Sometimes, people drift apart. You're in a relationship, and nothing's really bad, exactly, but things are different. Little things start bothering you, maybe, or little red flags start waving around in your head. It can be painful or painless – it really all depends on the couple. Either way, here are 13 signs you and your partner might be drifting apart.
1. Less Intimacy
Here, I'm not talking about sex – that's another sign altogether. Intimacy is an entirely different matter, and when your relationship is missing it, you will notice it. You and your partner may, over time, simply stop showing each other any affection. You may not cuddle at night, or hold hands, or do intimate activities together any longer.
2. Lack of Communication
Communication is the key in any relationship. It is such an integral part that, again, you will probably notice this fairly quickly. You two might still be talking to each other, but you may no longer be communicating anything about your feelings, your moods, and so on. You might not be discussing the really important things.
3. Nothing to Talk about
Then again, you might not be talking at all – about anything. Realizing that you and your partner no longer have anything to talk about can be a gradual process. It is not uncommon for some couples to simply realize it one day, like they've been hit with a ton of bricks by the realization.
4. No Common Interests
Sometimes you don't have anything to talk about because you don't have any interests in common any longer. Maybe you never had any interests in common in the first place, but in the beginning it may not have mattered. Many couples go into this situation thinking their lack of common interests is a good thing because it allows them to keep up their individual lives. That can certainly be true, and many couples may survive this issue – but it can also make you grow apart as time goes by.
5. No One's Laughing
Did you partner used to make you laugh? Did you used to leave him or her rolling on the floor? If you are realizing that there is no more laughter in your relationship, that can definitely be a sign that the two of you are growing apart, especially if you used to laugh together a lot.
6. No More One-on-One Time
On par with intimacy, spending time together, one-on-one and on your own, is important to every relationship. If you are spending less and less time together, that can point to problems. It may mean that the two of you are starting to drift.
7. Feelings of Distance
If, when you are together, you sense a distance, that can be a sign as well. This may not be deliberate at all. However, as two people grow further and further apart, feelings of distance can grow naturally between them. They are not necessarily trying to be icy, they simply don't feel as close.
8. Sense of Detachments
Detachment is like distance, but it goes a little bit deeper. If it seems like you are completely detached from your partner, or vice versa, as if the two of you are living in one another's orbit, so to speak, but leading ever more separate lives, it may point to the fact that you are growing apart.
9. No Sex Life
If you have reached this level of intimacy, and are having sex, then the lack thereof is a big red flag. Maybe you've stopped being together altogether, maybe you are simply going longer and longer periods of time without having sex, or maybe your sex life has just become sort of … expected, like an obligation, rather than an opportunity to be close to one another.
10. Frequent Fights
Every couple fights. That is normal. However, if one or both of you starts picking fights over the littlest things, if they are, in retrospect, ridiculous fights, or if you find yourselves fighting more often than you actually talk, those can all be big warning signs.
11. Priorities Have Changed
If you see that you and your significant other no longer put in the effort that's needed to set a date night, have a conversation, etc., something's up. The two of you need to reevaluate your priorities and talk about whether or not your relationship is one of them! Relationships require constant work.
12. Social Lives Become Separate
Did the two of you used to do everything together? If that's changing, it's a sign. If he doesn't include you in that side of his life anymore, whether it be with his friends or family, it's a sign that he's starting to shut you out. Not good.
13. No One Talks about the Future
It's important to know where the relationship is heading. If you and you partner don't ever discuss the future, is it because you don't see each other in them? This could be a sign that the two of you are starting to drift apart.
A couple does not have to go through some huge, traumatic ordeal to break up with each other. Sometimes you do simply grow apart. The relationship runs its course. In some ways, that is easier than a messy break up, but in others, it can be even more painful. Has anyone ever had a relationship like this?
This article was written in collaboration with editor Vanessa Salles.