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Why Something Feels Off in Your Relationship: Sniff Out the Cause

If something feels off in your relationship, it’s time to sit down and assess things clearly. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t ignore it. 

Why Something Feels Off in Your Relationship

No one ever said relationships were easy. To find someone you love and want to share your life with comes with hurdles, compromises, and more. At times, you might start to why something feels off in your relationship. It’s normal sometimes, but if it’s prolonged, it could be a warning sign.

But, with all of that your relationship should always bring you more happiness than sadness, fear, misery, or anything else.

Whether you and your partner have been fighting, living long distance, or feel bored, if there is something that feels off in your relationship, it shouldn’t be left alone. [Read: The rulebook on what’s normal doubts in a relationship]

Beware of overthinking

You’re reading this article for one reason and one reason only. You’ve felt something is off in your relationship. Your mind is a hamster wheel, thinking about the million things that could be wrong. Let us guess the number one thought in your mind—your partner is cheating on you.

Before you jump to conclusions, beware of thinking too much and putting a story together in your head. Overthinking is the worst thing you can do right now.

We’re going to reassure you right now, because that thought is not a fast-track towards happiness. It’s highly unlikely that the reason your partner is acting slightly differently is because they are cheating. There, feel better now? [Read: How to stop overthinking in a relationship and calm your mind down]

Of course, they might be, but they’re probably not.

When you feel like something is a little ‘off’, ask yourself one very important question. Is it really ‘off’ or do I just think it is? Yes, ladies and gentlemen, time to get a little deep and meaningful! [Read: How to stop being so clingy so they won’t up and leave you]

What exactly does something’s ‘off’ mean?

When something is off in your relationship, it means that you’re picking up a vibe that things aren’t quite right. Something has shifted or changed.

Are they acting distant? Are they less available for dates than they usually are? Do they not seem to want sex as often? Do they seem unhappy? What exactly is it that you’re picking up? Make sure you’re clear in your mind, because at this point it can be extremely easy to overanalyze, and therefore, overthink.

Before you know it, you’re on that hamster wheel again. [Read: What it feels like to have anxiety in a relationship]

All relationships go through periods when something doesn’t feel right

Even in the most successful and happy of relationships, things can feel off. They may feel off when you move in together. They may feel off if you haven’t seen each other in over a week.

All relationships have moments and times when things feel off. That is totally normal. So, try not to overanalyze or panic right away. Just because something feels off it doesn’t mean it is wrong.

It can be fleeting or lasting. Sometimes it can last a few days while one of you is going through something. It can happen when you are stressed or just don’t have time for each other like normal. [Read: 15 common reasons why people get bored with their relationships]

In those cases, you don’t have to worry. Just talk about it. Let your partner know that something feels off in your relationship and you want to make sure you are both on the same page. A simple talk should get you moving back in the right direction.

But, if it is bigger than a work problem or stress, you may want to worry. Our guts tell us when something feels off in our relationships. They are usually right. [Read: 14 ways to learn better communication and make your relationship stronger]

Why something feels off in your relationship

All relationships are different. The reason your relationship feels off could be totally different to why your best friend’s relationship feels off, or your boss’s relationship feels off.

Apart from the minor things that can easily get back on track with open and honest communication, here are some other reasons why something doesn’t feel right in your relationship.

1. Your partner has a plan

Right before a big change is coming in your relationship, it is common for things to feel off. Similar to cold feet before a wedding, something tends to feel off before it feels right.

If your partner is planning to propose or buy you a dog, they may be acting shady and secretive. They may even pull away right before making a big grand gesture. This can be very hard to read and difficult to know. Give that ‘off’ feeling a little while to settle before acting on it. [Read: Steps to telling your partner you’re unhappy]

2. Your partner is keeping a secret

A proposal is a pretty great secret. But there are a lot of other secrets your partner could be keeping that aren’t so great. Even without any proof, your gut can feel something is off in your relationship.

We don’t want to scare you but it could be cheating, flirting, addiction, or even plans to move across the country without you. When something feels off in your relationship, it usually is.

3. You are keeping a secret

When you’re keeping something to yourself, it’s easy to start thinking that something doesn’t feel right. By hiding something small, like a weekend getaway or something big like a job promotion that makes your travel two weekends a month, your relationship can get out of whack really quickly.

