Entering into a relationship can be a very fulfilling way to share your experiences and emotions with another person. Human beings crave personal connection, and we get this from our coworkers, family, friends and significant other. There is a reason that they are called a significant other, though, and it’s because they should be on their own little pedestal in a way.
Good relationships are when both partners seemingly fit into each other’s lives and make them better, while not disrupting anything too majorly. Relationships can also be very one-sided when one partner has more time or energy to put into it than the other. The amount of effort you can invest in a possible life partner will change throughout different parts of your life as you work different jobs, and navigate through living at home vs. having your own place. A good partner will always understand that sometimes, life happens. If you or your partner is constantly the one giving less and expecting more, there is a problem.
Single people will tell you that being single is the best, while people in happy relationships will tell you they couldn’t picture their life without their partner. Unfortunately, not all relationships are created equally. In some cases, if you two are just in different spots in your lives, it might be for the best to end the relationship. Sometimes, we try so hard to make it work with someone who is just not a fit, and in doing that, we put a huge strain on this person, who we claim to love. It may not seem like that in the moment, but a bad relationship can be draining to both partners.
Here are 15 signs you’re weighing your partner down, and if your partner exhibits any of them, it might be time to sit down and have a talk.
15 They Are Struggling To Get Their Work Done
Whether it’s at home or at work, your partner will have a hard time concentrating and performing at their best at even the simplest tasks. Maybe it looks like they are slacking on their duties of doing the dishes, and you give them a hard time. What you can sometimes forget is that the reason for their absentmindedness is because they are plagued by unsure thoughts about the pressure you are putting on them for various things. There is a chance that this is something work-related rather than relationship-related, but you can generally look at his behaviors and reactions around you to figure out where the problem lies. If it IS work-related, he will likely bring it up to you, and possibly ask you for advice; and if he never makes an effort to discuss it with you, it’s probably a safe bet that you are at least part of the reason for his struggle to get things done.
14 They Turn Down A Huge Opportunity
Most people believe that you should take huge opportunities when they present themselves. How many actors and athletes would be where they are today without taking a chance with someone’s offer? Opportunities will always knock, and sometimes, life or family gets in the way and prevents us from taking advantage of it. If he’s offered a big promotion or a transfer at work that will take him away from you, or at least force him into working insanely long hours, he’s going to want to consider it. Besides, he took that job to climb the ladder from the inside, and it’s always been his dream to lead his division. If you find out he had the chance and didn’t take it, citing you as the reason, then you are definitely weighing him down. A supportive partner will always want the best for his or her partner, and will work to accommodate new dynamics of a relationship, when necessary, if both partners want to continue being in it.
13 You Are Always Complaining About His Friends
His friends are his friends for a very specific reason. They might be his childhood friends, or friends of the family, or awesome people he met at college. He has never asked you to explain why you are friends with your friends, so why should he? No one expects everyone to get along famously all the time, but making the effort around each other’s friends goes a long way in the relationship. And all guys have that one friend his girlfriend absolutely can’t stand because she think he’s a jerk and he’s constantly putting people down, but the guy shrugs it off like he’s just joking all the time. You don’t have to like this friend– but wasting time nagging your boyfriend about his stupid friend is not beneficial to either one of you. In fact, every time you criticize one of his friends, you are pushing him away a little bit at a time. He doesn’t want a girlfriend who weighs him down that he can’t take anywhere due to risk of drama. He wants someone who can be relaxed and act civilly, like everything is gravy – even if it’s not.
12 You Are Always Bugging Him To Spend More Time With You
All guys that want to be in relationships will make the time to be in that relationship. It’s as simple as that. It’s possible that your idea of spending time together is much more intense than what he has in mind, so you find yourself pestering him to make more time for you, sometimes at the expense of his friends or family. The thing is if he wanted to, he would do it without being nagged. If he’s not spending a ton of time with you, or he’s starting to spend less, maybe he just needs a few days off to collect himself, or he’s just overwhelmed by all the pressure you are putting on him in the relationship. You may have a set schedule of seeing him on weekends, except for when he has a thing, or you have a girl’s night, and now you want to incorporate two weeknights as well. He may not have the time for that right now with his career, but you can be sure that a good boyfriend, who is happy in the relationship, will reach out to you whenever he’s free because he will want to see you whenever he can. He just doesn’t want to feel like you are forcing him to give up his friends or other personal commitments.
