When you meet someone for the first time and fall in love with them, it’s difficult to envision anything coming between you. At this initial stage, of course, you’re seeing each other through rose-colored glasses—nothing can diminish your love. When the relationship then becomes more serious and you move in together, however, those dreamy glasses tend to come off, revealing sudden and sometimes surprising flaws in your relationship.
Throw life’s mundane responsibilities into the mix, such as bills and shared household duties, and what was once a bright and sparkling romance can seem a very drab and lifeless alternative. It is almost inevitable, then, that this will result in a feeling of drifting apart. The signs might be fairly few, minor, and fixable, or you may have reached a stage where the fight to get back to normality is a very difficult one, indeed.
20 warning signs you’re growing apart
The following list varies in severity, and the more you can identify in your own relationship, the more serious of a warning sign it might be. Whether you use this information to try to work at making things better or to simply cut your losses and walk away, well… that’s entirely up to you.
#1 Snappy chat. Constant bickering can be a sign that you’re starting to drift apart, although it is also common in the initial period of living together, when you’re both trying to set boundaries. Either way, it needs to be dealt with before it becomes something more serious and can no longer be fixed. [Read: Secrets of a love hate relationship – Can it work?]
#2 The silent treatment. If the bickering is replaced by resentful silence, then this really is serious. What’s usually going on behind that silence is that the partner in question has resigned themselves to the idea that the relationship is coming to an end, which can be a very difficult mindset to correct.
#3 Hands off. Has a once tactile and touchy-feely relationship become hands-off? This is another sure sign of a relationship where two people are growing apart. [Read: 10 steps to reignite the lost spark in a relationship]
#4 Worlds apart. Another sign that you’re both growing apart is that you share very few interests, with your spare time spent primarily in pursuit of activities that don’t include each other.
#5 A couple that laughs together. Laughter really is the best medicine, and if you share a sense of humor, it’s much easier to diffuse life’s worries and woes. If laughter is something you no longer share with your partner, however, then how can the two of you expect to get through the tough times together?
#6 It’s all in the timing. If you find that your sex drives are out of sync, one wanting it when the other doesn’t and vice versa, then this is because you are simply responding to your biological rhythms and have stopped responding to each other. Not a very positive sign, but one that can be corrected with a little effort. [Read: 10 naughty ways to get over a sex dry spell quickly!]
#7 Getting your priorities straight. Are you suddenly finding that staying in the relationship is no longer as significant a priority as other goals you have? If so, you have already grown quite far apart, and you really need to sit down with your partner and work out whether or not there is still a point in carrying on.
#8 Family feuds. If one of you has stopped making an effort to maintain a relationship with the other’s family, it’s because that person is subconsciously indicating that they no longer see them as a part of their future.
#9 Going for goal. When you first get together with someone, you often find your future goals and aims to be in tandem. If they have started to diverge, however, then it’s likely that your relationship has, too. [Read: 10 signs your partner is truly supporting your goals]
#10 Hitting the board. Emotionally close partners come home after a day’s work and springboard off each other with ideas, grievances, emotions, and whatever else. No longer doing so is another definite sign of growing apart.
#11 What’s on your mind? It’s natural to have occasional sexual thoughts about others. If you have thoughts about everyone except your other half, however, then the future doesn’t look very bright for either of you. [Read: Emotional cheating and 10 bad things it can do to you]
#12 Selective hearing. Genuinely listening to someone shows you have respect for and interest in what they have to say. If not, well… it doesn’t take a genius to realize that things have gone sadly awry.
#13 Bringing up the past. Another sign that you’re growing apart is when one or both of you keep bringing up hurtful events from the past. It shows that the negatives of the relationship are being dwelled upon and that at least one of you is questioning the relationship’s viability. [Read: 8 things to tell yourself when fighting with your lover]
#14 Half a person. If one of you feels like you are compromising too much to be in your relationship, then things are not developing into a healthy relationship, and this tip in the scales isn’t likely to change.
#15 Different strokes. Differences of opinion are natural. What’s not natural is a complete inability to talk over differences constructively and without fighting. Such a lack of compromise shows that all is not well with your relationship. [Read: Relationship arguments – 23 dos and don’ts to remember]
#16 Anchor weight. Does the presence of your partner often feel less like a weight off your shoulders and more like an anchor around your neck? This shows that one of you is in need of more contact than the other, and that is clearly a sign of a deteriorating and unbalanced relationship.
#17 Itchy feet. If everything your partner says irritates you beyond reason, then you may have already grown apart so much that staying together is no longer an option. A break from each other, at the least, would seem to be in order.
#18 Bleak house. When you think about the future in general, does it seem bleak and uninspiring? This may be because on a subconscious level, you have already identified the fact that you’re growing apart, and therefore can’t find anything exciting or inspiring about a joined future. [Read: 12 life questions to help you visualize your future]
#19 Encouraging signs. Another sign of growing apart is when a partner who used to encourage your ambitions and passions suddenly goes quiet, leaving you feeling cut adrift. This is a passive-aggressive way of telling you that they just don’t care anymore.
#20 The words don’t work. If you’ve already identified that you no longer mean it when you say you love them, then you don’t need anyone else to tell you that you have already grown apart. All that’s left to do now is to sit down and decide whether everything else you have with that person is worth sticking around for. [Read: How to prove that you love someone the right way]
Even if there are multiple signs that you are growing apart, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the relationship is over, but it does mean that you must do something about it *and fast* if you are to salvage what’s left.
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