9 Signs Your Efforts To Get Closer Are Actually Pushing Your Partner Away

by Kristine Fellizar
BDG Media, Inc.

For the most part, relationships will change as couples progress through different stages together. The longer you're together, the more effort it may take to keep romance alive and new. When you start noticing distance in your relationship, it's only natural to do what you can to get closer. Although you may have good intentions, sometimes your efforts to get closer may not be well received by your partner, even if you don't realize it.

This can be the case, if your efforts to get closer are not in line with what your partner wants from your relationship, Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and the owner of Exclusive Matchmaking tells Bustle. When you start noticing distance between the two of you, Trombetti says it's always a good idea to make an effort to close it. However, "this can sometimes be a trial and error process," she says.

For instance, let's say you want to learn more about their family. For some, connecting with their family members on social media before you meet in person won't be a big deal. For others, it might be going a step too far. "Depending on the person, they might see your actions as controlling or invasive," Trombetti says. So although your intentions weren't bad, your partner might not see it that way and your attempt at getting closer may actually have inadvertently created more distance.

Because it does take time and patience to figure out the right balance to regain your connection, here are some signs that your efforts to get closer may not be working for your partner, according to experts.


They Suddenly Have A Lot Of Things Going On

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Whether they start picking up a new hobby or start making the "super busy" excuse, Trombetti says that's a pretty big sign that your partner isn't picking up on your efforts to get closer. If this is the case, try changing up tactics. Rather than accusing them of spending too much time elsewhere, ask them about their new hobbies and show genuine interest. It may be a good place to start.


They Don't Respond To Texts Or Calls As Much

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"If you hear less and less from them via phone and text throughout the day, no, they are not having a busy workday every single day," Trombetti says. "They might actually be ignoring you on purpose."

Not everyone can spend the entire day texting back and forth. But if you notice that things have changed dramatically, it could be a sign. In this case, it may be a good idea to give them space. By texting your partner in hopes that they answer, it may push them away further.


They Turn Down Opportunities To Go Out And Do Something Fun Together

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If you suggest going out and spending quality time together, but they just don’t want to do anything you suggest, that may be a sign your efforts are coming off as forced. "They might not mean to do this. But if they're turning down bowling, mini golf, or dinner out, they are subconsciously deciding that they don’t want to spend quality time with you," Trombetti says.

When this happens, Jim Antonsen, matchmaker and Co-Owner of LuvBiz Chicago tells Bustle that the solution to this is simple. "Give them time," Antonsen says. "If they really are interested, they will ask. Often you will be surprised to find that your partner will return to the ideas themselves and will no longer show the lack of attention you thought was displayed."

It's all about giving your partner the opportunity to bring it up on their own time. When they do, you'll know they're really interested.


They Start Telling You That Certain Hobbies Are Their "Thing"

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One way you might try to get closer to your partner is to take up some of their hobbies. But if your partner starts telling you that tennis is their "thing," Trombetti says your attempt might have come across as invasive.

"In a relationship you need certain things that are your own space," she says. "Instead of taking up their hobbies, find NEW hobbies for you two to do together." Take a cooking class together, learn tango, or just go on hikes together. Leave their hobbies up to them.


They Shut Down During Heart-To-Hearts

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When there's distance in your relationship, talking about it is a common thing to do. After all, communication is important. However, if you start noticing that they've stopped responding during those heart-to-heart conversations about your relationship, Trombetti says that's probably a sign that it's getting to be too much for them.

"Everyone has their own love language," she says. "Even though your way to connect might be through expressing every thought in a long talk, it does not mean they will connect that way." And if your partner isn't the type to express their feelings through talking, Trombetti says your efforts to connect that way may not reach them.

Instead, figure out what their love language is. Knowing how your partner likes to express or receive love can make your relationship so much better. According to Trombetti, "There is a perfect balance for every couple."


You Start Feeling Like You're Forcing Your Partner To Do Things

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If you get the feeling that your partner isn't excited about doing things with you, but just going along with it because you want to, that's a sign that your efforts may not be having the intended effect. Wanting to talk or spend a lot of time together should come naturally — it shouldn't have to feel forced.

"Sure you want to spend time with your partner, but sometimes distance is key," sex and relationship expert, Dr. Megan Stubbs tells Bustle. "There will be plenty of time to create memories and grow closer, it won’t happen overnight and concentrated time together isn’t the recipe to get there. " Finding that balance in your relationship could help your partner feel more connected to you without as much effort.


They're Doing A Lot Less For The Relationship Than You Are

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"If you are working more at the relationship while they are doing less" it could be a sign they're pulling away, Amber Kelleher-Andrews, matchmaker and CEO of Kelleher International, tells Bustle. This could apply to different areas of your relationship from communication to sex.

When you want your partner to pick up the slack, Antonsen says it's important to stop, take a step back, and really think about why there's an imbalance in your relationship. Then, bring it up. "Be honest and fair," he says. Don't start a fight over what they're not doing in the relationship. Just express how you feel. "Have an open conversation with your partner about changes you both may or may not need to make in order to maintain a happy and healthy relationship."

Some people love keeping in contact with their significant others throughout the day. That makes them feel happy and connected. If that's you, there's nothing wrong with that. While you shouldn't have to completely change who you are for your relationship, it's still important to be mindful of what your partner wants too. As Trombetti says, figuring it out can require a lot of trial and error in the beginning. But once you've discovered what works for both of you, your relationship could get back on track. Ultimately, it's all about finding balance.