5 Signs Your Relationship is on the Rocks

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A thriving relationship can be the most beautiful thing. Holding hands by the river, cuddling at every opportunity, those dinner nights – it’s fantastic!


Unfortunately, sometimes even the best relationships turn sour. Indeed, according to a longitudinal study by Stanford sociologist Michael Rosenfeld, 70% of straight romantic couples break up after a year. The majority tend to break up in what’s known as “relationship pleasure” when couples begin to question the relationship. Relationship plateaus occur between the 9th and 15th months in the relationship.

The good news is that there’s only a 20% chance of breakup after the plateau phase and the chances of break diminish even further as the years pass.

Why Romantic Relationships End

Relationships break up for many different reasons. For example, many couples break up in the early days because the other partner has “changed.” Either they don’t look like they did when you first met or aren’t as charming as you thought.

This usually happens because, in the beginning, we are overpowered by attraction and blinded by love. However, as the excitement fades and you begin to see things more clearly, disappointment sets in.

Additionally, some people will back off when reality hits that they may be bound to their partner for life. This tends to happen after around nine months to a year. The thought of living with the “changed” partner for a prolonged period may cause the other party to end things.

Relationships can also break up for genuine reasons. As you continue being with your partner, you may begin to notice behaviors you don’t like. Common genuine reasons a once-blissful relationship may break up include;

  1. An unsupportive partner
  2. Misdirected anger
  3. Bad behavior (e.g., drug abuse)
  4. Cheating (infidelity)

5 Signs Your Relationship is on the rocks

Although sometimes breakups creep on you, you can see them from a mile away most of the time. It’s always advisable to read the cues as it can help you salvage the relationship or prepare for the worst. Fortunately, most of the tell-tale signs of a pending breakup are apparent.

1. You don’t talk

This is usually one of the first signs that you might be headed for turbulent waters. Communication is the foundation of every working relationship. In a relationship with a future, the couples will talk even if there’s a misunderstanding. Each party will explain their part and then listen to the other partner.

When you reach a point where one of the partners doesn’t speak or listen to the other, it’s a sure sign that your relationship needs work. It’s a clear sign of loss of interest.

2. One partner is more invested than the other 

You can also tell that a relationship is headed for difficult times when one party seems more invested than the other. For example, you might find that since your partner no longer talks to you, you’re the one that always begins the conversations. You may also be the one that calls. If you don’t call, you can forget about communication.

It’s another sign that the other partner isn’t as interested in the relationship as before, or they’ve lost all interest in making things work.

3. They are still “single” in words and deeds

In a healthy relationship, partners tend to think more in terms of “us” rather than “I.” For example, if one partner is thinking about buying a car, they’ll likely say “We need a new car” rather than “I need a need a new car.” That’s because they see you as part of their future. However, if they’re mostly saying “I,” it means they don’t see you as part of their future.

Additionally, “single” partners are more easily tempted to date outside the relationship. Their door is never truly shut.

4. The closeness is lacking 

The easiest way to measure closeness is to think back to your first few days together. You likely did everything together. You probably even ran together in the morning, cuddled the entire time when watching a movie, and felt safe enough to share your darkest secrets.

The closeness diminishes steadily as you approach breakup. No one feels safe sharing secrets with the other party anymore, and running together in the morning is no longer exciting.

5. There’s fear of commitment 

This last point is more prevalent today than ever before. But, it’s also perhaps the biggest reason so many relationships are failing. According to various studies, over 50% of Americans are single today, the highest in history. Most of these people are single because of fear of commitment.

The reasons for fear of commitment range from fear of rejection to financial insecurity and everything in between. Whichever the reason, as soon as there’s fear of commitment, the relationship could be headed for tough times.

It Minimizes the Pain of Breakup

You can always take steps to salvage when your relationship is on the rocks. However, even if things don’t work out, spotting breakup signs early can minimize the damage when you or your partner decides to walk away.

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