If you’ve ever watched a romantic comedy, you know that the protagonists eventually get together against the odds. Always, the explanation is straightforward: They’re in love.
Off-screen, though, love alone isn’t always enough to keep a couple together.
In fact, romantic love’s effects can be so potent that partners stay in relationships they know are bad for them but refuse to leave because of the intensity of their feelings.
Dopamine, a neurotransmitter linked to reward that makes people feel good, was discovered to be released in the brains of study participants when they looked at images of their romantic partners, according to a study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience in 2015.
Julie Wadley, CEO of the dating and counseling business Eli Simone, says that the euphoric effects of these drugs might cause people to ignore rational choices, such as ending an unhappy relationship. “When people are in love, they’re driven off of the drug, the endorphins,” she explains. “The chemicals that tell you you’re in love with this person are firing.”
Though the experience of love is pleasant (and even beneficial to one’s health), it is not enough to inspire long-lasting partnerships. Some of the indicators that it might be time to let go, according to experts:
Your needs aren’t being met
According to Wadley, everyone has different “requirements” in a romantic partner. Emotional needs include things like longing for quality time with your significant other, while practical demands include expecting good financial management.
According to Wadley, it’s crucial to express disappointment when one spouse isn’t meeting a need. She argues that a person should move on if their current spouse isn’t prepared to make more of an effort to meet their needs.
The negative attitudes our culture has about being alone is one reason people stay in partnerships that don’t suit their requirements.
It’s possible they fear they’ll never find someone better if they end the relationship. But according to Wadley, thinking that way is a waste of time and will only make you miserable in the long run. “You could be taking that time to find someone who will give you what you need,” she says.
You want other people to fill those voids for you
Who is the first person you want to notify when something major happens in your life, like a promotion at work or a family emergency? Wadley argues that in a happy, healthy relationship, your spouse should be the answer to both of these concerns.
While it’s wonderful to have reliable coworkers, according to Wadley, if you find yourself relying on a “work husband” or “work wife” more than your significant other, it may be time to reevaluate your relationship.
“If you’re like, ‘I have a choice between talking to my boyfriend and talking to my guy friend, the guy who is constantly giving you that emotional affirmation that I need — I’m going with the friend,’” Wadley says, “Something’s not right.”
According to Wadley, a sure sign that it’s time to call it quits on a relationship is when one or both partners start looking elsewhere for emotional or physical satisfaction.
You’re scared to ask for more from your partner
It’s normal to feel awkward about telling your spouse exactly what you want from the relationship and what you’re not getting. However, according to Wadley, healthy relationships require open lines of communication.Copy
“People may think, ‘That’s going to make me sound needy and emotional,’” They keep their displeasure to themselves, pretend to be happy, and don’t speak up because they don’t want to be a bother.
“Then something happens that breaks the camel’s back,” she says. And the ensuing dispute can do more harm to the relationship than the initial problem ever did.
Wadley argues that staying in an unhappy relationship for too long by not being honest about how you feel will only make things worse.
She advises getting professional counseling or ending the relationship if you are unable to confront your partner.
Your friends and family don’t support your relationship
Dating and relationship expert Lindsay Chrisler of New York City recommends taking stock of the opinions of close friends and family members.
“If nobody in the community supports your relationship, that’s a red flag,” she says. Listen to the advice of your friends and family if they tell you that the person you’re in love with isn’t making you happy, as Chrisler advises.
If you choose to ignore the warnings of your loved ones, it could be an indication that it’s time to quit the relationship.
“You’re starting to lie to your friends, you’re starting to lie to yourself.” She warns that the connection isn’t healthy if you cut yourself off from loved ones rather than listen to their worries.
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