They don’t make time for you anymore
This could present itself in a few different ways. Realizing that you aren’t going out on as many dates or spending quality time together is a common rut to fall in, and can be fixed with honest conversation. However, if they seem distant in day-to-day conversations and casual moments you spend together, they could already be checked out.
They don’t message as frequently as they used to
This will depend on how you communicate already, some couples are happy to text constantly at the cost of productivity and bumping into things while they walk. Others might be happy with a ‘good morning’ and ‘good night’ text, with a few emojis thrown in. Whichever you are, a break from that pattern could be a warning sign.
They stop making an effort to look good
It’s not that they stop taking care of themselves because they don’t love you, it’s likely that they have gotten too comfortable and don’t understand why they suddenly feel so different about the relationship. This can weigh heavily on them and push things like taking care of their appearance to the bottom of their priorities.
They spend more time on their phone
If they are frequently glued to their phone instead of engaging with you, this could be a sign that they are no longer present in the relationship. While your mind may immediately go to infidelity, that’s not necessarily the case. They could be trying to distract themselves and seem busy so as not to face an unpleasant conversation.
They spend more time away from you
Partners who no longer feel invested in the relationship will look for ways to spend more time either by themselves, or with other people. It could be staying at work late, going out with friends, or going to bed much later than you do. These are all totally normal, but once it becomes a pattern there is cause for concern.
They don’t ask about your feelings anymore
A healthy relationship is filled with communication and comfort, and the ‘how was your day?’ talk becomes something you both look forward to. Your partner no longer checking in with you to make sure you’re feeling okay could mean that they are losing interest in the emotional connection between you.
The bedroom has changed for you
It doesn’t have to stop 100% for your partner to have checked out, but you may find that intimacy becomes less frequent and feels more forced than usual. It might take more for both of you to get in the mood and lack the passion that drew you together. Bedroom problems often have a way of spilling out into the relationship more broadly.
They stop bothering to argue
One of the more dire signs that a relationship is nearing its end is when one partner checks out to the point that they stop communicating issues. If they normally voice annoyance or stress and stop bringing it up, they might feel like it isn’t worth the energy to even try and resolve it. You know your partner best and will probably see if this starts happening.
You’re no longer their priority
While life does get complex at times, a relationship requires you to make each other the top priority. This involves keeping each other in mind when making both big and small decisions. If you start to feel that they no longer seem to consider your feelings or wants when they make decisions, it could be that they are ready to leave.
You feel more like friends than partners
It’s common for partners towards the end of their relationship to start feeling more like close friends, who still enjoy each other’s company but no longer feel the connection they did. A partner who has checked out almost definitely still cares for you, hence why they act this way instead of confronting it and hurting your feelings.
They stop complimenting you
Frequent compliments aren’t essential for a functional relationship, but many people feel strongly about words of affirmation and praise. A partner that used to dote on you and shower you with praise, might stop them all together if they check out. It’s also likely that compliments only come reflexively, like when you ask how you look.
The goodbyes become much quicker
It’s not that you will feel rushed away or like you have overstayed your welcome, but a partner who has lost interest in you probably will be happier spending time alone, which can be hinted at by the goodbye. It will be different for everyone, but generally a quick goodbye without any “I love you/I’ll miss you/call me when you’re home” is a bad sign.
They stop sharing how they feel
Being able to share your emotions and feelings openly is a great sign for a relationship, but partners who feel themselves losing interest will withdraw from this part of your bond. They’re probably aware that their feelings of separation would upset you to talk about honestly, so they deflect the issue by keeping to themselves.
You become less physically intimate
While there are obvious kinds of intimacy that might become less frequent as your partner grows away from you, there are also small kinds of physical affection that couples often share. If you notice you’re getting less contact, like touches on the arm, holding hands, cuddling or anything in that area, it could be that the mental distance they feel is making them pull back physically.
They cancel on you frequently
A checked-out partner might still be able to enjoy hanging out with you, but planned events or holidays could be more difficult for them to keep up an appearance for. They might cancel plans at the last minute, or not commit to them in the first place, as they keep trying to push things back and avoid confronting their feelings.
They become irritable
Bad moods get the best of us all, and falling out of love with someone you felt strongly about is an upsetting process. They may become snappy, get annoyed at small things they otherwise wouldn’t think twice about, or struggle to move past arguments. It’s likely not because they dislike you, it’s not positively handling their inner conflict.
They lose passion for hobbies
Falling out of love impacts people similarly to depression. We hold relationships as deep, personal connections, and anything that impacts that is going to spill over into other parts of life. If they seem to stop taking part in their hobbies and become withdrawn, or don’t seem to be enjoying themselves as much, it could be because of this.
Their sleeping pattern changes
Couples tend to create bedtime routines together. Some always go to bed at the same time, others might wash their faces or brush their teeth together. Regardless of what the pattern is, a sudden, unexplained shift could be a sign of detachment, as they try and minimize the smaller interactions that might go unnoticed.
They seem unable to reassure you
It’s not very likely that when asked in general what’s wrong, your partner will be forthright about losing interest. They might say they aren’t sure what’s wrong, or that they’re just tired. These are probably true feelings, just slightly twisted to save you the grief, but this robs you of the ability to make informed decisions about the relationship.
They stop meeting you halfway
Things that require a 50/50 approach, like housework, grocery shopping, and cooking, might start to become unfairly distributed as your partner lowers their effort. This is more of a consequence of distraction, not a lack of care for your shared home, however, it is still a good sign that something isn’t right.
