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How Do You Find The Words To Say…

Is there anything more depressing than the moment you realize a relationship you’ve invested time, energy and emotion into is coming to its end? You are breaking up! Sometimes relationships end with a certain measure of immediacy- the death of the love abrupt and final. Other times the end comes so slow you only notice how much you’re deteriorating in brief, fleeting moments of objectivity that come and go before you can fully process whatever it is you just saw or felt. We’ve all been here.

Today I want to talk about some of the telltale signs you might be headed toward breaking up

Check out six breaking up signs:

Apologies Abound

One of the things I noticed as I unknowingly neared the end of a particular intimate relationship was how often we were apologizing to one another. Generally speaking, apologies are healthy. They’re our way of showing the one we care for that we understand we’ve done something we probably shouldn’t have. But in this particular relationship, we got to a point where every conversation and every interaction required some sort apology or act of contrition on one of our parts. What I realized is that abundant apologies indicated something wrong near the foundation of the relationship.

We no longer see the world through the same eyes, our divergent actions reflect that and cause friction; that leads to the increased apologies. We apologize because we’re still fighting for the relationship, fighting a losing battle against whatever it is in our nature that’s leading us in a different direction than our mate.

The truth is, if you’re finding yourself constantly apologizing, it’s probably breaking up.

Find Yourself Unexpectedly Relating to a Sad Song

Ever found yourself alone, listening to music when a song that you’ve heard a million time shuffles through your speakers and speaks to you in a way it’s never spoken to you before? It’s almost as if you’re hearing it for the first time and the artist is singing your story, magnifying emotions and feelings you never knew you had. Our minds are vast and complex and sometimes we use their complexity to hide from ourselves those feelings we feel but don’t want to feel. Music can be the objective, unbiased mirror reflecting back to us emotions we’ve buried deep in places we don’t visit everyday. When you find yourself listening to something like “Goodbye” or “Swim Good” or “Tired of You” and it resonates in a not so vicarious sort of way – it’s usually a sign your relationship is beginning its descent.

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From Attractive to Attracted

When I was a child, my grandmother dug up our entire backyard and turned it into a garden. She was born on a farm had an amazingly green thumb. Roses, hydrangeas, impatiens, tomatoes, figs, apples – all in our back yard. We even had a grape-vine. Despite all that beauty at home, if we were out and about and my grandmother saw a pretty plant at a doctor’s office or in a store, she’d still take the time to stop and admire it. It took nothing away from her love for the plants she’d grown, but flowers are beautiful where ever they’re found. This is like the attractiveness of other people when you’re in a healthy relationship. The world doesn’t suddenly become uglier because you’re in love, you’re just already content with the garden you’ve built at home.

However, when a relationship is nearing its breaking up you go from distantly admiring the attractiveness of other people to finding yourself attracted to them. It’s often subtle change. Maybe there’s a woman at work you begin taking all your breaks with, or maybe you’re rushing in the morning so that you can be on the same train as the guy you see daily and exchange playful, flirty glances with. Whatever form it takes, it’s usually an indication that something is amiss in your relationship.

Everything is Annoying

Have you ever caught yourself thinking something outlandishly unfair like: “Why do you breath like that?” or “Do you have to be all up under me all the time?” Annoyance is my least favorite emotion because invariably, it is a symptom of a deeper, more important feeling we’re avoiding. Instead of addressing the true issue, we get annoyed. There’s no better example of this concept than in intimate, romantic relationships. When you’re falling in love a person’s idiosyncrasies are the things you hold onto the tightest.

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They are the things that you know and discover and value in ways no one else can. But when you’re falling out of love, those same idiosyncrasies become the bane of your existence; responsible for the bulk of your daily annoyance. After awhile you begin to nitpick and chide each other to the point that you’re both walking on egg shells, afraid to say or do something that might draw your mate’s wrath. Typically this is the beginning of the end.

Absolutely Nothing To Talk About

The next time you’re out to dinner take look around the restaurant and you’ll probably notice a good number of couples on dates. You can usually tell the new couples from the old by the nature of their conversations. If the two people are talking so much they can’t even get a bite of food, they’re probably on a first or second date. If they’re dining in silence or near silence, they’ve probably been together awhile. When you’ve been together for a long time, there are two types of silence. If your relationship is healthy you probably talk to each other all day long on the phone, on email or g-chat and via text.

You’re in a constant, never ending conversation. When you finally get done with your day and have a moment to sit down together and share a meal, you might not have much to talk about because you already know everything there is to possibly know. In those situations, the silence is golden. But when you haven’t been talking all day, when you have all sorts of thoughts running through your mind about your job, your goals, your weekend plans and you’re completely disinterested in sharing those with your mate – that’s usually a bad sign. That’s the loud, awkward, deafening silence of “The Words You Never Said” and it usually precedes the end of a relationship.

When Their Opinion No Longer Matters

In the early stages of a relationship, you can’t help but value your mate’s opinion on everything. “Should I cop these Spizike’s or should I wait for the Cement 3’s?” “Do you think I should ask my boss for a raise?” “Do these jeans make me look fat?” You ask each these sorts of questions and the answers you receive actually guide your actions. But just before you get to the place a relationship goes when it’s over, you get to a place where your mate’s opinions mean absolutely nothing to you. I can remember getting to that point in one of my first “serious” relationships. In the middle of an argument, she aimed a particular comment at a place she knew, better than most, was a sensitive spot for me. What she said was extremely hurtful, but for some reason, it didn’t hurt.

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At all. I knew then the relationship was over. When you’ve devalued their opinion so much they no longer have the power to hurt you, or encourage you, or make you happy or make you sad, there’s really no reason to stay together. To love is to risk heartbreak and if they no longer have the power to break your heart, you’re no longer in love.

The ability to understand when a relationship is nearing it’s end is an important skill to develop. By letting relationships die slow, sometimes agonizing deaths, we sometimes ruin what could have been fond memories of the better times we spent with someone we cared for. Love and relationships born out of it, is a strange thing. It has a pace and tempo. It starts off frantic like a jet furiously exerting every ounce of energy it has trying to ascend.. Then it hits its cruising altitude and you fly for as long as you can, the atmosphere, wind and the work you’re putting all functioning in concert pushing you toward your destination.

Sometimes breaking up is abrupt – you crash and burn. Other times the descent is slow and before you know it – the flight is over. Have you ever noticed any of these or signs as a relationship came to its end?