Today’s guest column is written by Lauren Dupuis-Perez who blogs at I’m Better In Real Life.
My husband and I often spend some of our weekend wrapped around each other in bed, listening to back-to-back episodes of “This American Life.” Recently, their Valentine’s Day special – all about the things we do for love – got me thinking. While listening to different people’s experiences and the crazy (albeit endearing) things they did, I couldn’t help but cringe — spoiler alert: the majority of the stories on the show don’t end well — and by the time it was over, I was throwing my hands up in frustration because, “Ugh! Didn’t they know it was over WAY before then?!”
I have gained a copious amount of knowledge and wisdom about when to let go because I am, in fact, that biggest hanger-on-until-my-hands-are-bloody person. If you tell me, out loud, that the relationship isn’t working, I’ll do my best to fix all of the “holes” and drag it out another six months. Is distance making us both completely insane? That’s just a small challenge that any real romance can withstand! You make me cry more than you make me laugh? It’s probably my fault for being so emotional.
I’ve learned so much about what not to do, I figure it’s my feminist duty to give it to you straight and save you from making similar mistakes. To that end, here are my 10 Signs It’s Totally Over:
1. If you have the strong urge to hire a private investigator because you think he might be cheating … your relationship is already over (and the truth is, he most likely is).
2. If you feel the overwhelming urge to read his diary/journal/personal and private emails/
text messages/etc., it’s because: a) you don’t trust him, or b) there’s something you can’t
ask him out loud because you’re not going to like the answer.
3. If it’s been a lot of years and the conversation about marriage just hasn’t come up (no hypothetical time line, no assertion of “yes, someday”, but zero-zilch-nada), and you’re unsure why: It’s because neither of you really wants to marry the other one, even if everything seems perfect at the moment, and you should MOA.
4. If you have gone on more than three dates with someone and you are angsting over whether or not to text him something fun, invite him over, or plan another activity with him because you aren’t sure if he likes you: Either you need to clarify what’s going on so your head doesn’t explode OR he doesn’t like you as much as you like him. The good ones make it exceedingly clear.
5. If you have to renew your vows every year in front of others, then you need to be convinced the other person is in it to win it. Or you’re trying to convince yourself.
6. If you can move away and don’t care whether or not your partner comes with you, then you haven’t found the right person yet.
7. If you don’t like who you are when you’re with your partner, then it’s certainly already over. Ditch the crazy, irrational, mean, or embarrassed feeling (and the one who makes you crazy) for something better.
8. If he doesn’t believe in marriage and you do, stop wasting your time. Even though you love him, the end result is not going to change.
9. If your partner punches holes in the wall, or if your neighbors call the cops because they think there is a domestic disturbance… there is. Physical intimidation is never acceptable, even if the victim is the drywall.
10. If you are banking on your partner changing, if you say to your friends, “Oh, he’ll come around!”, if the person who he is RIGHT NOW isn’t someone you would like to be with in 5 or 10 years, then the relationship is over. Don’t waste your energy on someone you’re with because you’re hoping he will change.
What have you discovered along your relationship journeys? Is there any tidbit you’ve put in your back pocket to use at a later date?
*Lauren Dupuis-Perez is a writer living in the Bay Area with her husband and pet frog. She writes every day at I’m Better In Real Life, and can be found on Facebook and Twitter. She would love to hear from you!