Relationships change over time, and sometimes we change along with them.
But how can you tell if you’re simply facing a rough patch or if you’ve truly outgrown your partner?
I’ve been in your position, so I get how confusing it can be. What I thought was just a bump in the road turned out to be my ex and I traveling in completely different directions.
So, in this article, I’ll outline 9 clear signs that might indicate it’s time to reevaluate your current relationship.
1) You’ve got different life goals
If you’re worried you’ve outgrown your relationship, one of the first signs to look out for is having different life goals.
When you first met, you were probably pretty aligned. You both wanted similar things, and that’s why you started building a life together.
But somewhere down the line, your priorities have changed.
Perhaps you’re thinking more long-term now – career, house, kids.
If your partner isn’t, and your goals don’t match up anymore, it’s a sign something isn’t matching up.
This isn’t to say either of you have done anything wrong, just that you’re going in different directions in life.
2) Intimacy is practically non-existent
If you’ve outgrown your relationship, you’ll probably notice that things in the bedroom have taken a massive hit.
You’re no longer excited to spend hours making love or engaging in pillow talk because the connection you share has changed.
Maybe you don’t find your partner as attractive as you once did.
Maybe you still do, but you’re feeling conflicted because you know they aren’t the right one for you.
Either way, when intimacy takes a back seat, it’s usually a sign of a bigger issue.
And just to mention – it’s not just sex that will reduce. Holding hands, cuddling, kissing, all of those little touches that were once second nature now feel foreign and forced.
3) You’re spending less and less time together
Remember when you’d spend every waking moment together?
Now, you hardly see each other, let alone spend quality time together.
One of the reasons for that could be that since you’re moving in different directions, you don’t have much in common anymore.
Your vision for the future, your hobbies, likes, and dislikes, might have changed. And now, the person you once had so much in common with, feels a bit like a stranger.
I can relate.
When I got clear on my values and started traveling more, I noticed a rift with my ex. He was more of a homebody. He didn’t enjoy trying new experiences or getting out of his comfort zone.
Naturally, we started spending more and more time apart – me, planning holidays alone or with like-minded friends, him playing Xbox at home.
4) You feel your relationship stunts your personal growth
If you feel like your partner is holding you back from developing and growing as a person, this is the biggest sign to look out for.
Let’s say you’re working on handling conflict better.
You’ve learned a few new methods to stay calm and talk through issues in a mature, respectable manner.
But your partner? They have different plans. They keep baiting you into explosive arguments. They won’t respect your boundaries.
You’re finding it impossible to develop with them dragging you back at every step.
This is a pretty sad place to find yourself in – no doubt you still love and care for your partner. But ultimately, your personal growth comes first.
If they’re unable to keep up or unwilling to improve themselves for the better, you should consider whether this is the right relationship for you.
5) Constant compromises
But it shouldn’t feel like a burden or drain. It shouldn’t be constant. And it certainly shouldn’t be one-sided!
If it is, it’s another sign you’re misaligned with your partner and have potentially outgrown your relationship.
It makes sense – if you’re not on the same page anymore, it’s natural that you’d need to keep making sacrifices and comprises just to get through each day.
But that can be incredibly draining.
Ultimately, in a relationship where you’re both on a similar path in life, compromises will be easier to navigate, not a daily headache that you end up dreading.
6) You find yourself daydreaming about “what if”
With my ex, I couldn’t help but wonder what life would be like if I were single…or even worse…with someone more mature.
I felt bad at the time but looking back now, I can see that the relationship wasn’t fulfilling me anymore.
Can you relate?
If so, it’s another indication that you’ve outgrown your relationship. Your head knows it, your heart just needs time to accept it.
But while you come to this realization, you will probably find yourself daydreaming, wondering what life could be like, if your partner changed, if you met someone new, or if you decided to go solo.
I like to think this is our intuition guiding us when we’re at a crossroads in life. Sure, some daydreams are just that – dreams.
But others are indications of what we crave deep down. It’s worth paying attention to where your mind wanders to – that could be the path you need to follow.
7) There’s a lack of respect
I don’t know about you, but when I think back to my early relationships, there was often disrespectful behavior happening from both sides.
I guess it’s normal when there’s a lack of maturity and experience.
But if you’re growing as a person, and outgrowing your relationship, you’ll probably start noticing just how bad the lack of respect really is.
Your partner might not be able to see it, and that’s going to cause a lot of tension.
But it’s also a very clear sign that you’re moving on, without them.
You now know that a relationship needs respect, communication, and a whole load of other things to work well.
Where your partner sees no issue, all you see are problems.
And going back to what I mentioned in the 4th point – they may be holding you back from learning self-respect and boundaries.
All of these are indications that it’s time for a serious conversation about the future of your relationship.
8) You feel drained around your partner
Do you find spending time with your partner to be completely draining?
When you outgrow someone, it can cause you to feel tired in their presence.
You might have to keep explaining yourself and your decisions to them, which is mentally taxing.
Or perhaps you find yourselves arguing over silly little things (a mask for all the big issues that aren’t being addressed).
I’ll be honest – I reached a point where just hanging out with my ex would leave me exhausted. I had to work hard at finding things we could talk about.
If you feel the same way, it’s a pretty good sign you’ve outgrown them and your relationship.
9) You don’t feel happy anymore
And finally, the biggest indication that you’ve outgrown your relationship and it’s time to move on is if you simply don’t feel happy anymore.
Your partner doesn’t bring you joy.
You don’t feel fulfilled.
I think if you’re completely honest with yourself, deep down you know that this relationship isn’t working out. Especially if you relate to the points above.
And if you’re feeling upset right now, I get that. It’s never easy to accept that something you’ve put so much time and emotion into is coming to an end.
But ultimately, a relationship should bring you fulfillment and happiness.
You should feel like you’re able to plan a future with your partner and that you’re both growing and developing as individuals as well as together.
So, perhaps it’s time to have a serious think about what you want to do going forward, and whether your current relationship is a help or a hindrance.