There are few feelings worse than being hit by a totally unexpected, out-of-the-blue breakup. You thought things were going so well. There were no signs that your partner was unhappy in the relationship… Or so you thought. Often, hindsight shows us that the clues were there all along. He’d been a bit distant, but you’d dismissed it as him being tired or busy. He’d seemed to look a bit bored when you were telling him about your day, but you’d convinced yourself you’d imagined it. It’s only after the breakup that you realize the warning signs weren’t imagined at all: they were there all along.
Question is, can spotting the signs of a damaged relationship prevent you from eventually breaking up? If you can pick up on little gestures from him early enough, you might be able to talk things through before he decides to call time on your relationship. While addressing them might seem scary, speaking up is a whole lot better than finding yourself unexpectedly single! Thing is, these little clues are often hard to recognize – or are easy to dismiss as ‘nothing too serious’. Here are some of the common gestures from men that suggest your relationship could be in trouble.
18. He Suddenly Wants To Talk More… But Not About The Important Stuff
When you’re in a long-term relationship with someone, it’s likely that you’re going to have moments of companionable silence. You know each other so well and are so comfortable in each other’s company that you don’t feel the need to fill every quiet moment. You’re happy enough to just be in each other’s presence – the constant conversation of the getting-to-know-each-other phase has died down. If your partner is suddenly unwilling to allow silence to prevail, it could be a sign that he’s unhappy with your current relationship. If he’s constantly blabbering about inane things when he’s usually the strong and silent type, he might be betraying feelings of nervousness or guilt. He might be trying to avoid talking about important things by chattering about everything else under the sun. If so, it’s time for you to ask him to slow down and tell you what’s actually on his mind.
17. You Used To Cuddle In Bed, But Now He Pushes Himself Away
We all know that it’s not feasible for a couple to fall asleep cuddling every single night. If you’re one of the rare few that do, that’s fine! You do you! However, it’s not always a practical sleeping position. N0t using it isn’t an immediate sign that he doesn’t love you anymore – unless it represents a radical shift in behavior. If you’re used to snuggling up before going to sleep and he suddenly starts to brush you off without explanation, it’s a bad sign. While passively moving away from a cuddle is often totally normally, choosing to reject one is a whole other matter entirely – especially if your relationship otherwise seems strong. Physical intimacy is an important aspect of any relationship, even if it’s something as simple as a night-time hug. If he’s suddenly denying you that closeness, it could be a sign that your relationship is damaged.
16. He Starts Buying You Gifts Out Of Nowhere, Even Though It’s Not His Thing
This is a classic expression of guilt that can be a huge warning sign in any relationship. That’s not to say that your man buying you a gift is always a clue that something terrible is about to happen to your relationship. Maybe he was just feeling especially generous that day! However, if you start getting frequent and unexpected gifts alongside some of the other gestures on this list, it could well be a bad sign. He could have realized that his feelings for you aren’t that strong anymore, and is trying to overcompensate with gifts. He could be trying to sweeten you up in a misguided attempt to make you feel ‘better’ before dumping you. In extreme cases, extravagant gifts could signify guilt over cheating, either physically or emotionally – especially if you’d previously agreed that gifting wasn’t really your ‘thing’ as a couple. It might be time to ask yourself whether his intentions are entirely good-natured.
15. He Randomly Asks If You Want To Go Through His Phone
If there’s one gesture that totally screams “this relationship is unhealthy”, this is it. If your partner randomly offers you the chance to go through their messages, it’s very unlikely that they have a positive reason for doing so. One explanation could be overcompensation: maybe they previously had something to hide on their phone, and now it’s been deleted they want to “prove” how trustworthy they apparently are. Alternatively, your partner could feel that you no longer trust them for no real reason, and is trying to rebuild the connection you once had. In extreme circumstances, it could all be a ruse intended to end the relationship. Maybe your partner wants to end things but doesn’t have the courage to do it himself. By having you ‘accidentally’ find a compromising message, he creates the perfect situation for you to finally break up. Whatever the case, if a guy actively suggests that you snoop through his phone, be more than a little bit concerned.
