The end of a relationship can be tough to acknowledge, especially when you're not the one ending it. Usually along the way, there are telltale signs that your partner is over you. Sometimes they can be subtle signs, while other times they're glaringly obvious, and you're just ignoring them. Letting go isn't easy, regardless of whether or not you're the one who's more invested in it. I spoke with relationship counselor Elisabeth Graham to get her take on how to recognize if your partner's losing interest in you — and what to do if that is indeed the case.
"Nonverbal communication is often overlooked in relationships," Graham says. "You write off the signs as a bad mood, when really they're trying to tell you something more." Rather than ignoring the signs, Graham recommends looking for them — and keeping your eyes out for them, even in the happiest of relationships. Of course, she doesn't mean you should nitpick your relationship, or become paranoid — but being aware of your partner's wants, needs, and feelings is key to a fully functional relationship. So if you're experiencing any of the following things in your relationship, and experiencing them repeatedly — it's time to talk to your partner, and reevaluate where you're at in your relationship. Because letting go is much easier in the long run if you can avoid being blindsided.
1You're Fighting More Than Usual
All couples fight. In fact, fighting is good for your relationship. But if you're feeling like you're continually fighting with your partner, it's a sign that there's something bigger at play. "If you and your partner are fighting more, there's an explanation," Graham says. "External stress is usually the culprit." Although Graham says that fighting itself doesn't necessarily mean your partner's over you, she does say that couple with the rest of these red flags, that it could mean the end is near.
2You're Feeling Distant
If you're suddenly feeling clingy in your relationship, it's probably because you're feeling distance from your partner. "If your partner is suddenly spending time away from you, mentally and physically, that means their priorities have shifted," Graham says. When your partner becomes less interested in spending time with you, and working through things with you, this generally means they're disconnecting from you with a purpose.
3You Hear 'I Love You' Less
It's all sunshine and butterflies at the beginning of a relationship, and at the end — those things are few and far between. "If your partner rarely says I love you anymore," Graham says. "There's a reason why." Either they're not feeling the love, or they've become complacent in your relationship. Both things can be the death of a relationship, and need to be addressed.
4Your Sex Life Is Non-Existent
Everyone knows the honeymoon stage wears off eventually, and when you get into the daily grind in a committed relationship, sex can fall to the wayside. But if your partner goes cold turkey on you, something's up. "Sex is a factor of all functional relationships," Graham says. "The presence or the absence of it." She goes on to say that you shouldn't base your entire relationship off of the frequency you do the twist between the sheets, but you should be concerned and aware if things abruptly take a turn for the worse.
5You're Talking Less
Communication, communication, communication. How many times have you heard that communication is key to fully functioning relationships? "If your partner stops communicating with you," Graham says. "Be it mundane or emotional communication, something is up." You and your partner should have an open line of communication. If that line is closed down, your relationship is going to follow soon after.
6You're Not Making Commitments
"If your partner can't commit to anything, you've got a problem." Graham says that if you're having trouble pinning your partner down for special events, big life changes, and more — it's probably because they're having hesitations about taking the next steps in your relationship with you. Whether they're nervous about making big commitments, or they're at the end of their rope — it's worth sitting down and talking out.
7You're No Longer Welcome With Friends
When your partner's friends suddenly dislike you hanging around, it can mean one of two things. "Either your partner has confided in them that you're not going to be around much longer," Graham says. "Or they've been sharing negative feelings about you, and it's made their friends wary around you." Your partner's friends are a pretty good gauge for what's going on with your partner, especially if they've always been cordial and welcoming to you before.
8You Feel Like An Option
"Your partner should never make you feel like you're part of his or her options," Graham says. "When you're in a committed relationship, you prioritize your partner." If your partner has made you feel like you're part of a multiple choice equation, things are not looking good.
9Your Partner Is Nitpicking
Suddenly, everything you're doing is wrong. And your partner's vocal about it. "Nitpicking your partner is a red flag that there's greater unhappiness than the issue being voiced," Graham says. In other words? It's not about you dumping coffee grinds down the sink. It's about the bigger picture.
10Your Future Seems Fuzzy
You used to make plans together, you were building a future together, and now it feels like those plans are in the trash. "If you don't feel secure in where your relationship is headed, talk about it," Graham says. It could just be a detour, but if your partner is avoiding any and all conversations about your future — it's probably because they've got other plans.
11You're Not Getting Apologies
When your partner has hurt your feelings, or vice versa, it warrants an apology. At the demise of a relationship, apologies are the last thing on anybody's mind. "If you're not getting apologies any more, you've got problems," Graham says. "Sorry is such a simple word, and it can fix so much." If a genuine apology has disappeared from your partner's vernacular, it's because they're just not sorry anymore — and when a partner is no longer apologetic for hurting you, no matter how big or small, it means they're over it.