No one likes to admit this when they are in a relationship, but sometimes couples just start growing apart.
In fact 80% of divorcees cite this as the reason for their marriage failing.
It is easy to let other things take priority as the relationship slips under the radar.
Then suddenly it's too late.
Realizing that you are growing apart could be a sign that you need to give your relationship a little bit of TLC to get things back on track.
Or perhaps the two of you growing apart is a sign that this relationship has run its natural course. Maybe soon someone is going to have to pull the trigger and end it.
If you aren't sure whether you are drifting apart or whether this is merely the normal result of a relationship maturing, read on to learn the warning signs.
How To Tell If You Are Drifting Apart
1. You Are Spending Less Quality Time Together
When you first started dating you were desperate to spend time with each other. You were probably so keen that you had to hold yourself back in case you came on too strong.
But lately it has felt like such a chore trying to make time together. And when you do, you either fight or don't enjoy each other's company that much.
So you schedule in less and less quality time, until you are merely co-existing. You realize that you are not really in what most people would consider a loving relationship.
2. You Are Not Enjoying The Time You Spend With Each Other
Does she irritate you when you are together? Perhaps you are bored of each other's company and so you start getting negative and snipe at one another. You don't feel happy or comfortable anymore.
It's not just that the blissful positive feelings have gone away. It's that you have fallen below neutral to the point that you can't take too much of each other's company.
3. The Conversation Has Died
If you are no longer talking to one another, not out of spite, but because there is nothing interesting to say then you are growing apart.
The connection as best friends, that every relationship needs, just isn't there. You aren't interested in her life and she isn't interested in yours. There are no shared interests or hobbies. Conversation has just fallen flat.
4. No One Is Initiating Intimacy
At the start of the relationship you couldn't keep your hands off each other. Now nobody is making the move.
A dull patch in the bedroom doesn't necessarily mean you are growing apart - if in fact a dull patch is all it is.
Yet if you aren't interested in each other sexually it could be a symptom of a bigger problem.
While this is a big red flag, be careful not to read too much into it on its own. But if you are seeing some of the other signs on this list as well then perhaps it is worth seriously thinking about.
5. You Are Fighting More
Everyone fights from time to time. But when a relationship is happy both partners try to mitigate the damage. They make up afterwards and reduce the likelihood of conflict in the future.
When you are growing apart fighting becomes a way of scoring points. Instead of letting the little things go you both pick up on them and turn them into big issues. This drives the wedge even further into what can become a downward spiral.
6. You Don't Make An Effort For Each Other
Every relationship will grow apart if nobody puts any effort into it. Even the strongest, long lasting romance needs energy and focus. If both of you are prepared to put in some effort, things can be turned around. You have to nurture the space between you.
Yet if you find yourself growing apart from lack of effort, things are looking shaky. If neither of you can be bothered to improve the situation, it is likely you will continue to drift apart.
It requires a conscious change of course when you get to that point. But if you aren't interested in turning around then perhaps there is no hope.
7. You Feel Like There Is No Future For The Relationship
Whenever I have been in a new relationship I have been happy for it to continue as long as one factor was present.
If I felt there was potential for the relationship to develop and grow then I would stick around. This way I could see where the potential might lead me.
As soon as I felt there was no potential for the future I quickly lost interest. At that point the relationship soon withered and died.
One way you will quickly drift apart is if neither of you feels like there is any hope or potential. If there seems like no way for the relationship to keep moving forward, motivation will dry up.
So you just go through the motions day to day, leading separate lives in a relationship with no future.
8. You Feel Helpless
Helplessness and despair will set in if you feel there is no way to change the direction of the relationship. You might be over it but not yet ready to leave.
This will speed up a relationship drifting apart.
Sometimes it's not always straight forward to just immediately break it off with someone. This is particularly so if you are intertwined financially, have kids or share a home.
If you have been together for many years it can take time before you build up the strength to pull the trigger and end it.
The feeling of helplessness shows that your relationship is on the rocks. It shows that you have been growing apart to the point where things are in dire straits.
Your relationship can starting drifting apart without you noticing. If it happens gradually over a long period of time it can be almost invisible.
Suddenly you are in a place where you are unhappy and you don't know how you got there.
If you are experiencing one or two items on this list then your relationship is probably okay.
Yet if you are experiencing four, five or more then it is time to take action. You need to sit down with your girl, talk it through, and make an effort to turn things around.
Image credit: Tina Franklin