18 Subtle Signs Your Long-Term Relationship Is Over

signs your long term relationship is over

In a long-term relationship, people tend to get comfortable with each other. You deal with each other’s annoying nuances, and you might have even learned to overlook their toxic habits that you couldn’t wish away. However, it’s because of that comfort that it gets difficult to spot the signs your long-term relationship is over. 

When the spark dies down, you blame it on the length of the relationship. When the conversations die down, you probably assume it’s a byproduct of knowing everything about your partner. Even when a sense of indifference takes over, accepting that your relationship is ending isn’t easy. 

When the signs your relationship is over stare right back at you, you’ll be forced to look them dead in the eye. Before you do that, you need to know what’s normal and what isn’t. With the help of the signs we list out, you’ll be able to answer the question, “How to tell if a long-term relationship is over?”

18 Subtle Signs Your Long-Term Relationship Is Over

Relationships can get complicated. What’s normal for one couple probably isn’t normal for you (Mathew and Jasmine share their toothbrush, you can’t even fathom sharing the bathroom). What becomes a problem for one isn’t a problem for the other, and where one says they can “fight through it”, the other clearly sees the toxicity. 

In most cases, the signs your long-term relationship is over are right there for you to see. But when the comfort takes hold, you dismiss his anger issues by telling yourself, “That’s just what he’s like.” Or, you may dismiss her trust issues by thinking you’ve got to “deal with it”. 

When it all piles up, the relationship burnout you feel can cause significant harm to your mental (or physical) health. So, can you feel when a relationship is over? With the help of the following signs, you’ll pretty much be forced to. Let’s take a look at what they are:

1. When communication feels like a chore, it’s a sign your long-term relationship is over

You’re probably not staying up the entire night anymore, talking about why his Uncle Jerry never takes his overalls off or why the family problems she has never seem to go away. After a few years, pulling all-nighters just to talk isn’t expected anyway. 

However, when communicating with your partner starts to feel like a chore, when you can’t be bothered to indulge in a fight because it seems so useless, you probably need to accept that your relationship is ending. 

Related Reading: 25 Most Common Relationship Problems

2. There’s a lack of emotional intimacy 

“I can see he doesn’t feel like having engaging conversations with me anymore,” Leah told us, talking about how her 9-year long relationship seems to be falling off the rails. She adds, “I noticed the signs the relationship is over for him when he couldn’t find anything to talk about with me on our first “date” after 3 years. 

“All he talked about was what needed fixing around the house, what he did to the lawn, and how the basement needed a fix-up. By this point, I can’t remember the last time I had a heart-to-heart conversation with him.”

One of the biggest signs your long-term relationship is over is when you can’t seem to share your feelings and desires with each other, and the emotional intimacy suffers as a result.

3. You feel burned out 

A “burnout” is caused by a prolonged period of stress that harms a person’s mental state. It instills a sense of emotional exhaustion, when you feel hopelessly trapped, unmotivated about the future, and may get sick of your partner even if they’re not clingy or needy. 

It’s one of those situations that you think will be fixed by a few weeks away from your partner, but the sense of feeling “trapped” or always being drained because of your partner will find its way back. 

If you find it difficult and draining to be around your partner for a prolonged period, it could be one of the signs your relationship is over. 

4. You’re always fighting 

If you’ve turned into the couple that fights in the middle of the mall every time you two go out, it’s not something you can overlook. Every conversation turns into a fight, every difference in opinion is a relationship deal-breaker, every attempt at banter is an attack. 

If after a few hours of not arguing, you’re worried about conversing with your partner lest you incite a fight, it’s one of the biggest signs your long-term relationship is over. 

5. Your partner isn’t the first person you call in an emergency or celebration

When it starts to feel like your personal achievements have become irrelevant to your relationship, it signifies a lack of emotional intimacy. When something unfortunate happens and your partner isn’t your go-to person to call in the event of an emergency, it indicates that you think you can’t rely on them. 

It’s okay to share some news with another friend first if that friend is more invested or knows more about the situation. However, when every piece of good news seems like it’s not worth sharing, you’ve basically answered the question, “How to tell if a long-term relationship is over?”

6. You’re thinking about someone else 

Having a crush on someone while you’re in a relationship is normal. You might feel guilty for it but as long as it doesn’t take over your life or negatively impacts your primary relationship, it isn’t a problem. 

However, when the grass looks green enough for you to want to jump the fence, it’s a problem. If you can’t stop thinking about a new crush or someone you’re interested in, you may need to reassess your feelings. Wanting to talk to someone else over your partner more often than not signals that your heart isn’t in the relationship anymore. 

7. Trust issues 

Signs your relationship is over
Trust issues can plague any relationship

Whether your relationship has always been plagued by insecurities and trust issues, or if they were brought on by an episode of infidelity or betrayal, trust issues can wreak havoc. The constant questioning and insecurities can chip away at the foundation of your bond. 

Can you feel when a relationship is over? Yes, you can, when it feels like your partner is always hiding something from you, it piles up and eventually leads to extreme distrust and animosity. In such situations, you’re only going to feel a growing sense of hostility, not love. 

