“They stay and cling to the hope that someday he’ll come around and will commit. It’s a huge waste of time and energy, and it really does a number on your sense of self.”
— Sabrina Alexis, Everything You Need To Know If You Want Love That Lasts
Dead-end relationships are a lot like boy band songs. You know something’s wrong but you keep hanging tough. Sooner or later, constant complacency is just a foregone conclusion and the shape of your heart becomes an anvil. And, you may end up saying bye bye bye but you won’t be able to give a good love autopsy. Instead, you’ll say something like, ‘story of my life, I just can’t seem to find the right one.’
Well, let me help you out.
Here are the Top 12 ways to know you’re in a dead end relationship.
You fight about the same things over and over
It’s natural to have disagreements in relationships. It’s also healthy to want to resolve them. An evolved couple interested in a future together will remember lessons learned from past issues and try not to repeat them. If, on the other hand, either half of the couple become indifferent or angry about where things are, they will poke. It will become their modus operandi to bring past issues up and stoke the fire. Even if they don’t bring it up but it’s something that arises, they will conveniently forget the past resolutions and stoke it.
Conversations feel forced
You try to tell them about your day and ask them about theirs, but all you get in response are one-word answers and grunts down the phone. It’s hard replying to messages that don’t try to engage with you and then being given out to for not replying. Maybe if they showed a genuine interest in talking to you, you’d find it easier to reply.
You think about it a lot
Simply put, if enough things pile up and you’re constantly in the mindset that it’s a dead end relationship than it’s a dead-end relationship. The good things are overshadowed by the constant thoughts about the dead ends.
They’re not affectionate in public
All you want is to feel them slide their hand into yours and squeeze it so tight that the whole world knows you’re theirs. Instead, you find yourself constantly having to ask them to put their arm around you or give you a peck on the cheek. Saying they “don’t feel comfortable with PDAs” isn’t a good enough reason for them to make you feel more like their friend than their partner. You’re in a relationship. They should want to be intimate with you whenever possible, even if that just means holding your hand.
You can think of more bad things than good things
If you have more bad memories than good memories and you can think of more negative traits about your partner or your relationship dynamics, it’s a dead-end relationship. Relationships that have a positive light in front of them have more sunshine than rain. And when it rains, the thought of the sun can dampen it, even if it actually pours. But when it rains and you don’t see the light ahead and your partner’s positivity, energy, support or love cannot be a temporary umbrella, well, you know what that means.
You find yourself making more of an effort than them.
Are you always the one making the phone calls? Are you always the one going to visit them? Are you always the one rearranging days at work to suit times to meet them? Relationships don’t work if they’re one-sided. Eventually, you’ll get sick of doing all the chasing and never being chased.
You frequently want to go out to get away
It is unfortunate but common for an unhappy partner to break away with friends or any other distraction. This, of course, as an alternative to being around their partner or engaging them with concerns. When you’ve decided it’s easier to just break away, the relationship is, in fact, in a dead end.
You feel like they’re embarrassed to have you around their friends
Feeling like you’re not good enough is horrible, especially when you feel belittled by your partner in front of their friends. You try to make a joke with their friends and instead of laughing in support, they laugh at you. More often than not, they use you as something to make fun of in front of others rather than always having your back.
Sex is absent or resembles a highway pile up: depressing with casualties
We don’t have the personal touch and thus we don’t have the intimate touch. Like Sinead O’Connor after the black turtleneck video, it has just vanished. And no, it’s not sex when it’s two people on top of each other just thrusting and rolling over. Say it with me: D-E-A-D E-N-D!
You don’t believe them when they say “I love you”
Hearing them saying those three words used to send shivers down your spine and butterflies in your belly. Nowadays, getting them to say “I love you” is like pulling teeth. And when they do eventually say it, they sound completely disconnected from their own words.
You constantly get the feeling they don’t want to be with you anymore
You feel like everyone else is better than you are and that it’s only a matter of time before they realize it too. Every time you argue, you’re terrified that they’re going to dump you even though you’d give the world to make things okay again. It’s like fighting a battle when you know you’ve already lost.
You wish you could go back to the beginning
You want more than anything for them to look at you and love you the way they did at the start and you can’t accept that that will never happen again. You truly believed they were “the one” but you know they don’t feel the same about you anymore. In their minds it’s already over, so all you can do now is to move forward and be with someone that wants to be with you and will make you happy.