17 Signs To Know Your Relationship Is On The Rocks

By David Small •  Updated: 12/27/20 •  13 min read

Relationships are not easy, when we are young and hopeful, we believe that falling in love would be a long, happy road to bliss.

However, when we actually embark upon a serious relationship, we realize how much work we need to put in to keep this relationship from falling apart.

 Signs To Know Your Relationship Is On The Rocks

If you are one of these people, if you are in a relationship that seems to be going nowhere, then you need to read this article: 17 Signs To Know If Your Relationship Is On The Rocks.

When you are in a committed relationship, you do not want it to end, as Nicholas Sparks writes in The Last Song: “I mean, if the relationship can’t survive the long term, why on earth would it be worth my time and energy for the short term?”

However, if it does end and you were unaware that it was heading this way, you can be left not only heartbroken but also confused as to why it happened.

The breakup can leave you feeling betrayed, rejected and can really harm your self-confidence. You will wonder how it came to this, and what you could have done differently.

You will run through your relationship day by day in your mind, looking for clues as to where it went wrong and what you could have done differently. Your world will now become a place of ‘what if’s, as you imagine the different paths this relationship could have taken if you had acted differently.

Also Related: 21 Ways To Keep Your Relationship Healthier And Stronger

For some couples, they can manage to repair the damage to their relationship after a breakup and get back on track. However, having broken up in the first place leaves open a wide plane for further problems- feelings can be fired up, and there is potential to be with other partners.

So it is much easier to save a relationship by preventing it from reaching the breakup stage in the first place. You need to recognize and understand signs of trouble in the relationship so that you can act fast to resolve them.

You can only take steps to resolve any issues in your relationship if you are aware of the issues in the first place. If you can recognize the warning signs of a relationship in trouble, then you have a good chance of repairing it and preventing a breakup.

The essential part of saving any good chance of repairing it and preventing a breakup. The essential part of saving any relationship is knowing what signs to look for, so you can save it before it’s too late.

Therefore, I have created here for you a list of 17 Signs To Know Your Relationship Is On The Rocks. Be aware, and be prepared.

1. Avoidance

Do you feel like your partner is avoiding you? It may seem that your partner is spending more and more time with their friends, or staying on longer at work than usual.

This can be a warning sign that your relationship is in trouble. Your partner is showing that they do not want to be around you, they would rather be with their friends.

They may feel that this is the only solution to how they are feeling, yet as Simone Elkeles says: “Problem is, the bathroom pass can’t help you escape life. It’s still there when you come out. Problems and crap don’t go away hiding in the can.”

2. Communication Is the main Ingredient of your Relationship

Communication is key to any relationship, romantic or otherwise. To be in a successful, happy and healthy relationship you need to have great communication.

If you do not, then your relationship is in trouble. Does your partner tell you about upcoming events, about that new promotion they are applying for?

If not, then they do not think that you are important enough for them to inform about changes in their life. Communication is similar to avoidance and is a sign that soon you will not be a part of this relationship.


3. Arguments

Nobody likes an argument, especially when it is with someone you have strong feelings for.

However, all relationships have their problems, and arguments happen from time to time. This is normal- you are two different people, and you cannot agree 100% with everything all of the time.

However, arguments become a problem in a relationship when there are more arguments than regular conversation. If it feels that you are arguing constantly, then your relationship is on the rocks.

No matter how perfect those moments when you are not arguing are, if you are fighting more than you are having fun then eventually one of you is going to grow tired of this relationship. They may even be picking more fights so that they can justify the eventual breakup.

4. Stress Levels

A relationship should be the partnership of those people who feel like they have met the person who makes them a better version of themselves, who keeps them feeling happy, comfortable and calm.

If your other half is constantly stressed, then they do not get the same feelings from this relationship that you do.

Of course, there are factors such as their job situation, finances, family etc that can lead to a partner being stressed, but if they seem stressed 24/7 and are not relaxed around you then you may be the reason for this stress- and who wants a stressful relationship?

5. Intimacy Is Extremely Important To Your Relationship

Being intimate in a relationship is crucial. You may live with this person, have children with them, you may have been together for twenty years- but if you are not intimate anymore, then you are no more than close friends. I am not talking purely about sex, but intimacy in general.

Does your partner cuddle up with you? Do they hold your hand, kiss you on the cheek? Intimacy is crucial– it is what separates you from every other person in the world, the fact that they want to touch your skin, to brush your hair, to hold you.

“I loved you so much once. I did. More than anything in the whole wide world. Imagine that. What a laugh that is now. Can you believe it?

We were so intimate once upon a time I can’t believe it now. The memory of being that intimate with somebody. We were so intimate I could puke. I can’t imagine ever being that intimate with somebody else. I haven’t been.”- Raymond Carver.


6. The Future

When in a committed relationship, you make plans together. In new relationships, this will often plan such as marriage, children, joint living.

In relationships that already have been through these commitments, it can be planning a holiday next year or preparing to purchase a new car or house together.

These are decisions for the future that you make together, with one another in mind. But what if your partner is not interested in these decisions?

What if every time you bring it up, they make some excuse to change the conversation or each time you try to set a date they say that it will not work?

