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How Do You Know a Relationship Is Over?

Group Therapy: How Do You Know a Relationship Is Over?

This question comes from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

Recently I've been wondering if I am being silly by tying myself down to my current boyfriend. He is actually the first guy I've ever dated (we met in college) and we have been together for almost 5 years. We have been living together for that last 2 years. My boyfriend is smart, kind, and caring. However, I've recently had a hard time feeling the "spark" of attraction that I used to feel. However, while my attraction to my boyfriend seems to be fizzling, my attraction to other guys is not. I sometimes think about other cute guys that I know and then feel really terrible for doing so because of my boyfriend. I know I would feel devastated if the tables were turned . . . so I just feel like all of this is unfair to him, yet I don't know how to snap out of it.

Another part of the problem is my boyfriend's ambivalence about marriage. We are both young so I really don't want to pressure him, but we have had "the marriage talk" and he basically said that he doesn't believe in marriage and doesn't know if he wants to get married. I told him my side, which was that I was really not comfortable with just being a girlfriend forever. I personally feel that I would like to marry in the event that I meet a guy that I love and have a serious relationship. So we just kind of left things there — mostly because we just kept having the same conversation over and over again and getting no where.


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We haven't spoken about that in about 4 months, but I guess since that all happened I have been feeling like I should distance myself. Like I said, I am young, I am applying to grad school and will possibly have to move away. The original intention was to maintain a long distance relationship (we have talked about this) but I am wondering if this is reasonable. I guess I'm just having a hard time gauging my feelings becuase this is my first and only relationship and though I don't feel extremely passionate about my boyfriend at the moment, I still love him. Is this just a phase? Or is this a sign that my boyfriend is not the one for me?

