Dating and Relationship Advice

Love can be blinding. Whether you’re casually dating or deeply committed, there are times when you get so drawn into a person that you ignore the red flags. Most of us have overstayed our situationships at one point or another, but now it's time to kick those stagnant romances to the curb. We're here to help you embrace stable, long term relationships by recognizing the red flags and learning from them.

Here are five important signs that it is time to move on.

1) You haven’t defined the relationship

Situationships refer to romantic connections that lack an official title. It might feel as though you’re committed to one person or at least have a romantic connection, but you’re not completely sure of the dynamic.

If you constantly find yourself asking the infamous “what are we” question and neither of you can come up with a clear answer, this is a huge red flag. It’s okay to be exclusive or to consensually have multiple partners, but that needs to be addressed and both parties must agree to it.

If you just want to be friends, clearly communicate that. If you want to be more, say that. It’s important to speak up. Communication is vital, and if you two can’t establish what your relationship is, then maybe it’s time to move along.

2) You're putting in most of the effort

A relationship is 50/50. You have to meet your partner halfway and vice versa. When you’re interested in someone, you will always find the time to see each other. This could mean having a nice dinner date or having a quick video chat if your schedules are hectic.

However, if you find yourself always planning dates that fall through or your partner only invites you over to their place in the middle of the night to hook up, then it’s time to think about what you want to gain out of your connection.

Do you want a stable relationship or do you want to hook up from time to time? If the latter doesn’t sound right to you, then it’s time to seek a new connection that will satisfy your needs.

3) They’re not communicating with you as often as they should

Similar to the last sign, it’s important to make time for your special someone. It’s normal to have busy schedules or “me” time to recharge, but it's also crucial to speak up if you're not getting enough support from the other person.

I remember once I was talking to someone who would respond to me every other day or even a few days later. I would say something like: “Oh, I’m going to cook dinner for my family,” on a Monday, and I would get a response two days later like “Oh, what did you cook?”

It’s okay if it happened once in a while, but this quickly became a habit. That’s when I knew that they weren’t as engaged in talking to me as I was with them. If your person seems detached and dismissive, it’s time to go.

4) You’ve compromised your standards and boundaries

If you ever feel the pressure to prioritize your person over your mental health, happiness, family, and friends, run for the hills. Relationships are about balance. You should never have to pick between a romantic fling and your own well-being.

A true relationship should make you feel stable and connected. If you feel that this connection is draining you, don’t be afraid to cut ties. Your health and sanity come first. Always.

5) They get really awkward when you discuss future plans

When you're interested in someone, you're often excited to plan things with them, from fun dates to future plans. However, if your person tries to change the subject or they don't say anything when you tell them that you want to be official, this is a clear indicator that they may not be ready to settle down and commit to you.

Every connection has its own timeline, but if you find that after several months the relationship is not moving forward and your partner shows no interest in changing that stagnant dynamic, take heed and know that it's time to make a big decision.

Empty promises or comments like "one day we're going to be together" or "we'll be official soon, I just need to work on myself for now," or "I want you but I'm not ready, but this doesn't mean that we won't ever be together" are also indicators that they are really not interested in being a committed relationship. Phrases like that are usually emotionally manipulative in hopes of making you stay. That's a major red flag.  

If someone truly wants to be with you, you will never doubt it. They will constantly show you that they're interested and have clear plans about how far they want to take this relationship. If they say they need to work on themselves alone, believe them. Don't try to heal them or mold them into "partner material" in hopes that they will change their mind about being in a committed relationship. If they wanted to make things official, they would have.

6) They gaslight and emotionally manipulate you

Let’s assume that you’ve accepted that your connection may be a stagnant situationship and you bring this up to your partner. You’ve discussed the red flags, your concerns, and expressed your expectations for the future. If your person is not receptive to your feedback, makes you feel like you’re a burden for “making things up,” or plays mind games to convince you that they care about you (even though they haven’t shown it through their actions), this is your cue to run.

Your feelings are valid. You should never be made to feel like your concerns are minimal or unnecessary. If you feel that something is off, trust your intuition and never let anyone persuade you that you are wrong. If you sense that this connection is not going anywhere—follow your gut.

Life is too short to settle. You deserve the world, and if you’re in a connection that doesn’t satisfy you, uplift you, and make you feel loved, don’t be afraid to move on. There is someone out there who will love every inch of you and make it well known to you. Best of luck!