Relationship Red Flags: Signs Your Relationship is Not Working
Generally, it is easy to tell if you're in a good relationship. You and your partner are happy, you enjoy the time you spend together doing things you love, you miss them when you are apart, and your friends and family comment about how well you complement one another. It is easy to see the characteristics of a solid partnership, but somewhat more difficult to decide if you and your partner are in a bad relationship...especially if that relationship is long-distance or naturally involves long periods of separation.
If you and your partner spend much of your time apart, it can be easy to miss some warning signs that your relationship is changing for the worse, but many of the signs of a relationship in decline remain the same whether partners are in the same room, down the street, or halfway around the world. Here are some common signs that your relationship may be in decline.
1. You start finding distractions to avoid talking to one another. Talking to your partner about what's going on in your life, what's on your mind, or even what you had for lunch is healthy. Talking is one way we share our lives with others. When you (or your partner) find yourself constantly making excuses as to why you can't talk at the moment or conversations flounder because one or both of you remain silent and stoic, it shows that you are no longer interested in sharing your thoughts with your partner. Occasional silence is not a bad thing, sometimes there's just not much to talk about. However, if your conversations consist primarily of uncomfortably long periods of silence, your relationship may be in trouble.
2. Conversations consist of nothing but small talk. While silence can be a sign of the relationship breaking down, so can conversations that consist of nothing but "fluff." Most people default to idle chatter if they cannot find any meaningful connection with the person they are talking to. If you find yourself consistently talking about the weather with your sweetheart, perhaps you are lacking a strong connection.
3. You stop doing nice things for each other. When you first started dating, you sent random text messages to let them know you were thinking about them, kept their favorite snacks on hand, picked up little gifts while out shopping, and wore that shirt or dress they love when you knew you would be seeing them. If you find you're forgetting to do those things – that they just don't occur to you – your feelings for your partner may be changing.
4. You fight over minor things. Almost all couples bicker over small things at points, but if you and your partner find yourself fighting more and more about little stuff and getting quite heated about it, it may be a sign that more is wrong than whose turn it is to take out the trash.
5. Your sex life changes dramatically. If you find that the level of affection in the relationship has dropped dramatically, this is typically a major red flag. Do you still hug and kiss when one of you leaves or returns home? When holding, kissing, and making love to your partner stops being appealing for reasons you can't define, it's time to worry.
If any of these warning signs seem familiar, take a moment to consider what may be causing them. Most problems can be solved if both parties are committed and willing to put work into the relationship. However, if you find that you simply are no longer interested in pursuing a long-term connection, it is best to be honest about your feelings with your partner and end the relationship.