I spoke with 10 relationship experts about how exactly to tell whether your partner is not so into your partnership — what are the hints? How can you know? What are the definitive signs? Though they all had different takes on the situation, they all had a lot of things to say about it, confirming our worst fears: It is totally possible to be in a loving relationship, and all seems well, but under the surface — well, you saw Jaws. Sounds like many relationships can seem perfectly fine, or at least OK, but there are some subtle exhibitions of discord or at least unrest that are worth keeping an eye out for in your partnership. Here are 10 whispers of strife in a relationship.
"Taking time to regularly cuddle, touch, and show love and affection for your partner stimulates chemicals in the body like oxytocin and dopamine, which foster feelings of attraction. Without that feeling of connectedness, a divide can form, which can lead to unhappiness. Even a short amount of intimate time daily with your sweetheart can really keep that bond strong." —Antonia Hall, psychologist, relationship expert and author of The Ultimate Guide to a Multi-Orgasmic Life
May you experience recovery, healing, peace and love in your relationship. May you find life in your marriage, sparks of love in your soul, and sprouts of health in your emotional, physical, and spiritual relationship with your husband. I pray that God revives your marriage and performs a miracle in your relationship with him. May you find practical, healthy ways to deal with these signs your marriage is over – and may they become a ghost of the past.
The same thing can feel completely different depending on our point of view. At the beginning and in the end we are simply much more aware of the blessings we just got, or lost. So, don’t let gifts you have in your hands slip between your fingers. Practice gratefulness and your whole experience of life will change. Appreciate everything good about your partner and make him know that. Nothing makes us more willing to be good than a person who sees us that way.
When you're together, you order the same Chinese food every time (same places, same dishes, same greasy packets of mustard no one uses). You select movies from the same Netflix ghetto (Romantic Comedies Based on Foreign Films with a Dark Twist Recommended for Jane & John) every weekend. "He never wants to try anything new," you complain to a girlfriend, only it's not quite true, is it, because when he's with his friends he'll try anything, from windsurfing to kale. In a romantic relationship, there is, or at least should be, the profound joy that comes from being known; that familiarity, though, can make a body feel loathe to change, afraid of eye rolls or "You do not!"'s from those closest to him. There needs to be room, in your relationship, in every relationship, for him to say, "This is going to sound crazy, but maybe we could..."
How offensive that this has become a gender war for the men commenting. You guys are feeling sorry for yourselves? One guy because he cheated and can’t stand to think she would even kiss a guy and the other guy jealous cause she won’t OBEY your dresscode? Get real! Peter, maybe she wants to get back at you and maybe she is just trying to find out if she is still sexy. A woman who is cheated on starts to feel insecure, maybe that is why she with holds sex in the first place. Or maybe you’re not doing it the way she wants. If you want her to stay, you will have to forgive her just as she forgave you. Let her know sex should be just as pleasant for her as it is for you, then she might respond to you better.
I agree with Brian, too. All my life, I would hear that women want men with a sense of humor. That always puzzled me, as I never found that I cared about that myself. Then, I was reading an article by another male dating advisor, I think linked from this site, and I got it. He was explaining how women are emotional beings, and when they say they want a man with a sense of humor, they’re really looking for an emotional connection. Aha! I could now relate to my own version of that: I always valued being friends with guys, so much so that sometimes when there was a guy I liked, I would envy his female friends more than his girlfriend–if their relationship appeard to me to be superficially based.
If I am talking to someone who might have a different outlook from mine I find areas that we do have a common experience and talk and laugh about that. Expecting to be entertained by your mate does not seem to be very realistic or mature. I understand the pull and the excitement that the back and forth banter can create, but lets be real that kind of banter is all about being INTERESTING not INTERESTED. If you find someone who does that with you, you will most likely end up with someone who will compete with you for attention.
"A major mistake I see couples making that leads to great unhappiness is not listening to each other. It's such a simple thing, but it's so important. Ask them how they feel and then listen without interrupting (even if you're dying to interrupt them). Build in uninterrupted time with each other, sans phone, kids, and TV. Then repeat back to them to ensure they feel heard and that you accurately heard it." —Durvasula
One warning sign would be that your relationship is totally sexless, says sex and relationship therapist Megan Fleming, Ph.D. — or if you're having sex less than 10 times a year. After all, she says, it's intimacy that separates a romantic relationship from all other sorts of relationships you might have. "When that's going out the window, it's a really big red flag." Jane Greer, relationship therapist and author of What About Me? Stop Selfishness From Ruining Your Relationship, says that a lack of visible physical affection — like kissing or hugging — is also indicative of a real problem.