Relationships; sometimes they just end. What are the warning signs? Reddit's frustrated couples enlighten us.
CarefreeCastle asked: What are some non-obvious, early signs that a relationship is coming to an end?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
When your partner exhausts you.
Just hanging out becomes a chore more than pleasure.
Maybe that's what she meant by "you aren't worth the gas." Gee sorry I'd only been cooking you steak every weekend.
Sounds like you had some beef with her.
When you want to change the subject.
When others talk about your SO to you, and you get a little exasperated, or a little wince/groan on your face when they say their name.
I have a dear friend like this. I don't think I've ever heard him talk about her without a subtle sigh, at best, or an overt complaint about her. It's depressing, and when I pointed it out to him and noted that doubts of that magnitude rarely solve themselves, he changed the topic. How bleak.
When they come home, and you're automatically annoyed.
Or when you hear their car pull into the driveway and you get this sinking feeling like "funs over."
It's like when you're a kid and your parents come home. I had that with my ex and it f*cking sucked coz I knew I was in for an hour of her complaining about everything.
Hate this sh*t. He comes home with parabolic drama about "almost blowing up" on his difficult colleagues at work, or some asshole that was reckless on the highway and obviously doesn't deserve to keep his license or his kids, or the awkward cashier that made awkward small talk and created such an awkward situation when I was just trying to unawkwardly check out with my kombucha. F*CK MAN. God forbid I suggest his attitude is whats ruining his day.
When Reddit makes the light bulb go off.
Reading this thread has confirmed many times over that my almost 8 year relationship is definitely over. Reckon it has been for many years now.
It's time, friend.
You're right. She didn't even make any real effort for Christmas. I bought her a brand new box set of Harry Potter books I knew she'd love. I got a selection box that was obviously cheap and tells me I'm just an afterthought. A convenience. She even bought presents for people I don't even know. I'm definitely done. Just need to find somewhere to go and live.
No, you are right. You knew all of this but it hurts, and it's scary, and it's not convenient. But I promise this, it will be hard and then it will get better. "Someday you will be loved, and the memories of her will seem more like bad dreams."
When you can't be bothered to even fight.
Even fights are one sided. The other person just stops trying to resolve the issues.
Argue the issue, not the person.
If the source of your argument goes past you and into the person you're arguing with, it's hard to reconcile a relationship worth saving.
When being apart can't last long enough.
When you don't see each other for a few days, and you're not excited to get back together.
It's been 11 days since I saw my boyfriend, 19 days to go before I can see him. I really miss him and everything I do brings up thoughts of "Wow he would really enjoy this" or "I wish he were here to experience this with me." Thank god for texting, but it's not the same.
I do long distance. Basically starting from this past June we only see each other for MAYBE a week every three months. I saw her in June, near the end of August, just last week for a few days before Christmas, won't see her again til maybe mid March, and then hopefully we'll move in next June. It's horrible. I can't even begin to understand how military couples do it.
This is probably the most sensitive measure. Plenty of people wait a long time to respond to texts or maybe don't bother to argue about something but if it's been a week and you don't at least want to talk to your SO and aren't excited about the idea, it's over.
When you just know.
My denial is so big, I don't even want to read the comments here.
At least you're aware that you're in denial. A good first step.
When indifference takes hold.
When he/she no longer bothers to get upset or angry with you. It shows they have checked out and think of you as a stranger.
Is it a problem if you don't ever argue in the first place? I've never been in a relationship very long, but my current SO and I have never disagreed about anything more serious than movie reviews. That feels like it's not normal, but maybe it's a good thing?
It's not a problem if you resolve everything peacefully. It doesn't need to be a volatile argument or a fight. But both people need to be comfortable bringing up issues and you have to have a method to successfully resolve them that leaves both of you happy with how things go. If one or both of you never brings up anything you want changed or that is causing you an issue, then either you're still in the new relationship energy stage and not seeing each other clearly or one of you is avoiding confrontation and setting things up to explode later. I have seen a healthy relationship with no nasty arguments, because there were good communication skills. But things got brought up, discussed, and resolved. That process has to happen.
When quirks are no longer cute.
When their quirks that you used to find endearing now make you want to commit violence.
That can be pretty normal if you didn't pay attention at that start. Our marriage celebrant had us do all sorts of communication tools, and one of them was 'cute' things that were guaranteed to grate later. It was really interesting. And after 20 years, pretty much spot on. Knowing this, it makes them much less of a dealbreaker.
Which such things? Could you elaborate on that?
At the time, we thought it was really dumb little things. But man, little things can really f*ck up a relationship.
I have a terrible memory, so this is just a small list of the things I can remember (or are still slightly irritating now)
Eating the last [favourite food of the other person]
Protecting 'their' food (Not sharing off the plate - them)
Expecting some of 'their' food (the opposite of above - me)
Being the last one to be ready (why should I wait for you, my time is obviously more important)
Always being late (a consequence of the above)
Always being early (I could have played 5 more minutes of [game])
For every cute variation, there is a fucking irritating variation. But they aren't dealbreakers, so its important for the relationship to deal with them (or find workarounds for them).
Personally, I believe negotiation is win/win. If you get win/lose, renegotiate with a different plan till you can find win/win. For example. Now my partner accepts that getting there early is important to me, and makes an effort to be ready... but they still won't put their shoes on till I do.
When it becomes constantly draining.
When it starts to feel like a bottomless pit. No matter how much effort you put into it, things don't improve and you get less and less back every day.
Alternatively, when you realize that you can't problem-solve for shit when the two of you are together, even simple tasks that require nothing more than open communication. Relationships require work, but they also need to be functional. If basic incompatibility keeps the two of you from working together as a partnership, it's f*cking doomed.
I asked a friend for some advice when I felt like my past relationship was rocky - I just wasn't sure if it was worth ending. She asked me "would you two be friends if you weren't in a relationship?" Nope. Nothing in common anymore. I ended it.
This times a million. You feel just exhausted from putting in so much work in an effort to get them to validate you.
One non-obvious hint that a relationship may be in trouble is an overwhelming feeling of contempt toward the other person mixed with a crushing sense of existential dread.