- Sometimes problems arise in a relationship and it may seem like the end.
- That being said, some of the things that you might think are tell-tale signs of a break-up, might not actually be all that they appear.
- If you think you’re seeing signs that your relationship is doomed, take a beat. It might not be as bad as you fear.
Relationships can be tricky and it’s hard to be vulnerable with another person. That’s why, when trouble rears its head, many of us fear the worst and think a breakup is imminent.
But, many times, if you take a step back, those things we see as “red flags” or the end of a relationship may be no big deal at all. Of course, if something genuinely feels wrong or harmful to you, you should absolutely safely exit the relationship. However, these are some signs that your relationship may just be in a rough patch, and the end may not be as near as you think.
Your partner may seem distant, but there could be other things going on.
If your partner seems distant, it can certainly start to concern you and you may get the odd thought that maybe your relationship is going to end, but that’s not necessarily the case.
“If your partner seems distant lately, you might jump to the conclusion [they] wants to separate,” Michelene M. Wasil, LMFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist, told INSIDER. “A little distance is normal and can be a good thing. Emotional distance can be a hard cue to read – sometimes a person just needs a breather, or maybe just time to sort out stress, or even something at work is weighing on them – it may feel like they are trying to create more space to leave, but usually, this is just temporary dynamic.”
This is likely just temporary, but if it goes on longer than you’re comfortable with or seems intentional, it’s probably worth bringing it up to your partner.
Your sex life has changed.
More often than not, couples’ sex lives change over the course of their relationship, so there’s generally nothing to worry about if you recognise this happening to you. Toni Coleman, LCSW, CMC, a psychotherapist, relationship coach, and divorce mediator, told INSIDER that thought this is a natural part of the relationship, it could be worth a conversation.
“If a partner is picking up on these worrisome signs, they should try to open up a conversation about what they are seeing, letting their partner know they are concerned and there for them with a listening ear, a shoulder to lean on, an (hopefully) objective sounding board, and a helpful resource if necessary,” Coleman added.
It takes them quite a while to respond to text messages.
Just because your partner is taking an uncharacteristically long time to respond to messages that you send them doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re wanting out of the relationship and just don’t know how to say it.
“We live in a world where everyone’s lives are displayed publicly,” Rachel Hoffman, LCSW, M.Ed, a licensed clinical social worker, told INSIDER. “We see Instagram or Facebook posts of the ‘most incredible, happy couples.’ Therefore, when our lives don’t match up with those that we see, we immediately think the worst. There are also many dating books, podcasts, articles, and talk shows that reference this topic. They paint a black and white perspective of dating. These messages are basically the entire premise of the movie ‘He’s just not that into you.’ However, it’s not always a one size fits all rule and there could be many additional reasons your partner is acting this way.”
There are a large number of reasons as to why they wouldn’t have responded promptly, so there’s no need to immediately jump to conclusions. If they’re going MIA more than usual or more than you’d like, bring it up to them.
They’re focused on something other than you and your relationship.
When your partner is overly focused on other things and doesn’t seem to be as focused on your relationship as they have been in the past, that can set off some alarms in your head, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s something wrong.
“Sometimes your partner gets busy with work or with family and it isn’t reflective of their feelings for you,” Rachel Perlstein, LCSW, a relationship coach and co-founder of A Good First Date, told INSIDER. “They may be up for a promotion, stuck with an overwhelming project, or have a sick relative, and they truly need to focus more on things outside of the relationship.”
Their mood seems to have shifted — and not for the better.
If your partner’s mood seems to have changed in a negative manner, you might think that that means they’re withdrawing from the relationship, but it could be so many other things that are causing the change, Coleman said.
“A partner can be going through an undiagnosed depression, can be dealing with grief or a recent loss, can have an issue with their physical that is impacting their ability to function as they once did, and/or could be going through extreme work-related or other stress unrelated to the relationship,” she explained.
So don’t jump to conclusions or think that any change in mood is all about you. Of course, this is no excuse for mistreatment, but sometimes some support, and possibly, some professional help, could be all that’s needed.
They seem especially irritable lately.
“Relationships are dynamic, and when you are part of a couple, your partner’s mood and environmental stressors can play a huge role in the way it feels in your relationship,” Perlstein said. “Thus, when things happen in your partner’s life separate from you, their behaviour and ability to be present with you can be affected. Sometimes it’s hard not to personalise this and worry that perhaps their feelings towards you have changed. It’s important to remember that your partner may be struggling with something that has nothing to do with you or their feelings about you.”
Just like you might get upset because of a problem at work or a fight that you had with a friend or family member, they too might be irritable, upset, or angry for reasons that have nothing to do with you.
Your partner isn’t as communicative as they used to be.
Communication problems can make anyone wary, but that’s especially true when the communication problems come within your own relationship. Coleman said that though this can be commonly seen as a sign your relationship is over, again, there are a number of reasons as to why your partner’s communication patterns or habits may have changed that have nothing to do with wanting out of your relationship.
They have become a total homebody (and that’s out of character).
If your partner no longer wants to spend time out of the house, that could raise questions in your mind about where your relationship is headed. “While this can feel like it’s about your relationship or about their relationship with you, but this is not always the case,” Perlstein said. “When dealing with stress outside the relationship, some people need more time alone to decompress before they can have the energy to focus on someone else.”
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