12 Strong Signs That a Romance Is Over

Couple in a relationship without romance

For years, studies have proven that a relationship’s end is predictable. Arguably, it’s not what the partner says or does that lets you know. Instead, a strong indicator that the romance is over is how they make you feel. 

In other words, if you sense your partner has emotionally moved on, they likely already have. Sure, they may do the bare minimum (call or text daily) to keep the relationship trudging along, but they’re not invested in it. This is also known as “quiet quitting” and when this begins, expect the end soon. 

Pulling away from your relationships may be obvious in some ways, such as making plans with others or going out by yourself. However, early signs can be as subtle as watching episodes of shows by yourself when you used to enjoy them together.

It’s tempting to wonder if you’re being “too sensitive” or assume you’re the cause of your partner pulling away, but actions speak louder than words, and your partner’s actions speak volumes. 

Decrease in (Or No) Intimacy Can Predict a Breakup​

Recent studies have determined a link between a lack of intimacy and the probability of a relationship’s demise. They found that those partners who believed they received lower levels of reward in their relationship were more likely headed for a split. 

Additionally, they discovered both partners lost hope of continuing the relationship due to their lack of intimacy, with most couples losing interest in seeking a resolution.

Recognizing When Romance is Over

People notice the absence of intimacy. It may not always be obvious immediately, but eventually, it comes to light, especially if you previously had an active sex life. It’s important to note that intimacy is not sexual interaction only. It also includes:

  • spiritual connection
  • bonding
  • self-disclosure
  • love
  • PDA (Public Displays of Affection)

When you previously had a healthy, intimate connection, it makes it easier to notice when your partner is disengaging. Here are a few signs.

1). Withdrawing Affection​

This is one of the most noticeable signs. If your partner is no longer interested in romance and intimacy, you will want to know why. 

Aside from significant life changes like a diagnosis or the loss of a loved one or a job (which is also associated with depression), withholding affection is a sign that the relationship is headed south.

How to Get Your Partner’s Affection Back​

Falling in love is like someone giving you a brand-new shiny toy. It’s exhilarating and fun initially, but you need to find out its other uses to keep yourself entertained as time passes. 

However, it’s normal not to feel “in love” every day. When you first fall in love, it’s passionate and exciting, but after a while, those butterflies have fluttered away, leaving you with feelings of monotony and, dare we say, boredom.

The big takeaway from long-term relationships is that passion and love are here one day and can be gone tomorrow. And that’s OK. The joyful feelings you have in the beginning are impossible to maintain. 

Understanding this concept can lessen the pressure of feeling as though you need to be constantly deep in love to have a long-lasting healthy relationship.

To reignite the love and passion you both once had for each other, it helps to go back to the beginning. So here are some tips to keep your fire burning.

  • Share Secrets – Intimacy isn’t just about sex. The closeness between the two of you includes sharing with one another. If you’re feeling disconnected from your partner, try discussing a secret you’ve never told anyone before.

    When you tell secrets, be non-judgmental and welcoming to help strengthen your trust and connection. It could be a childhood memory or a vivid dream. It may even be a fantasy you’ve always had, but when you share your truths, you tell them that you trust them. This helps re-establish a bond and an emotional connection, which can feel sexy and refreshing.
  • The Power of Appreciation – Often, a relationship falls apart because one or both partners don’t feel valued by the other person. They feel like there’s no appreciation or gratitude for what they contribute to the union. If this is the case, one of the simplest ways to keep the spark alive is by acknowledging what your partner does.

    If you believe your bond is weakening, make it a daily practice to let your partner know something you appreciate about them. This can be in the form of a text or face-to-face but do it daily so that it becomes a habit.

    For instance, “Thank you for making dinner the other night. I know I don’t say it all the time, but I was busy that day, so it was a huge help.” To thrive in your relationship, expressing regular gratitude increases satisfaction.
  • Squash the Resentment – It can be easy to hold a grudge. The hard part is letting it go and moving on. Even when you think you’ve moved on, during your next argument, it can resurface. One method to rekindle a dwindling fire is to sit down and have a final pow-wow and put it all on the table. 

