In my twenties, relationships stopped being about sex and started getting emotional; that’s when I learnt the biggest lesson of them all: that sometimes, you need to learn when to let go.
Do you remember that Mariah Carey song from 1999 with Jay-Z, in which she sings about heartbreak with such a lack of emotional turmoil that you just wonder whether she’s talking about painting her nails instead? Well, the lyrics were spot on!
‘Heartbreaker you’ve got the best of me, But I just keep on comin’ back incessantly. Oh, why did you have to run your game on me? I should have known right from the start You’d go and break my heart.’
The truth is, you always know. That small voice at the back of your mind, tells you whether something is worth fighting for or not, but unfortunately we often conveniently forget to heed it, and it’s okay. Mistakes are what help us learn and grow, but there’s no reason to not learn from others’ mistakes.
That’s why I’ve compiled a list of 10 things that you should look out for in a relationship which I’ve learnt are omens of one that is destined to end.
Zero Communication: If you and your partner have gone from frequent sexters to almost complete silence, you’re in trouble! Communication is vital for a relationship to progress and grow, and if you constantly feel ignored or if the thought of a message from the other side makes you want to bang your head against a wall, then just give up.
Nein Talk of the Future: The first woman I dated told me that she couldn’t wait to move in with me – right after we had had sex for the first time. Needless to say I never answered her calls again. But there does come a time when a couple needs to start thinking about a future together, and if that doesn’t happen or if every time you initiate the subject your partner starts talking about something else, then it’s time to hasta la vista that baby.
Fighting Constantly: If everything your partner does annoys you, or if every time you open your mouth your other half attacks you, then maybe you’re just not as compatible as you thought you were.
Lack of Effort: Whether you’ve been with someone for a month or for 20 years, you can never really stop making an effort. Looking good, surprising them and listening to them are all vital to keep the flame alight. If one of you can’t be arsed, then you’ve got another think coming.
Fighting Dirty: The problem with opening up to someone is that they can use your weaknesses against you. There’s not much you can do about that, but if the douche-bag you’re dating starts using them against you (or vice versa!) then maybe it’s time you sat down and questioned where all this is going.
Yearning for Independence: A relationship is working hand-in-hand with the other person, but if you constantly feel like you can’t do anything without your partner, then you’re in for a lifetime of anxiety. Being independent – at work, with money, in your social life – is crucial to maintaining a healthy relationship that never gets overbearing or boring.
Fighting in Public (unless you’re both professional boxers): Apart from being super annoying and awkward for those around you, fighting in public shows a lack of respect for the other part of the duo. Of course, it does happen every now and then that you end up bickering in the presence of others, but when you become infamous for it, then you might need to reconsider what’s triggering the frays.
Keeping Secrets: The truth hurts once, but a lie hurts every time. If you keep secrets from your other half because you’re worried he or she will get angry or jealous or because it will end your relationship – then you might as well come out with it and let things run their natural course.
Change in Perception: When I first met my ex-husband I thought he was the cutest thing in the world; but on the day I left him, I swear there was a rat shouting ‘I’ll see you in court!’ at me. If your perception of your partner changes so much that you just can’t handle being with them or if you don’t find them attractive anymore, you’re in deep manure.
No More Sex: Having sex with my ex-husband during the last six months of our relationship was soul-destroying and a waste of time – I mean, I could have been having sex I actually enjoyed! The most God-awful thing about it, however, is that sex with a long-term partner is a showcase of love and intimacy and if either you or they never feel like it, then clearly you’ve exhausted this relationship.
What do you think of Evelyn’s advice? Anything she missed out or got wrong?