How to know you have outgrown your relationship

Relationships also have expiration dates. It is normal to grow at a different pace from your partner. Here's how you can tell it is time to move on.

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Long-term relationships have their ups and downs and these are usually connected to the growth and evolution of each partner. It is easy to think you are on the same page with each other as time goes on, but this can be erroneous thinking.


According to dating coach and eHarony relationship expert Laurel House, “every relationship has a purpose. Some are for the purpose of forever and most are for the purpose of ‘for now’ or ‘for some time. When you feel like you’ve outgrown a relationship, that relationship has reached its expiration date, and that’s OK. It’s a healthy time to let it go.”

Outgrowing your relationship can be connected to personal change and growth which elevate your lifestyle, health, career, habits, and preferences, while your partner has stayed the same or hasn't changed as much as you.

Personal growth doesn't stop when you enter a relationship, “you might feel like your partner is stagnant, you might look at them as a reflection of your past, you might feel like you have surpassed them, and it makes you uncomfortable,” House told Lifehacker.


Staying in such a state in a relationship can turn a relationship sour and potentially toxic.

Being so different in a relationship can be hard to accept. But understanding the signs can be a good compass for where you are and where you want to go. Here are some examples to consider.

If you start to see your old self reflected in your partner, it is a major sign you have changed so much in your relationship. If they still indulge in old activities, mentality, and habits that you used to have in the beginning, you might feel frustrated, resentful, and even sad.

It may also make you feel like they are dragging you down when you are trying to go forward. You might have had an experience that made you decide to change but your partner didn't get the memo.


You may feel like your partner's coach or motivational speaker and feel frustrated. If you are more focused on his/her growth than that person, then it is likely you have outgrown the relationship.

His/her easy-going nature starts to nag you even though you liked it at the start. You feel like you are the only one seeking change when you simply want a better relationship.

If your partner doesn't fit in with your new friends or colleagues and fits in more with the old group. There may be a huge difference between your partner and your new circle when it comes to communication, mannerisms, or interests. This can highlight the differences between you two since your circle reflects you too.


Your partner may also prefer the old friends, the old style of doing things and living. You may even try to keep him or her away from your new connections otherwise the two groups may see the stark difference between you and the other.

You may start to seek someone who shares your new interests, beliefs, conversations, and style. You love the novelty of this connection and bonding over your growth and development. Moreover, the new person helps you explore this new side of yourself. This can create internal conflict and negative emotions in you and toward your partner.

“Communicate how you feel, what you need, and what your goals are. Talk about different action steps and how you can help each other to activate them. Talk about a realistic timeframe and decide to reconnect about their status at that point. If, after that amount of time, they have not put in the time or effort to make a change, it’s possible that they actually don’t want to and they are only doing it because you’re forcing them to," says House.

At this point, you may have to part ways instead of harbouring resentment and disagreeing on the most important things.


Remember, when you start to feel this difference is not the time to break up. It means you should have a conversation and figure a way up for your partner if they want to change.

You should give your partner a chance to make some changes.


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