Relationships are meant to be a part of life that adds to making life better, enjoyable, pleasant, yes with its ups and downs, but all working together for a better and bigger experience. You often hear people say phrases like a relationship can make, break or divide you. That’s true. Realistically, no one sets out to go into a relationship to come out worse off, but I believe that if we did take some time out periodically to do a critical audit (emotionally, physically, socially and spiritually) of the relationships we are in, don’t carried away by the “doing bits”, analyze the “being bits”, we may end up having more fulfilled ones or nip the “not so needed” ones in the bud before they get out of hand.

Life is governed by a number of principles, of which some give and take, send and receive, sow and reap etc. These pairings help to maintain a creative balance in most or all of what we do and experience in life. Applying these to relationships, for analysis purposes, you and your partner will probably fit into one of these types of people:

The Basket – has the capacity to hold and retain some substance, but because of it’s holey-leaky nature, no matter how much you pour into it, it never really retains anything.

The Bucket – has the capacity to hold and retain some substance, but because it has no natural outlet to let out what it’s holding (except when toppled over), it may be a task and a half to get something out of it. It will always receive, it will hold, but may not give, without much work of being toppled over.

The Tank – has the capacity to hold and retain some substance and due to the “natural” outlet that it has been fitted with, will always release and give effortlessly when turned on. It will always receive, it will always hold and it will always give…

One common thing that some of us love to do, even without knowing that we are doing it, is hoarding, holding on to things, sometimes too much, to our detriment. Sometimes we hold on to certain relationships for different reasons, maybe for fear of starting over, or not finding someone better, can’t be bothered to go through the whole process of waiting and finding, or thinking that we are running out of time and there’s probably no other one better out there, or the new reason one – every relationship has its beauty and it’s burden and at least I have this one, I’ll endure and manage it.

When is it possibly the time to say goodbye, I’m gettin’ outta ‘ere to that relationship that’s not working?

(Disclaimer: this is by no means a grounds for jumping from one relationship to the another, good relationships are built on pure and genuine love – everything is found in true love – and this requires some level of work, but when the work becomes a jail sentence of hard-work-and-labour, then you might want to review your position in that relationship)

These could be some of the signs that it’s time to say goodbye before it becomes too late…

Communication – not happening….
Simply put, the communication between you and your partner seems to dwindle or is getting worse. You could both talk together and hold a conversation for hours on end and win a gold medal for the times you just sat on the phone ‘listening to yourselves breathe’ for hours. But now, to have a simple conversation is now a chore, the “we” term in reference to you both has been replaced by more of “I”. You’d rather talk to and confide in someone else (worse case, someone of the opposite sex) than your partner. You’re not finding it easy to be yourself around them.

He says go, you’re hearing come. She says yes, you’re interpreting it as no. You can hear each other, but no one is listening to the other. Every little conversation leads to some sort of argument. And then, you never tend to resolve anything or can’t reason anything out… And it’s not changing…You might want to check it…

It was an awww…cute thing, now it’s an arghhh! thing..
When you first started building the relationship, it was one of the things that attracted you to him. You thought it was cute. His passion, his drive, his ambitious nature, her caring nature, her ‘creative’ fashion sense, maybe her laugh or something… Now the same thing that you found pleasure and delight in is one that you can’t stand anymore. Those things now irritate you more than they make you happy. And it’s not changing…You might want to check it…

Happy safe place, no…
The thought of your partner and actually being with the person used to take you to a happy safe, restful place… You wouldn’t mind trading a night out with the girls for spending some extra time with him. You’ll give up going to watch the football match to just sit at home and watch the Pretty Woman with her.
If you had a tiring stressing day at work, that was the first person you’d want to run to or call… they were your go-to person, you sounding board, they’d listen to you rant on or just be your plain silly self without thinking otherwise…

But now, your happy place is now a frightful place, a house of terror, a den of fear.. you’d rather work extra time or pick up a second job feeding the ducks in the town centre, just to avoid speaking, seeing or spending time with your partner… And it’s not changing…You might want to check it…

You’re travelling in different directions….
Felt like when you both started off, you were in the same chapter. You both wanted similar things and if they were different, you’d find ways to compromise and accommodate to make things work. But now it comes across as you both suddenly want different things. He wants to go do a Masters degree in pharmacology but you want to settle down and have a summer wedding.

