The early days of a relationship are an exciting mix of hours-long phone calls, texting sprees, fun dates, and the thrill of getting to know a new person. And while, for many couples, that often settles into a steady relationship that lasts for years, it’s OK if you lose interest in your partner and decide to break up.
It might happen as the
honeymoon period starts to fade and you realize you don’t want to invest long-term. But it’s also possible to lose interest in a partner at an unforeseeable time for an unforeseeable reason. And you know what's even weirder? It doesn’t even necessarily mean you “fell out of love.”
It's totally possible to love someone, but to no longer feel a spark. It’s also possible to love someone, but come to the conclusion you aren't a good match. “Ultimately, it can feel really scary to leave a relationship that you’ve put time and energy into, and people often use this as a reason to stay,”
Alyssa Arnol, LCSW, a psychotherapist with Psychotherapy Associates of Chicago, tells Bustle.
But if you notice any of the 30 signs listed below, and no amount of effort changes the way you feel, you may decide it’s
best to move on. 1 You Don't Miss Them
Think about how you feel when your partner is busy and can’t hang out, or when they go away for a week on a trip. Do you miss them? Or do you barely notice they're gone?
healthy to spend time apart. “But if you find that you no longer miss them, don’t want to be around them, or don’t wonder what they are doing [while they’re away],” Sterling Woods, LSW, a licensed social worker, tells Bustle, “this could be a sign that your interest has faded.” 2 You Forget What They’ve Told You
If you struggle to remember important conversations — or worse, important dates, like an anniversary — take it as a sign you’ve emotionally left the building,
Deborah K. Krevalin, LPC, LMHC, a licensed professional counselor, tells Bustle. This is a change your partner will likely point out, probably once they’ve talked about it for a third time. 3 You View Them As A Friend
If you start to think of your partner as a loving friend instead of someone you’re attracted to,
Dr. Jill Murray, a licensed psychotherapist and author, tells Bustle, it’s likely a sign you’ve lost interest.
For example, you might want to spend time together, but when you do there isn’t a “spark” or anything flirty going on.
Of course, not every relationship has to be hot and steamy. “Some couples are perfectly content with a companionship relationship in which they trust and respect the other,” Murray says. But if your thoughts are going elsewhere, you may need to take a step back and figure out what’s going on.
4 You Don’t Get Excited
While you can't expect to feel 24/7 butterflies, one of the top signs you’ve lost interest is if you don't feel the “turned on excitement” in your body when you’re around them,
Susan Golicic, PhD, a certified relationship coach, tells Bustle. “It may feel like you love them, but are no longer ‘in love’ with them.”
It might be a phase, or it might be the beginning of the end. After all, “it’s difficult to make a committed relationship work when you don’t desire someone,” she says.
5 You Keep Forgetting To Text Back
“Forgetting to respond to their texts and ignoring them in general is certainly a flashing neon sign,”
Susan Trombetti, a matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking, tells Bustle. If you were interested, she says, you wouldn’t be so lackadaisical about communication. 6 You Have No Desire To Argue
If something goes wrong and you can’t even be bothered to argue your point, chances are you’ve started checking out, marriage counselor
Katherine Shorter, tells Bustle. A lack of desire to “fight” for what you believe in shows you don’t see a future, and thus don’t care anymore about making positive changes. 7 Hanging Out Is A Chore
Remember when you used to go with your partner to the grocery store, just because you wanted to hang out? “The heart of most relationships is that people generally enjoy being with the other person, regardless of what they are doing together,”
Heidi McBain, MA, LMFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Bustle. So, if you’ve noticed a major change in your desire to be around your partner, take a closer look. 8 You Feel Lonely Around Them
Take note if you feel lonely even when your partner is around, as that often points to a lack of connection,
Lacarma Minter, LMFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Bustle. And a lack of connection often stems from a lack of desire to, well, connect. 9 You Don’t Know What To Talk About
Every relationship will have boring moments. And every conversation will have a lull. But take it as a sign, Winter says, if you have trouble
talking about quality topics, or if it feels like the silence is deafening.
It’s not that you suddenly have nothing in common. It’s just that, if you’re losing interest, you won't feel the desire to dig up interesting topics or pick your partner’s brain for stories.
10 You Don’t Share Things
Pay attention to a lack of communication, as well as a lack of desire to fill your partner in about your day or a happy life update. “A sign of a healthy relationship is communication,” Trombetti says. So if you don’t bother talking — or, if you do talk but it’s always with someone else — you’ve lost interest.
