What to do When Your Relationship is Stuck in Limbo

Does your relationship feel like it’s headed nowhere? Are you stuck in a rut and you can’t seem to find your way out? Here are some steps to help you work out what to do.

Is Your Relationship Stuck In Limbo?


Admit It To Yourself

The first step to changing things is admitting that you are, in fact, in a state of limbo in your relationship. This might not be easy to do if you’re fairly comfortable with how things are and don’t really want to rock the boat. However, if there are longstanding issues that need to be resolved or discussions are going nowhere, you’ll need to admit that your relationship is in a state of limbo and do whatever you need to do to shake things up and resolve the situation.


Are You Even In A Relationship?

You might feel you’re in limbo, but he might not even consider you have a relationship yet. In that case, you’ll need to clarify. If your relationship isn’t clearly defined and you feel you’ve been in “this place” for long enough, it’s time to talk about it.



If you both know you’re in a relationship, but progress to the next level is slow, a serious discussion can help to clarify where you both are and how exactly you feel you’re in limbo. If you find you haven’t been communicating much recently and you’re finding it hard to bring up the subject, make a definite time when you’ll sit down and talk. Do this at a neutral time when neither of you has to rush off to do something. Don’t try to broach the subject 10 minutes before your favorite series or his sports team is about to play as you’ll be rushed or distracted. Use a calm, rational tone of voice and resist the temptation to get emotional or worked up. The object of the discussion is to understand where you are and what you both feel about it.


Don’t Blame

Placing all the blame on him won’t turn out well for either of you. Relationship problems are seldom one person’s fault alone. Be willing to admit your part in way things are and come up with solutions where you can. Don’t just plop down a big problem, be part of the solution and help to come up with a plan for change. Ask him for his opinion and don’t resist what he says right away. Take time to digest it and consider that he could have good points as well. If he sees you’re open for discussion, he’ll be more likely to accept what you have to say as well.


Be Willing To Get Help

Sometimes, a third party is needed in order to help you both get past any slump or stall in your relationship. Friends may be able to help with advice, but they should be unbiased and not take sides, and this can prove difficult. If you feel it’s serious enough, you might need to look into getting professional help. Often the reason a relationship gets stuck in limbo is a lack of meaningful communication and having a third party to help you talk through things and give advice can make a big difference.


Go Somewhere New Together

It may be that your relationship is in limbo because you haven’t be spending enough time together or that the things you do together are routine and boring. Breaking out of a rut by taking some time off together and doing something different. If you want to use the time to talk about the relationship, go somewhere alone where you know you won’t be distracted. Going on holiday to visit friends and family probably won’t help much as you won’t have the privacy and time you need. Getting out of your comfort zone and surroundings can be just enough to get your relationship rolling again.


Take Some Time Apart

If other methods don’t work, taking some time apart could also help you to break the cycle that your relationship is stuck in. A trial separation can help you to both appreciate what you have as well as see what you’d be missing out on. On the flip side, if things go better when you’re apart, you’ll know for sure that that’s where your relationship is headed. More likely than not, though, you’ll want to get back together to work things out now that you’ve been able to take time alone to sort things out in your mind.


How Much Do You Want To Stay Together?

Even if you don’t have a trial separation, you need to get a clear picture of how much you value your relationship. If you both truly want to be together and make it work, you’ll take the time and make the effort to change things. You won’t walk away too early, but you won’t let things continue as they are forever. Remember how much you love him, remember how wonderful things were and do your best to get that feeling back again. Resolve to make new memories, to create a loving environment, and to communicate better. Discuss together how you can improve the relationship and how to keep it from getting to this point again. Take a look at the Getting The Spark Back series for more ideas.


Don’t Exert Too Much Pressure

It might feel logical to put a time limit on your demands and give an ultimatum in order to effect change. This could put unrealistic strain on the relationship and make it seem like you’re punishing him. Agree together to make time to communicate, set goals together, and don’t let things lie for a long period of time. On the other hand, you can’t tell him what to do and when. If he continues to postpone, and is stalling on any discussion, let him know that it’s going on too long and you need a response from him soon. Ask if you can agree together on a time frame in which things will change and work together to get out of your rut. If it’s just you pushing, he might just back out and then blame you for breaking things up.


Be Willing To Walk Away

If the relationship shows no signs of change and you feel locked in a situation where neither of you is happy, you might need to be the one to walk away. It takes a lot of strength and resolve to be the one to make that kind of change. Only do this once you are convinced that the relationship cannot be saved and that it’s best for both of you to move on. Being in constant limbo means life is passing you by. You’re in an unhappy state and you’re leaving it that way because you don’t want to be the one to take action. You need to consider if you’d be happy going on for months, years, or the rest of your life in the state your relationship is in now. If things don’t change, can you deal with that? Or is it time to make a change, even if it means going through the pain of walking away?