You want to travel for a year and that’s not in his 2-year plan.
She wants to relocate to her fatherland to take up politics but you want to go the China to help the conservatives campaigning for saving the ecosystem. Whether these are happening out of the blues, or you’re making them up, simply because you want out…. you might want to check it…

 

No one is willing to compromise….
You are right, he is wrong. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about and can’t have the last say because you entered the world before she did. At first, you wouldn’t mind doing her bits first before yours, you’d give anything to make sure she was served first before you, but now, the main order is “what about me, me first”… You’re not willing to give in any more, better said you were okay with accommodating, now you can’t tolerate it any you’d rather have your way than no other way…. And it’s not changing…You might want to check it… you might want to check it…

Talks of the future sound scary…
At first, you could plan the whole year together in a single minute, but now any talk, sounds, sights or mention of the future, future plans, where are we headed to, is avoided like a plague. It starts with the simple “what are you doing tomorrow, and you’re replying with – “I think I might having a headache at 5pm, so I won’t be able to see you”.. Then it moves to you or your partner not entertaining anything that has to do with future plans…. And it’s not changing…You might want to check it… you might want to check it…

You’ve changed. Your partner has changed…
Change is inevitable. It happens one way or the other. In relationships, there is a huge possibility that you’ll change. The hope is that the change is for the better. First to make you a better person and in turn be a blessing to your partner and your relationship. But when the change you’re changing into, is so as to conform, fit in, pacify and suit your partner, at the detriment of who you are and could be, then you might want to check it… Chances are one day, you’ll wake up resenting your partner and possibly not recognise the person you have become. Before that time comes, you might want to check it…

When you begin to long for another or wish that you were single again…
I wish I was single. I wish I was free again. I wish I didn’t have to care for someone else or be mindful of someone else and just do what I want. This kind of wishes usually stem from an unsatisfied unfulfilled mind and have a way or slipping into one’s subconscious that involuntarily, one’s actions begin to mirror these wishes. If you’re wishing these wishes… and it’s progressively growing…you might want to check it….

The love and emotion tank is being depleted…
When you find out that you’re giving and nothing is being received back and your partner is happy and content at being the jolly recipient, without making any small attempt at making a deposit back into your love – emotional tank. And then their motto to you is that it is blessed to give than to receive… Hmm.. Or you’re giving and giving and you can’t see the effects or results of what you’re sowing emotionally (maybe you’re just pouring into a basket…)

Chances are one may never be able to give equally, but in healthy relationships, there must always be an exchange to maintain a balance… And if you find out that you’re always being left worse off, and it’s not getting any better, you might want to check it again…

There are more bad times than good times…
If the entirety of your relationship is summed up to have more bad times than good times, or better still you cannot remember the last time you actually rested in your relationship, or laughed or were happy (don’t get me wrong, not saying your relationship will make you happy, but you should be able to derive some happiness as well from it), and you have lost track and count of the negativity you experience on a daily basis, it may be time to reevaluate. So much so that your partner has now become an onion, that the more you peel, the more you unravel, the more you unwrap them, the greater the tears flow, you might just want to check it again…

I just remembered, not really, any form of abuse in a relationship is totally not acceptable! Physical, social, financial, emotional, verbal or psychological abuse, whether it’s to the man (yes, men too get abused!) or to the woman is one that should raise red flags and cause you to gather your bags and look for the nearest route of escape. And don’t ever think, oh, I’ll be patient and help them work through their issues so that they can get over being abusive. Darling, you are not Jesus, He paid it all, not you… it may be time for you to put the brakes on, let your partner go get help first, on their own, and then if it necessary, you may rebuild.

Above all of this, if you get to a point that you realize (for those who are devoted Christians) that the relationship is taking you away from God, not making you want to love God more and is becoming the center of your universe and focus, you might want to check it well, before God Himself decides to check you out of the relationship. That one my friend is more painful!

Relationships are meant to be a blessing as those who engage in them have the capacity to be a blessing. But when you have genuinely done all you can possibly do, you have to be all you can possibly be and more, and you and your partner don’t seem to want to deal, partner, compromise, sacrifice for each other, your relationship may be reaching its expiry date.

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