Think about something you haven’t told your partner, even something minor like a coworker hit on you. Even if you shut it down, not telling your partner about it could be building up unresolved guilt. And that makes something feel off in your relationship. [Read: The must-know rules and exceptions for keeping secrets in a relationship]

4. You’re not talking

Once you get comfortable in a relationship, it can be easy to settle into a routine. You may go from talking every day and sharing your wants and needs to falling asleep watching the same episode of Game of Thrones every night.

Losing that communication can quickly lead to an off feeling. When you go from sharing your feelings to just staying quiet, you no longer express yourself or understand how your partner is feeling. It makes sense that something would feel unusual. [Read: Lack of communication in relationships – How to fix this issue]

5. You’re not prioritizing your relationship

We know that responsibilities arise and your partner cannot be your number one priority 100% of the time. Jobs, kids, friends, and more take over. Your relationship could be put on the back burner.

It happens, but if you let it happen without acknowledging it things can feel off and only get worse from there. If you know that something feels strange because you’re super busy or your partner is overwhelmed with work, make time for each other when you can.

Have a date night once a week or once a month if that is all you can swing. Make sure you don’t cancel. Do something different and fun so you both have that to look forward to. [Read: How to rekindle your romance and fall in love again]

6. Someone wants to breakup

For some reason, in the current dating culture, people put off breaking up as long as possible. We all know it is hard to end things and that you don’t want to hurt the other person, but looking at it from a rational perspective lets you see that putting it off only makes things worse.

Whether you haven’t admitted your desire to breakup to yourself or your partner is feeling antsy that is a go-to reason something feels off in your relationship. [Read: 17 signs you’re past the point of no return and need to break up]

7. You’ve grown out of each other

People change. When relationships don’t change with those people, it just isn’t the same. As a result, your relationship may still be stuck in the past and that’s why something doesn’t feel right.

It sucks to admit it. Sometimes something feels off because it has changed so drastically and the relationship doesn’t fit you anymore. That is okay.

8. It just isn’t right

We know it is hard to hear, but sometimes if something feels off in your relationship, it’s because it is. There may be no rhyme or reason to it. You could have lost your chemistry or it just isn’t right.

You don’t always need a specific reason for something to be off. And if it feels off to you it probably is. [Read:  14 common reasons relationships fail]

9. You don’t feel fully comfortable around them

Naturally, it takes some time to become comfortable around someone you’re getting to know. Of course, we’re usually anxious at the beginning of a relationship. But eventually, you start to develop a level of comfort with the person which lays the foundation of your relationship.

If you’re not feeling comfortable around them after a couple of months, the odds are you’ll never feel comfortable around them. [Read: 16 secrets to a perfectly happy relationship]

10. You lack mutual interests

They say opposites attract but even opposites have things in common with each other. If you’re lacking things in common, like you don’t even enjoy the same genre of movies, then you’re going to have a problem.

At the very least, they understand the way you think, joke, and your values. If they can’t understand you, you’re in the wrong relationship and that’s why you’re getting the vibe that somethings off. [Read: The truth behind polar opposite relationships]

11. You’re responsible for their happiness

Of course, you want to make your partner happy. This is what we all want to achieve. However, this isn’t something you have to take on as a responsibility. If they believe it’s your job to make them happy, you’re going to be spending the rest of your life miserable.

It’s also going to make you constantly wonder what’s wrong and you’re always going to be borderline paranoid, wondering why something doesn’t feel right.

12. You’re making plans without each other

Maybe you save them a place in your plans if they decide to join you, but for the most part, your plans are made without you even thinking about them. The reason things feel off is because you’re not connecting like you used to by sharing experiences.

When you’re with someone you care about, you focus on planning things together whether it’s a vacation or trip to the mall. If your future plans are without them in mind, it sounds like something isn’t right in your relationship. [Read: 14 common reasons why relationships fail so often]

13. Spending time together is an issue

Normally, couples come to a subconscious agreement with how much time they spend together. Some couples understand that they need some alone time while others enjoy spending every day together. It’s simply personal preference. If it’s out of balance, that could be why something feels off.

If you cannot come to an agreement, and you don’t want to see your partner more, that’s something to question. Not having time is one thing. If you simply don’t want to see them, that’s a problem.

14. You don’t have a high opinion of them anymore

Uh, hello! If you don’t have a high opinion of your partner, well, this definitely isn’t an equal relationship. In your eyes, you don’t think your partner is as smart or attractive as you. Basically, they’re lucky to have you. 