11 They Start To Blow Off Their Own Friends
The best relationships are the ones where you don’t let your partner monopolize all of your time. They say that you should be able to fit seamlessly into their life, and as such, no one should have to bail on their friends or other plans as the norm. There will always be last minute exceptions when you win free tickets, or have to attend family funerals, etc. but it’s healthy to have lives separate of each other, and you should enjoy spending time with your own friends (without your boy-toy present all the time). If you’ve noticed as of late that he’s been bailing on his friends at your every beck and call, chances are, it’s because he’s tired of the fight that saying “no” will cause. You are surely weighing him down in your incessant complaining that he spends even more time with you than he already does. It’s normal for a lot of couples to spend more time together than they do with their friends, but that doesn’t mean it should be exclusively the two of you all the time.
10 They Gain Weight
When your body or mind feel run down, typically you eat crappy food and exercise less. This is a sure sign that you are stressed. This is even truer of your male companions who can go from being gym rats to binge watching The Big Bang Theory and eating late night pizza. When men and women alike feel like things are spiraling out of control, they tend to take out these feelings on food – that is, they either eat even more, or stop eating entirely. You’ll notice a change in his habits and a change in his usually trim appearance as he puts on weight from all the stress of you weighing him down. If he’s being stressed out by literally anything else, he’ll tell you about it and ask you for help because he doesn’t want to be stressed out. If you hear nothing, yet his waistline starts to balloon, you can be pretty certain that you are the cause of his stress, and he’s not sure how to deal with it.
9 They Have Lost Interest In Things They Used To Love
Does your guy go absolutely nuts for football Sundays? Has he been counting down the days until hockey season starts since sometime in July? Maybe lately, you’ve noticed that he sleeps in later on Sundays and doesn’t muster up the same enthusiasm that he once did for his favorite sport. Loss of interest in things that used to bring us joy is a sign of depression, or at least extreme stress. When you feel especially weighed down, and when it’s from your partner, you typically don’t feel the same level of happiness over things you once loved because you are so stuck in your own head and trying to deal with all of your stresses. Has he become less cheery for your weekly bowling sessions? That’s an even more obvious indicator that he no longer gets the same amount of delight that he used to doing fun, but routine things with you.
8 He No Longer Seems Excited To See You
During the honeymoon stages of the relationship, both of you are probably pretty excited to see each other. That’s perfectly normal because it’s still a new thing, and it’s still thrilling to see where it’s going with each other. As the relationship blossoms and progresses, it’s no longer as exciting, typically, but it also comes with a little bit more. You have a deeper appreciation for seeing your partner, but you no longer feel the need to go out and do exciting “date-y” things all the time. You are quite content making food and watching Netflix, or playing cards together. Or maybe you simply hit the gym together. If he’s lost his usual enthusiasm when Friday rolls around and you are no longer getting his “Friday : )” text messages, it might mean you are putting a lot of unneeded pressure on him. He might still like you, but he definitely wants to see you a little less – maybe because you cause more stress than joy, or maybe because he’s just too weighed down by his relationship anxiety, at least some of which you likely caused.
7 They Avoid Having Serious Conversations With You
No matter how fun and chill your relationship is, there will always be the need to have the occasional “serious” chat about your connection, or where it is going. Early on, you have this talk to find out where you both want to go, and try to determine if you two are compatible with each other. Then, once you’ve started casually dating maybe without titling it, or maybe without considering it “serious,” you’ll chat about whether you want to meet the parents or put it online. From there you can discuss anything from living together, to marriage, to vacations together, to investing in cars, properties or children. If he’s stopped making the effort to have these conversations with you, or contributes very little when you try to talk, he’s probably checked out a bit mentally. It might be because he doesn’t see it going anywhere or there’s too much on his plate and he’s unsure if he can handle it.
