If a man displays these 9 behaviors, deep down he’s unhappy in his relationship

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Our first clue that a man is unhappy in a relationship usually comes from our gut.

We can just sense that something isn’t the same as it was.

Intuition can be powerful because it taps into lots of subconscious cues we pick up but cannot always put into words.

But it can also feel very vague.

That’s why we don’t always trust it, and sometimes we’re right not to.

Feelings aren’t facts and often this sense we get is fuelled by paranoia and fear.

You may have started to wonder “Is he unhappy in the relationship?”. But how can you be sure?

You should look out for the following behaviors to confirm your suspicions…

1) He’s started to change his mind about the future

Once upon a time, you were on the same page, or so you thought.

When you talked about your future goals, as a couple and as individuals, they were aligned.

You felt confident that you were heading in the same direction and wanted the same things.

But now you’re not so sure.

Recently he’s been expressing new desires, ideas, and life plans. That in itself is fine, but it feels like you don’t really fit into them.

The way he talks sounds like he is no longer considering you.

Perhaps all of a sudden, he’s a lot more vague and uncertain about what he wants.

Maybe it seems like his new ambitions have very little room for you, as though he’s making plans for one.

2) He acts more like your brother than your boyfriend

It’s not that there is a strict right or wrong way to behave around each other. Relationship dynamics are different for all couples. You also know what’s “normal” for you.

The more time you spend with anyone, the closer you become. So in a way, they do start to feel like family.

But this is different.

We’re talking about that switch of energy from lovers to friends.

It’s bound to happen to a certain extent in any long-term relationship.

But when he stops behaving like your partner and starts behaving like your roommate it may be a red flag.

It suggests the spark may have gone out. Unless you can both reignite it you may find you start to drift apart.

Some signs of this kind of relationship shift can include:

  • Dwindling sex life
  • Disinterest in sex, cuddling, and general physical affection
  • A connection that feels more familial
  • Talking to you more like a guy friend than a partner

3) He’s glued to his phone 24-7

Let’s face it, a lot of us probably spend way too much time on our phones.

In fact, a friend of mine went on a first date recently and the guy pulled out his phone to livestream a sports game.

He then rested it against his glass so he could keep half an eye on the score.

Needless to say, she didn’t see him again.

You can also often spot the more established couples when you’re out and about because they are the ones sat together but both on their phones.

So a little bit of this is to be expected. Yet if he spends most of his time looking at his screen it says something significant.

He’s no longer paying attention to you.

He isn’t taking the same interest in you. He’s not making an effort to engage in conversation. And he finds whatever he is looking at on his screen more engaging.

Excess time spent on devices becomes a distraction tactic and escapism to avoid the relationship.

4) He’s always busy with other things

Life is a series of priorities. They naturally shift and change depending on what’s going on for us.

But if a relationship is to work out, it has to stay close to the top.

Maybe work, friendships or family need to take the top spot for a while. That’s okay. You can’t always be someone’s number one priority forever.

But neither should your ranking fall down below a long list of other things.

If he is increasingly doing lots of things without you, it can be a sign he’s pulling away.

It seems to go way beyond a healthy level of independence.

You’re no longer invited to things you once were. He’s increasingly out with his friends. He’s busily engaged in countless activities or hobbies.

It feels like he is less interested in spending quality time with you.

5) He lacks patience and has become more snappy and moody towards you

Mood swings are really common when we’re not happy.

Even when you’ve done nothing wrong, it’s tempting for him to take his frustrations out on you.

His patience seems lacking recently. He seems kind of grumpy a lot of the time.

Sometimes it can even feel like you have to walk on eggshells around him so that something you innocently say or do doesn’t trigger him.

If there’s no other potential source of stress in his life right now, you could be left wondering if he’s not happy in the relationship.

He’s just way more irritable and snapping at situations that never would have bothered him before.

Sometimes, it’s like he’s spoiling for a fight.

6) He’s instigating arguments

If he’s been walking around like a bear with a sore head, then sooner or later, he’s probably going to bite.

I’m talking about picking arguments that seem pointless.

It feels like he’s become hyper-critical.

He is getting at everything you say or do, and you feel like you can’t win.

Sometimes when a guy is unhappy in a relationship, but doesn’t know how to talk about it, he looks for ways to blow things up.

He is trying to cause confrontation as a way of pushing the situation to a head.

7) You don’t know what’s going on because he’s stopped communicating with you

I don’t mean he’s ignoring you altogether, I just mean he doesn’t open up.

You can feel that he’s gotten more distant.

Most of his chat is shallow and conversational. He doesn’t volunteer how he is really feeling.

The emotional intimacy feels missing because you don’t talk about the deep stuff anymore.

Closeness is something we often just feel, and so we can also simply sense its absence.

You may not necessarily be falling out. Instead, it’s like there’s an emotional gap that has opened up between you.

This tends to happen when one or both of you withdraw emotionally.

The relationship misses the vulnerability and openness that creates a close bond.

8) His effort levels have dropped to zero

Complacency can sadly creep into any relationship.

It’s certainly not always intentional. It can happen when we start to take one another for granted, not necessarily because we’re unhappy.

But either way, there’s an undeniable correlation between effort and satisfaction in a relationship.

The two feed one another.

When we stop trying, the relationship goes downhill.

It’s a bit like a garden that was flourishing, but we slowly stopped tending to it.

If he is unhappy he may have stopped trying.

That can lead to all sorts of things.

For example, he doesn’t appreciate you, he doesn’t try to spend quality time together, he seems uninterested in what’s happening in your life, he breaks promises or forgets important things.

9) You don’t laugh and joke together

In many ways, this suggests you’re not really having any fun together anymore.

Surveys have revealed that most of us rank a good sense of humor as one of the most important qualities in a partner.

But what’s more revealing is how important shared laughter is as an indication of mutual attraction.

Because when couples laugh and joke together it helps them form a connection that keeps their feelings alive. 

Studies have shown that how much a couple laughs together is directly linked to relationship quality, closeness, and social support.

Does an unhappy relationship mean it’s over?

So what if you sense that there are some problems?

If you’re wondering whether an unhappy relationship means it’s over the honest answer is:

It depends.

Here’s the good news, plenty of couples go through ups and downs.

Real relationships are not magical every day. It’s easier than we like to think to lose that spark. Because all relationships demand effort, and when we neglect them, feelings can change.

But to know what’s really going on means honest communication. You have to sit down and talk openly about how you’re feeling, and he has to be prepared to do the same.

It’s always possible to get a relationship back on track, but both of you have to pull together to do so.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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