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kissmeimstupid kissmeimstupid 6 years
I know theres a million people out there that could say to you i know exactly what you are going through, but im still going to offer my words, infact i joined this site to comment on your post. I cannot describe the similarity of your situation to my resolved issue. I too was with my boyfriend for 5 years, we got together when i was 16 him 20 and although he lived with me in my family home after 12 months we got our own flat for the last 2 years of our relationship. Im guessin from that comment you can work out what happened between not trying to say this is inevitable in your situation but i think theres something inside us and we just know when somethings not working. I never ever admitted it at the time and even offered counselling for us. We were so young its strange to think i was holding onto something so damaged and yet seemed so vital. We too had the marriage talk, he didnt want to get married or have kids if you asked him, but put him in a romantic setting and he might say he would do it for me....only for everyday life when our friends get engaged/have babies for him to state he was never doing that. I think a lot of men have that front and attitude especially when everyones young but you should never ever settle for something you dont deserve....i very recently came across a quote i now want to shout from the rooftops for its only accept the love you think you deserve.....why do we settle for something we question, im not saying everything should be perfect all the time but when it gets to questionning or asking advice, we're looking for someone to say everythings ok. and only you can know that, I know it didnt work with my boyfriend and theres plenty of chances that if he had ran back to me i would have seen it as inevitable to happen but now i couldnt remember the feeling of such devotion to this person. Im happy for all the good times but it would be too different, i just want you to do exactly whats right for you. and whoever comes on here and says do this do that....its not as easy as that or everyone would be offering magic words. I wanted to comment as your situation stuck out exactly as i was thinking 12 months ago. I am at university which required me to be away from my ex for 18 months and its not easy especialy with the rocky foundation. I found myself thinking i could say the right things on the phone "i miss you baby" "i miss you too", The minute i knew i was saying it because i thought i had too, i knew. Im glad i went away to uni and did it for myself im in my last 6 months now and will have something from it. please ensure you do your studies as at the end of the day you should always do what you want to do, its always you stood at the end of the day whether youre bf in tow or anyone for that matter. Im now with someone else and i found myself falling for the same traits as my ex and deciding what to do about this, but the strange thing is the traits are very similar but i see it after six months not the 5 years it took me and my ex to realise that we were just convenient for each other. Im not saying i didnt love him at the end, but it was different and im sure thats what it is for you. I would love to maintain a relationship where its as lovely as the first stages, even couple of years, but this was different. I always wondered about marriage but looking back i was too young and if he ever had of been to bend down on one knee i still think it wouldnt have worked, there was underlying problems. I dont even want to read this message back because i think it will be repetitive and away from the original post, but its the best thing to do. I hope that you and your boyfriend sort it out because i wouldnt wish a breakup on my worst enemy, but if it should happen, i know that one day you will feel similar to me. My friend broke up with her bf and i wanted to be the bigger person and say look i got through it you will....the fact is a lot of people go through it and get over it, its sad wondering where all the feelings go....but just write your feelings down over and over a complete will find a bond with someone because plenty of people like talking about issues with someone they dont know........ :)
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 7 years
Personally, I think you should break up with him. You are bored, you have a wandering eye, you're moving away, and you want different things. If you break up and he was the one for you all along, you can always get back together. But it sounds to me like moving along would be the best course of action for you.
kandrew4 kandrew4 7 years
I have actually been in this situation, minus the cohabitation (which undoubtedly makes it harder). We had dated for four years, and the same talk kept coming up and nothing was changing for either of us. Finally, it was time to let go. We had dated for four years (college and then some) and had been talking about the future. He was the same way your boyfriend is, and I usually just pushed it aside in my mind even though I wanted something else. However, one day, sitting in church, I realized I just couldn't do it anymore. It was time. We talked, and it was a bad break-up since we both still loved each other. We had to face the facts. I moved several states away to start a new job, and within a year I met my future husband. That relationship was one of the best learning experiences I have ever had, and the break-up was a good decision. You know yourself, you don't have to settle. Things don't change.
sahieszhya sahieszhya 7 years
Sometimes women expect men to change, and what we dont realise is that they are almost incapable of it, with the rare exceptions out there. You're wondering if you're settling. Its normal to wonder and its also normal to try and find those qualities elsewhere when their not being fulfilled by your friend/boyfriend/family member. However, maybe you should just give each other some space, you must have heard of the saying "distance only makes the heart grow fonder", maybe it is then you will realise what he and you truly mean to each other. it may even make him realise that he does want to spend the rest of his life with you, aka marriage. Or it may open your eyes to what's out there, the real world. SO dont be afraid, go where your heart takes you. Good luck hun xx
kurniakasih kurniakasih 7 years
Staying with a guy who has completely different goal in the relationship is not going to change his mind--hence it's not a great idea. Living together will not help him realize that he should want to get married to you or bring you closer together. If your state of mind is in this position, I'd say, don't do it (been there :)). You're young, with a good future in front of you, I'd say, prioritize YOU now. This relationship seems to have arrived to that point to decide. And spacekat is quite right, if you've not dated others, it's hard for YOU to see if this relationship is good or bad one for you. And the fact that you're attracted to other fellows...well honey, you're still alive so for as long as you live, no matter whom you're with, you'll find one or more other fellows to be attractive (I know, I'm married, btw LOL), so don't take it as if you have an attraction to another guy, it means the relationship is always doomed, it may not always be the case. Btw, choose you now. Good luck.
Rasberry-Sorbet Rasberry-Sorbet 7 years
The one thing I do know for sure is that if you don't want the same outcome, it's not going to work. You have to believe and trust what he is telling you. Also, before you committ to someone, make sure that they are on the same page as you. I dont think livign together is working for you. It actually is cutting you off from the possibility of meeting a really great guy who will want the same things you do. Listen to your intuition on this one. Be firm with your expectations and make an exit if you flat out disagrees with your expectations. You are still young and please do this now. You dont want to be older with this same predicamenet because once you hit 30, the pickings get a lot slimmer. Trust me.
soulsearcher83 soulsearcher83 7 years
I broke up with my bf a few months ago for several reason, one being that he didn't want the same future (children) as I did. I think it would be unfair to both of you to stay in a relationship where you do not have the same goals. I agree that you both should try dating other people to see if you really want to be together, but my guess is that once you start dating others, you won't want to go back to him, which is fine, no one says you have to. If he is anti marriage and you are pro marriage, that will be a thorn in your side that will just grow with time as you get older.
DrDar DrDar 7 years
Most couples I coach that are on the brink of divorce who are high school sweethearts admit to having had inklings that they should date other people during their relationship. They wish they had not gotten married and had explored other relationships so that they could be sure this one was worth its weight in gold. After all, you cannot know what is best for you until you experience several options, right? How would you know what type of coffee is your favorite unless you sample several coffees? And if you stop sampling, you may not find one that tastes even better than the one you had before. Follow your gut and stand in your own power. Have the difficult conversation about how you feel and be open and truthful about it. Whether you hurt his feelings or not, you are still being truthful and that will set you free before you make any decisions that lock you into something that is not best for you. People get their feelings hurt all the time. That should not mean that you must withhold how you feel and not talk about things openly. Actually you should be able to share openly with your beloved--is already sounds like you cannot be open which is a red flag in and of itself. Spending time apart will certainly help you get clarity and definitely have the conversation about dating other people if that is what you want to do. Best wishes and much success in grad school, Dr. Dar
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