11 You've Packed Your Schedule
If you find yourself taking up new hobbies left and right in an effort to feel something, it may be a sign the relationship is no longer fulfilling, licensed psychologist
Dr. Wyatt Fisher, tells Bustle.
Again, having hobbies and doing things separately is a very good thing. But if it gets to the point where you're constantly booked and busy, Fisher says, it might be because you're seeking novelty due to a lack of interest in your partner.
12 They Do All The Inviting
Another telling sign is if you’ve stopped reaching out to make plans, and instead kind of wait around for your partner to do all the work. While it’s true that some people are better at organizing get-togethers than others, Murray says this is also a telltale sign you don’t really want the relationship to go anywhere.
If this is familiar, she says, you may want to honestly find out “whether you and your partner are content with the relationship as is,” Murray says — or if you’d be happier moving on.
13 You’ve Been Having Secret Chats
Don’t ignore that strong desire to slide into a cute stranger’s DMs. As
Stephanie Moir, MA, CRC, LMHC, a licensed counselor, tells Bustle, this is a form of emotional infidelity; one that often points to fading interest.
It could also be a first attempt to move on, she says, as “you may be looking for an emotional connection to replace the connection you had with your partner.”
14 You Can’t Stop Thinking About Your Ex
Are you always thinking about your ex, comparing your current partner to your ex, or wishing you could get back together with your ex? If so, Moir says it’s a clear sign something’s up.
In this situation, it can help to talk to your partner. Fun dates and deep conversations can cure a lot of things, so if you’d like to see if the relationship is salvageable, invest back into it and see if it makes a difference.
15 You Compare Your Relationship To Others
It’s OK to look at a friend’s relationship for inspiration, or to acknowledge that they seem really happy. But you shouldn’t feel jealous or size your situation up against theirs.
“Comparing your relationship to other relationships is a red flag,” Moir says. “This can mean you recognize something is missing but are not ready to end things.”
16 You Don’t Think About The Future
If you were truly interested in your partner, you’d have an eye on the future. You’d think about trips you’d like to take, apartments you’d like to live in, and how your relationship might look one, to five, to ten years down the road. So if you look toward the future and don't see them as part of it, it may be best to move on.
17 You Hardly Ever Laugh
While relationships can’t be fun and joke-y all the time, it may point to a lack of interest if you sit around silently and don’t seem to enjoy each other’s company. “Laughter is crucial towards navigating life,”
therapist Hillary Schoninger, LCSW, tells Bustle. “How much we are laughing with one another is a good indicator of how much we like one another.” 18 You “Don’t Care”
Another top tier sign you’ve lost interest? Apathy, Krevalin says.
When your partner asks where you want to go to dinner, you say you don’t care. If they ask what movie you’d like to watch, you tell them to put on whatever they want.
Basically, you’re no longer participating in the relationship not out of anger or animosity, but because you truly aren’t into it.
19 You Aren’t As Affectionate
Something might be up if you used to hug, cuddle, and hold hands, but all of that has completely stopped, Trombetti says. And the same is true if you're no longer interested in being physically intimate with your partner.
“There may be other factors involved,” she says, “but when that person just isn’t sparking you anymore, there can be a decline in intimacy signaling you have lost interest.”
20 You Stop Sharing Your Feelings
Having deep conversations about your lives, your goals, and your relationship goes a long way in maintaining a strong emotional connection. But if you stop having those conversations, it could lead to a loss of that connection. “Before we lose interest entirely, we begin to lose an emotional connection,”
Nancy Landrum, relationship coach and author, tells Bustle.
“For the clients I coach, there’s usually one partner who might be good at taking care of the business side of living together, but not very good at sharing feelings or talking about what’s going on inside the heart. This imbalance in sharing emotional connection causes the other to lose interest.”
21 They Do Things You Don’t Like, But You Let It Slide
Before, you may have called your partner out if they did something that irritated you or felt off. But now, you just don’t have it in you to say anything. If this is the case, there’s a good chance you’ve started to lose interest. According to
Lily Ostler, LMSW, a licensed psychotherapist with online therapy resource, Forward in Heels, tells Bustle, complacency and a decrease in certain fights can be very telling. “It can be a sign that you're not interested in your partner and/or are less invested in working on or staying in the relationship,” Ostler says. 22 They’re No Longer The First Person You Want To Share Good News With
When you finally get that promotion you’ve been waiting for or you got a lot of praise for a project that you worked really hard on, your partner should be the first person you think of to share good news with. If they’re not, this could mean that you’re losing interest. “In relationships and with attachment, sharing those big moments are a huge sign of connection and a desire for intimacy,” Ostler says. “As you begin to pull away from including them in those moments, it can be a sign to explore what is going on.”