    Some people have found the burning method effective. That’s when you sit down together and write down why you’re angry or resentful on tiny pieces of paper. 

    Then, use a bowl or a pit and set each piece of paper on fire with the intention of letting go of all the negative feelings toward that topic. Then, agree to never mention that topic in a heated argument or in general. Once it’s burned, it’s burned.  
  • No More Sex – Yes, you read that correctly. Take sex entirely off the table. In order to get the fire back, remove sex from the equation for a little while. This helps rekindle the romance on a deeper level than just the physical. 

    Consider trying the “Everything but” method. This method is kissing, holding hands, and going to second base. But that’s where it ends. By not “hitting a home run,” it can help relax the situation but build up sexual tension.

    However, and that’s a big ‘however’, you can also try revving up your sexy time together. Something called the 30-day sex challenge commits you to have sex every day for 30 days. 

    During each new day, attempt to spice it up more than the previous one. For example, not only should you try committing to sex for 30 days, but you should also consider trying at least four (one for each week) different sexual styles or positions.

    You don’t need an example, but we’ll offer one anyway; for week one, try using food. Week two could be a different position, and week three can be in any room but the bedroom. 

    Finally, week four is up to you, but use your imagination and go buck wild, no holds barred, balls to the wall (no pun intended). The 30-day commitment helps build intimacy and trust and is an excellent way to rekindle your romance. 

2). Boundary Building​

Some people start to withdraw by building up barriers instead of bridges. This may happen physically, like when a partner prefers to spend more time in another room. 

When it occurs emotionally, it’s mainly a lack of conversation. However it happens, boundary building is a major roadblock to developing your relationship and signifies that you’re headed in opposite directions. 

3). Solo Socializing

A partner inching toward attending events or meeting new people alone may be showing a preference for being single. You can now inquire about the rationale or reasons for the change. However, note that you may never get an acceptable answer to your partner’s desire to spend time socializing solo.

4). Communication Breakdown​

You and your partner are no longer discussing positive or negative things because there is no communication. Rather than solve issues when they arise, you may both ignore them and sweep them under the rug. 

However, you hold on to the frustration, so when an argument ensues, you bring those topics up again. When you allow your partner to walk over you–or your partner allows the same, it’s a clear signal that the balance of power is off.

At this point, you may feel there’s no reason to try to work it out, and you’d rather give the silent treatment instead of arguing. Of course, it can help to be non-confrontational and agreeable, but the fact that you’re simply “keeping the peace” in your relationship is a sign that you’re moving toward a breakup.  

Couple arguing over lack of communication

5). Confrontational or Agressive Communication​

On the flip side of no confrontation, you have confrontational or aggressive communication. For example, you and your partner constantly argue and fight with each other. Instead of attempting to patch things up, you continue arguing.

When you deal with frequent arguments, it leads to inevitable anger from both parties. You may attempt to raise concerns with your partner, but they blow you off, or your issues are minimized and sometimes ridiculed.

Unfortunately, you may not be confident in your ability to change your own negative actions, let alone influence your partners. 

When people feel frustrated within the relationship, it can be tempting to be combative or aggressive. It’s like a pressure cooker, and when you blow up, the anger rush can be a release. However, in the long term, this kind of behavior breaks down respect and trust and destroys communication.

6). You Have No Desire for Physical Intimacy​

We touched upon this earlier, but this topic deserves further exploration.

While intimacy and sexual desire can ebb and flow throughout a relationship, it’s not bad if you find yourself in the “sexual ebb-phase.” This happens due to other factors like medication and stress, so don’t be alarmed during this phase.

However, it becomes an issue when this stage occurs for a prolonged period. Physical intimacy comes in many forms and is critical for a healthy relationship.

Touching and kisses are two other ways to show physical intimacy. In addition, they release oxytocin, a hormone that supports the emotions of connection and love.  

If you still find your partner attractive and can still have physical intimacy without sex, chances are your relationship is NOT dead and only needs a slight nudge to propel it forward.

