You feel it in your gut, yet you're unsure whether you're overreacting or it's over. How can you tell if your relationship is about to collapse?
Being in love comes with a great deal of delusion. You can't think straight, and you sure as heck can't see things for what they are.
The person you're in love with becomes something more significant than they are. Something more exceptional and better than the original version of that same individual. Yet, you know something is off, and you're becoming paranoid.
Is your instinct telling you something? Maybe your mind is playing tricks? Is there any way to know it's over before you two have that dreadful, heart-wrenching talk?
Actions, not words
Saying "I love you" becomes a habit. You can tell the same for all the lovey-dovey little things, like "I miss you," "want to see you, " etc.
But words don't make a relationship, and that's why it's essential to open your eyes and observe carefully. Is your partner saying all the right things yet missing the actual work?
When it comes to loving someone, real love is effortless. Relationships, however, are a lot of work. Yes, you're tired and annoyed, and you want to sleep and do nothing. Sometimes seeing that special someone takes every wrong thought away. Sometimes, you have to push yourself.
If you're missing their presence, or they are too distracted, that's not a good sign.
You feel different
Sometimes that gut feeling is nothing more than your subconscious trying to tell you that things will never be the same.
You are still talking, having some good times, but there's a sense that you're no longer enough. Or you're starting to doubt your looks, cooking skills, intelligence, etc. You're full of doubts, and yet you can't put your finger on what the heck went wrong.
In more extreme cases, you're getting more jealous, or your fights are getting more intense. Basically, you're both annoyed, and neither has any idea what to do next.
From feeling that something's off, you get to that awful place where you can't stand to look at your partner. Yet, you still love them. No wonder you're feeling conflicted and confused.
The good news is that the more you communicate, the fewer chances you'll come to that breaking point.
The bad news is that you have to communicate all the time, not only during a crisis. So, if your relationship isn't built on a firm ground, it's more likely to fall apart.
Can you start over and rebuild the whole darn thing? Yes, but most people give up and say "it's over" because it takes a lot of work, most likely more than preparing for a physics exam, even though you're studying literature—just an example.
You can't make plans
The power of a strong relationship lies in compromise and keeping promises.
Yes, life's hectic, and sometimes you have to change plans, but if that becomes your partner's habit, that's clearly not a good sign.
Whether it's temporary or it's over, it's hard to say. That's why you have to speak up.
If you let it slip away one too many times, you'll be left waiting and wondering. You can't make plans with your friends, because it's too late. And you don't want to wait any longer.
Instead of having a romantic night in or out, you're left with ice cream and some Netflix minus chill.
Lack of intimacy
Intimacy is more than sex, but the attraction is vital in a healthy relationship.
If you don't feel like your partner genuinely sees you, or your sex is a routine, something is going on.
Of course, with time, we get used to our partners, and we often skip straight to the main act. But, if you are showing signs that you need more, and your partner is ignoring your efforts, that's not good.
Once the sex becomes something you do because you think you have to, and you talk less and less, you're giving up. So, in a way, it's over before you even had the chance to talk about the issues.
A sense of secrecy
The common scenario is that you think your partner is hiding some big, scary secret. But, the plot twist is that they feel the same.
Unresolved issues, fights, and disagreements can lead to that sense of disconnection.
And again, you're left wondering while playing our craziest scenarios in your head. Yes, healthy communication is the key, but there's more.
To avoid that sense of secrecy, you have to be transparent. It might not be the easiest thing if you loved your single life. But let your loved one know that they are included in your plans, and if you need some alone time, speak now or forever live in regret.
Sure, you don't want your partner to know everything, nor should they. But if you're hiding your phone, or having mysterious lunches, of course, it looks suspicious.
Before you say dramatically, "we're done, it's over," take a good, hard look around you. Make sure that you're closing the door because you tried.
Instead of falling into the trap of impulsive breakups, which may last for years, try to explain how you feel, what you need. If they can't hear you or don't want to, then it's time to move on.
Love's tricky, but it's also uplifting, joyful, and exciting. Your partner should feel like your other half, not the mismatched piece of the puzzle you're desperately trying to fit in. Sort of like a toddler, only there's no real puzzle and your heart's at stake.