8. You don’t know what the problem is 

You both know you’re fighting every single day. You both see how you’re drifting apart. But when it comes to a diagnosis, you’re firing blanks. If one person thinks the biggest problem is the lack of communication and the other believes it’s the jealousy that’s ruining the relationship, you’re never going to be able to work on it together. 

Related Reading: 9 Signs Of Complacency In A Relationship

9. You’re in it because you don’t want to be single

Or for any other external reason. “We can’t do that to the kids” or “There’s a lot of financial stability” are things you might tell yourself. When external reasons such as these become the primary reasons why you’re choosing to stay in a relationship, it’s one of the biggest signs your long-term relationship is over. 

Of course, nobody wants a major disruption in their comfortable life. But if you don’t know if you’ll be happier without your partner than you are with them, you need to reconsider how important those external factors are. 

10. Your partner feels like a roommate 

Much as you would conduct yourself around a roommate, you’ve become superficially polite with your partner. You aren’t emotionally intimate with each other, you don’t share your true feelings, and you don’t check in on each other. 

If you’re looking for signs the relationship is over for her, it’s when she’d much rather share her feelings with anyone but you. As for him, it’s when he’d rather bottle all his emotions up than be vulnerable with you. 

11. You’ve lost yourself 

In an attempt to mold yourself to become the person your partner wanted you to be, you might have lost a sense of self. It may start to feel like your partner expects you to be a different person than you actually are, which can very quickly start to get exhausting. 

As one of the major signs your long-term relationship is over, it is going to manifest through dissatisfaction with the person you have become and may lead to a state of relationship burnout as well.

12. You find reasons to not be with each other

After a stressful day at work, coming home to an argumentative partner is the last thing you’d ever want. Before you know it, you’re taking all your grocery store trips alone, spending all your weekends with your friends, and you’re always inviting family over so you don’t have to be alone with your partner. 

When the thought of having to spend time with your partner seems draining, it’s one of the signs the relationship is over for him/her. 

13. You don’t want to change with your partner anymore

At the beginning of a blossoming new relationship, you’re dreaming up a future together with your partner, complete with your own suburban house and the ability to overcome obstacles you face together. 

However, when a sense of dread takes over, “growing” or “changing” with your partner doesn’t seem appealing anymore. You’d much rather grow in your own direction since you already know you’re not that invested in this connection anymore. 

14. Resentment is one of the biggest signs your long-term relationship is over

With a lack of emotional intimacy and communication comes a sense of lingering resentment. Resentment in a marriage can accumulate due to your needs or wants not being met, incompatibility, or taking each other for granted. 

Once the animosity wavers in the air, it’s going to feel like you’re both always on edge. It won’t be an exaggeration to claim that you’ll probably take a sort of pleasure in hurting each other, since you’ve convinced yourself you’re taking “revenge”. 

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15. Your goals couldn’t be further apart 

What once started out with a common goal can change trajectories when you both navigate life together. If one of you changes their mind about having kids or if they find themselves consumed by their work, the difference in opinions can lead to the relationship faltering.

What’s heartbreaking is that of all the signs your long-term relationship is over (or getting there), this one can also signify the weakening of an otherwise healthy bond. On paper, love, trust and mutual respect may be in abundance, but the difference in future goals and opinions will make it extremely hard to be with each other. 

Related Reading: 18 Long-Distance Relationship Problems You Should Know

16. You never laugh together 

A relationship is more than compassion and support. Unless you have fun with your partner like you used to, you’re not going to want to engage in many conversations with them. One of the major signs your long-term relationship is over is when you can’t remember the last time you shared a genuine laugh with your partner or made a memory that brings a smile to your face.

17. You’re constantly apologizing 

For things that are not your fault, for the way you are, or for the external things that go wrong, “Every time I spoke in a friendly manner with a friend of the opposite gender, he’d go berserk. I knew he had insecurity issues right from the beginning, but I never expected him to lash out on me in such a manner,” Jessica told us. 

When she was constantly belittled for the way she’d talk, dress, or behave with people, Jessica knew this relationship had turned toxic for her mental health. It was one of the clear signs the relationship is over for her, and she had already mentally clocked out.

18. You don’t respect each other anymore 

Perhaps your values have changed, or you’ve realized that your partner isn’t as generous as you thought they were. When a lack of respect takes hold in the relationship, it’s never going to feel like a union of two equals. 

There will be power struggles, unequal reciprocity and a few (or a few dozen) harsh words thrown around. 

Now that you know that the signs your long-term relationship is over don’t necessarily look like what you thought they did, it’s possible you’ve got a big decision to make. If it feels like the information is overwhelming and is negatively affecting your mental health, perhaps a mental health therapist can help. 

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If it’s help you’re looking for, Bonobology’s panel of experienced therapists can come to your aid. Whatever decision you come to, it’s pertinent to remember that to accept your relationship is ending doesn’t mean your life is as well. You’re more than your significant other’s partner, and you’ve got to put yourself first. Good luck! 

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