In the age where signs and symbols have become a major part of our everyday lives, it's in our best interest to be visually literate if not at the very least, competent. Red means stop, green means go, danger: smoking can kill you and BOOM, either someone just got shot or it's five hours away from home time. The ability to understand the intricacies of semiotics is a skill on its own and can be traced back to the very beginning of time. While most signals are as clear as Russia's hate policies towards same-sex unions, a lot of them are far more complicated to decipher, especially the signals between two individuals stuck in a dead-end relationship.
We've all been there before, and the excuse for not breaking off a relationship that has long since reached its sell-by date is always the same. What if I regret this decision? How can I hurt someone who cares so much for me? Will I ever be loved like that again? How many times have we ended up sacrificing our own happiness in order to stay in a relationship that clearly isn't viable? Instead of just grabbing the bull by the horns and acknowledging the fact that it's been over for quite some time, we tend to stay a lot longer than we are welcome. Sometimes the routine of daily life provides comfort and the perfect excuse to ignore the danger signs. Avoidance is after all, just another way of delaying the inevitable.
So how do we know when to let go and how do we do it? Are we meant to follow our intuition again; the same intuition that told us this was a good idea in the first place? Do we scout for missing signs in order to justify our decision? Ten to one they’re probably staring us in the face already and have been for quite some time. Should complacency be a sign that we’ve compromised too much of ourselves or is that just the way the relationship package was designed? It's perfectly normal to experience a slump every now and then, but when the slump turns into a way of life, then perhaps the efforts of salvaging a particular relationship is an utter waste of time.
A sure-fire way of cracking the code is to assess the communication within your relationship. How well do you communicate with your partner both in and out of the bedroom? Are your conversations limited to heated arguments and how one’s day went or do you actually make the time to talk to your partner about feelings and the future? What about intimacy? Are there still traces and glimpses of appreciation, respect and affection or has that ship sailed along with all the other joys that came in the honeymoon phase? And most importantly, how is the sex life? Is it still going strong or is it at a complete standstill? Are you secretly looking up your exes hoping that one of them will take you back? Are you constantly craving independence and looking for excuses to have alone time, even if that means working extra hours at a job you despise?
If you answered yes to more than one of these questions, then it’s probably time to rip the band aid off. The longer you wait the bigger the wound and the longer the scars will take to heal. Break-ups are not easy, especially when you’re the one breaking someone else’s heart. You might feel like the villain at the end of it all but after the smoke and dust settles, I guarantee you, there will be clarity.
When it comes to dead-end relationships, why are we running back into the fire when there is nothing left to save?