I recently chatted with a friend who insisted that I am not intentional in friendships. He gave an example of how one of my childhood best friends and I don’t seem close anymore. “What happened?” he asked. Well, the truth is, we grew apart.

Growing apart in friendships happens at some point in our lives. But what happens when you feel you are growing apart in a relationship? At some point, most of us, if not all of us, have dealt with relationships that take a different turn than expected, and it can be hard to deal with.

To help, here are a few signs that you’re outgrowing a relationship and some suggestions for what to do about it.

They are “too busy” all the time

Has this just reminded you that your partner hasn’t and rarely texts you back? Or maybe they don’t return your calls or are always “busy” when you try to make plans? Yes, me too! Considering that one of the tenets of relationships is talking to each other frequently, having a partner you can’t reach is problematic and annoying. However, knowing the difference between clashing schedules and a complete lack of interest is essential. Is the disconnect temporary or permanent?

If your partner is going through a significant change, they could be busy. If they are going through a hard time, they might need some space, or if they are stressed at work, they may feel overwhelmed. If it is based on life circumstances, your partner should tell you. But if you keep reaching out and you’re getting no return on your ‘investment,’ stop.

Source: Pexels/Alex Green

You crave a new relationship

Sometimes, your relationship is not worth keeping because you’ve grown in different directions. One of the most beautiful things about outgrowing a relationship, even though you may not feel it then, is that it opens up room for another better connection.

Maybe you have moved, and the distance seems to take a toll on you. Perhaps you are moving in different directions and don’t think there’s a meeting point. Whatever it is, honour what you need, and look for a relationship that adds to your life rather than subtracts from it. Tend to your relationship if you think it is worth keeping, regardless of the different life circumstances, but if you just have nothing in common anymore? Leaving that relationship is okay and finding what works best for you.

You constantly complain about them

Maybe you vent about a disagreement you had to your best friend or are upfront with them when you think they are making a mistake. But when a relationship is no longer working, you may notice that you are complaining about them 24/7. If this is you, this is your sign to move away from that relationship that brings out the worst in you because it doesn’t favour them (or you). When you steadily feel, think or complain about your significant other all the time, ask yourself why you are trying to be in a relationship with that person. If they make you feel more negative emotions (i.e., annoyance, frustration, or stress) than positive emotions, you might have outgrown your relationship.

You don’t feel supported

Partners should be there for you throughout the ups and downs of life. Of course, it’s fun to celebrate each other’s wins, but it’s critical to be there for the hard parts as well. People in a relationship support one another and they communicate about what they need to feel supported. What is sufficient for one person may not be enough for the other. The bottom line is that it should feel like both of you make an effort to care in a way that resonates. If it’s not, it’s time to move on.

Source: Pexels/Alex Green

You’ve run out of things to talk about

Some relationships begin to go downhill very quickly. The first indicator is when you legit run out of things to talk about (awkward!). When the small talk is all you can get all the time, you need to decide if this is a person you want to spend the rest of your life with. The good news is that it may not be personal. I’ve been at a point where I liked someone and thought we would click, but I realized we had nothing in common – not even conversational chemistry 😅. If you can’t talk to each other, then you most likely won’t enjoy spending time together, and without these two things, you can’t call it a relationship.