Five warning signs of a bad relationship that aren’t actually warning signs.
Alarm bells are going off in your head – something has not been right in your relationship for a while. Things seem different, is this a warning sign that things are coming to an end?
The number of friends I know who have ended relationships before their time is countless. They see warning signs of a bad relationship and put sudden pressure on things, causing a fracture in the relationship.
I have been in a long-term relationship for almost six years now and the amount of times I’ve felt needlessly worried or anxious is countless. Friends and family members will often be biased, on high alert at the very suggestion he could potentially be doing something not in your best interest.
This is understandable though. Your friends are concerned about you and they aren’t invested in him. Protecting you from any possibility of disaster is their main priority.
Some friends may also enjoy being judgmental, highlighting any small flaw in your relationship under a spotlight. They could be jealous of him, miss spending time with you and therefore have become slightly biased.
For these reasons I decided to layout five relationship red flags that can strike fear in the hearts of lovers but can actually be a normal part of any developing relationship. So, let’s kick this off:
1. They have been a bit distant.
They’re avoiding certain discussions, on their phone all the time or just not around as much as they used to be.
This could be a sign they are less invested in the relationship… OR it could be a sign that their stressed from work, worried about their family or just tired.
There are endless reasons why someone may suddenly seem distant, encouraging discussion with empathy is the best way to engage your partner and start a dialogue. Show you are concerned about him rather than questioning the stability of your whole relationship because they have been a little quieter than usual.
2. They have been going out more.
For a short period of time they were home bodies always ready for some Netflix and chill, but recently they’ve been seeing more of their friends and less of you. They’re staying late at all the work functions rather than rushing home to meet you at the door.
This may seem like a problem with your relationship, but socializing can release endorphins leading to a happier and healthier partner.
Positive social engagement has also been proven to reduce stress, strengthen immune systems and decrease the likelihood of depression (among other benefits). With 75% of the population in Germany going out at least once a week, it seems more understandable that they might be going out and blowing off some steam.
Ask yourself “is he going out excessively?” If you feel it is an unprecedented amount, speak to him openly about your concerns.
3. They want time alone.
He’s suddenly very into his gaming, models, woodwork or reading. He said he just needs some time to himself outside of work, family and friends. Is he pushing you away? Probably not, he might actually just need space.
Approach this positively, encourage him to have time to himself, maybe set aside a room in the house to be his man cave. Affordable and beneficial, a man cave allows him to relieve stress, have space for his hobbies, build confidence and ultimately enrich his life. So, when he is with you he can be more present and not bring outside stressors into your relationship.
4. They are working late.
I often need to work late and sometimes because of something as trivial as a team building exercises.
Whether you’re rushing to meet a project’s deadline or just joining in or office trivia it can be difficult to prioritize home over work. It can be difficult to communicate to your partner the necessity of staying back to write another article or even participate in a silly trivia session, but every workplace and job has different expectations.
At one point my partner did confront me about my constant late nights and asked that I try to limit my time at work for the following week. I agreed to trying to leave closer to finishing time for a week and once I adjusted I realized I was too invested in my work and needed review my priorities.
Finding a constructive way to approach your partner on these subjects is a positive approach to confronting them.
5. They have made a new opposite sex friend.
Your friends immediately raise the red flag with a side long glance when you mention his new friends name is “Emily”. They work together and she’s suddenly having lunch with him on a regularly basis and sending him memes.
When it comes to fidelity, it’s all about whether you trust him or her. You can’t stop them from being friends with someone of the opposite sex and you shouldn’t. Having a diverse group of friends from different backgrounds is important to building a more well-rounded outlook on the world.
Meet your partner’s new friend, whether it be at a work function or on a night out. Try to befriend them and stay open minded and welcoming. If you are still concerned after you get to know them, speak to your partner and hopefully they can reassure you of their commitment and acknowledge your fears.
Don’t give your partner an ultimatum. You shouldn’t try to choose friends for them.
If you do want to seek advice from friends or family, try to get relationship advice from people who are less biased and invested in your side of the story.
Remember, you have the benefit of knowing more about your situation. You could almost point to anything as a warning sign of a bad relationship if you put it in a certain context, but before you have real evidence things are going wrong, these false signs of a bad relationship could mean anything.
Open communication with your partner is the best approach to nurturing a strong and healthy relationship. Good luck!