These can be signs that your partner is going to break up with you. They are not making future plans with you because you will not be a part of their future.

7. Timing

You are two separate people, and so it can be difficult to exist on the same clock, especially if you work different hours. However, you should still always be making time for one another, as the whole reason that you are in a relationship is that you enjoy one another company, right?

If your partner stays up a little later after you to go to bed, takes their supper at a different time or schedules their gym time when they know that you are going to be at home then you have no time together. You will be like passing ships in the night- only seeing each other for brief moments.

You need to make time together so that you can grow and develop together as a couple. If your partner is not making this time, they do not want to grow with you as a couple.

8. Something is Different in the Relationship

Has your partner always dressed a certain way, but now they are changing their look drastically? Do they always ride a certain route to work and have decided to go another way?

There are many small changes in a relationship that can make you feel that something is different with your partner.

It could just be that your partner wants to make some changes in their life, however, if they are making these changes without talking to you about them then this can be a sign that your relationship is failing.

They met you in one person, now they are trying to mold themselves into another- what does that tell you?

Relationships Tips

9. Awkwardness

Public displays of affection are not for everyone. We may see young loved-up couples making out on the street, but as we get older this is just embarrassing. But, there is a difference between not wanting to be overly affectionate in public, and not wanting to be your partner in public at all.

If your partner is awkward with you around friends, not wanting to touch you and avoiding eye contact, or if they do not want to be seen holding hands with you in public.

If they generally seem awkward around you, thrusting their hands deep into their pockets and hiding their head in their collar then this is a bad sign.

Either they do not want to be seen with you because you will not be a part of their life for much longer, or there is another person in their life.

Also Related: 15 Common Reasons For Relationship Breakups

10. Jealousy Will Destroy Your Relationship

It is ok, for partners to be jealous. You can be jealous of the cute new staff member at work, at their friends for getting to see so much of them.

However, there is a point when this jealousy goes too far. If your partner is always jealous of who you talk to, who you see, who you used to be dating, this is not good. Too much jealousy can be toxic.

“Welcome to the wonderful world of jealousy, he thought. For the price of admission, you get a splitting headache, a nearly irresistible urge to commit murder, and an inferiority complex. Yippee.” – J. R. Ward

11. The Ex-Files

Everyone has a past, and we can’t change that- but the past should stay in the past. Does your partner have an ex who they did not use to bother with, but now are seeing a lot of?

This is not a good sign. They could be thinking about getting back together with this ex, or talking to the ex about the state of your current relationship- either way, you need to talk about this before it becomes a major problem.

12. Unhappiness

It is ok to be unhappy at times, we cannot be happy and smiling all of the time. But if you or your partner seems to always be unhappy, then, of course, your relationship is on the rocks.

Your partner should be the one to cheer you up when you are sad, to turn your smile around, the one who arms you run into at the end of a bad day. If you are not this person, your partner will start looking for this person elsewhere.


13. Telephone

Upon first entering a relationship, you cannot get enough of one another. You call, you text, you see each other as often as possible, but as the relationship progresses this becomes less and less, and this is normal.

However, your partner should still want to talk to you. They should still want to hear your voice, talk about your day, spend time on the phone getting to know you even more.

When they do not want to talk to you, then make excuses to hang up or they simply say they ‘can’t answer’ right now, something is up.

14. Annoyance

Falling in love is easy- it’s the bit afterward which is hard. The more you get to know someone, the more you see their strange and weird habits creeping out and start to get frustrated by them.

This happens in all relationships- we can’t all be perfect! But a relationship can turn sour when every little thing you do starts to annoy them, and they only see the bad- not the good.

15. Hiding

If you know that your partner is sneaking around, then you already know that your relationship is in trouble. If they carry their phone everywhere with them, password their laptop, hide their bank statements, then something is not right.

Of course, we are all entitled to privacy- but there is a difference between privacy and hiding. You need to find out the reasons that your partner is hiding things from you.

16. Change in Mood

This point is similar to something being ‘different’ with your partner, but not in the way they dress or act. Perhaps your partner has a change in their mood- they used to hate going to work, now they can’t get there soon enough.

What is the reason for this happiness? It could just be that things are looking up for them, but if they have not told you this then you have to question why?

Your partner clearly is not sharing their information with you- is this because you will not be their partner for much longer?

Also Related: 17 Proven Ways Initiate Lovemaking In Your Relationship.

17. Space

Finally, and probably the largest sign that your relationship is on the rocks, is when your partner says that they need ‘space’. We all know what that means. They want to spend some time away from you, to see if they feel better without you.

If you notice the previous warning signs and being to fix your relationship as soon as you see them then it will not get to this place. But if your partner does say that they want space, then do your best to fix the relationship before they leave.

These are all of the warning signs that point to trouble in a relationship. If you are aware of these signs and notice them soon enough, then you can work toward resolving any problems and saving your relationship.

I hope that this article, 17 Signs To Look Out For To Know If Your Relationship Is On The Rocks, has helped you. Bye- until we chat again, your friend Dave.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of marcolm at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

David Small

is the founder and editor of relationshiptips4u. He is a dating, marriage & relationship coach, speaker, and author. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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