Something only said by people who are fooling themselves.
There is a pattern to the end of a relationship as surely as there is a pattern to the beginning, and if you are honest with yourself, you can see it coming a mile away.
The problem is that most of us don’t want our relationships to end so we tell ourselves that we are not seeing what we know we are seeing. We tell ourselves the comment that was made meant nothing, or that story that didn’t quite add up actually made sense. We tell ourselves that the queasy feeling in our gut was something we ate. Or that the arch of a friend’s eyebrow was a coincidence. We tell ourselves that everything is fine, when in reality, there is a locomotive of pain chugging ever faster toward us with no chance of stopping in time.
I’m old enough to have experienced many relationship endings — some casual, some serious, some marital. They ranged the gamut from longtime boyfriends to acquaintances, to true friends who I never thought I’d lose. Sometimes I ended the relationship and sometimes I was the one hanging on too long.
By the time I was in my late twenties, I came to recognize a distinct pattern that accompanied all endings. Because of this I have never been surprised by the end. I’ve been angry and disappointed and utterly sad, but never surprised. There are always “tells”, the little signs that we brush off which are signaling the end of our relationship. The end may come swiftly or it may take weeks, months, sometimes even years, but once certain behaviors start appearing, it is just a matter of time.
Signs The End Is Near
- They stop talking about the future or hesitate to make plans with you ahead of time. During the last year of my second marriage, I could not get my now ex-husband to commit to taking a trip with me for a friend’s birthday. Time was running out so I booked my flight and the hotel room, telling him my flight number so he could do the same. He never did. I made the trip alone and within a month of my return, he had ended our marriage. Partners who won’t make future plans with you have no intention of having a future with you.
- Routines change suddenly. All couples fall into routines. An abrupt change to a routine for no evident reason is a sign that something is…