get on with all your friends and family members and hold it against them if they don’t, try not to expect things of your partner and allow them to surprise and love you in their own way.
You fight all the time.
I see SO many couples like this. They bicker and argue and fall out and don’t talk to each other, and it is normal for them. They must be exhausted. I rarely argue with my partner. We bicker occasionally, especially if one or both of us is tired, but we don’t fight. I can’t go to bed on an argument and I find it very hard to understand those that can simply ignore their partner for days on end—it blows my mind. How can anyone be happy in this kind of consistent, emotional turbulence?
Ask yourself why you fight all the time. Do you enjoy the drama? Is there some thrill in it for you? Or is there something missing in your relationship that neither of you are facing up to? If you find that you are fighting and falling out more often than not, your relationship could be doomed.
You avoid thinking about future plans.
Future plans and hopes and dreams are some of the amazing things to think about and talk about with your significant other. I love discussing what our children will look like, where we can go on holiday in the future, where we might choose as a wedding venue. Thinking about your future together means you are committed to a long term plan with that person. If you find yourself or your partner struggling to think as far as a mini break over the Easter half term, or whose family you want to spend Christmas with this year, your commitment to each other may be short lived and so may your relationship.
If you can’t see a future with your partner, your relationship is doomed.
You aren't happy but you don't want to leave.
This is alarmingly common, once you fall into a pattern with someone and they become a part of your life, the fear of them not being there anymore, or not ever finding someone else, is often greater than the fear of staying in an unhappy relationship.
I have been there and done that. I used to use the phrase "I'd rather be unhappy with him, than unhappy without him" and it made sense to me at the time. I loved him, or thought I did. What I now realise was a dangerous codependence that had developed over the years together, and a deep, desperate fear of being alone, drove me to continue with an unhappy and doomed relationship, rather than rip the bandaid off and walk away. I dragged my unhappiness out over almost 9 years. I wasted so much time. My entire teens and early 20's were spent crying and stressing over someone I knew I shouldn't really be with anyway.
Ask yourself if you are doing the same, simply wasting time delaying the inevitable. Getting over someone is hard, but it is always possible. If I hadn't finally ripped the bandaid off, I wouldn't be with my partner, expecting our first child and almost 5 years deep in a happy relationship.
Don't delay escaping that doomed relationship, be brave. You'll thank me later.