However, it may indicate a deeper issue if you are not interested in your partner physically or emotionally. For example, if the thought of being intimate with your partner is off-putting, your relationship needs work. Without work, a breakup is imminent

7). You Fantasize about Others​

Let’s be clear here; many couples fantasize about someone else during sex from time to time. It’s just another way some keep their sex life spicey. However, if you are in Fantasy Land every time you have sex, your partner isn’t doing it for you.

But how do you know if you’re fantasizing healthily? The determining factor is how much the fantasizing disturbs your peace. For example,

  • Does it feel positive, natural, or guilty?
  • Does it distract you from being with your partner?
  • Do you fantasize about only sex, or is it about having a relationship with someone else?
  • Is it a complete stranger or someone you know?

Ask yourself these questions to help figure out whether your fantasy is helping or hindering your relationship.

8). You’ve Lost Trust in Them​

Unfortunately, a lack of trust can spread through your relationship like wildfire, and most times, it happens in stages. For example, you may first doubt your partner and feel uncertain about their dependability and trustworthiness. 

When doubt is unresolved, it grows into suspicion. Suspicion is a belief without evidence and causes uneasiness, apprehension, or anxiety. Unfortunately, anxiety brings fear, and when you’re fearful, it stops you from being vulnerable and open. 

The final stage is withdrawal. When you withdraw from your partner, you are no longer interested in fixing the relationship. So instead, you both head your separate ways.

Trust is the foundation of any committed union, and lack of it tears away from the relationship, piece by piece. If you can’t trust the person who has been there for you, it can prevent any further meaningful connections.

To regain trust, both partners must be willing to focus on the solution to the problem that led to the breakdown in the first place. 

9). You Can’t See a Future Together​

One part of being in a healthy and committed relationship is that you see yourself together in the future. Together you plan for what’s ahead and can’t see yourself without this person. 

However, if the view of your future doesn’t match up, or you’ve stopped discussing plans together, it may be a sign that the relationship is ending.

10). You Don’t Support Each Other, and No Longer Have the Same Goals​

You used to be able to count on your partner for everything, and now you barely even speak to each other. When you were upset or celebrating a victory, your partner was there to encourage, support, and celebrate with you. 

Not having your go-to person during the key moments of your life indicates disconnection.

One of the more challenging disconnects in the relationship is partners who no longer want the same things and don’t support each other. No matter how deeply you care for them, it’s challenging to come together and realign your dreams if you don’t plan for the same goals. The warning signs are difficult to ignore, especially if you don’t make time to be happy with and for your partner. 

11). You Don’t Agree on Anything Anymore​

A telltale sign you’re heading for a breakup is that you no longer see eye-to-eye. Instead, you deal with constant disagreements, which leads to anger on both sides. 

On the other hand, when you don’t argue enough, it can also be a bad sign. Some couples are so exhausted by the constant fighting that they stop. They no longer share things with each other and have no more desire to talk to each other, including arguing.

couple-disagreeing

12). Someone Else Appeals to Them More​

Along the same lines as fantasizing, it becomes harmful when you are interested in a physical relationship with someone who isn’t your partner. 

It could be a friend or a coworker, but you end up longing for or sexually crushing on them. When this happens, you may need to discuss your feelings with your current partner. 

It’s a danger sign when your fantasies or desires take time and energy away from the person you should be spending time with, and that’s your partner. So often, people start inching up to a line that they shouldn’t.

Again, sexual fantasies are OK if they contribute to the well-being of your relationship, but if they create a space where your partner doesn’t exist, it can become a problem.

Starting All over Again​

If your relationship does end, it’s not the end of the world. Instead, it can be the beginning of a fresh start and a brand new chapter in your life. Most people have broken up in their lifetime and successfully moved on to more positive relationships. You can do the same. 

There’s nothing about a romantic rejection that defines who you are. Most often, the relationship’s demise typically has more to do with your partner than with you. 

The most helpful thing to do is appreciate the relationship’s best parts while learning from the not-so-great parts. Take some time to heal before you move on, but when you’re ready, there are many avenues to get you back out there. Good luck!