Are You in an Unhappy Relationship?

A couple in an unhappy relationship in bed together, facing opposite directions.

Many couples stay in unhappy relationships for their kids, convenience, or fear of being alone. When you’ve spent a long time with someone, the thought of being without them—even in a toxic relationship—can be daunting. Let’s face it, letting go of anything long-term is tough.

It’s easy to get overly attached to a partner, and not notice the unhappiness of a relationship. If you’ve felt confused about your relationship, here are a few signs that you might be in an unhappy relationship.

You’re always looking at other attractive people.
It’s normal to find other people attractive, but if you’re constantly fantasizing about other people, then you’ll need to look more closely at your feelings.

If you’re truly happy in your relationship, then you wouldn’t be thinking about what life would be like with someone else. So if you’re imagining waking up next to someone else, your heart probably isn’t in your current relationship.

You rarely get physical.
If you find that the physical side of your relationship has died down or was never passionate to begin with, you might be in trouble. Maybe you don’t want to hug and kiss your partner. Maybe you make excuses to avoid sex. Or maybe you’re just not satisfied. Many couples who have been together a long time find themselves in ruts like this. You need to figure out whether this is a rut, or a lack of physical attraction to your partner.

You want to spend your free time with other people.
When you find yourself with unexpected free time, who do you automatically want to spend it with? Is it your partner, friends, work colleagues, or someone else? Who are you excited to see the most? If your significant other isn’t near the top of that list, it’s a sign they’re not that important to you. And if they’re not, you won’t be happy with them in the long term.

You have unhealthy arguments.
Every couple fights. So don’t worry about the occasional argument. However, you should be concerned about the way you speak to each other in those arguments, and the way you both react to conflict. If you’re trying to hurt your partner in an argument,  or if you can’t have a mature conversation when there’s a conflict, there may be a lack of respect in the relationship that has nothing to do with the fight at hand.

You’re lost for words.
You know those couples you see at restaurants drinking and eating in silence? They’ve run out of things to say to each other. Hard to watch, isn’t it? If you feel this uneasiness or disconnect with your partner, there could be something wrong in your relationship. If you don’t enjoy each other’s company anymore, you may want to think about why you’re still together.

You never say “we” anymore.
A healthy couple refers to themselves as we, because they see their relationship as a team. This doesn’t mean they lose their independence, but happy couples regularly share their lives. If one or both of you think without considering your partner or avoid making future plans together, it’s important to stop and get clear on your real feelings for each other.

You don’t trust your partner.
If there’s no trust, then there’s no relationship. If you don’t trust your partner, you’ll question everything they do, check their phone, and live a life of paranoia. When there’s a lack of trust in a relationship, it creates distance between you and your partner. This distance will only expand until the trust is restored. Whether your partner did something to break the trust, or you entered the relationship with trust issues—be honest with yourself and your partner  about your relationship doubts.

You’re not comfortable around each other.
If you feel like you can’t be yourself around your partner for fear of judgement, then this isn’t the right relationship for you. This person is holding you back. It’s up to you to choose how to deal with that. Being comfortable in your own skin is so important, because we carry that confidence (or lack thereof) in all aspects of our lives. If someone really loves you, they will encourage you to be who you are and love you for it.

The odd thing about unhappy relationships, is that sometimes you get so used to them and the cadence of your day to day lives that you don’t realize how you’re feeling right away. If you’re not getting what you need from your relationship, and some of these signs feel familiar, it may be time to talk to your partner about how things are going.

Shani Jay

Bestselling Author and Empowerment Coach

Shani is a bestselling author, empowerment coach for women, and self-love advocate. She is the author of Bloom, The Babe Bible, Glow Getter, and Light Up Your Life; and her writing has been featured on many internationally recognized platforms including The Huffington Post, Thought Catalog, and Teen Vogue.

​In 2016 Shani founded The Glow Getter Tribe – a self-love & kindness movement which helps young girls & women worldwide feel happy, confident and beautiful starting from the inside, out.

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