There are few things that are more devastating than being in a long-term relationship with a guy whose heart just isn’t in it anymore. Sadly, if he’s checked out of the relationship, it’ll be pretty hard to get things back on track so you should probably brace yourself for a breakup. Here are some signs he’s lost interest in staying together.
- Sex has stopped or suddenly seems forced. Guys tend to express their love physically, so if he stopped being interested in sexual intimacy, it’s often a sign that he checked out of the relationship and doesn’t really want to be with you anymore.
- He doesn’t even bother to bring up the stuff that bugs him anymore. If he used to regularly bring up things that annoyed him but has suddenly stopped, you should be very worried. This is a sign that he’s no longer trying to fix issues in your relationship and has all but given up on being happy with you.
- He gives you more negative feedback than positive. Do all his comments about you seem disparaging? If he’s no longer trying to spare your feelings, it’s a good sign that he’s mentally checked out.
- All of a sudden, money has become a major issue. It’s not like he just lost his job either — it’s just that he stopped spending it on YOU. If you’re married, this is often an indicator that he’s saving up cash for a divorce or spending it on another woman.
- You’re getting concerned that he’s cheating. Guys who cheat while in long-term relationships might be doing so because they want to leave, but also don’t want to be single when they finally break up with you. If you’re getting the feeling that he’s checking out other women, or if you catch him in the act of downloading Tinder, he may be checked out of the relationship.
- He doesn’t bother to return your texts or calls right away. If it takes him three hours to send you a text message, it’s clear you dropped in priority ranks. If he doesn’t even bother to check in anymore, it’s safe to say he’s checked out.
- You’re no longer a major priority. If you notice that he acts like he cares about pretty much everything more than you, it’s probably because he no longer wants to be with you or he’s just taking you for granted. Either way, it’s a very telling sign about how he’s seeing your relationship.
- He doesn’t confide in you anymore. When this happens, it’s a sign that he no longer feels that same closeness to you. Once he stops viewing you as someone he can talk to, your relationship is going to go kaput.
- You act more like roommates than partners. Sure, life gets hectic sometimes and you can’t spend days on end in bed, but if you notice your relationship is basically like a college roommate situation instead of a boyfriend/girlfriend one, there’s a problem.
- He’s constantly finding reasons to stay away from you. When he comes home, he retreats to his man cave. He just has to choose job locations that are far away from you. He’s always “tired” and wants to sleep rather than go on a date night with you. If this sounds familiar, your relationship is already over.
- He suddenly finds you really annoying, or he starts picking fights with you for no apparent reason. When you’ve checked out of the relationship you’re in, all the cute quirks your partner has become annoying. This in turn can make you quick to anger or can cause you to want to take your anger out on your partner. If this is happening, it’s best to leave the relationship. It will not get better.
- Actually, he barely acknowledges your existence. At no point in a healthy relationship is this normal. This is a sign that he wants out but doesn’t actually have the guts to break up.
- He seems depressed. While depression is a major illness that does need to be acknowledged, it also can be a sign that he’s checked out of your relationship. If he’s never shown tendencies like this before and there are no external life factors that could be contributing to it, a serious conversation (and perhaps a breakup) is in order.
- He’s not affectionate anymore. Though he used to be tender and loving, you can’t get him to give you a hug, cuddle you, or even just give you a sympathetic ear after a hard day. Love can’t exist without affection, so if this is happening, he’s already emotionally single.
- Your gut says something is really wrong. This is often the first sign that he’s checked out. When in doubt, trust your gut and try to talk things out. With a little luck, it might not be too late to make things work.
What to do when you notice he’s checked out
- Don’t freak out. If you have no desire to break up and you find his behavior extremely upsetting, it’s hard not to lose your cool and go off the deep end, but try to fight the urge. The truth is that whatever’s happening may not be irreparable. Not only that, but even if this really is the end, freaking out won’t help anything. Take a deep breath and try to stay in the moment.
- Consider the issue. Has there been a major issue that’s cropped up recently that could have made him suddenly lose interest in the relationship? If you can easily name a specific event or circumstance that coincided with your boyfriend pulling away, that should help you figure out if it’s something that can be overcome (or if it’s even worth it).
- Have a straightforward conversation with him. This will be hard and potentially extremely awkward but it really is the only way forward. Besides, if he’s checked out of the relationship already, you really have nothing to lose by being honest and direct with him to find out what’s going on and whether or not he has any intention of staying to work things out or just wants to let it go.
- Acknowledge your own feelings. A relationship is between two people, so this isn’t all about him. Yes, he’s the one who’s pulled away, but that doesn’t mean he gets to call all the shots. How do you feel about his behavior and about your relationship as a whole? Are you happy? Has your own interest waned and would you be happier if you broke up? It’s time to give yourself a talking to in order to figure out where you stand.
- Decide how to proceed. Once you’ve talked to your partner and done some real self-reflection to determine where you stand, now you can figure out how to move forward. Maybe your conversation with your partner has made it clear that your relationship can’t continue or illuminated some issues that are actually fixable and you’ve decided to give it another go. Whatever the case, now’s the time to make your move. If you’re not happy in your relationship, you know you’ll have to let go.