You hate the sound of him chewing and are a little bummed he still doesn’t know your favorite flower (peonies!), but are those deal breakers or just signs of being with someone for a bajillion years? According to Marina Voron, licensed marriage and family therapist, relationship red flags have less to do with actual behavior and more to do with the feelings and intentions behind them. Here, Voron shares six reasons it may be time to cue Adele and call it quits.
There is a decline in intimacy
It’s normal to be hot and heavy in the beginning, and then find a more mellowed-out groove — every long-term relationship will have its ups and downs in the bedroom. I’m talking about going three months without sex or consistently facing rejection when you initiate. It could also be a decline in the quality of sex. For example, it feels mechanical, like neither one of you is really present, and not just because you can’t stop thinking about a work or personal problem. This is happening every time.
Your relationship is lacking fun
The healthiest relationships are brimming with positivity and lightheartedness. After all, playfulness helps you to de-stress, connect, and turn to each other in times of need. You should be able to turn off the world and just enjoy yourself when you’re together. If you start to feel anxious or stressed when you’re with your partner, you might be treading into problem territory.
Your S.O. becomes disrespectful
When you start being spiteful, critical, or belittling of one another, it’s no bueno. Contempt is the no. 1 predictor of relationship combustion, Voron says, and it’s something that couples may not notice if it happens gradually over time. Look for mean-spirited sarcasm — that’s a huge red flag.
You or your partner pays more attention to your phone than to each other
You’d be amazed by the number of couples who sit across from Voron in therapy and get right on their phones, she says. When you’re together, be together. If your partner is always on the phone, that’s a sign of rejection, and it can hurt.
Every other relationship takes priority
Of course, everyone needs time apart, but if your partner is constantly choosing to hang with friends and coworkers instead of you, that’s an issue, Voron says. If you are supposed to have a date night on Fridays, then date night on Fridays is a sacred night.
Your partner keeps you at arm’s length
This can be about sex, emotional support, availability, and even seemingly small things like cuddling. What’s the point of being together if you’re slowly becoming strangers in your own relationship?
Ultimately, ditching a toxic relationship, as hard as it may be, will leave you feeling much happier and more fulfilled in the long run. You’re awesome so don’t waste your time with people who don’t deserve it.
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