“My gf and I have been together for a little over 6 years but lately nothing seems to click like before. It’s obvious that we both still love each other and want it to work but it feels like we have to work super hard on things that used to just flow naturally. I really don’t want to lose her (we’re each others 1st everything) but I feel like it shouldn’t be this hard if it was meant to work. How to know when its over?”
Question Submitted by Anonymous
I think you’re right. You’re recognizing a lot of key parts of this (both how deep your love is and how complicated it has become).
Relationships grow and change, absolutely, but you also have to keep in mind that people grow and change, and those two things (the relationship and the people) don’t always grow and change together in a way that fits.
I don’t know you’re relationship, but I’m one of those people who believes a good relationship hinges on complete honesty, openness, and communication. If you’re hiding something, not sharing the reality of all of your feelings, unable to understand your partner’s point of view, holding on to tiny issues because you don’t want to make a fuss, etc. If you’re doing any of that, you are getting in the way of having a good relationship. If you ARE doing all of the honesty and communication, and it’s not working, that means the relationship doesn’t work.
Think about the best possible version of your relationship. What does that include? Know that right now, it is completely possible to have a perfect relationship with someone. You can be with someone that you admire, who also admires you, you can be with someone who values sex the same way you do, you can be with someone who fights with you and comes out on the other side with more understanding than ever before, you can be with someone that truly challenges you and helps you to grow, you can be with someone who makes you feel so fucking special every single day. Is that the relationship you are in right now? If not, can the two of you talk about it, be honest with one another, and get to that place? Maybe you’ve just hit a bump in the road and you can figure it out.
If there is no way that you see yourself unbelievably happy with this person in the future, that’s okay. Relationships come into our lives for so many reasons, you will learn and grow regardless of how long it lasts. Maybe this one started out with a bang and now it has to end because you’re in two different worlds. Maybe you started out looking for the same things, but you’ve both changed and grown so much that those ‘same things’ are now vastly different. Please believe me when I say there is a way to have a relationship that will make you feel amazing all the time, and when you don’t feel amazing, you’re in the middle of a fight that will take you one step further into amazing.
I want everyone in the world to stop settling. Stop settling for a relationship that used to be good. Either work together to make it good again, or move on. If you’re both sitting there like, “man i miss the love of my life, how do i get it back,” put in the effort and get it back. If you’re both sitting there being like “man, this isn’t even fun anymore and I am doing most things out of obligation” you’re both wasting each other’s time and you know it. Let that person go, it’s only fair to them. You can find a way to be in her life and not have to feel like you’re both settling and unhappy. If you’re contemplating it being over, it’s probably over.