23 You’re Not Having Sex
It’s completely normal to not have as much sex as you used to. But if you’re not having sex at all, that’s a very telling sign. “People often ignore sex declining or a disinterest in sex,” Ostler says. “Often clients will point to all the attributes of their partner they love and adore, but then it comes out that they don’t want to have sex with their partner anymore. It’s important to notice this shift as physical intimacy can often be a strong sign of connection in a relationship.”
24 You Feel A Sense Of Relief When They’re Out With Friends
Before, you would feel kind of lonely whenever your partner wanted to spend a Saturday night out with friends. But now, you actually feel a sense of relief when they do. If this is happening in your relationship, Trombetti says it may be a sign that you no longer care to spend time with them like you used to. “You don't want to be alone with them and don't look forward to romantic dinners or evenings like you used to do,” she says.
25 You Pull Away When They Try To Be Cute Or Affectionate
You may love your partner, but if you find yourself internally cringing every time they try to be affectionate with you, that’s a sign you shouldn’t ignore. This could indicate that the spark has faded in your relationship, Trombetti says. If this is the case, you may have to ask yourself if you still love you partner romantically or just as a friend.
26 You Don’t Know What Your Partner’s Current Dreams Are
Early on in your relationship you may have stayed up all night chatting, asking each other questions and dreaming about the future. But now, you don’t think you could even name what your partner’s current goals are. According to
Elizabeth Earnshaw, licensed marriage and family therapist and author of tells Bustle, “If you aren't being as curious as you used to be, and you've noticed that you never show interest in your partner's day, how they are feeling, or what they are striving for, then you might have begun to lose interest.” I Want This to Work, 27 You’re Turning To Others For Support
If you’re having a bad day, your partner should be your go-to person for support. But if you’ve started to turn to other people, that may be a telling sign. “While it's healthy to have other relationships with friends and family, your partner should be a primary source of support and connection,” Earnshaw says. “ So when you find yourself preferring to connect with everyone but your partner, this might be a sign you've lost interest.”
28 You’ve Become A Lot More Flaky
When you’re really into your partner, you want to spend as much time with them as possible. But if you’ve started to “sabotage” time spent together, you may be checking out. According to Earnshaw, you may do this by frequently canceling date nights or finding something else you “need” to do during downtimes in the evening together.
29 You’re Always On Your Phone When You’re Spending Time Together At Home
It’s not uncommon to be on your phone even when you’re hanging out with your partner. But if you’re doing it as a way to avoid talking to them or because the silence is awkward, that may be a sign that your relationship isn’t as interesting to you as it used to be. According to
Amber Lee, certified matchmaker and CEO of Select Date Society, flipping through social media while you’re together shows that you don’t prioritize your partner. 30 You Don’t Go Out Of Your Way
Sure, you hang out with your partner on your way home from work, but it’s only because you pass their apartment on the way.
You’ve noticed that, unless it’s really convenient, you don’t want to get together. And you’ve definitely dropped the grand gestures, like planning their birthday parties or getting them fun gifts for the holidays.
If you were
still interested in your partner, these would be things you’d want to do. You may be able to turn things around, especially if you still love them. But don’t be afraid to evaluate how you feel, including whether this relationship is right for you. Sources: Alyssa Arnol, LCSW, psychotherapist Sterling Woods, LSW, licensed social worker Deborah K. Krevalin, LPC, LMHC, a licensed professional counselor Dr. Jill Murray, licensed psychotherapist and author Susan Golicic, PhD, certified relationship coach Susan Trombetti, matchmaker Katherine Shorter, marriage counselor Heidi McBain, MA, LMFT, licensed marriage and family therapist Dr. Wyatt Fisher, licensed psychologist Stephanie Moir, MA, CRC, LMHC, licensed counselor Hillary Schoninger, LCSW, therapist Nancy Landrum, relationship coach and author Lily Ostler, LMSW, licensed psychotherapist Elizabeth Earnshaw, licensed marriage and family therapist Amber Lee, certified matchmaker
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This article was originally published on
March 29, 2018