Over To You: Have you ever been stuck in a relationship that was not going anywhere? If you were, what did you do about it? Please leave a comment below.

5 Responses to “What to do When Your Relationship is Stuck in Limbo”

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  1. Someone once told me that when you stop having sex you know there’s trouble…and I kinda think its’ true. Step one is vital – admit you are having problems and figure out what you plan on doing with it
    Singles Warehouse Online Dating Magazine recently posted…Defining sugar dating….as only a sugar baby could by @detroitdate

  2. Michelle Santiago says:

    Ty This info was helpful and it made me think differently abt my x boyfriend. It also taught me to either stay or move on. I stll love him very much its hard but i have to accept wht ever is coming.

  3. Karen says:

    I recently walked away from an on off relationship of seven years, we’d had an affair for seven years before that. He was intense and passionate and he pursued me until I finally gave in to my feelings and broke up my marriage. His wife had already left him. I thought he was my perfect man but almost immediately had started to put distance between us saying his children weren’t ready. I gave him two years and then I started to push, after all he was the one who persuaded me I should break my family in two because we would be good together and he would be there for me. He told me I would be like a wife to him, the mother his children had never had. I was in love with him and I believed what he said, his messages were so powerful and his passion for me was very evident. But as I pushed for us to live together (he was a millionaire with room enough and he had the means to buy whatever house he wanted/needed) he found every reason under the sun for us not to get together: why did I want him to fund a life for me and my children (that was a choker), his son didn’t want to share his home with us (his son was 26 and shacked up with his then girlfriend in his dad’s house), he didn’t want my children to use his children’s bedrooms even though three of them lived away, he wanted to travel I couldn’t get the time off work, he didn’t want to go back to what he had with his ex wife. We agreed to look for a new house but there weren’t many seven bedroom houses with parking for six cars in the three square miles he was prepared to live. When we eventually agreed we would get his loft converted so that two new bedrooms could be built for my daughters, his children decided they wanted the new bedrooms and threatened to leave if they didn’t have them. It took 18 months to complete the build and all the time I’m back and forth with my children and my overnight bag after a full days work, waiting For the build to finish.

    In the end after six years like this, three emotional breakdowns corresponding with three break ups and reconciliations in which he assured me he wanted to take care of me and share his home with me and that he wouldn’t let his children dictate to us, he just refused to move us in asking me why I wasn’t content just to have him in my life. He told me he would never marry me in the end, in fact he compared marriage to having to cut his leg off just to please me, I got the hint.

    But I tried everything to make it work, to tolerate his insecurities and his concerns about his children (17, 24, 26 and 29) I was desperate not to have to admit I’d made a terrible mistake. I realise now it was the chase he liked and he had played a game of push pull with me: pushing me away when the relationship became intense and pulling me back when I showed signs of losing interest. Once he had me there and I was making demands of him though the attraction had gone. He didn’t have the courage to admit he had made a mistake instead he blamed his children and sabotaged our relationship by stonewalling me and allowing me to think the fault lay with me as I became increasingly agitated and emotional.

    In the end I became emotionally volatile and I would lose it and become hysterical just trying to get home to see things from my point of view. In the end after seven years I walked away. Heartbroken, exhausted and confused but I knew he could never make me happy, not me him. I lost friends over the relationship and my youngest daughter won’t have anything to do with me because she was hurt by all the trauma and she felt his rejection as acutely as I did. I had been in relationship purgatory for seven years, he had me where he wanted me, never intended to commit or take responsibility.

    I look back and it was a living nightmare. I would counsel any woman to think very carefully before leaving a marriage for another man unless that man is publicly supportive of you from day one. There’s no need to rub the childrens’ face in it, but children generally take their lead from their parents and if you and he are strong and stand together children will generally take comfort from that show of strength. If he’s not having the conversations with/in front of his children that you would expect him to have discussing your future plans, laying the foundations for your life together he’s probably bottling it. I’d say give it two years max after that cut your losses, he’ll never change and your life and the lives of your children are on hold. Don’t waste anymore time walk away and put it down to experience. I so wish I had done that, I’d have been five years younger and I’d have saved my children years of emotional trauma.

    • Ana says:

      Thank you so much for sharing your story Karen. I hope you find someone who values you. You deserve love not games. Everyone deserves that and should refuse to put up with less. At least you walked away after 7 years. Others waste a whole lot longer waiting for their partner to change his or her mind.
      Ana recently posted…Should You Use Mobile Dating Apps?

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