10 Signs Your Partner May Be Pulling Away

by Carina Wolff

In any relationship, there is an ebb and flow when it comes to how you feel about your partner, and it's easy to question how your significant other feels about you. If you suspect they're pulling away, you can look for certain signs that your partner may be less attracted to you, and instead of freaking out, you can use these signs to figure out the root of your problem. Every relationship needs a little work sometimes, and just because your partner is feeling a little distant now doesn't mean you're doomed forever.

"Relationship dynamics change over time, and elements of attraction can naturally fluctuate across various stage of a relationship," says relationship expert and counselor Dr. Carl Sheperis, program dean of the College of Social Sciences, University of Phoenix, over email. "Once a couple moves past a honeymoon stage, then life starts to creep back into the picture. Life stressors cause stress and conflict. As you might guess, when stress and conflict are high then attraction can decline."

If you're not feeling the spark in your relationship like you're used to, you might want to watch for these ten signs your partner is less attracted to you. From there, you can figure out the proper steps to solve your issues,

1. You're Not Having Sex

"Although sex in long-term relationships isn't the easy, self-igniting excitement it was in the beginning, it's still the heartbeat of your relationship," says relationship expert and psychotherapist Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. over email. "If you haven't learned how to keep your sex life alive, and it sputters out, you open a wound in the relationship. If you haven't had sex with your partner in a while, start talking about what's not working."

2. You're Spending Less Time Together

Spending time together is important for physical intimacy and attraction. "If you’re each spending more and more time with friends, online, or working than doing things together, you may be drifting apart," says Tessina.

3. You Feel More Like Friends

"If you have gone from pet names and high degrees of intimacy to the friend treatment, chances are that your partner has lost interest," says Sheperis. "If your partner is now suggesting hanging out in groups, and reducing public displays of affection, then the chances are that you are headed to the friendship zone." Figure out fun ways to spend time alone, and allow yourself to feel both emotional and physical intimacy.

4. You Don't Feel An Emotional Connection

"Attraction isn’t only about the physical nature of a relationship," says Sheperis. "Although some people can compartmentalize emotion separately, a good relationship weaves the two together to create a more fulfilling connection. If your partner seems to be checking out emotionally, that could be a sign that they are finding you less attractive." Try not to figure out each of your individual emotional needs and discuss where they're not being met.

5. You Make Less Eye Contact

"Eyes are the windows of your soul," says relationship coach Karen Jones over email. "When your partner is not making eye contact with you the way they used to, it could be a sign of a loss of attraction, and avoiding eye contact could be a way to not reveal what is happening." If you feel your partner is avoiding an emotion, it might be necessary to set aside time to sit down and have a straightforward conversation.

6. You Don't Make As Many Plans For The Future

"If your partner isn't as enthusiastic about making future plans (compared to how things had been in the past), it could be a sign of diminishing attraction and a slight pulling away from the relationship on their part," says Jones. Maybe your time spent together hasn't been as enjoyable recently, so try to work together to come up with plans that equally excite you both.

7. Your Communication Is Faltering

If you begin seeing each other less or receiving less text messages and phone calls, your partner might not feel the same way about you. "Changes in the amount of contact with your partner could be a big sign that attraction levels are changing," says Sheperis. "You don’t have control over how your partner communicates but you do have control over the amount of effort you are willing to put into the process."

8. You're Always Getting Criticized

"If your partner has moved from being excited about your time together and complimenting you on how you look to criticizing the little things, then your relationship has some issues," says Sheperis. When attraction levels are high, positivity is more frequent."

If you decide to have a relationship discussion, then put criticism on the table as a discussion point, and figure out productive ways to effectively disagree and discuss issues without letting it affect your intimacy. "If criticism is a part of your relationship, then it will only build resentment and spur continued arguments," says Sheperis.

9. You Have An Unresolved Conflict

"Changes in how partners feel about each other can result from unresolved conflicts that emerge at the forefront of the relationship from time to time," says Rob Pascale, Ph.D, co-author of "Making Marriage Work," over email. Instead of pushing your issues aside, confront them head on. Try to think of any ongoing conflicts that you could work on resolving.

10. Your Partner Is Stressed

"When stress is high, we tend to be hypersensitive and impatient, and some may to turn inward, focusing on their own feelings of unhappiness or dissatisfaction," says Pascale. "When that happens, they’re less likely to pay attention to their partner in a positive way, or may use their partner as a target for their frustrations." Try not to pull away or take things as personally, and work with your partner on some stress-relieving techniques.

If you feel like the spark is missing in you relationship, it doesn't mean it's necessarily over. Open the doors of communication, and try to reignite that initial attraction that brought you together in the first place.

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