Knowing whether a relationship has run its course can be difficult. Sometimes you know without a doubt that your feelings have waned, but other times the decision can be more complicated. If you think your current relationship might be coming to an end, but you’re still a bit unsure, there are a few telling signs that you may be ready to move on.
When it comes to relationships, Toronto-based psychotherapist Kimberly Moffit has seen it all: the good, the bad and the ugly. She shares five common indicators that the flames of your relationship have fizzled.
1. Spending time together feels exhausting
In a long-term relationship it’s normal to not get butterflies in your stomach every time you think of your partner. But when the activities you used to enjoy doing together start to feel like chores, it may be a sign that your interests are diverging.
“I find that couples drift apart when they’re doing different activities in their lives. Not necessarily in a marriage, but in relationships, people’s lives can take them in different directions,” says Moffit. “I call that growing out of a relationship.” Putting on a happy face once you’ve realized you’re not interested can be exhausting, which often leads to fighting and further exhaustion.
“Some couples get exhausted with all the tension and fighting, and this can cause resentment,” explains Moffit. “They realize they don’t enjoy each other’s company anymore, especially if every time they see each other there is fighting and drama.”
2. You’ve developed a new all-consuming hobby
When you start filling every minute of your spare time with pursuits that don’t involve your partner — whether they’re solitary or in the company of others — it’s a sign that you’re isolating yourself from your relationship.
“Some people, especially women, turn to friends and family members, and try to engage in relationships in other areas of their lives,” says Moffit. “A lot of women tend to throw themselves into their relationships with their kids, instead of their husbands. A lot of people can also get engrossed in addictions or habits, such as watching too many soap operas or buying too many shoes.” Constantly finding ways to avoid being with your partner is a good indicator that you’re ready to move on.
3. You put off intimacy
Body language speaks volumes about a relationship and it’s important to be aware of the way we react to physical intimacy with our partner. “I always notice when couples have physical signs of attraction toward each other,” says Moffit.
“If they’re sitting closely, or snuggling or kissing, it’s a sign that they keep their relationship healthy and intimate.” If you recoil at the thought of being intimate with your partner, chances are you won’t be together for much longer.
4. You don’t have conversations anymore
If you’re bored when conversing with your partner or if your mind wanders and you find yourself fidgeting or getting anxious, your nerves may be telling you that you don’t want to participate in that conversation.
On a more extreme level, you might even be completely put off by the sound of your partner’s voice, says Moffit. “If you notice that the sound of their voice makes your heart beat a little faster — and not in a good way — that’s not good,” she explains. This is another sign of putting off intimacy, but in an intellectual rather than a physical way.
5. You question what you initially saw in your partner
Scrounging to come up with the reasons you fell in love with your partner in the first place suggests there is no present affirmation happening in your relationship. “Every couple has a responsibility to keep their love engaging and stimulating, and to give lots of signs that show affection,” says Moffit.
When the signs aren’t there anymore, it’s hard to keep that excitement alive, especially if you’re the only one trying. If you can only recall the physical excitement of your first few dates, it could be a sign that the framework of a lasting relationship isn’t there. “If you haven’t developed that friendship, the physical stuff dies fast and so does the relationship.”