12 Signs That A Relationship Has Gone Stale

By Abigail 11 months ago

1. Seeing each other feels like an obligation.

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When you're in a relationship, you should be excited to see your other half all the time. It doesn't matter how long it's been since you last saw them, every time you hangout is a special moment. But if it's starting to feel like you have to meet up just because you're a 'couple', and not because you really want to, that should be a big red flag that your relationship is going stale.

2. You're arguing way too often.

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Nobody wants to really admit it, but every couple argues. When you're tired, or stressed, or just having a bad time, you might take it out on your partner and start arguing about stupid things. But crucially, not everything should turn into an argument. If you find that you're arguing almost every day - about the same big things, or lots of little things all the time - then it might be time to consider if your relationship has run its course.

3. You don't want to try anymore.

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Relationships are hard work. When you're new to a relationship, you don't really think about that, but months and years in, everyone starts to understand: you have to put work into a good relationship. Supporting your partner takes energy, and if you've lost that emotional commitment to support them and *try* in your relationship, then it's not a good sign.

4. Or you don't know how to try.

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Worse is when you don't even know what you should be doing to improve your relationship. You're fighting almost every day, and you do want to change things, but you've lost sight of the root cause. Once this happens, it's difficult to actually make a change and get your relationship back on the right track. If you really don't know how to try anymore, it's probably time to stop altogether.

5. Your fights are getting pettier.

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Fights over big things can be the death knell of a relationship. Kids, moving house, family problems, career paths - these are major life decisions, and can be the cause of a number of rifts in any good relationship. But if you find you're just fighting about silly things now - or things that can even be changed, like your partner's mannerisms or personality traits - then it's not a good sign.

6. You don't connect over things anymore.

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Relationships are built on common ground. Whether that's childhood similarities, taste in music or films, or a love of a particular hobby, you need common interests when you're sharing a life with someone. You'll know when you've grown apart with your partner, though, as you'll start to lose some of those connections. Maybe you disagree about things that you used to agree on, or simply don't have the same interests anymore.

7. You've lost your sense of self.

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It's totally normal to feel like you couldn't exist without your other half - but that doesn't mean that in a relationship you completely lose your sense of self. If you've started feeling that you really don't know who you are without them, or that you don't have any individual hobbies or interests anymore, that should be cause for concern. Everyone should still feel like themselves in a relationship.

8. You're not getting value from your relationship.

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What are you actually getting out of your relationship? Support, respect, quality sex? Or... not much at all? If you can't even see the positive reasons you should be in your relationship, then it's probably because it's gone stale. There's no point still being in a relationship that you're not getting anything out of - even if the alternative (singlehood) is scary.

9. You don't have fun anymore.

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Collapsing into hysterics on a date, teasing each other as you cook dinner, a make out session in the cinema... relationships are above all about fun. Your partner is the person you're going to share life with, and you should have a good time doing that. If you feel like the fun factor has gone from your relationship, then it's time to question its worth. Maybe you could be having more fun alone?

10. You're always questioning your relationship.

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Obsessive questioning of something is never a good sign. At worst, it can develop into stress and anxiety - but at best, it's actually a sign that something needs to change anyway. So, do you feel as if you're constantly saying, 'Should I be with this person?' or 'Maybe I'd be happier with someone else, or somewhere else?' Then it might be time to go with your gut.

11. You don't really mean 'I love you.'

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Couples say I love you so much, that after a while you don't really question the sentiment. It gets slipped onto the end of texts, before you leave the house, when you say bye at the start of a long trip. But, thinking about it, do you really mean those three words? If you don't think there's any feeling behind them anymore, it's a sure-fire sign that your relationship is getting stale.

12. You don't have sex anymore.

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Sex doesn't have to be the be-all-and-end-all of a relationship - but for many, it is a crucial element of connection. So, when the sex stops, what does that mean? Well, it might point to bigger problems in your relationship. If you don't feel comfortable with each other anymore or don't feel as close as you once did, sex can be the first thing that gets ditched.

13. You're always keeping secrets from your partner.

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Now, we don't mean those little fibs that keep your partner safe from worry - when you say you're doing okay when you're actually stressed at work, or when you say you absolutely didn't forget about their mom's birthday (but you absolutely did.) But if those secrets start to spiral to really big things, that's a bad sign. Do you feel that you're not close enough anymore to warrant telling them things?

14. You avoid seeing their family.

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Not everyone is close with their family, but when you're in a relationship there's an obligation to hang out with their parents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, and whoever else they might be close to. But have you started avoiding that family time? Then it might be pointing to a subconscious realization that putting that investment in isn't worth it anymore.

15. You're criticizing each other a lot.

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Teasing is very different from criticizing. Banter can be a really important element of a relationship - when you can let your hair down, maybe get honest about what annoys you about your partner. But criticizing is very different. If you find yourself berating your partner for the things they've done, and they do the same to you, ask yourself why you don't feel any remorse.