They could be picking up on those vibes and everything feels wrong as a result. [Read: Are you a narcissist? 10 easy questions that reveal the truth instantly]

15. You miss being single

When our partners piss us off, we naturally think how it would be great to be single. But those thoughts fade quickly. If you spend most of your time thinking about your single life and genuinely missing it, then it’s a clear sign something is missing in your relationship.

Maybe you’re forcing something to happen at the wrong time and it’s causing you to think that something doesn’t feel right. [Read: Signs you’re settling in an unhappy relationship]

16. Deep down you’re not happy

When you’re around your partner, you should be happy to spend time with them. Okay, we can get on each other’s nerves but that doesn’t mean you’re unhappy with them. If having your partner in your life doesn’t make you happier, then are you even with the right person?

The fact you’re not happy means you’re going to notice something is off – it’s your feelings that are off.

17. You don’t feel the love

When in a long-term relationship, it’s normal to feel distant from your partner from time to time. Usually, these are small phases which pass. However, if you can’t seem to move past those phases, maybe you’re emotionally distancing yourself already.

This isn’t a bad thing. It’s a wake-up call showing you the relationship is coming to an end and that’s why something doesn’t feel quite right. [Read: Falling out of love – Why it happens, 5 reasons, and signs to see it ASAP]

18. You feel it in your gut

You know how important it is to listen to your gut, usually it’s never wrong. And when it comes to love, your gut is right. If you feel it in your gut and in the back of your mind you know this isn’t the right person for you, you’re right.

You can try to prove yourself wrong again and again, but at the end of the day, you get to the same point. [Read: How to listen to your gut and give strength to your inner voice]

Communication is always key

The idea of talking about it all might fill you with the shivers, and not in a good way, but communication within a relationship is so important. How you have this conversation however is just as important. Don’t jump straight in there with accusations, ‘are you cheating on me? You seem so distant, why are you always on your phone?’

That is just going to cause an argument and it’s probably not at all what you’re thinking. In that case, you’re going to have the ‘you don’t trust me’ conversation, and who knows where that will lead?

It’s far better to act like the concerned party here when you feel like something is off in your relationship. When you’re both watching TV after dinner, or in a similar casual situation, just throw it out there in an equally casual manner. [Read: How to have a difficult conversation without losing your nerve]

Something like ‘I don’t want to pry, but you just seem really quiet lately, is there something on your mind?’

That is a far better option than ‘we need to talk about the state of our relationship.’ Serious chats, with an undercurrent of blame will only lead to confrontation, and in this case it could turn that ‘something is off’ to your relationship being off completely.

Hopefully your partner will then simply shrug their shoulders and say that they’re sorry if you think they’ve been distant, they’re just stressed with work, or something similar. Of course, they might also say nothing is wrong, and in that case you’re back to square one. [Read: How to deal with difficult people while keeping your cool and sanity]

If that does happen and you’re getting yourself more and more wound up by the situation, you can take it a step further. Say something like ‘Well, I’m here if you want to talk about something. I just want our relationship to be how it used to be, and I’m not really feeling that at the moment.’ Leave it at that.

Do not push it any further. You’re at your limit with this comment. It’s reassured them that you’re there for them, but it’s made it clear that you’ve noticed a shift. Walk away now and see what happens. [Read: 10 communication techniques to get them to open up to you]

What if it’s not something simple?

If you want to fix whatever is off, try to. You can try it on your own or go to couple’s therapy to really get everything out in the open.

But, sometimes when something is off it just is, and ending it is the best thing you can do to get back to feeling normal and well, sane. We know it is hard to end a relationship no matter how long you’ve been together, but not every relationship needs to last.

Some people come into our lives for weeks, months, or years and are not meant to stay forever. They come and serve their purpose. Then we move on. [Read: 10 ways to know if your relationship is worth keeping]

Always remember that life is full of ups and downs

Remember that life is full of ups and downs, and we sometimes feel a little down for no reason, and then up for equally no reason. Work can be stressful, health can be a little problematic occasionally, we have family problems, we have arguments with friends, and sometimes even the weather can make us feel funky.

All of this can impact on the way we interact with those closest to us. It’s not always something to worry about. If it is bothering you, a casual conversation will give you more information and help you move forward.

[Read: How to set boundaries in your relationship for a healthy love]

Next time you are wondering why something feels off in your relationship refer back to here. Then decide what the best next move is.

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Samantha Ann
My name is Samantha Ann. I am 28 years old. It was always my dream to become an advice columnist, so after years of off and online dating and eventually finding...