Although it's good for your relationship for both your and your partner to do things without the other person, some of the specific things that they (or you) do alone can actually give you some insight into how they're feeling about the relationship. Having solo hobbies like attending a weekend yoga class, playing a sport with friends, or exploring new coffee shops without your coffee-despising partner isn't a bad thing, but if your partner does these six activities without you, they're checked out of the relationship and the two of you might need to have an honest conversation about what's really going on.
If you recognize that your partner does these things without you, it doesn't mean that the relationship is definitely over, but it does probably mean that there's some sort of problem there. Whether they're truly checked out and just can't be bothered to end things or there's something else going on, you're likely going to have to talk about it together in order to move forward. Also, there can be some exceptions and ultimately, you and your partner probably know your relationship best, so just because they've done one of these things before doesn't necessarily mean that they're done with you or have completely checked out. But if you notice that these things are happening more frequently, whether it's you or your partner who's doing them, they could be red flags that all is not well.
1. They Travel Alone
Traveling for work aside, if your partner tries to leave you behind, that's probably not a great sign. If your partner doesn't seem interested in having you involved in trip planning or is actively working on plans for trips without you, that could be a sign that something's going on, psychotherapist Kimberly Hershenson tells Romper in an email exchange. Again, there are exceptions. If they're traveling for a friend or family member's bachelor or bachelorette party, for instance, you might not be invited, so leaving you behind doesn't mean that they're pulling away. If it's a trend, however, you might need to do some reflecting.
2. They Go To Family Events Alone
Family events are typically things that the two of you should attend together, especially if you're in a long-term, committed relationship. "Not including you in family events is a pretty good indicator that your partner has checked out of the relationship," Theresa Herring, LMFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Romper in an email exchange. "It likely means that they don't want you in family photos and/or on their family's mind. Family is a pretty central part of people's lives so if you're no longer included, you're likely going to spending life on the periphery."
3. They Spend Lots Of Time On Their Phone
"[I]f you find that your partner is more engaged with text messaging friends or on social media when you're with them, this is a sign that they are not present in the relationship," Hershenson says. Nearly everyone is guilty of giving their phone or other electronics too much attention from time to time, but if your partner is always so entrenched in what's going on elsewhere, it could be because they're no longer invested in what's going on between the two of you.
4. They Head To The Bar
"There's nothing wrong with getting drinks with coworkers or going out for a guys/girls night with friends," Herring says. "But if your partner has started going out more and leaving you at home, that could indicate that they've got one foot out the door. Bars are often pick-up spots and can offer temptation for someone who's on the fence in their relationship."
If they're going out far more often than they ever used to, it might not be a good sign, relationship-wise.
5. You're Not Having Sex
Sex is often a part of healthy, committed relationships, so if you two aren't getting intimate anymore, that might be an indication that something's not right. "[I]f you find your partner making excuses to not have sex and instead they pleasure themselves or watch porn, this may be a sign something is up with your relationship," Hershenson says.
6. They Get Together With Single Friends
Not all of your friends or theirs will definitely be in relationships at the same time, so it's not necessarily a red flag if they plan dinner out with one of their single friends, but if hanging out with their single friends without you starts taking priority over spending time with you, that might mean that something is wrong.
"When people start to contemplate breaking up, they tend to associate more with single people because they assume this is likely to become their lifestyle," Herring says. "Whereas happy, committed couples tend to spend more time with couple friends and doing things together. Of course it's important to have time away from your partner and a life of your own. But when it seems like there's a sharp increase in time apart, that's not a good sign for your relationship."
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