10 Red Flags Your Relationship Is Going Downhill
Why don’t we see the red flags before a relationship goes sour? Why does a breakup always catch at least one party by surprise? In hindsight, there are plenty of signs of a relationship going bad, but we choose to ignore them. We want you to be able to recognize these signs so you can either fix them or let go, and we’ve picked out 10 of the biggest red flags below.
Lack of Communication
One of the first signs a relationship is going south is a communication breakdown. If one party in the relationship feels disconnected from their partner, stopping communication is usually the first thing they do. Doing this is a sign of emotional retreat. Not fixing it and letting the communication continue to deteriorate can lead to misunderstandings and fighting.
Have you noticed behavior changes in your partner? Maybe they’re starting to pull away or blow you off. They never seem to be around, and they’re not interested when they are. Did your partner suddenly change their normal routine and act aggressively when you question it? Another behavior change is a change in your intimacy levels. If your partner was very affectionate before, have the intimacy levels dropped? It’s up to you to note that these changes are happening and question them.
Unusual Alone Activities
Some partnerships seem to be attached at the hip. Where you find one half, the other isn’t very far behind. Other relationships are more independent. However, one red flag is your partner suddenly taking on a lot of activities by themselves. Are they taking a lot of time to meet old friends they haven’t talked to in years? Maybe they’re working late all of the sudden or exploring new places alone. While this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re cheating, it’s the first steps to independence and a new life.
Avoiding Conversations About the Future
It was common for you to talk about future plans like vacations you wanted to take together, bucket list items you want to cross off, or buying a house and having kids. Now, your partner goes quiet or completely changes the subject when you bring up anything in the future. They may seem disinterested or snap at you if you try to push the issue. This may be a clue that there is something deeper going on in your partner’s life that has them questioning their future with you.
Not Able to Contact Them
If you look back at your relationship, you’ll remember how easy it was to reach your partner. They always answered their phone when you called, replied to text messages quickly, and seemed to always be on-hand when you needed them. Now, they rarely pick up the phone or call you back. Maybe they don’t answer text messages or voicemails until hours later. This can be a good indication that your significant other is looking for independence from the relationship.
Secret Phone Calls or Texts
Suddenly becoming possessive of their phone and having a lot of secretive phone calls or texts is a classic sign that your relationship is in deep trouble. Maybe you noticed your partner getting up and walking to another room where you can’t hear them when their phone rings, or maybe they seem to be very focused on text conversations to the point of pulling away from conversations with you. If this starts to happen, you want to sit your partner down and really talk about it.
Making Decisions Without Consulting You
In a healthy partnership, you’ll both make large decisions after you discuss it between yourselves. Has your partner started to make big decisions on their own without talking to you until after the fact? Maybe they make the decision, and they present the facts to you. Either way, there is a disconnect in the relationship, and your partner could be looking for more freedom without you. It won’t be just one big decision either. Your partner will make larger and larger decisions without consulting you until after the fact.
New Friend Circle
Most couples have relatively the same circle of friends they go out with and entertain. You both know each other’s friend groups, and they slowly merge into your friend group. However, there are now tons of new friends appearing seemingly out of the blue. Your partner starts to spend all of their time with them, and these new friends become extremely important to them. You may even notice them shutting you out of activities, and they’re spending less time with you as a whole.
Avoids Intimate Eye Contact
Having good eye contact between partners is an important sign of intimacy. Unfortunately, this is one of the last signs that you have a damaged relationship. Your partner can’t or won’t look you in the eyes. This could be because they feel guilty, or they realized that they don’t love you anymore and have no idea how to tell you. At this point, your partner may have already checked out emotionally, and they’re getting ready to take the step to physically distance themselves from you.
Lashing out and making unusual confessions is typical for the end of a relationship. Your partner may start to say odd things like they don’t like your family, they disagree on politics or religion, or they don’t like your friends. They can say this aggressively and use it to pick fights or start disagreements. These unusual confessions are extremely serious indicators that your relationship is in trouble, and you should take them seriously.