You haven’t caught them sneaking off to make late-night calls to mysterious numbers. There haven’t been any blow-out fights that make you reconsider your entire relationship. And their behavior hasn’t been very significantly different from what it used to be. But for some reason, you still can’t shake off the feeling that something is off.
Here are 6 signs to know whether that feeling is right:
They have been acquiring electronics obsessively
The novelist and essayist, Charles Baxter, states in his book ‘Burning Down the House’: “People in a traumatized state tend to love their furniture.” You actually start gathering things to fight against your loneliness.
In another study to confirm this same theory, Margaret Clark, a professor of psychology at Yale, revealed that “people who attach more value to their possessions may be less secure in their personal relationships than those who put less value on material goods.” A brand new PS4 isn’t going to be complicated. And a shiny new MacBook Pro isn’t going to expect much from you.
You’ve started feeling like the “Dining Dead.”
The very first time this happened, you thought to yourself,” How nice is this, we can sit comfortably in silence as well.” But on the 15th instance, you might end up experiencing a chill so subtle that you start blaming it on the temperature in the room. There you are, sitting together in a very nice place… and have absolutely nothing to say to one another.
Instead of trying to hear you out, they’ll say, “We’ve already been through this.”
No one in their right mind would ever want to argue with another person, especially the person they’re in love with. But if you’re in a healthy relationship and there comes a desperate time when an argument becomes absolutely unavoidable, your partner will actually make an effort to listen to what you’re saying, rather than constantly focusing on how repetitive or annoying the argument is.
At times, it might feel like they’re doing you both a favor by cutting a fight short- but it can also mean that they just don’t care enough to actually figure out why you’re upset, or to look together for a solution to all the problems.
You’re starting to hear Way Too Much about Anna/John from Work
“So Anna/John, from work, is in a really awful place with their ex,” they tell you, a little too sympathetically. You also nod sympathetically, because you remember how Anna/John has been facing some digestive problems which is why they’re eating gluten-free, and also that their aunt, with whom they were really close, died last week, and… okay wait. Why exactly do you know so much about this person from work?
An overly eager friendship with someone from work might not translate into fun times in the conference room, and you’re not the kind of person who will forbid them to have friends from the opposite sex, but it could still suggest that something has been lacking from your relationship that they’re starting to look for someplace else.
And they may not be aware of this either. But when they start having more sympathy for the ongoing tales of Anna/John at work than they do for your various ordeals in life, then that’s definitely more than being a concerned colleague. It’s more of a “It’s time for us to talk” memo.
They can’t seem to leave you alone
For some odd reason, your other half can’t stop following you around all night, when all you really wish to do is finish up your chores in peace so you can move on to your true passion in life (i.e. binge watching Game of Thrones again).
They keep tapping your shoulder and coming up with absurd questions about how electric toothbrushes work, and how to use the dry cleaner or what RSVP really stands for. Are they deliberately trying to annoy you? My guess is no!
The truth is they’re probably hungry for some attention at this point, and are therefore resorting to the adult version of sleeve-tugging. Just give them some time and attention in order to nurture your relationship.
They go out to Guys’/girls’ Night somewhere new every week
Every time you’re together, you order the exact same Chinese food- same place, same dishes, same dips to go with your order! You select movies of the same genre from Netflix every other weekend. You even seem to share the exact same cuddling position that has felt comfortable to you since ages.
And then you go on to complain to your friends,” They never want to try anything new!” But that isn’t completely true, is it? Because when they’re with their friends, they will try absolutely anything, from skydiving to eating fried kale. When you’re in a committed relationship, you need to make an effort in keeping things exciting and passionate.
You need to keep trying out new things together. And there always needs to be room for some change. Your partner should always feel comfortable enough to say:
“This might sound a bit crazy, but I think we should…”
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