16. There's no appreciation for each other anymore.

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A little bit of appreciation goes a really long way, especially when you're sharing an entire life with someone else. This could mean saying how proud you are of your partner, or even just a little 'thank you' when they do the dishes or clean up. If you've stopped expressing appreciation for your partner, it's likely because you don't feel it anymore - and that's not a good basis for a relationship.

17. You don't feel excited by your partner.

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Everyone wants to feel that little jolt in their chest when their favorite person walks through the door. Or the excitement you feel when planning a trip with just the two of you. If you don't ever really feel this way anymore, then it might be because your relationship has started to sour, even without you realizing it. At this point, it might be good to have a serious conversation with your partner about it.

18. You feel stuck in the past.

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Ever find yourself reminiscing about all the good times you had with your partner years ago? Sometimes, that nostalgia can be really good. It can remind you of what you have with your partner and spur you to make some changes to your relationship. Or, it could be a reminder that it will never be like it was, and you don't even want to try anymore.

19. Your partner isn't showing up for you.

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Does your partner keep 'rain checking' out of plans with your friends? Or miss big career events for you like a dinner to celebrate your promotion? We're sorry to say, but it's not a good sign. It seems like they may have mentally checked out of your relationship already if they can't even be bothered to turn up for you anymore, and you might need to consider if your relationship has gone stale.

20. You're uncomfortable around them.

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Never want to get naked around your partner anymore? Or maybe it's not to do with sex - maybe you don't feel comfortable talking to them honestly about your feelings, family problems, or any other secrets. Whatever it is, if you've started to feel uncomfortable being with them you should really ask yourself if this relationship is worth it, or if it might have come to its logical end.

21. You can't communicate easily anymore.

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Communication doesn't always come easy between couples, so don't worry if you're a year in and still don't know how to tell them things. But if your communication has really dropped off recently, to the point where you can't have a conversation without getting into an argument or can't find the words to tell them that they're hurting you - that's a big problem.

22. There's no fun banter anymore.

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If you can't tease your boyfriend or girlfriend, then what's even the point of living? A little bit of banter and teasing can help you laugh at your problems, and get over things much easier. It's a key element of a relationship - that connection and trust that allows you to have banter is so important. If you've lost that connection recently, then it's one of the quickest signals that something might be wrong in your relationship.

23. You don't trust them.

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But trust is about more than just whether you can tease them or not. It's a core part of every relationship, and assures you that you can be honest with your person and that they won't ever simply get bored with you and look somewhere else for fun. But have you been wondering what they're doing when they're out and about? Or been tempted to read their texts? Once that trust has gone, it's hard to get back.

24. You're fantasising about other people.

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This should be one of the earliest signs that you're going through some severe relationship trouble. A little crush here or there might be nothing to worry about, but if it's got to the stage where you're imagining a life with someone else, it might be time to break the news to your partner. They don't deserve to be strung along, and you might find something better elsewhere too.

25. You disagree about life goals.

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If you and your partner aren't in agreement about life goals, then there's a really high chance that your relationship won't last. Does your partner want to stay in his hometown while you see the world? Do you want kids someday but he hates the thought? These are all worrying scenarios, and could be a sign that you're starting to think about your futures without each other.

26. You don't talk about the future anymore.

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Here's another sign that your relationship has gone stale - instead of just disagreeing about future goals, you don't even talk about the future anymore. In the worst scenario, this happens when you're engaged, and wedding planning becomes something that gets avoided all the time. Whenever you peg that it's happening, not thinking about the future is a really clear sign that you're not invested anymore.

27. Everything they do annoys you.

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Oof - this one is a hard one to get over. Do you find that the sound of them talking riles you up? Or you can't bear the sight and sound of them eating something? These might be things that you've learned to come to terms with during your relationship, but suddenly it's like they're a stranger again and you're getting annoyed. Well, sorry to say, but that's not a good sign for your relationship.

28. You don't really miss them anymore.

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Missing someone is a sure-fire sign that you really care about someone. They're not there, and you miss their presence, even if it's just for a night of watching TV on the sofa. But have you stopped getting this feeling recently? Or you find that you're having a better time when they're not there anyway? You might have to face the fact that your relationship has reached its end.

29. You avoid your partner because you don't want to argue.

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Uh oh. You know what's going to happen. They're going to walk in the door after walk and immediately you're going to disagree about something - what's for dinner, how late they are, what your weekend plans are. And then it'll be an argument. The best thing to do? Totally avoid them all the time. That's the best way of stopping that argument from ever happening!

30. You're already preparing how to break up.

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Well, this might be the biggest possible red flag that your relationship is on a downward spiral. Are you actually actively thinking about what you're going to do when your relationship is over? How you're going to break the news? Or, maybe - hoping they do it first? Well, that's it. Your relationship has definitely gone stale, and reached its natural end.

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