Let's face it: life isn't a romantic comedy. People break up and sometimes even the most iconic and seemingly perfect relationships don't last. Sadly, it's all just part of life. But breakups don't always have to be bad.
More and more people are finding ways to remain friends with exes. And even when things end badly, there are always valuable lessons to be learned.
Relationships are complicated, and if someone happens to be on the verge of a breakup, it doesn't have to be that difficult to decipher. Men can be a little hard to read sometimes, but it's not impossible.
Maybe it appears the relationship is coming to an end, or maybe partners are just having a hard time reading one another at the moment. Regardless of the situation, if unrequited feelings are a concern, here's an outside perspective on what may be going on. The truth is that however a relationship may end, the signs are usually there from much earlier than the people in it might think.
So if it seems a partner's feelings are changing, check out this list of things to look out for. It could just be a rough patch, or it might be something more concerning for the relationship.
20 I Miss The Way We Used To Be
Nostalgia is a heavy burden. It can make our present lives appear lacking, even if they're technically pretty good. It's not realistic for relationships to stay the same; if you want something long-term then you pretty much to accept that bad times are inevitable. But if your partner is reminiscing about how things used to be then it's possible he wants all the nice things that come with newfound love without the complications that come with long-term commitment. It's also possible that your partnership has just changed more significantly than he expected. Either way, if he's lusting after a ship that's already sailed, then you have to acknowledge that the version of you he fell in love with is in the past.
19 I Need Some Space
Everyone needs space, but different people need different amounts of it. If your partner says they need space, it doesn't necessarily mean that they're falling out of love with you, but it's a possibility. If you hear these words, take into consideration other signs you have about how your relationship is doing. If there are other points of tension, then it could be a sign of trouble. But if a request for space is an isolated incident, or you've just had a fight, then it might just mean your partner needs time to cool off. Space doesn't have to be bad and can actually be good, but if you take too much of it it can be hard to recover that distance.
18 I Don't Want To Talk
If your partner says they don't want to talk, it can be cause for alarm because they're shutting down communication, which is key to a relationship. Again, it's important to consider other factors.
If they're asking you to give them some time before an important discussion, then it's okay as long as they don't avoid it forever.
However, if your partner says they don't want to talk every time you have something serious to discuss, it can mean they don't think your relationship is worth the energy it would take to resolve those problems. Not wanting to talk can also point to indifference, or it can mean your partner is confiding in someone instead of you. If your partner says these words regularly, you have every right to question his feelings for you.
17 I Feel Misunderstood
At some point or another, most of us will feel misunderstood. However, when we seek romantic partners, one of our motivations tends to be to find someone that understands the parts of us no one else does. If your partner feels misunderstood, or vice versa, it could be a hint at incompatibility. Of course, none of us can read minds, but if your partner is thinking that you don't "get them" then they may soon start to feel like the relationship isn't right for them. The process of understanding your partner consists of both natural chemistry and consistent communication, so if your partner tells you they feel misunderstood, it's certainly something you can work on together. Still, it's a message that needs to be taken seriously.
16 I'm Really Busy Right Now
If your partner has started to blow you off, it could be an indirect attempt to tell you that they need space.
The problem is that if they don't communicate this clearly, you're sort of left in the dark about why they're being distant.
It could be that there are other things they'd rather do than hang out with you, it could be that something has changed in your relationship and they need time to process, or it could be that they're seeing someone else. Either way, if they blow you off without letting you know why, it's a sign they're not invested in the relationship enough to make more of an effort to communicate.
15 Let's Just Take It One Step At A Time
If you hear these words, you might have a commitment-phobe on your hands. If your partner keeps insisting that you all take things "one step at a time" it could mean that his future with you is fuzzy. Maybe he doesn't see you all lasting in the long run, or maybe he's just overcome by the thought of it. While commitment-phobes can learn to conquer their fear, you have to decipher whether he's simply scared of thinking about the future in general, or whether he's just noncommittal about a future with you. If he has a solid career, a dog, and a lease but he won't talk about marriage or couple's retreats, then he probably doesn't see you two together in the long run.
14 I Don't Know If This Is What I Want Right Now
You may be uncertain about a lot of things in your life, but if you truly love your partner, you should feel certain you want to be with them. It's important to make the distinction between want and need.
If your partner says he isn't sure your relationship is what one or both of you need at the moment, then he may be concerned about timing.
But if he says it isn't what he wants, then he's pretty much telling you he's falling out of love with you. Like the partner that says his feelings have changed, this one is pretty much being as straightforward as possible.
13 I'm Not Sure We're Good For Each Other
It's been said time and again and it's still true; relationships are hard. It's not really worth it if it doesn't add anything to your life. If your partner says he isn't sure you're good for each other, it may be a sign that you all are encouraging some sort of toxic behavior or codependency within the other. This would mean that you aren't adding anything to each other's lives, or, at least not anything good. Whether this is the way you see it or not, if your partner feels this way then he isn't seeing the good qualities in you or your relationship.
12 I Feel Like We're In Different Places
Similar to the sentiment of feeling misunderstood, this is suggesting that your partner senses some incompatibility. The thing about incompatibility is that if one person feels it, it's there.
So maybe you don't feel like you and your partner are in different places but he does, then you just haven't realized something he already has.
Timing is essential in relationships, and maybe in a different time and place you could be good together, but if he isn't there yet, there's not much you can do. Perhaps his feelings aren't there yet, but for now, heed this as a sign that he isn't ready to stay in love.
11 My Feelings Have Changed
Depending on how communicative your partner is, they'll either tell you their feelings in a straightforward manner, or they'll be more indirect about it. If your partner is telling you that his feelings have changed, as much as it might hurt, it's important to be grateful for his honesty. Not everyone has the maturity to put it so simply.
