If your partner has been acting differently — and you're worried they might be
falling out of love — there are a few signs you can look for that may point to that being the case. Things like needing more space, no longer bothering to argue, or being less affectionate can all mean they're having second thoughts.
But instead of assuming the worst, or spending too much time trying to figure it out, funnel that energy into
having a conversation with your partner. "If you think that your partner is falling out of love with you, it's best to be direct with them and ask for an explanation on why their behavior has changed," Amica Graber, a relationship expert for the background checking site TruthFinder, tells Bustle.
If it turns out they are, in fact, feeling less connected, then you can take the following steps — as long as you're both on board. As Graber says, "Couples counseling can be a great tool in helping you both work through issues and
improve your communication skills."
You can also try spending time apart, to see how it feels. "In some cases, absence makes the heart grow fonder and they [may] reconsider their feelings," Graber says. "But always be prepared to let go of someone who isn't willing to fight for your relationship." Here are a few more
signs your partner may be falling out of love, according to experts.
They're Not As Affectionate
While you can't expect your partner to be in a great and loving mood 24/7, you have a right to worry about the health of your relationship if
they're being cold and distant — or way less affectionate.
"If someone is falling out of love with you, they'll reveal it in small ways," Graber says. "Withdrawing affection is a major sign that something is wrong. They might stop saying that they love you, or refrain from complimenting you."
These are small changes you'll want to point out, ASAP. There may be a perfectly logical explanation. But if it's true
your partner is feeling differently about your relationship, this will also be a great time to discuss why.
They're Way Less Intimate
Similarly, a partner who's falling out of love may be less interested in intimacy, in all its forms. "From cuddling to sex, physical intimacy is a powerful [...] method of communication," Graber says. So when it's not there, it's hard not to see it as a red flag.
"We've all heard that communication is the bedrock of a healthy relationship," Graber says. "But often we can forget that physical communication can be more powerful than verbal communication. If
your partner has shut down physical communication, something is out of balance in your relationship."
They've Stopped Talking About The Future
If your partner used to make fun weekend plans, or excitedly talk about the future, take note if they've recently gone quiet, as it may mean they no longer see you in it.
This is especially true if they talk about the future, but don't mention how you'll fit into their plans. "When your [partner] begins falling out of love with you, they [may] begin creating plans that don’t include you," Kelli Tellier, a dating and relationship expert at
WhatsYourPrice, tells Bustle. "If you try discussing the future with your partner they might seem uncomfortable or avoid the topic altogether."
And this is something you'll want to point out. If your partner isn't
on the same page in terms of future goals, or no longer wants to share their life with you, the sooner you know the better.
They No Longer Want To Have Deep Discussions
While everyone's different when it comes to how much they like to share with others, if your partner was invested in the relationship, they'd likely want to talk about the deeper side of life — such as their hopes and dreams, fears, and so on.
"Verbal communication is a powerful connector in relationships," Graber says. "If someone wants to end the relationship, they may be sullen and distant." And no longer willing to dive deep.
They're Backpedaling In The Relationship
If your relationship was moving along at a steady pace, it won't feel great if it suddenly starts going in the opposite direction. And for good reason.
"Relationship backtracking is a surefire sign that someone is falling out of love with you," Graber says. "For instance, you lived together and now they want to move out, or if they want to 'slow things down.' Things might be moving slowly, which is fine, but the
relationship should always be moving forward and never backward." If this seems to be the case, it's time to ask your partner what's going on.
They're Picking More Fights
If something is on your partner's mind, or they want to create more some distance between the two of you, "they may even start to pick fights or excessively criticize you," Graber says. So if you can't seem to get on your partner's good side, or they're getting upset over tiny things, this may be why.
They Don't Want To Talk About It
Let's say you've noticed that your partner's more distant than usual, and you've decided to ask why. If they they refuse to talk about it, or let you in on what they're thinking, that's not a great sign.
If they "refuse to tell you what's wrong," Graber says, it may be a red flag they're falling out of love. This is what people do when they no longer want to "fight" for the relationship. And it usually
spells the end.
"One person alone cannot salvage a failing relationship," Graber says. "In order to revive a relationship, both partners need to want to make things work."
They're Clearly Avoiding You
If it seems like your partner doesn't want to hang out as often, or they keep letting your calls go to voicemail, something's definitely up — especially if they don't appear to have a good reason.
"They are not arguing or appearing mad, but rather they are doing more things on their own," Joshua Klapow, PhD, clinical psychologist and host of
The Kurre and Klapow Show, tells Bustle. "They don’t ask you, they don’t check in with you, they simply go at it alone."
This could be a sign your partner is starting to view themselves as single. But it might also mean
they need some space, which is totally fine. The only way to know for sure is to ask.
Their Priorities Have Shifted
If you used to be a top priority in your partner's life, take note if they suddenly put everything and everyone else first.
As Dr. Klapow says, "They never seem to never be around. It may be more work, more time with friends, or others. Their schedule seems to include everyone but you."
While it's fine if they want to see friends, or if they're extra busy at work, if it seems like your partner is
deliberately excluding you from their life, you need to ask why.
They Seem Happier Around Others
It's great if your partner lights up around friends, or puts on a good face for coworkers. But if they're consistently happier around others — while acting cloudy and glum in your presence — take note.
As Dr. Klapow says, "It may be friends, it may be their children, it may be coworkers, but you notice that they are happy with them, and not with you. These are all signals that the emotional connection and fulfillment they were receiving from you, they're now receiving from others."
This can be a sign you need to work bolster your relationship — as a couple — while also talking about the future. But if you find that nothing motivates your partner to become more invested, it may be
healthier to move on.
They're Acting Like A Roommate
love means having some passion, so it's never a good sign if your partner seems checked out, and begins acting like a roommate.
As Dr. Klapow says, you might notice that they don't get mad anymore. Or that they're overly cordial. Or that they're no longer excited to tell you about their day.
While these can all be signs of a problem, it's important not to read into small changes or jump to conclusions. "Don’t assume that the distance can only be that
they are falling out of love," Dr. Klapow says. "But don’t assume that everything is fine, either."
If your partner seems different, it's definitely worth bringing it to their attention, and having a heart-to-heart. "You may need therapy, they may need therapy,
you may need couples therapy," Dr. Klapow says. "You won’t know until you talk." So make that your first priority.