To state an obvious truth, breakups are hard. In my own experience, they can be even more difficult when you can’t pinpoint one real reason the relationship went wrong. If you’re like me, you’ve probably been in a relationship (or relationships) with no big warning signs, red flags, or definable issues, but something still doesn’t feel right.
1. You’re more interested in spending time with other people
Maybe you’ve made it past the honeymoon phase and you’re finding yourself less and less interested in spending quality time with your partner. While the honeymoon phase must come to an end at some point, preferring hanging out with your friends every night you’re free or dreading plans with your significant other is not a great indicator of a healthy relationship. In a healthy relationship, you should want to keep up your relationships with other people, but you shouldn’t consistently prefer spending time with other people over your partner.
2. You feel drained after spending time together
Acknowledging how you feel after you spend time with your partner can be extremely helpful in gauging the quality of your relationship. Do you leave feeling uplifted and energized, or do you feel drained and relieved? If it’s the latter, try to pinpoint what it is about your time together that is making you feel that way. Not every day is going to be smooth sailing, even in the healthiest relationships, but with good communication, you should feel generally positive after your time together (yes, even after a disagreement).
3. You often fantasize about what it would be like to be single again
Listen, no matter how healthy and happy your relationship is, it’s perfectly normal to feel a twinge of jealousy when you see pictures of your college roommate backpacking solo through Europe or your bestie gets swept away on an amazing first date. But if you are continuously fantasizing about single life and imagining life without your significant other in a romanticized way, you may not be in the mental space for that relationship right now, regardless of whether or not there are red flags.
4. You don’t miss them when you are apart
Independence, self-care, and self-love are three of my favorite things. Again, we all need boundaries, and spending some time apart is important, but if you spend a lot of time away from your partner and find that you do not miss them at all, that could be a sign that this relationship is not right for you. Are they reaching out way more than you are or telling you how much they miss you, but you’re not feeling the same? Being aware of how they’re feeling can help you tune into whether or not the feelings are reciprocated.
5. You start to feel irritated by everything
Tell me we’ve all been there: Suddenly the trail of water your partner leaves on the floor after their shower irritates you to no end, you start to hate the way they chew their food, or the song their phone alarm plays in the morning makes you want to scream. You name it, it bothers you. While you can never love everything about a person, you cannot be in a healthy relationship with someone you are constantly irritated by either. If you want to try to work on the relationship, communicate the things that are bothering you (in a nice and loving way). But if it’s more of a feeling you can’t move past instead of a phase or circumstance, know that it’s not you; it may just be the relationship.
6. They aren’t the first person you want to go to with good news
The other relationships in your life are just as important, and wanting to share the news about a job promotion or exciting raise with your mom or best friend is a great thing. However, if you find yourself sharing wins with other people instead of your significant other out of fear that your partner will not be happy for you or not give you the excited response you’re looking for, it may be a “pink flag,” which is a red flag so subtle, you might not necessarily see it at first. Bottom line: You should feel confident that your significant other will want to celebrate your wins with you and is your biggest fan.
7. You feel like they are getting in the way of the life you want
Do you resent your partner or feel like being with them is stopping you from living out your dreams? Maybe you love them and want to be with them, but it feels like a choice between them and the other things you want in life, like a successful career, being in the city you want to be in, or having a thriving social life. This can be extremely difficult because compromise is necessary in all relationships, but if you want the relationship to last long term, you need to feel like you are building the life you both want, together, instead of feeling like they’re holding you back.
8. Lack of intimacy is an ongoing problem
By no means is there a one-size-fits-all when it comes to a healthy sex life in relationships, but if you and your partner are unable to communicate your needs to each other, there is likely trouble ahead. No two people are going to have exactly the same sex drive, expectations, or desires, which is why these needs should always be talked about openly and honestly. If you cannot get on the same page, one or both of you could interpret your current sex life status as a lack of intimacy, which will translate to lack of closeness outside of the bedroom as well. P.S. in a LTR, you may go through phases of being extremely turned on by your partner and then later wanting nothing to do with them, but if you’re never attracted to them? Red flag.
9. You don’t care enough to argue
We know to look for red flags that mean a toxic relationship, like constant arguing or disagreements over the big things in life. But when you don’t have any disagreements at all, it may be a red flag too. For example, are you feeling like you’re too tired to raise any concerns or disagreements with your partner? Or do you just not care enough to talk about the things that you’re upset about? Maybe you think it’s good to leave these things unsaid, but not caring enough to disagree means you have no motivation to improve or work on the relationship. Losing interest in communicating can often mean losing interest in the relationship.