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Final Issue: Five signs it may be time to end a relationship

This piece was written for Egypt Independent’s final weekly print edition, which was banned from going to press. We offer you our 50th and final edition here.

We all know that being in a relationship is exciting, but learning to evaluate whether your relationship is thriving or just surviving is a must. If you are not both on the same page, your relationship probably isn’t working and it may be time to pull the plug.

According to psychologist Amina al-Gammal, if you spot one or more of these five behaviors in your partner, it’s an indication that he or she is not investing much effort in the relationship, and you may want to move on. Your future will thank you.


Showing indifference toward a relationship makes it lose its spark and can cause withdrawal and the silent treatment. No one wants to give their effort if it’s not reciprocated.

Working on a relationship all by yourself will eventually make you feel frustrated from trying so hard. While you may be keen to maintain emotional closeness, it is vital that your partner is keen on working things out as well.

Don’t put yourself in a vulnerable position. Find the right moment to speak up and confront your partner in a mature manner if you’re feeling uneasy, but without picking a quarrel.

If he or she doesn’t value your feelings and your attempts to improve the relationship, and is unwilling to discuss the issue, it may be time to move on and look for a partner who deserves your efforts.

Poor communication

Communication is the backbone of any relationship. Once partners stop communicating, understanding and sharing feelings, and being intimate, they no longer have a healthy relationship.

A partner who communicates poorly may be self-centered and need to be in control of the relationship. This person may perceive himself or herself as always being right and may judge without giving others a chance to express their ideas or perspectives.

This dynamic often leads to a constant state of denial. This person may respond to criticism by blaming her or her partner, and debating with the aim of winning the argument in order to impose his or her own beliefs.

The secret to successful communication with this type of partner is seeking a problem-oriented approach, to look deeper into the roots of your arguments and come up with satisfactory solutions for both of you. If your partner does not respond positively to these overtures, it may be time to end the relationship.


Living under your partner’s thumb means you allow him or her to mold your character into the person your partner wants you to be. You should decide from the very beginning whether you want your partner to have the upper hand in your relationship, or take a firm stance and say “no.”

A controlling partner may try to manage everything in your life and will often underestimate your good qualities.

A bossy partner also tends to pinpoint so-called “improvements” you should make to your life and character while overlooking any attempt to be a better person or develop new habits. Accordingly, no matter how much you try to satisfy this type of partner, it may feel like an unreachable goal.

Do not allow your character to be compromised. Let your motivations to change come from within.


While you are trying to silence your relationship worries, you could suffer a breakdown in terms of your life choices. One of the most devastating aspects of this whole experience is feeling unworthy and incapable of sustaining a healthy relationship.

Instead of putting the burden on your shoulders, it’s essential to know that betrayal says more about your partner’s ethics and sincerity than your own self-worth. If you find it hard to forgive and you are not the one responsible for the betrayal, it may be time to escape from the endless cycle of feeling empty and anxious.

Confront your fears, restore trust in yourself and other and then start all over again.


You may have been swept off your feet by this type of partner, and that’s understandable. But hang on to your emotions.

Even if he or she is showering you with compliments, you may come to realize that he or she will not actually commit. So look out for red flags in the relationship from the beginning to discover if he or she is someone who isn’t going to wear a playboy hat and later break your heart.

If, after going out on a handful of dates, this partner is saying you are “the one,” you may need to pause your heart and use your head. While these overtures may make you feel over the moon, you should ask yourself how this person could feel this way so quickly.

Such a partner may, for instance, say he or she wants to introduce you to his or her family, but never fulfill the promise — pretending to take the relationship to the next level but actually offering nothing but words. This type of partner may see you as part of a long queue of potential lovers, rather than a person worth commitment, and that's your cue to find the nearest exit. 

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