Signs That the Relationship Is on the Decline

by Mitch Reid

If you think your relationship is headed for disaster, warning signs exist that you should watch for. Some of these signs reveal problems that can pull your relationship to a quick end, while others hint at underlying issues that gradually wear away at your love. Once you know more about these common warning signs, you and your partner can decide whether you should repair the relationship and how to do so.

Body Language Signs

Two major nonverbal signs that reveal a decline in your relationships, suggests Joe Navarro, former FBI counterintelligence agent, in his article, "Two Clues That Shout It's Over." The first sign is a lack of or decline of physical touch. For example, couples facing problems tend to only touch each other with fingertips, as a nonverbal way of signaling a dislike of emotional or physical closeness. The second sign involves the position of your stomach, your vulnerable side. In an act called ventral denial, you instinctively direct your belly away from someone you dislike or distrust. If you or your partner demonstrates this behavior, it might be a warning sign.

Verbal Expression Signs

Changes in verbal communication can reveal more obvious signs that love is fading. A lack of real conversations, as opposed to small talk or brief greetings, can indicate decline in interest and trust, suggests John Grohol, founder of, in his article, "Eight Ways to Ruin Your Relationship." Another warning sign is a decline in emotional expression. For example, perhaps you no longer reveal your anger, excited or love to your partner. In addition, if your partner seems to constantly ignore your words or doesn’t show any interest in keeping conversations afloat, this is a clear sign that he wants to shut down the lines of communication.

Negative Attitudes

In some cases, verbal communication might continue, but all conversations take on a negative tone. For example, in the article, "Six Signs Your Marriage Could Be Heading to Divorce," marriage therapist Leslie Petruk describes "flooding," in which you and your partner bombard each other with negative interactions, such as unjustified criticism. In other cases, the two of you might develop a habit of over-exaggerating the negative aspects of past events.

Lack of Action

Whether your relationship is declining or not, disagreements will arise. However, failure to address or attempt to repair these conflicts is a sign of decline, suggests Petruk. Instead, you or your partner might resort to stonewalling, in which you ignore the problem and decide it is best left unaddressed. This lack of concern for small issues shows a lack of concern for the relationship as a whole, and it can eventually lead to a breakup.

About the Author

Mitch Reid has been a writer since 2006. He holds a fine arts degree in creative writing, but has a persistent interest in social psychology. He loves train travel, writing fiction, and leaping out of planes. His written work has appeared on sites such as and GlobalPost, and he has served as an editor for ebook publisher Crescent Moon Press, as well as academic literary journals.

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