“The heart was made to be broken,” Oscar Wilde once claimed. He wasn’t wrong. You’d be lucky to live an entire lifetime without ever once suffering the unbearable pain of a breakup. What’s more, there’s no worse way to break up than to watch for signs your relationship is fizzling out, and then see it all come crashing down. You watch this great, big, important something, shrivel and become nothing.
Let’s not pretend that it happens overnight either. You don’t blink and fall out of love. No, there are signs — unmissable, unmistakable signs that appear to let you know the road ahead is anything but easy. If you notice any of the following in your relationship, a disaster could well be on the horizon.
1. You’ve Started to Feel Insecure About Your Partner
You lie awake late at night, troublesome thoughts spinning around your mind. What if this relationship breaks down? Is your significant other a cheater? Do you still love them? Do they still love you? The worries and questions are endless and, frankly, they might be causing your relationship to fizzle out.
While you may think that experiencing nerves here and there is no big deal, they could be having a bigger impact than you realize. In fact, your anxiety about the relationship may be the very thing damning it. It should come as no surprise that research from Florida State University found insecurity in a relationship can lead to its ultimate downfall. Your worries about your partner or relationship may well be self-fulfilling prophecies.
2. You’re Avoiding Having That *Big* Argument
Is there an elephant lurking in the room? Failing to discuss problems, big or small, is a terrible mistake. While most of us are under the naive impression that avoiding arguments is healthy, ignoring the obvious flaws in your relationship is even worse. The more you push those annoyances and irksome issues down, the more they will bother you and destroy your relationship.
In fact, research from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology recently found that the odd argument can do more good than harm. The idea is that speaking out about issues you may have in the relationship helps you to solve them quickly. So, if you’re trying to sweep things under the rug, it could be a bad sign.
3. You Prefer Hanging Out With Other People
There once was a time, many moons ago, when you’d drop just about everything to have a stolen evening away with your partner. Those days are, sadly, gone. As a relationship starts to fizzle out, one of the major signs that people tend to notice is that they don’t spend as much time with one another as they once did.
Not only that, but they also actively make excuses to avoid hanging out and find themselves “too busy” for their loved one. Remember, they are “bae” for a reason; that cutesy pet name stands for Before Anyone Else. Now, if you’re putting everyone else before your supposedly special someone, it spells out trouble for your relationship.
4. You No Longer Feel Desired by Your Partner
The first few months of any passionate relationship are intoxicating. You want each other all the time; it’s all you can do to keep your hands off one another in public. And then, the flame burns a little dimmer. Over time, it’s only natural that the desire fades a little; but should it fade too much, you could have a serious issue on your hands.
According to a recent study by Chapman University, 59% of men and 42% of women in long-term relationships feel “less desired” by their partners than they did when they first began dating. It’s a serious issue. No one wants to feel as though their significant other is no longer attracted to them. When you start to get an inclination that your partner’s just not that into you anymore, it can be harrowing.
5. You’re Not Afraid to Get Personal and Say Toxic Things
When you’re truly in a relationship, i.e. when you actively want it to work, you would never dream of getting personal in arguments or saying damaging things to your partner. So, it stands to reason that if either one of you is lashing out during arguments, something is going terribly wrong. What this change in attitude says is that you (or, indeed, your partner) no longer care about salvaging the relationship.
Toxic insults can be anything from calling someone out on their flaws to using their secrets against them when you fight. It’s not healthy. Basically, when you’re throwing insults left, right, and center simply to score points, you have to question something. As the Black Eyed Peas so melodically sang, where is the love?
6. Your Partner Frustrates You More Than Ever
How mad do you stay at your significant other? Couples who are unhappy with their relationship spend their time angry or frustrated with one another in the aftermath of a fight, according to a survey by the National Communication Association — whereas those who are happy with their love life tend to compromise more, and at least one of the people in the relationship will ultimately bend to the other.
Think about your relationship; which type of couple are you? While we all feel a little annoyed after arguing, if these feelings are disproportionate to the problem at hand, they could be telling of a deeper issue. Perhaps the reason you’re so frustrated with your bae has little to do with the fight you’ve just had and a whole lot to do with how you feel about the relationship as a whole.