If your partner happens to be this direct in his communication, then all you have to do is listen.
Of course, this is easier said than done. We often ignore messages we don't want to register but know that that would simply be delaying the inevitable. If he says his feelings have changed, take it seriously.
10 We've Changed...
As we just mentioned, nostalgia really doesn't do us any favors. Think about it, when has a remake ever been as good as the original? So even if Hollywood refuses to acknowledge this truth, heed it in real life; stop trying to remake the past.
Change doesn't have to be bad, but if your partner is treating it as if it is, then he hasn't entered the new millennia with you.
If he keeps complaining about how your relationship has changed, then he's become indentured to nostalgia and there's no saving him. Don't bother trying to make your relationship what it was, nothing short of a time machine will allow you to do that.
9 ....Or, I Wish We'd Change
Perhaps you have the opposite problem from the person with the partner who keeps complaining about changes. Sometimes, your partner wants you to change. The thing is, this is also problematic. Many women have been through a phase in their life where they dated people they were convinced they could change. They can all tell you it doesn't work. Change, like most things, has to be internally driven. Aside from that, the people you're closest to shouldn't want to change you (barring toxic habits). Even if the change your partner wants from you is the better, if that's what they're waiting for, then they only love a hypothetical version of you.
8 She's Just A Friend
One of the most obvious signs that your partner is falling out of love with you is if they start to cultivate the sort of relationship they used to have with you with someone else.
If they're getting closer to someone that could be a potential romantic partner, then their feelings for you might be changing.
New relationships can start off emotional and then become physical. It may never get that far, but even if your partner comes home to you every night, if they're confiding in someone else it is something to worry about. If your instincts have you concerned about their relationship with someone else in their lives, even if they continue to dismiss your suspicions, we say trust your instincts.
7 I Feel Like We Don't Trust Each Other
Just like communication and commitment, trust is one of the pillars of any relationship. It doesn't matter what the guidelines are; even if you aren't exclusive or you have an open relationship, trust is still essential. While it is possible to be in love with someone and not trust them, the sort of insecurity that distrust can breed could easily lead to an unhealthy relationship. So if your partner expresses that they think distrust is an issue in your relationship, whether it's you not trusting them, or vice versa, or both, know that that can eat away at his feelings after a while. It could be an early sign that things are headed in a bad direction, but usually, there's still time to do something about it.
6 I Feel Like I Can't Do Anything Right
If your partner says these words, it's likely he is feeling attacked or unsupported by you. Ask yourself if you're being too critical when he makes mistakes. Also, ask yourself if he has a habit of unfairly painting himself as the victim.
Still, our romantic partners should be our biggest supporters, and if your partner feels like he isn't getting that from you, then his insecurity about your feelings may lead to a change in his feelings.
Relationships tend to present strong evidence of karma; the more generous you are the more you get, and the more critical you are the less unconditional love you receive. If you want to save your relationship, then try treating your partner the way you want him to treat you, rather than simply telling him what he's doing wrong.
5 I'm Bored
While change can be challenging in a relationship, remaining stagnant can also be a problem. Sometimes, what feels good in a relationship, in the beginning, loses its charm. If your partner is telling you he's bored, he may be seeing certain aspects of your relationship in a new light. It could be he's no longer enamored with your strange habits, or he may feel as if you two are no longer growing. Perhaps he feels that you two are too 'stable' and he doesn't like the predictability of your relationship. Whatever the reason, if he's looking for excitement, he may be looking to get back out into the dating scene.
4 Everything Was Easier When We Were Just Friends
A lot of people are friends with their partners before starting romantic relationships. While romance may be something they want while things are platonic, once a relationship begins, they may regret it.
Starting a relationship is much easier than maintaining it, and not everyone is cut out for it.
If your partner is reminiscing about the good ol' times when you were friends, maybe he's regretting the commitment he made to you. Either way, it's not a good sign. If he keeps bringing up the time before your relationship, then he's likely trying to tell you he wants to get out of it.
3 This Relationship Is More Work Than I Expected
Sometimes people don't initially realize how complicated relationships are. You can blame the media, or just personal unrealistic expectations, but it doesn't matter what the basis is. A partner admitting they didn't realize that relationships were hard work is probably feeling a bit of regret and maybe even resentment. There's not much you can do to change this, since perhaps they aren't ready for that level of commitment. It's also possible they would find being in a relationship easier with a different partner. As far as you're concerned, this expression of regret means your partner's feelings have changed about what they want.
2 I'm Not Happy Anymore
Any partner that is willing to admit they're unhappy in a relationship is probably gearing up for the end of it. It takes most people a long time to be honest enough with themselves to admit that they're unhappy, and it's an even bigger step to admit it to someone else. By the time your partner is at this point, hopefully, you've seen it coming, because they're most likely not in love with you anymore.
Nevertheless, relationships don't fall apart until the people in them decide to stop trying.
Hearing that your partner isn't happy anymore doesn't mean you're at the end of the relationship, but you both have to be willing to make an effort to get back to a better place.
1 I Think We Should Take A Break
By this point, your partner is pretty much ready to throw in the towel. Many people will say they want "a break" when they mean "breakup" because they're scared to put things in such finite terms. If your partner asks for a break, he's most likely falling out of love with you. Again, there may be other reasons, so it's important to evaluate your relationship as a whole and identify what other signs you might see. Nevertheless, it's important not to hold out hope when it's unrealistic. It's possible that it's too late to alter your partner's feelings, and we all deserve someone we don't have to convince to be with us.