Knowing when it’s time to pull the plug on relationships


My phone beeps at me when it is running out of battery power.

It’s really a nice feature. It would be nice if some things in life gave you little reminders when they needed help or were dying out.

Like, for instance, if a relationship is going badly. A lot of times we don’t take notice until things are too far gone to repair. Which begs the question, if we knew what to look for, how can you tell when it’s time to pull the plug?

Well first let’s address the cynics who would say that we should spend more time thinking about our personal relationships, talking about our feelings and discussing the special moments in our lives.

Seriously, that doesn’t happen. We’re students, which makes us like half-functioning adults. It’s an accomplishment to get out of bed before eight in the morning for most of us. And, if you’re anything like I am, you work at least one or two crappy jobs just to survive the summer when the financial aid stops and reality starts.

Finding the time to have those deep and meaningful talks with the person you’re seeing can be exhausting. And it just gets easier to put it off, roll over and go to sleep.

So if we’re crazy busy, what do we look for?

Most people trying to help would begin by asking you everything about your relationship and the other person in it. I personally think that you should look inward.

For example, if you’re not excited to pick up the phone at the end of the day when you know who it is, or if you find yourself forgetting details that can seem like nothing, then I think, at that point, you need to pull the plug.

If you are feeling this at all, odds are that you have been labeled the “bad guy” a few times. It’s OK, I’m always the “bad guy”.

The aforementioned “feelings” have about a million self-help books dedicated to them, so I really don’t feel badly.

Those people would say that I cut people out too soon; that I am unfeeling and we should give these relationships a fair shot; that we should ignore these signs and really try to work things out; that we should talk our little issues to death and drag the relationship out for months, giving other opportunities a chance to pass us by while we talking about our feelings … again.

Pulling the plug before something completely dies is not heartless, it’s considerate and smart.

It may sting a little, but it’s the right thing to do. Just something to keep in mind if you feel like you and yours might be running out of battery power.

Lauren Rohrer is a senior in music and theater. You can e-mail her at