They seem on edge around you
Couples who have fallen out of love often talk about how it felt like they were walking on eggshells around each other. There’s an anxiety in feeling like the relationship is nearing an inevitable end, and that one wrong word could set off the final argument. If your partner seems distant, or like they’re anxious to avoid deeper conversations, this may be why.
They sometimes give you bursts of affection
Having started to grow distant and naturally less affectionate, a partner who is checking out might realize this and try to make up for it. It could be a surprise gift, a sudden burst of compliments of physical affection, or if you’ve stopped having sex, they might decide to try and initiate some.
They have taken an interest in someone new
It might not necessarily be a romantic connection, but for a partner having doubts about their relationship, meeting somebody new at work or through friends is bound to make them start asking themselves some questions. It elicits a lot of the same feelings of excitement and interest that they might feel are missing from their partner.
They act more like a parent than a partner
An almost parental dynamic forms as you grow away from the romantic aspects of the relationship, but still have to maintain the day to day elements. Just as parents experience periods where responsibility trumps nurture, they will start dealing with you more like they’re obligated to, not because they want to. This could be through an impersonal tone when they speak, or punishing you for mistakes.
They ignore your requests
When the relationship stops being a priority, it takes a lot more effort for them to follow through when asked to do something. Asking them to tidy up after themselves or stop a bad habit might be acknowledged and apologized for but, because they lack the motivation to improve their behavior, not much will come of it.
They seem resentful or jealous
Many have described the process of checking out of a relationship as having started with feeling some kind of jealousy or resentment. Their partner might have landed a big promotion, developed a busy social life, or otherwise just be doing much better overall. When they struggle to come to terms with and process these emotions, they start pulling away.
They start trying to change you
One way a checked-out partner might deal with their emotions is by trying to make you fit the version they have in their mind. They hope that changing your behavior and appearance, it will bring back the feelings they have lost. However, this projection stops them having to self-reflect and deal with the actual issue.
They have a big decision coming up
Sometimes important decisions, completely separate from a relationship, can cause huge ripple effects across life. A job opportunity that requires moving, family issues, or health complications can all mean having to reevaluate where you are in life, and where you’re going. This huge sense of uncertainty can extend to a partner, who they may struggle to factor into decision making.
They stop admiring you
This is likely another result of them feeling like you’re not the version of you that they envisioned. You haven’t done anything wrong, it’s just that they feel unhappy that life doesn’t meet their expectations. There are a few reasons this can happen but, if it does this lack of admiration can prompt your love to fall apart.
They become emotionally unavailable
Relationships need quality emotional time to stay healthy. This can be through conversation, affirmation, anything that involves showing your partner that you care for them. As one loses touch with the relationship, these things start to become less and less frequent. When you reach the point where to beg for emotional assurance, it’s likely too late.
You start to check out yourself
Even relationships built on solid foundations can fall apart. The shared sense of empathy means that you will both be sensitive to each others emotions, and once one of you starts to feel distant, the other might quickly reach the same conclusion. It’s best to use that sense of trust and empathy to confront the issue, knowing you will both benefit from whatever outcome.
You’re the only one who works to fix things
Feeling like you’re checked out of a relationship can happen quite easily when your life in general seems stuck in a rut. These ruts effect relationships too, as you often share most of your life and time with them. This is understandable, but when you find that you’re the only one taking concrete steps to improve things, it shows their priorities lie elsewhere.
They stop talking about their friends and family
These tend to be some of the first things we remember when recounting the day for a conversation with somebody we care about. These are personal and often involve mutually familiar faces, as your partner is part of those groups. When the conversation dries up before any mention of these things, they are starting to think of you as a separate part of their life.
You live together but barely see them
Co-habitation is the make or break point for most couples. Both partners have to make compromises, work their schedules around each other, divide chores, and basically all aspects of life become shared. When one starts to feel themselves pulling away, they tend to try and adjust their schedule to limit contact, fearing and trying to postpone inevitable confrontation.
They seem apathetic around you
Falling out of love complicates a lot of interactions with a partner, as they want to hide their feelings and can’t say what they really think. This can manifest as a general sense of apathy surrounding all aspects of the relationship, like them not caring whether you’re intimate enough, or never initiating any kind of discussion.
They never smile anymore
This one seems obvious, but can go unnoticed at first. It’s easy to get wrapped up in your own emotions, as a partner slipping away can trigger feelings of inadequacy and neglect. You’re unlikely to find the answer inside yourself, it’s almost certainly them who have changed and when they stop smiling around you, that’s the first sign something is actually wrong.
They avoid being around you with other people
Couples that have multiple mutual friends with their partner will know that, in some way, relationship talk is the only item on the agenda. They’re all off doing things together and having fun, in your mind at least, and all the conversation will centre on your worries and perceived flaws. Your partner will likely be feeling the same way.
They don’t share good news with you
A common trait shared by all humanity is the inability to keep good news to ourselves. The very first people we call or text are the ones that mean the most to us; family, friends, and our partners. You don’t have to be the very first call, but not being clued in by them is a worrying sign for your communication.
They don’t bother celebrating things with you
Healthy couples are always looking for a reason to pop open a bottle of bubbles. It could be a birthday, promotion, or just a Tuesday. It obviously doesn’t have to be an expensive gift, but as long as there is effort and thought put into recognising an important event, that’s all that matters. When they can’t manage this much, things could be dire.
They start trying to improve themselves
This is never an issue in isolation, there are many reasons a partner might want to improve themselves – most will even have you in mind. It should only raise concern when paired with the other points in the list. If, after a long period of detachment and distancing, they decide to start taking additional steps to spend time away, it shows where their priorities lie.