You’ve got the list in your head if not on your hard drive: the reasons for staying in your long-term relationship or decades long marriage and the reasons for leaving.
And when the leaving list gets way longer than the staying list, you know it’s time to go.
Sure, the logistics still have to be worked out – and that can take years and waiting for the timing to be right. One woman I knew said she couldn’t leave until the house renovation was finished — a work in progress for over three years.
Obviously, it wasn’t about ripping out the kitchen cabinets or replacing the shower fittings. It was about replacing the other person and ripping out the heart of the relationship.
Most people are ready to do that, or at least to seriously consider the possibility, not just when the relationship no longer has the freshness and frisson of early days and early years, but rather when it’s turned downright rotten.
Typically, the balanced is tipped not just when the positives no longer exist but when the negatives are overwhelming.
Ten Ways to Know It’s Time to Go:
1) You don’t care if the other person is around or worse, wishes he or she would stay away.
2) Sex is always a chore, not just occasionally — or isn’t happening at all.
3) You feel no motivation to do something nice for the other person, or to keep yourself groomed and looking good for that person.
4) You’re already fantasizing about life after: how and where you’ll live, how you’ll decorate your own place, how you’ll meet other people.
5) You’re taking small, private steps to prepare yourself for a new life, like starting a diet and kicking up your exercise program.
6) You’re checking out members of the opposite sex in a different way, monitoring your reaction and wondering what’s available and what might be possible, maybe even surreptitiously browsing on-line dating sites.
7) You’re dropping subtle hints to people so they won’t be shocked when you announce the break-up.
8) You’re bolder and more aggressive with your partner because you feel you have nothing to lose and no longer have to make nice.
9) You’re spending less time with “couple” friends and more time with the people you’ll be most friendly with after the separation.
10) You’re more interested in the lives of your single friends, asking them about their dating lives, how they meet people, how they spend the holidays.