Signs Your Relationship Is on Life Support (But You’re Too Afraid To Admit It)

Signs Your Relationship Is on Life Support (But You’re Too Afraid To Admit It)

The end of a relationship isn’t always a sudden and jarring event. Usually, breakups are the result of dozens of tiny cuts and fractures that have been accumulating for months or years until it becomes impossible to ignore the bleeding. There are always clues leading up to that final event that you may explain away or not pay much attention to because you’re not ready to face the truth that you’re heading for the end. If you’re not sure about the status of your relationship, these warning signs indicate that you’re on the brink of a breakup. It may be time to sit up and fight hard to save the relationship, or count your losses and let it go.

1. Communication is starting to dry up.

You used to text throughout the day and send each other funny memes and videos you find on the internet, but now it’s taking longer and longer to text back or get a response. You no longer get butterflies and reach for the phone excitedly when they call, instead, you let the call go unanswered. One person constantly makes excuses about being busy when the other tries to reach out, even though their schedule hasn’t really changed, and they always made time in the past. You used to freak out after not hearing from them for a few hours, but now you’re not so bothered when they don’t check in for an entire day or more. As MindBodyGreen points out, this is a major red flag.

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2. You’re avoiding making plans for the future.

You planned to move in together, get married, or have kids, but that no longer comes up in conversation. When it does, the topic quickly changes or is never resolved. If you or your partner is very skittish about making plans for the future all of a sudden, it could be because you subconsciously know you won’t be together that far down the line. As a result, you don’t feel it’s worth it to plan for the months and years ahead or invest more into the relationship than you already have.

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3. You have no compromises left to make.

In a thriving relationship, there’s a willingness to work through things and find common ground even when you seem to be at opposite ends on an issue. When it starts to feel like you’ve run out of compromises and it’s your way or the highway, it signals that you’ve stopped caring about the outcome of the relationship. You don’t see yourself as part of a “we” or an “us” anymore, only as an “I.”

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4. Your mutual interests are dwindling.

woman with creepy guy

One of the ways that couples bond and build intimacy is by doing things they enjoy together. This could be swimming, playing tennis, working out, preparing meals, going on date nights, or even catching up on your favorite shows. But when cracks start to appear in your relationship, one or both of you may begin to favor solo activities over finding or participating in the stuff that used to bring you together.

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5. The thought of physical intimacy is off-putting.


There may be times when for one reason or another you just don’t have the urge to be intimate, of course, but you should still find your partner appealing or look forward to the idea of getting back in the sheets with them eventually. Maybe it no longer crosses your mind to initiate physical intimacy, or you always come up with excuses to avoid doing so with your partner because the thought of them touching you makes you shudder. In that case, your relationship may be taking its last breaths.

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6. You want different things.

As Mark Manson explains, one of the hardest truths to accept is that love isn’t always enough. You can care deeply for each other and your relationship could still be doomed to fail because your ideas of what you want out of life are incompatible. Let’s say one person wants kids and the other doesn’t, there’s usually no way to compromise around that. You can’t have half a baby. Unless one person is willing to sacrifice their desires or at least rework them for the sake of the relationship, it may be time to admit that there’s no future for both of you.

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7. You don’t see eye to eye on anything these days.

Arguments are normal in a relationship because you’re two separate individuals with different views, motivations, and intentions, so wires are bound to get crossed once in a while. However, if conversations are starting to lead to heated fights more often than not, that might be a sign that there are underlying tensions in the relationship that need to be addressed. You’re at each other’s throats all the time because something has shifted in how you feel or think about each other.

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8. You don’t even feel like fighting anymore.

Conversely, not having the strength or desire to fight anymore can point to a breakdown of the relationship. One or both of you no longer care enough to fix things. Rather than working through issues that crop up, you simply sweep them under the rug to keep the peace. This can also manifest as a fear of saying the wrong thing and upsetting your partner because you don’t want to give them an excuse to end things.

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9. You’re starting to dream of a life without them.

It’s pretty normal to fantasize about other people from time to time, or daydream of the path not taken. It becomes a whole different ballgame when you start constantly fantasizing about how great your life would be if you were single or in a different kind of relationship, possibly with someone else. That may be your mind’s way of telling you that your emotional commitment to your partner is shaky and you don’t find the relationship fulfilling anymore.

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10. Spending time together is not as appealing as it used to be.

A tell-tale signal that your relationship is on life support is when you’re going out of your way to avoid spending time with your partner. You’d rather hang with your friends, watch TV, or do anything else than spend one-on-one time with them if given a choice. Once you stop prioritizing quality time, your relationship starts dying slowly. Sooner or later, you’ll have to admit to yourself that it’s over.

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11. You’re constantly looking to the past for fulfillment.

There will be times when you reminisce and miss certain things about the way the relationship used to be. However, thinking about the present and future state of your relationship should also fill you with happiness and gratitude. If you always have to go down memory lane to remind yourself of how wonderful your relationship is (or once was), it may be a sign that you’re feeling pretty miserable with your partner.

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12. You’re not nurturing emotional intimacy.

frustrated woman with boyfriend in bed

You no longer feel the need to tell them about your day, discuss your fears, or share your successes, embarrassments, or honest opinions on issues. You say what you think they’d like to hear and keep your responses as brief as possible. Holding engaging conversations feels like a challenge. If you’re doing these things, it could be because you’ve emotionally checked out of the relationship on some level, so you’re not putting in the work to deepen your connection.

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13. Tempers flare more easily and frequently.

Towards the end of my last relationship, it felt like my partner and I were constantly furious with each other. It was like we forgot how to communicate. He read ill-intent into everything I said or ungraciously interpreted my actions, and I stopped giving him the benefit of the doubt or bothering to explain myself. Something as trivial as a meme or forgetting to say “good morning” would trigger bitter arguments lasting for hours. After months of thinking it was just a phase and trying to fix things with no success, I finally let myself admit we were over. You might be in the same boat.

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14. Everything they do irks you.

Your partner could be having fun and cracking jokes with your friends or family, and a wave of irritation washes over you. You can’t point to anything inappropriate that they’re doing, but you’re annoyed by their actions anyway. Their little quirks that used to delight you in the past just make you angry now. You find yourself sighing, rolling your eyes, or shaking your head disapprovingly at the things they do, and not in a jokey way. As Scientific American explains, this is somewhat natural given that you spend so much time together. However, it can be taken too far and destroy the relationship.

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15. You’re the one doing all the work.

A one-sided relationship is a relationship that’s not going to last. You shouldn’t be the only one reaching out, planning dates, apologizing during fights, initiating sex, or making efforts to cultivate intimacy. You may feel like the relationship would crumble if you stopped doing these things. You may even have communicated these feelings to your partner and they brushed them off or promised to do better, only to revert to their old ways after a while.

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16. One of you is cheating or getting close to doing so.


Cheating is one of the most common signs of a relationship with issues. It could mean that you’re not getting something you need out of the relationship, so you’re seeking for it elsewhere. Or, it could be a way of sabotaging your relationship because you secretly don’t find it fulfilling anymore. Even if you’re not actively cheating, flirting or forming deep emotional bonds with other people, putting yourself in situations where cheating is a strong possibility, or plotting how to cheat and get away with it are just as damaging for your relationship.

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A girl preoccupied with living her best life even when it's uncomfortable to do so. She spends a lot of time with her thoughts. She hopes you enjoy reading the results of those thoughts.