Robert Pattinson has reportedly moved out of the home he shared with Kristen Stewart after she admitted cheating on him. If you’re struggling to decide if things are bad enough to warrant breaking up, here’s match.com’s relationship expert Kate Taylor with the writing on the wall…
The trust has gone
Do you find your heart pounding every time your partner gets a text message? When you speak to each other on the phone, do you spend more time straining to identify the background noises than listening to the conversation? Have you ever researched the price of private investigators or ankle-tags? Then it’s time to move on. Without trust, your relationship is meaningless. You could continue to go through the motions, but it will be a joyless experience. Lack of trust means you won’t have anything to build on – their compliments will leave you untouched, future plans will be met with scepticism, and all your thoughts will centre around your partner’s activities, and not your own. Give up. There is one caveat to this – if past issues have led you to mistrust everyone, try counselling before you pack any suitcases. But if issues with this one particular person have caused you to become sceptical, cut your losses and bail. It’s their loss.
You’ve written a pros and cons list
When a relationship is right, you just know. But when a relationship is wrong, sometimes it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly why. So, in an effort to be mature and grown-up about it, you draw up a sensible list of all the reasons to stay, and to go. Stop! Use that pen to write, ‘It’s over!’ and then book an urgent taxi to Anywhere Else. When things get so unemotional that you can think about your other half in a detached list-makey way, it’s a clear sign that Love has left the building. Love is baffling, emotional, fun, passionate and exciting. It is a feeling activity. Lists are a thinking activity. Making a list shows that you are more concerned with the practicalities of life without your partner, not the pain of losing them. It’s over. Go.
There is no forward-motion
Good relationships move. Sometimes in small ways: the sheer confidence and happiness you experience from being together propels both of you to try new things in your lives. Or big ways: you move in together, get engaged, try for a baby, move house... Bad relationships are static. You sit there, frozen in quiet depression, counting out your life in chocolate wrappers, or pints, or whichever drug you’ve chosen to block out the truth. Ever wondered why people describe a great new relationship as making them feel ‘alive’? Life is constantly changing and moving. If your life as a couple has stalled, look for the reasons why. It’s probably because resentments and unspoken disagreements have built a wall between you and the future. Try to break them down. Firstly by honest communication; if that doesn’t work, secondly by booking a removal van.
You don’t like the person you are with your partner
Love can be narcissistic – we fall in love with someone because of how they make us feel about ourselves. With that person on our side, we feel gorgeous, funny, sexy, brave and self-assured. But when a relationship has broken down, we start to hate the person we’ve become. If, when you’re with your partner, you feel clumsy, indecisive, slow and shy, it’s a sign you feel stressed. Are you scared? Or used to his or her criticism? Leave. If you feel unsexy, old, undesirable, it’s a sign that things have gone awry physically. Could you improve yourself? Try that first, but bail if your efforts are met with scorn. If you feel suspicious, mistrustful, sceptical, it’s a sign the trust has gone – see above.
You don’t have fun together
More than trust, more than communication, more than passion – what really keeps a couple together is having fun. Why else is ‘good sense of humour’ consistently ranked so highly in the traits match.com members look for in a partner? Fun is the number one must-have and, when it leaves the relationship, one of you will follow it. This is why people hate clingy, insecure partners – they’re no fun. This is why people look for people who share their interests – they can have more fun! So if the fun has faded from your fling, take notice. Have you stopped doing fun things together? Have you lost your confidence so you can no longer be playful? Have issues built up so your time together is mostly silent? Shake it up! Replace grumpy texts with humorous ones, dull dates with light-hearted activities, and take the ‘serious’ out of ‘serious relationship’. If you can’t find the fun, then move on