14. When You Talk, His Body Language Is Becoming More and More Closed
Never underestimate the power of being able to read body language. It’s one of the most important indicators of how a person is feeling, both about themselves and about you. In a healthy relationship, your partner’s body language should be open and welcoming. They should look comfortable in the way they hold themselves. Their body should be titled towards yours at when you’re together and their position might even mirror your own. Even if you’re not physically right next to each other, your partner should throw you a loving glance every now and again to show that they acknowledge your presence. However, an unhappy partner is unlikely to be doing any of these things. They may sit angled away from you and close themselves off with crossed arms or legs. They might actively avoid looking you in the eye, and they might shrink themselves to be as far away from you as possible. In this case, their body is trying to tell you that something is wrong – even if their mind hasn’t quite caught up yet.
13. When He’s Around You, He Constantly Seems Bored
Any relationship in which one partner displays constant and obvious boredom is quite clearly on the rocks. While it’s not feasible to expect someone to be constantly talking about how interesting and engaging they find you, at least some interest in what you’re saying or doing would be nice. They could even just feign interest to spare your feelings – let’s face it, we’ve all done it at some point in our lives. If your partner isn’t even bothering to try and hide his boredom while you’re together, he’s probably already emotionally checked out of the relationship. Things might be salvageable, but only if you find ways to spice things up between you – and fast. Find a shared hobby or interest, or make more of an effort to engage with each other. If you don’t, you could find yourself single before long.
12. He Once Found You Hilarious, But Now Can’t Even Crack A Smile
Similar to the obvious boredom issue is a barely-disguised sense that your partner doesn’t find you funny anymore. Having a shared sense of humor is a crucial dealbreaker for a lot of couples – you want to be able to have fun together. Often, though, once the honeymoon period is over the laughter dies down a little. This can be a sign that things aren’t going to work out between you and your partner. If making each other laugh is crucial to you and you can’t seem to do that anymore, it might be time to seriously evaluate where the relationship is actually going. If things have gone further than that and your partner can’t even manage to crack a smile in your presence, things really could be in trouble. Either your relationship isn’t making him happy anymore, or there’s something else going on in his life to get him down. In any case, a serious conversation needs to happen.
11. When You Bring Up Your Problems, He Automatically Rolls His Eyes
One of the most important roles of a partner is to support you when problems crop up in your life. It’s not a one-sided thing: you should be willing to do the same for him. However, if your partner suddenly isn’t interested in listening to your worries and issues anymore, he might not be as caring as you’d previously assumed. It’s especially an issue if he still expects you to listen to him complain about his problems, but totally shuts down whenever you do the same. Relationships are a two-way street: you can’t take someone’s emotional support and give back nothing in return. This kind of disregard for your feelings suggests that your partner simply isn’t interested in your happiness anymore. He just wants you there to massage his ego and act as a free therapist. If this sounds like you, don’t tolerate it. If he truly loves you, he’ll realize his error and try harder to take your emotions into account. If he doesn’t… Well, there are plenty more fish in the sea who might actually care about your feelings.
10. When You’re Relaxing Together, He Turns Away From You
For a lot of people, the most comforting and enjoyable part of a relationship is just being able to kick back and relax with the person you love. Even if you’re sat in companionable silence while doing your own thing, just having your partner there next to you can make the world of difference. However, your partner’s view of this chilled-out time can say a lot about how they see your relationship – especially if they suddenly don’t really care about having you around. If they get totally absorbed in their own hobbies to the extent that they ignore you for hours or even days on end, it could be that they simply don’t value spending time with you anymore. Even at times when you’re both quietly doing your own thing, there should at least be some kind of connection there – a slight touch, an occasional kiss on the cheek, even a smile. If that’s missing, it could be time to re-evaluate how happy your relationship actually is.
Tune in tomorrow at noon for the rest of the list!
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