6 They've Started Going To Family Events Without You
You and your partner are pretty tight. You spend holidays together, you are each other’s wedding dates and you wear couples costumes on Halloween. You have grown to love his family as your own, even in the short time you two have been an item, and you even look forward to spending awkward family holidays at his place. All of a sudden, he didn’t invite you to his dad’s birthday, or his family Thanksgiving at his aunts, and you can’t figure out why. It’s likely because he feels like you weigh him down and hold him back. His family has started referring to you both as a single unit, and he feels like he’s lost some of his independence. The family probably also pressures him about when the two of you are going to “get serious,” i.e., get hitched, and he feels weighed down by the excessive pressure of something for which he’s not ready. Though it’s not entirely your fault, per se, you don’t exactly stray away from the conversation when his sister brings it up and that makes him a bit uncomfortable because he feels like you are rushing him.
5 You Are De-Motivating Him
Many people would argue that the best relationships are the ones where you constantly push your partner to be the best version of himself. You can do this by motivating him to exercise regularly, eat healthy, try new things and pursue his dreams. Unfortunately, there are times when you think you are motivating him, and you are actually pushing him so hard that he thinks you are a drill sergeant. He doesn't need another parent telling him what to do – he grew out of being told what to do years ago and in your efforts to push him, you are really de-motivating him and he is becoming a different version of himself – not better, just different. You are actually dragging him down and preventing him from becoming the best that he can be. Figure out where the line between motivation and “forcing” is, and make sure you don’t walk too close to it. He puts enough pressure on himself, so you definitely don’t need to add to it.
4 You Are Always Negative
Some of us are glass half full people and others are glass half empty. Part of your partner’s job is to help you up when you fall down in a slump and try to make you feel better when you have one of those days. Everyone knows it; they signed up for it and are happy to do it because having a support system in your partner is extremely important when life throws bricks at you. If you are more of a pessimist, and constantly find yourself complaining about anything and everything, you are probably doing more harm than good for your partner. Sure, he’s always there to try to lift you up, but always having to be the strong one is emotionally and mentally draining. In your negative bubble, you are actually weighing him down more than he can handle, and it’s only a matter of time before he realizes that taking care of himself is way easier than trying to take care of you.
3 They Snap At You Over What Seems Like Nothing
Signs like constant bickering or sudden snapping by your partner is a sure sign that something is amiss. Usually, this short fuse is a result of a fight left unresolved, or the simple fact that your partner just can’t put up with you anymore. A lot of the time, you’ve put way too much pressure on him and he just can’t carry all that weight by himself. What might seem like nothing to you is actually just one of thirteen things you did today that really got to him, and he kept his mouth shut until now and tried to assume you had good intentions. Maybe you’re used to telling him what to wear and he really hates it but it’s a minor thing in the grand scheme of things so he lets you dictate, but you’ve told him not to wear his favorite shirt one too many times, and now, he’s ready to let you hear all about how it makes him feel. It’s probably not going to be pretty for you, but just know, it’s only a sliver of how you’ve made him feel prior to his mini explosion.
2 You Always Bring Up The Past
Females tend to have an issue when it comes to leaving the past in the past. We talk about his ex girlfriend, who he’d prefer we didn’t mention, we talk about our own ex boyfriends, who he definitely doesn't want us to mention, and we drudge up all of our old fights to try to win new fights by holding onto absolutely nothing (just to prove we’re right). Guys may be terribly forgetful, but that doesn’t mean your fight two weeks ago has completely left his mind and he has learned nothing from it. Bringing it up makes you sound like a broken record and it completely drains him of any effort he’s putting into the relationship now. People make mistakes – you’ve probably made a few in your lifetime. Your boyfriend would just prefer you forgive and forget, and if you can’t forget, just don’t bring it up all the time. Being reminded of it only makes him feel like he’s never going to be good enough and that’s another added weight to carry around.
1 They Talk To You About "Change"
Change can be new and exciting. Think of how most new relationships feel. That honeymoon phase is addictive. You could go through a personal change to your appearance – a new hairstyle, wardrobe item, weight loss, etc. It can be a new and exciting job opportunity that takes you into a new industry. Or in the case of a relationship, it could mean time for change of scenery, change of dynamics, or change of partner. Some relationships were built to stand the test of time, while others have an expiration date in the back of his mind. If he brings up “needing a change” in conversation lately, more than once, it might be time to lay off being Miss Bossy Pants. He might be feeling weighed down and all that extra stress is making him crave something new, that doesn’t even have to be exciting – but he’d prefer it didn’t include you. You can try to change, to lift that weight off his shoulders, or not – just don’t be surprised if he makes a change that leaves you behind.