A couple sit on a sofa arguing

5 signs you can’t save an ailing relationship

by Eharmony Editorial Team - July 31, 2012

Relationships often go through rocky patches – it would be odd if they didn’t. But sometimes things get really tough, and you can’t always save the situation. Here are 5 signs it’s time to give up and move on.

Relationships are wonderful things, but they do require a team effort and hard work if they are going to work. If you hit a rocky patch, sometimes you can work things out, but sometimes it’s best just to walk away. The hard part is knowing which route to take. After all, you could be giving up someone very special. On the other hand, you could be freeing yourself to meet someone very special.

We’ve put together our top five signs you should walk away from an ailing relationship. If you see yourself in any of these, think hard – and check out our top 5 signs you CAN save an ailing relationship.  Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

1.       You struggle to think of anything good about the relationship

If you can’t think of a single reason why you’re in your relationship, it’s probably time to call it quits. If you’ve been together for a long time, it’s easy to fall into the routine of a relationship and lose sight of why you got together in the first place. And yes, sometimes love (and lust) just fades. A partnership should give you huge amounts of joy, making you feel happier and more secure. If not, you should end things so you can both move on and each find someone who does make you feel happy.

2.       You find yourself looking at the opposite sex

Most people in couples let their eyes wander towards attractive specimens of the opposite sex once in a while. Maybe it’s a particularly good looking waiter in the restaurant where you’re catching up with your friends, or perhaps it’s a very pretty actress in a film you’re watching. It’s natural, and no one should feel guilty about it.

On the other hand, if you find yourself actively fantasising about being with someone other than your partner, then you probably need to reassess your relationship. After all, once you’ve appreciated that hot waiter or actress, your thoughts should be turned back towards your partner and the acceptance that they are the one person in the world you want to be with. No exceptions.

3.       You pick arguments needlessly

All couples argue. Show us a couple that doesn’t argue and we’ll show you a couple that isn’t functioning properly. Sometimes arguments can even be helpful – clearing the air and forcing a couple to be honest with each other. However, arguments about who does the washing up, and why your partner was home half an hour later than they said they’d be are not helpful. If you find yourself picking arguments, ask yourself why. Subconsciously it might be that you’re looking for a way out by triggering a row that ends it all. Don’t keep dragging it out until one of you cracks, do the right thing.

4.       The relationship issues come from within

Relationships never run smooth – unfortunately, life gets in the way. Redundancy, unplanned pregnancies, grief can all affect a relationship, but if your partnership is strong, you can help each other through almost anything. However, if the issues come from within the relationship, then the problem may well be more serious. Whether that’s infidelity, deceit or a lack of commitment, the damage could be irreparable. Of course, these issues can be worked out, but only with 100% agreement from both parties. If you don’t have that, then it’s time to walk away.

5.       You want different things in the future

Now we come onto our favourite subject at eHarmony: compatibility. There are lots of factors that determine whether a couple are compatible but one huge one is whether they both want the same things from life. If one of you envisions a nice house in the country with three children, and the other doesn’t want children, but instead plans on travelling the world, then you have a very clear difference of opinion. These differences can sometimes be ironed out, but if they are deeply entrenched then there is little you can do. If one half of the couple compromises on their ideal of the future then they will hold onto resentment for years.