If you’re getting a doomsday vibe about your relationship, perhaps it’s more than just a hunch.
Here are ten behaviors that can mean it’s more than just a case of the Monday morning blues.
They stop arguing.
While most of us equate heated discussion with a sign the relationship is out of sync, it nevertheless means that feelings are involved.
Anger means investing a significant amount of emotion, the kind of investment an indifferent partner would no longer be willing to make.
If your boyfriend has internally given up on negotiating their needs or pushing for change, the result can be a kind of half-hearted agreeableness. Which then leads to the feeling of being dumped out of the blue because there was no heated buildup to the demise of the relationship.
They become increasingly intolerant.
Our imperfections are what define us, and this is especially true with regards to romantic relationships.
If what was once a small, understandable imperfection of ours has now become a relationship issue, chances are our partner’s level of general intolerance is climbing.
Don’t confuse this with a boyfriend who is trying to change the relationship in a way that better suits them. In this case, there is no desire to negotiate; it’s their way or the highway.
Most of the time the critical giveaway is that their intolerance is rooted in increasing distance is that their ultimatums are illogical and impulsive — because that’s exactly what they are.
They blame you for everything.
While this isn’t always a sure sign that they are packing up, it is nevertheless a sign they are taking you for granted. And we all know where that particular road leads…
Blame games lead to a downward spiral that end up leading to mutual resentment.
Due to our innate predisposition towards conflict avoidance, it can be all too easy to give in to emotional blackmail in an attempt to calm the situation. The problem with this is that by allowing our partner to manipulate us successfully in this way, it will only ever teach them that it works. It will reinforce the behavior, not placate it.
They embarrass you publicly.
Public humiliation is a sign that respect has taken a nose dive. It can be a way to vent resentment without having to confront you directly.
Even small examples can be telling. For instance; your boyfriend might delegate specific tasks that you used to do onto other people (and consequently make you feel as if you’d somehow failed).
This is in part the result of a newfound focus your boyfriend has away from you, but can also be a cheap and subtle way of shifting their resentment onto you. If you feel as if you’re being punished, chances are you are.
They’re almost always out.
Being out and about isn’t always a sign your boyfriend is cheating on you, but it is a sign that there is a newfound focus and direction. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide whether indulging in his individuality is a good thing or a bad thing with the relationship in mind because it absolutely can be either.
Learning to function as an individual is critical to the relationship’s well being, but if taken too far, the distance will begin to erode your connection. The key is figuring out whether the distance is cause or effect, or, in other words, whether he is out to be away from you, or if he is out to improve his life independently of the relationship. The answer isn’t always obvious.
Their standards drop.
The demise of a relationship usually goes hand in hand with a self-esteem downwards spiral.
If there is a conspicuous drop in standards, it may be the calm before the storm (or a sign they are entering a depression). This might mean:
- An awkward relaxing of personal hygiene.
- An avoidance of seeking validation from you.
- A refusal to compromise.
- A general lack of energy and effort.
- A volatile or overly subdued temperament.
In short, be on the look-out for breaks in character that might presage a break in commitment.
I am not saying that your boyfriend should be “out to prove” consistently, what I do mean is that he should continue to care about your judgment at some level. One of the first signs a partner stops caring is that they stop considering what is thought of them.
They hint at a breakup.
Once a breakup has occurred, it is usually easy (and eye-opening) to pinpoint in retrospect how our exes subtly suggested the relationship was ending weeks or months before it did. The hard part is doing this while still in the relationship before it’s too late.
A boyfriend that is questioning the relationship will betray the fact that it is on his mind in one way or another, his brain gives him no choice. It is up to us to pick up the signals.
Be on the lookout for behaviors that attempt to soften a potential breakup ahead of time (asking you what you think of taking breaks, etc).
They are overly defensive.
Guarded defensiveness usually implies guilt of some sort. While there is every chance they have done nothing tangibly wrong, the guilt may refer to something internal.
It is easy to jump the gun here since we’re dealing with an area which is fundamentally closed off to us (their psyche). But if simple, ordinary questions are enough to provoke an impulsive overreaction, it is usually a sign something is wrong and needs to come to light.
They cut you off from friends and family.
If your boyfriend no longer sees a future for you both, he may seek to slowly start isolating you from elements of his life that he intends to carry forwards. It is a way of preparing to cut ties cleanly.
Again, this process can be subtle, but it is profound. Which usually leads to the impression that your boyfriend drops off the map entirely once the breakup occurs because he has been silently preparing for this moment for awhile.
They stop sharing details.
My last point goes hand in hand with many others in this article. Details are more than just fluff. They are a way to draw someone closer and build a mutual history.
Sharing needless details is precious precisely because it is needless. It’s about respect; it’s about spending time with someone. It is a sign that the emotional glue holding the relationship together is holding firm.
If your boyfriend has stopped sharing these kinds of unnecessary details, it is usually a sign that they are not interested in reinforcing this co-conspiracy that couples have any longer.