More than 40 percent of all marriages in the United States end in divorce, according to the American Psychological Association, and the rate of breakups of romantic relationships in general is much, much higher. We often think that a breakup of a committed relationship is caused by a single event, such as a partner’s infidelity, but in most instances, the process of breaking up occurs over time. Here are warning signs that a relationship may be falling apart:
1. “We” Becomes “I”
In a love relationship, there is a sense of unity and togetherness—one of the reasons many committed couples decide to marry. The couple thinks of themselves as a unit. “We” bring a bottle of wine to a dinner party, or give a gift together. “We” are typically invited together to events or go out. And, couples represent themselves as a “we” unit. A subtle sign of relationship breakdown is when partners start to speak more in “I” terms than “we” terms.
2. You Start Comparing.
And not in a positive way. You begin to compare your relationship to other couples’ and find yours lacking. Or, you begin to compare your current relationship to past ones—focusing on the elements that were “better” than your current relationship.
3. Your Interests Diverge.
The research is clear that we are drawn to people who have similar interests, ideals, and even backgrounds. Couples in love try to focus on shared interests—what they have in common. Partners falling out of love focus on their personal interests often leaving the partner out.
4. You’re Left Wanting.
An important sign of falling out of love is when you feel unfulfilled by the relationship. Your needs simply aren’t being met.
5. A Deficit of Positive Emotions and Interactions.
Relationship psychologist John Gottman, says that for a relationship to endure the ratio of positive interactions to negative interactions should be five to one, five positive feelings or interactions for every negative one.
6. The Differences Are Magnified.
When a love relationship is forming, we search for the similarities with our partner; when things start falling apart, we may obsess on the differences.
7. Boredom Sets In.
Many relationships fall apart when one partner (or both) begin to lose their enthusiasm for the relationship. Boredom can motivate one to seek excitement—oftentimes outside of the current relationship.
8. You Change. They Don’t.
When you move forward in terms of self-improvement, but your partner doesn’t seem focused on trying to make self, or the relationship, better, this is a warning sign that you are not moving forward together.
9. Shared Times Dwindle.
A sure sign that you have fallen out of love is when your partner and you spend less and less time together in shared activities.
10. You’ve Stopped Trying.
Relationships take a lot of work on the part of both parties. A key to a successful long-term relationship is that both partners are motivated to put the necessary time and energy into the partnership to keep it going. They look for ways to keep the love flame burning. If one or both partners has stopped trying, that’s a very bad sign.
Maintaining relationships is hard work. Not only do both partners need to work on it, but sometimes, counseling can help to repair a relationship.
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