Knowing When Your Relationship Is Over: Malaysians Weigh In

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You’re with your significant other, spending time like you normally do. But something feels off.

Things are different. You can’t place your finger on it, but you can feel your gut telling you you’re not as happy as you used to be.

And suddenly, you’re entertaining the idea of being single again.

If you think you’re some monster for feeling that way, don’t worry. It’s something many have felt before but in different ways. So, we ask Malaysians when they knew their relationships were over, and here’s what they had to say:

Fizzled-out chemistry

Having chemistry is important in any relationship. Not even the explosive infatuation, but the kind where you just enjoy and crave each other’s company.

Once you realise that you’re just tolerating them, it’s over. Take Danial, for instance.

It didn’t hit Danial that it was over until he and his ex were done with another petty fight. He couldn’t remember what it was about, but there was one very clear thought that came from it – he wasn’t happy.

They had been together since college, but after a year together, it got boring. And they both knew it.

Gone were the days they could stay up just talking about any old thing. Now, she picks fights with him over the smallest things, like how his clothes looked, and how he talked. Part of him suspected she was trying to spice things up – she was trying to inject some passion in their fizzled-out relationship.

And if that was what kept their relationship alive, then wasn’t it better to just end it?

If you and your better half don’t gel anymore, it might be a sign that you’re not compatible. You could try bringing the passion back, but if it’s emotionally draining the both of you, it might be best to call it quits.

A change in priority

Adulthood is a trying time for anyone, especially if you have to balance a relationship at the same time.

After graduating, Ashley had to look for a job, while her ex worked in his parents’ company. It was a high-paying job that demanded much of his time. While she was happy for him, it did mean fewer dates, and less time spent together. It was just something they had to adjust to, right?

Well, it was more difficult than she thought. He was on his phone constantly even when they were together. He rarely listened to her when she spoke, always prioritising work.

He’d cut their dates short because his parents needed him for a work emergency. It got to the point where he forgot her birthday and their anniversary.

Still, Ashley stayed. It was rough, but she really wanted it to work out.

What broke the camel’s back was when she cancelled their date to step in for a sick colleague at work. She figured that since he’d done the same many times, he would’ve understood. He didn’t.

Her ex blamed her for not putting him first. He said she was prioritising work over their relationship. They got into a heated argument, and she broke up with him immediately.

If your partner can’t prioritise you, then maybe it’s time to find someone who will. Life’s much too short to play second fiddle to anyone, don’t you think?

People change

Being married for over 30 years, things tend to not stay the same. Still, Rana didn’t expect her husband to change as much as he did.

When their relationship started out, Rana and her then-boyfriend had the relationship that everyone wanted. The explosive romance, the dream proposal, the perfect family—a modern-day fairy tale.

It made her decision to get a divorce that much harder.

Over time, he changed. He grew distant, and not as affectionate. They spent less time together, and eventually, she grew used to spending an entire week without talking to him. He stopped doing the little things, like get her favourite dessert, or offer to fetch their kids to school so she could sleep in.

But the moment she was certain her husband had changed was when he started quarreling over money. See, Rana is an accountant, and she wasn’t one for frivolous spending. So, back when they were engaged, he agreed to put her in charge of the family finances.

Suddenly, it wasn’t their money, but his. He made (unfounded) claims to her savings, and her EPF, saying that half belonged to him. He blamed her for his failed business, and blamed their marriage for his financial misfortune.

That was when she knew it was over. This man wasn’t the one she fell in love with all those years ago.

She had to wait a few years until her children were financially independent, but she went through with the divorce.

People change—it’s a fact of life. And sometimes, you won’t know why. What you can do is look out for yourself. No matter how long you’ve been together, if it’s more stressful to be with them, then do yourself a favour. Choose you.

There’s no bad reason for breaking up. If you’re not happy with them, or if it’s more work than it’s worth, then that’s reason enough. You deserve to be happy beyond the shadow of a doubt, right?

(Names have been changed.)

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