Anyone who has been in a committed, long-term relationship will know how easy it is to get stuck.
Experts say once the mystery and newness vanishes, and our partner becomes familiar, it is common for the attraction to dip.
But how do you know if it’s just a case of rekindling the romance, or if the relationship is truly dead and buried?
Now, a top relationships expert and professor of counselling has revealed the three signs that your partnership may not be salvagable.
Experts say one the mystery of a romantic interest fades, it is natural to feel less excited about them – but there are ways to tell if the relationship is work fixing
The first red flag is if you live with your partner, but find yourself subsconsciously delaying going home to them.
‘It’s a dread sometimes about being around that person or anxiety about how they’re going to react,’ Suzanne Degges-White, a licensed counselor and professor at Northern Illinois University, told Business Insider.
She added that it is common, in this situation, to find excuses to avoid going home, like working late or going out with friends.
The second bad sign is if you don’t feel the need or want to text the person back.
This isn’t a case of getting distracted, Professor Degges-White says, but a ‘can’t be bothered’ attitude to replying.
Doing this is an example of what she calls ‘self-protection, avoidance behaviors’ – often used frequently by people in unhappy relationships.
One way to tell if your relationship is for keeps is if you have frequent thoughts of your future together – and feel excited about it
One of Hollywood’s prime examples of a unhappy relationship comes courtesy of Brick Pollitt (Paul Newman) and his tempestuous wife, Maggie (Elizabeth Taylor) in the 1958 movie, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof
Finally, consider how you feel about your future – and whether you’re focusing on positive prospects, or regrets.
Degges-White said that a telltale sign of a fulfilling relationship is a feeling of ‘ hopefulness’ about the future.
‘…your focus is on what’s coming next versus mistakes you’ve made.’
It means you often find yourself fantasizing about what’s next for your relationship, or how you might share the next chapter of life.
But if you are not truly happy, Degges-White says you develop a tendency to hone in on what you could have done, or how things could have been better.
In other words, you avoid thinking about your future life together because you’re genuinely not looking forward to it.
Ultimately, a truly happy relationship is characterized by ‘feelings of gratitude for the person you’re with’.
If you’re struggling to muster this up, it could be time to call it quits.