How to Tell When You’ve Outgrown Your Relationship

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If you’re in a long-term relationship, you know they can be filled with ups and downs and go through a lot of growing pains. Many of these ups and downs happen as each partner grows and develops over the years. But while we’d like to think that we’re growing with our partner over time, that’s not always the case.

“Every relationship has a purpose. Some are meant for eternity and most for “now” or “for some time,” he says laurel house, dating coach and an eharmony relationship expert. “If you feel like you’ve outgrown a relationship, that relationship has reached its expiration date and that’s okay. It’s a healthy time to let it go.”

Basically, House is saying that feeling like you’ve outgrown your relationship could mean that you’ve changed, grown, moved up, and your partner is in the same place in your lifestyle, health, habits, career, or preferences has remained – or hate It has not changed at the same pace and pace as you.

Additionally, she says, “You might feel like your partner is stagnant, you might see them as a reflection of your past, you might feel like you’ve surpassed them, and you’re uncomfortable.”

House says if you keep trying to force the relationship to be something it isn’t, you risk turning the relationship from a learning opportunity into one that’s potentially toxic and even harmful.

“That doesn’t mean that the moment you feel like you’ve outgrown your partner, you should stop. This is the time to have a conversation and see if it’s a passing opportunity to inspire change and growth in your partner as well. Give your partner a chance to grow too, if they want to.”

Growing out of a relationship can be difficult to accept, but knowing and understanding some of its signs can be a good indicator of where you are and how you want to move forward from there. Here are a few to consider.

Your partner reminds you of who you used to be and it triggers you

According to House, an important sign that you’ve grown out of your relationship is when your partner reminds you of who you used to be because they still have the same old activities, habits, and free spaces that you used to have when you first got together.

“You’ve worked hard to stop growing out of and moving away from these behaviors, but your partner is comfortable in that old place and you’re feeling frustrated, angry, upset, or sad,” she says. “You may also feel like they’re trying to hold you back and that makes you angry. Or maybe there is a part of you that misses your old habits and lifestyle, and your partner is tricking you into going back and making it difficult for you to move forward.”

Typically, this can happen when you’ve known your partner for a long time or prior to a major transition in your life. “You may have had a reality check or a life-changing experience that caused you to change your habits and do things differently, but your partner didn’t have the same change-bringing illumination.”

You feel like you’re constantly telling your partner to try harder, do more, and get better

Do you feel like your partner’s parent or mentor? Do you start to feel like a whiner when you have to constantly ask your partner for changes, or do you feel like you put more energy and focus on your partner’s growth than your partner does? Then you probably outgrew the relationship.

“Your partner may be more of the go-with-the-go type that you initially found attractive and admire,” House explains. “But now that real life has struck, you need your partner to help you move up in life and get better and better. You start teasing your partner because you feel like the only one pushing for change when in fact you’re pushing for improvement. That can happen when you have a more goal-oriented nature.”

Your partner embarrasses you when you hang out with new friends or co-workers

Another sign, House says, is when your partner is a better fit with your old friends in your old life, but your new friends and associations are different, and your partner no longer feels like they belong in that new group. For example, you might notice a different difference between them when it comes to communication, interests, or even their clothes.

“Since you’re trying to fit into this group and start this group, the novelty might feel fragile that you don’t want to introduce anyone who might make them wonder who you actually are,” House explains. “Since your partner mirrors you but is still stuck in their old ways, your new group might wonder if presenting your personality is just a coat of paint or a facade.” As a result, you may feel that you and your partner are mutually exclusive are on two different paths.

You are looking for someone who is more like what you have become

“As you grow and develop, your new interests, conversations, beliefs, and styles might lead you to search for someone who shares the same interests, conversations, beliefs, and styles,” says House. “More than just sharing with you, someone with the same preferences could help you further explore, expand and deepen this new side of you. You are drawn to the excitement and adrenaline that comes from these conversations and are less interested in having the same old — albeit comfortable — conversations you are currently having with your partner. This can create internal conflict that leads to sadness, regret, frustration, and anger. You may not like that you’re mentally and emotionally rambling, but at the same time you know you need more.”

If you want to clarify things with your partner, House recommends the 3Cs: Communication creates clarity creates trust. “Communicate how you are feeling, what you need and what your goals are. Talk about different action steps and how you can help each other activate them. Discuss a realistic time frame and resolve to check back in on their status at that time. After that time, if they haven’t put in the time or effort to make changes, it’s possible that they actually don’t want to and are only doing it because you’re forcing them to. If they resist that change or actually make the change, resentment can arise, and that’s never healthy in a relationship. You both need to come to the conclusion that this relationship isn’t working and you have different goals in life that don’t align.”

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