Relationships come with many degrees of completely normal complications, but if your partner isn't giving you the validation you need to feel secure in your partnership, you may wonder if they're second-guessing your relationship. Even though you know your partner loves you, small things they do or say here and there can leave you with some doubts. For instance, you excitedly bring up wanting to go on a romantic vacation together next year for your anniversary, only to receive a shrug and a noncommittal "maybe" in return. Or sometimes, they may be acting affectionate one week, only to be a bit distant the next. So what does it all mean? Are they having second thoughts? According to experts, there are some signs to look out for that can help you figure it out.
"Some signs that your partner may be second-guessing your relationship include nitpicking about small things, expressing annoyance, upset, or anger ... behavior that runs hot and cold with no apparent explanation or reason, and/or sending mixed signals where they say they love you and are all-in, but something just feels off," psychotherapist and relationship coach, Toni Coleman, tells Bustle.
If you've experienced any of that, it's understandable why you'd be having doubts. But keep in mind your partner's behavior may not be completely indicative of the end — they may be experiencing issues outside of the relationship that are affecting their actions. But to better parse out the cause of their behavior, it's best to be upfront about your doubts and talk them through. Here are a few signs that experts say may indicate your partner is having second thoughts, and that's it's time to have a talk.
They're Always On Their Phone
If your partner is constantly on the phone when you're together and they used to be really attentive, not only is it super annoying, but kind of a bad sign for your relationship overall. "If you find that your partner is more engaged with text messaging friends or on social media when you're with them, this is a sign he or she isn't present in the relationship," individual and couples therapist, Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW tells Bustle.
They Start Becoming More Passive-Aggressive
"I've seen people become passive aggressive when they start second guessing their relationship," Laura Lane, relationship expert and co-host of the This is Why You're Single podcast, tells Bustle. "They logically know they don't have a reason to be upset with you, but they have built up frustrations from their own second-guessing." It's similar to the way some people take out their personal problems — like having a rough day at work — out on their partner. "So try to tell the difference between moody behavior and constantly starting fights for no apparent reason," Lane says. If they're being rude to you for no apparent reason, they might be frustrated with you over something you're unaware of, and it's time to discuss why.
They Start Spacing Out On You A Lot
"If all of the sudden your attentive partner [seems unfocused], they might have their mind elsewhere," Lane says. Although it could also be work, or friends or a million other worries that typically consume people, so it's important to talk to them and find out what's really going on. If they won't tell you, that could be a cause for concern.
They Haven't Been In The Mood For Sex Lately
If you find yourself constantly being told that they're just not in the mood, that may be a major sign they're having second-thoughts. "Yes, its defeating and infuriating when the amount of sex changes. But if it's bothersome, its time to have a conversation," Stephanie Churma, Relationship Coach and owner of The Good Love Company tells Bustle. "If you’re scared to actually bring this up to your partner, that’s a sign that the relationship's legs may be wobbly." The frequency of sex in a relationship may ebb and flow, but if you notice your partner not wanting to engage at all, it may be a good idea to ask why.
The Texting Has Dropped Off A Lot
Texting back and forth typically happens a lot when you're in the early stages of dating. It's pretty normal for the amount of texts you send each other to decrease the longer you are together. But it's a little alarming when the amount of texting changes dramatically.
"If you and your partner text every day but suddenly it’s radio silence and they’re not bedridden with the flu, it may be a sign that there’s some second guessing going on," Jane Reardon, licensed therapist and founder of RxBreakup app tells Bustle. If the difference is extreme, and seemingly out of no where, confront your partner about your doubts sooner rather than later.
They've Started To Make A Lot Of Plans Without You
The same idea applies to getting together. If you've been seeing each other every weekend, and suddenly they're busy with a ton of plans for two weeks in a row that don't include you, Reardon says that's a pretty big red flag. "It’s another indicator that your partner is pulling away, and maybe trying to think something through without you in the room."
But if you've been noticing distance, Reardon says it might not necessarily mean they're having second thoughts. "Many people have reported to me that just before a partner makes a big commitment to take the relationship to the next level, they tend to take more than usual time to themselves, to really try to think things through before taking that leap," she says.
So there's really no need to jump to conclusions straight away. You never know, the distance could be a positive thing for your relationship. But if your partner is treating you completely different in a way that's affecting your happiness, you might need to have an honest talk regardless of whether they're doing it because they're second-guessing the relationship or not.