You’ve probably heard the term “7-year itch,” which refers to the point where couples stop feeling as happy as they used to in a marriage. However, according to divorce stats, this “danger zone” actually happens somewhere between 5 and 8 years. One of the big reasons is the slow but steady growing apart of partners that is largely influenced by being in a rut and a lack of effort.
Bright Side looked deeper into what makes couples lose touch with each other and determined 7 red flags that you and your partner shouldn’t ignore.
1. You are often surprised by your partner, but not in a good way.
You find everything that your partner says or does out of character for them. There’s such a strong lack of communication that you’ve even stopped keeping in touch with each other. The thing is, we never stop growing or changing, so if you’re out of touch with their opinions or tastes, this should be a sign.
Solution: At least once a week, ask them how they’re doing, what was something that surprised them in the last few days, or what made an impression on them. Also, try watching at least one movie together during the week and discussing what you’ve seen.
2. You never fight anymore.
It’s a myth that happy couples never fight. Fights arise from emotional distress — if you don’t like something your partner has done, you want to let them know in order to stop the same issue from repeating in the future. So when you stop having those difficult conversations, this can lead to exhaustion, frustration, and a lack of attachment that might manifest itself in a very ugly way at the end.
Solution: Pay attention to how you feel about what your partner does and don’t ignore it. If you’re upset, let them know.
3. You can’t name a single colleague your partner hates or gets along with.
We spend most of our waking hours at work, so it’s practically impossible to not bring some of its frustrations home with us. Happy couples do a “weather check” on daily things — think about how much your partner shares about their workplace? How much can you recall? If the answer is an awkward silence, you might have communication issues.
Solution: Don’t just ask them how their workday went, notice what they say about upcoming meetings, and ask specific questions. Your partner will notice that you’re interested and you won’t have to have boring abstract conversations.
4. You’re not excited to share good news with them.
Imagine that you got incredible news, who’s the first person you want to call or text? If your first or second choices aren’t your partner, this means you’ve already significantly grown apart.
Solution: Think about the root of the problem. Did you stop sharing news with your partner because of their reaction or just a general lack of communication? Either way, you need to attempt to rebuild that connection by checking in with them every once in a while.
5. Your silences are no longer comfortable.
Remember the times when just being around them, doing nothing, was enough? Ideally, this feeling should never stop, couples should be comfortable around each other even if they’re busy doing separate things.
Solution: Start slowly by doing one thing a week together, it can be playing board games, watching TV or a movie, or even cooking together. Do something you can talk about when those silences hit.
6. You notice yourself avoiding eye contact.
Eye contact forces us to engage with other people, especially when it comes to our partner. If you’re avoiding their gaze, it might mean that you don’t want to talk or listen and that you are openly shutting yourself down from them. Another signal is them not breaking eye contact from their phone to look at you.
Solution: When your eyes do meet, try smiling at them and see what they do next.
7. You just don’t care anymore.
Ask yourself, did you only read about the signs in this article and skip the solutions or not even give them a second thought? You might be not interested in rebuilding the connection you once had, and you’re okay with it.
Solution: Talk to them, it’s time for you and your partner to openly discuss everything’s that’s going on and lacking in your relationship.
Have you ever felt that you and your partner have grown apart? Did you attempt to solve it or was it too late?