Even the best relationships can take a turn for the worse. Things can be perfect one day and the next day, BAM, it’s like you don’t even recognize the person you fell in love with anymore. Even if you still love each other, take these red flags seriously, as they’re telltale signs that your relationship has an expiration date.
Let’s take a deeper look at your relationship, how to make them work (if possible) and what you can do if you’d like to move on.
The Long-Distance Relationship
If you are bold enough to dive into a relationship with someone who lives miles away, you are a brave soul. Many of these relationships start on the Internet or during a vacation. Other relationships evolve into a long-distance relationship when one partner has to move for work or school.
Long-distance relationships take a toll on the emotions. When partners don’t see each other often, it can feel like they aren’t really in a committed relationship or even in a relationship at all. Infidelity can happen and the chances of getting caught are slimmer than if you lived in the same town. If you’re in a long-distance relationship, you have a better chance of making it work if you and your partner have plans to live in the same city in the near future. If you can’t foresee a time when you’ll be sharing the same zip code (no more than two years later), it’s best to let the relationship go and move on.
If you’re in a relationship with a married man, chances are you’re biting off more than you can chew. He’s made a legally binding commitment to another women to spend his life with her. If he leaves her for you, it’s going to be costly (financially, mentally and emotionally) and chances are he won’t leave her anyway, even though he promises he will.
At first, the secret lunches, trips, and quickies seem exciting, but eventually they lose their luster and you’re left with his wife’s leftovers. So, how long can you realistically put up with this? Maybe a year. But you’re better off finding someone who is unattached.
The Relationship With a Married Woman
She may be comfortable in her marriage, both emotionally and financially, but you’re the handsome man at the office and she finds you irresistible. Perhaps you share a glass of wine one night after work and she tells you she’s married. You may think you’re going to win her over and get her to leave her husband, but she won’t and six months later, you’re feeling confused by great sex. Is it love too? Probably not. Let her go and move on.
The Dating for Many Years Relationship (Oprah Syndrome)
So many of my callers have been in dating relationships for multiple years—even more than five years! They ask me if it will ever evolve into something more, like an engagement or a marriage. It’s one thing to be very young and dating for several years; the couple needs time to mature and build their careers. But when couples in their 40s and 50s have been dating for several years, I wonder what they’re waiting for. If you are divorced or single and over 35, a relationship that is still in the dating phase after years of being together isn’t going anywhere.
To keep life moving forward you need more than an intention. Move in together if you both don’t believe in marriage, but if you both believe in marriage, get married! Rings and a piece of paper can do wonders for a relationship. Just don’t wait around for a marriage that will never happen.
My callers always ask me for timelines, but the truth is that they set the timelines by making themselves available to change or by making themselves move forward. The world isn’t going to change on its own for you. You need to change it by moving forward. Don’t allow yourself to get stuck.
When it comes to your romantic relationships, it’s a good idea to draw a line in the sand at some point, because life waits for no one.