7 Subtle Things Your Partner May Do If They Have One Foot Out The Door
Knowing if your partner is being distant and may have one foot out the door can be pretty obvious. For instance, they might stop planning for the future with you or even brush it off when you try to bring up the subject at all. But according to experts, there are some smaller things your partner will do to indicate that they may be checking out.
"There are some seemingly insignificant things that actually reveal a partner is truly unhappy and is even considering leaving the relationship," relatioship counselor, Kerri-Anne Brown, LMHC, tells Bustle.
For instance, if your partner stops showing interest in resolving problems in the relationship that's a red flag that shouldn't be ignored. Although it's easier to have your partner agree with you on everything, conflict is sometimes necessary for relationship growth. "It’s healthy for couples to discuss problems and work together to resolve them," she says. But when a partner stops showing interest in working through conflicts, Brown says it might be an indicator that they no longer have faith in the relationship or no longer see the value in investing time and energy in having difficult conversations.
Sometimes the signs that someone is slowly checking out of the relationship can be easy to miss. So here are some other seemingly insignificant things your partner might do that signal they have one foot out the door, according to experts.
1. They Stop Doing The "Little Things" For You
As your relationship moved forward and you become more comfortable with each other, it's kind of expected that the sweet romantic gestures start to drop off. But it's not the best sign if the thoughtfulness stops as well. "When your partner stops doing the little things, they no longer see you as one of their top priorities," relationship coaches, Diana and Todd Mitchem tell Bustle. If you notice that your partner isn't as attentive or thoughtful as they used to be, you may need to check in with each other. "There may be some issues that you can fix together or you may need to realign your relationship vision as a couple," they say. It's important if you want to keep moving forward together.
2. They Make Small Comments About Envying Their Single Friends
If your partner comments on how jealous they are that so and so is single, licensed therapist and relationship coach, Dr. Tracey M. Phillips, tells Bustle, that may be a sign that they have one foot out the door. "People in relationships are usually the envy of their single friends," she says. "But when a partnered person begins to envy the freedom and lifestyle of their single friends, they may be open for an opportunity to experiment with others." If cheating isn't on their mind, it can also indicate that they no longer view your relationship as something to aspire to. Instead, it makes them feel "stifled and constricted," she says. With work on both you and your partner's part, you can find ways to get your relationship back on track. "But only if your partner truly wants to," Dr. Phillips says.
3. They Stop Engaging With You On Social Media
As we all know, you shouldn't really base the status of your relationship on what's going on in social media. But there are a few telling signs that may indicate trouble. "If they don't post pictures of the two of you anymore, they stop watching your IG stories, and they stop tagging you in things, they may be checking out," Bethany Ricciardi, relationship expert with Too Timid “The Romance Company” tells Bustle. You'll notice because the "overall digital flirty communication" will be gone. Depending on the stage of your relationship, Ricciardi says these signs could mean it's a lost cause. "But if you do want to fight for your [partner], there’s a number of tactics you can perform to try and bring them back," she says. These include giving them space, start communicating more openly, and find new things to do together. "Try to be patient, helpful and understanding during the weird transition and tell your partner how much you care for them and want it to work out," she says. "Be confident and try not to get angry. Remind them of the good memories and be honest about how you hope to continue creating them together."
4. They're Spending A Lot More Time With Their Single Friends
In healthy relationships, each partner should have enough space to do their own thing and spend time with other people. But if you notice that your partner starts spending more and more time with their friends than they do with you, Licensed Professional Counselor, Julie Williamson, tells Bustle, they may have one foot out the door. If this is the case in your relationship, there's no need to panic just yet. "In any relationship, it's crucial that each partner feels the freedom to spend time alone or with friends or family without the partner always present," she says. "Keeping this in mind, I recommend sharing your feelings and the values you hold regarding spending quality time with each other, and see if you both can reach a compromise."
5. They Feel The Need To Defend Everything They Say Or Do
If your partner has one foot out the door, they may be more defensive than usual. As Caleb Backe, Health and Wellness Expert for Maple Holistics, tells Bustle, "Your partner may be more defensive because they are thinking of ending things and are not sure what, when, where, and how to go about it." Sometimes they may snap at you or defend their choices without any prompting from you. The good news is, almost any relationship is salvageable, Backe says. But only if both partner are interested in doing so. "There has to be full consent here," he says. "Concurrently, there is no hope to bring someone back into the relationship, not for the long haul anyway, unless there is a significant shift on one or both your parts."
6. They Have New Messaging Apps On Their Phone
If you notice that your partner has new messaging apps on their phone like What's App, mental health and relationship counselor, William Schroeder, MA, LPC, tells Bustle, that may signal trouble. It's also pretty telling if they start talking to new people that you've never met or even heard of before.
Although counseling isn't for everyone, Schroeder does suggest it if you are working through major trust issues in your relationship. "They can use times like this to expose what's going wrong and address how to fix it," he says. "For some this can be a relationship 2.0 reboot where they come out of it way better connected and much happier than they were previously."
7. They Stop Going Turning To You For Advice
As licensed psychologist Dr. Danielle Forshee tells Bustle, any sort of sudden changes in consistency can signal problems in the relationship. For instance, if your partner stops turning to your for advice or stops findings ways to integrate you into their life, they may have one foot out the door.
If your partner is doing any of the above, Brown says, it doesn't necessarily mean the end. However, it does mean that partners have to have honest conversations about what’s really happening in the relationship. "They need to pay attention to any unusual changes that are occurring, however insignificant they may appear," she says. "If it feels strange and there is a concern about what it might mean or if it’s having a negative impact on the relationship, partners need to have a genuine conversation."
If you have a conversation and your partner really has one foot out the door, it may be best to let them go. After all, why stay in a relationship if your partner isn't all-in? But if it's just slight adjustments that need to be made, you can find ways to work things out.