When she dumped Kevin, it was like a kick in the head for him. He needed days to come around and realize what happened. Even then it was an absolute mystery to him what caused the break up. It will take months for him to finally get a clue to the reasons.
Had he seen it coming? Well, he said no. But when I dug a little deeper, it became apparent that he actually had noticed unusual things in his relationship. He just dismissed them as meaningless. He never would have guessed that they could lead to a break up.
Apparently they were anything but meaningless.
If he would have given them some attention, he may have been able to do something to prevent the forthcoming events. He could have talked to his girlfriend, uncovered the problem and tried to do something to fix it before it was too late. If there is no communication, nothing will ever change.
The reasons why two people in a relationship drift apart are numerous. But I believe that if you spot the early signs, there is a very good possibility to get back on track again.
Why didn’t Kevin see it coming? Why didn’t he react upon the “unusual” things he noticed?
I believe that he knew what was about to happen, but it is very typical in such situations to simply refuse to believe that something is wrong. We would never believe that our partner, who was on our side for so long, would actually leave us. This appears so unreal.
Denial seems to be a good way of handling the problem. Of course, this is only self-deception.
Unfortunately, many simply do not know the early signs, the red flags, that something is going very wrong in their relationship.
Why should you pay attention to the red flags?
After a relationship break up, all we think about is “if I’d only knew earlier, I could have done something”. But what would you have done?
When recovering from a break up or divorce you have to go through the four phases. What we often do not realize, is that the one who actually breaks up has to go through these phases as well, only they are doing it while you are still together. S/He has to do so, otherwise leaving would not be possible.
So, if you spot the signs in the early phases, you might still be able to prevent the fatal outcome.
How can you avert a potential break up or divorce?
Certainly by talking to the partner, uncovering the origin of the discontent and trying to eliminate the problems. Reminding your partner of the love you had for each other by revitalizing special moments you had together is also very important.
If everything fails, you have at least had the opportunity then to prepare yourself, and you are not being hit out of the blue.
Let’s take a look at the signs.
Here they are, the 10 big red flags that your relationship is going downhill:
1. A lack of communication
A lack of communication is usually the first bad sign in a relationship, but also one of the earliest. If you are discontent with your partnership, cutting back conversation is the first step of an emotional retreat.
Does your partner avoid a longer conversation? Check out why.
2. A Change in behavior
Does your partner act differently lately? You partner was always a role model in punctuality, they aren’t any more. S/He is often late, without giving an explanation and might get aggressive when insisting.
Or s/he changes routines, that were a matter of course for years in your relationship, overnight.
Is there also a decrease in intimacy? No more of the cuddling and kissing you s/he used to do? Sex happens much less often?
These are just examples of a change in behavior to demonstrate what I mean. For you, it’s important to observe these changes, should they appear, and take them as a warning sign that something just might not be ok.
3. Avoidance of talking about the future
You used to talk about future vacations to foreign countries you have always planned to visit. You dreamed together of the cozy house, with the white picket fences, watching your children play in the front.
Take a look now if your partner refuses such thoughts or simply changes the subject.
That might be a red flag that something is going on.
4. Decisions are made alone
You used to always discuss everything regarding important decisions in your life, be it your life as a couple or as an individual. Now you find your partner is suddenly making very important decisions on their own, just presenting you the facts.
This could be seen as the first steps towards independence for your partner.
5. Unusual activities alone
You notice an unusual accumulation of activities your partner is doing alone. This is especially true for men.
Is your partner meeting old friends they haven’t seen in years? Working late? Discovering new places without you?
This is not always an indication of infidelity; it can also be spreading their wings for independence: the first steps into a new life (phase 3).
6. Hidden phone-calls
This is a classic one.
Do you catch your partner taking hidden phone-calls more often? The phone is ringing and s/he takes it somewhere else without answering it first? What does s/he hide?
This could be infidelity or just (as in 5.) looking for more freedom.
7. New circle of friends
Suddenly there are a bunch of new friends appearing out of the blue. They are very important to her/him.
Most of the new activities without you are now with them, shutting you out.
S/He is spending less and less time with you.
8. Not able to be reached
In the past, there was never a problem reaching your partner, be it at work or in private. They were always answering the phone or cellular.
Now s/he rarely answers the phone, and doesn’t call you back any more. Text messages are also answered late, if at all.
Another indication of seeking independency.
9. Makes unusual confessions
There were issues in your mutual past, which were never addressed before. Now they are not only a subject of discussion, they often lead to disputes.
“I never liked your mother, father, friends, outfit, political view, nose, etc.” are just some examples for sudden confessions of dislike and disagreement.
This is a very serious indication and should not be taken lightly.
10. Avoidance of long and intimate eye-contact
This is another serious red flag, which unfortunately often manifests when it is already too late.
Your partner cannot look you in the eye, because they have either noticed that they don’t love you any more, or because of guilt. They may have already separated her/himself emotionally, and is considering the next step.
If you notice only a few of these red flags in your partnership don’t panic! Going on a witch-hunt now is the worst you could do. A few of these signs doesn’t have to mean anything, if they appear every once in a while.
Just talk to your partner about it, without pushing the panic button.
Be aware of jealousy, that green-eyed monster.
Jealousy is one of the most negative emotions there is. Never accuse your partner of something without proof, you can create irreversible damage.
If you notice more than a few red flags at once, if not all of them, then heads up, something‘s going on.
As mentioned, communication and a recollection of your initial relationship virtues is a vital step in finding a way back together again.
If Kevin wouldn’t have shut his eyes to the facts, he might still be in a relationship.
Always walk through life with trust, but keep your eyes wide open.
I know you will now.