Relationships fuel our lives, companionship is what keeps us healthy … but even in the greatest relationships, we sometimes find ourselves questioning if the partnership is still giving us what we need. Time can naturally change a relationship, and that change doesn’t always have a source to blame. Recognizing a shift in the relationship can be frightening and deciding where to go next is tricky because a relationship is not a one-way street, and you don’t want to hurt your partner.
So here is the big question: are you still in your relationship out of obligation?
How long have you and your partner been together?
Whether we are talking long or short term here, time matters in a relationship. The longer the time spent together, the more obligation we feel to our partner. The more sense of obligation, the harder it gets to express that you feel the relationship may be going south.
Do you still dream about your future together?
Dreaming up plans for the future of your relationship means that you are in the relationship for the long haul – at least at the moment. When you stop seeing your partner as a component to your future, or you aren’t as sure of your future together anymore, this could be a sign that you are not as satisfied with your relationship as you thought.
Does your partner make you laugh like they used to?
Laughter is a key to happiness. If you have noticed that there has been less laughter between the two of you, this could be an indication that the relationship is not as easygoing as it should be.
Are your eyes truly only for your partner?
If you were truly happy with your partner, you wouldn’t be thinking about other people.
Does the relationship still feel fresh?
In a healthy relationship, almost every day shared between the two of you will feel like a new opportunity to grow as a couple. If your time spent together is starting to feel more like a chore than a time to relax and have fun, something is wrong.
Do you try to avoid an argument by simply not sharing how you feel?
Communication is key! If you are withholding feelings from your partner because you know it will lead to an argument that you do not want to have, that is really no good.
Are you afraid of hurting your partner with honesty?
No one wants to hurt their partner, but feelings cannot be held in forever. You may just be hurting your partner even more by letting the relationship drag on because you are afraid to say how you feel. Your fear of hurting someone you care about could potentially be the only thing keeping your relationship alive. While the truth may hurt, being honest with yourself and your partner is extremely important.
If any of these questions raised some concern that you might be in your relationship only out of obligation to your partner, then they might be something you should think about. Every couple goes through the occasional rough patch, but if these problems persist, then it might be time to think about what is best for you.