I’ve had my fair share of relationships, and in some of them, it was painstakingly clear I wanted to be single. Those were the easy ones to get out of.
The tough ones were when I didn’t recognize the signs because they were so subtle.
So, naturally, I didn’t end those relationships straight away. I stayed, thinking my unhappiness and discomfort was due to other issues. This made things much worse.
If you’re in the same boat right now, I get it. You’re questioning your relationship and that’s a pretty uncomfortable conversation to have with yourself.
But you’re not alone – in this article, I’ll share 12 signs you secretly want to be single. By the time you’ve finished reading, you should know whether to stay or leave.
1) You fantasize about the single life
I think it’s pretty normal to every now and then wonder what it would be like to be single, especially if you’ve been in a long-term relationship.
But if you find yourself fantasizing about it regularly, it’s a good indication that you’re not just daydreaming about it, you want it.
Perhaps it’s because you’re unhappy? Or your relationship isn’t fulfilling your needs?
Either way, if the idea of going solo gets you excited, it’s a sign you secretly want to be single.
2) You avoid the “talk”
Ahh, the dreaded “talk”. You know the one… “So, where do you think our relationship is going…?”
If this conversation fills you with dread and you’d rather drink a bucket of sour milk than partake in it, it could be a sign you’d prefer to be single!
The truth is, no matter how nice your partner is, if you’re not happy with them, you’re not going to envisage a future together.
And that’s why these conversations are so hard to have.
3) You feel restricted
My ex was pretty chilled out. I can’t say he used to hold me back or stop me from doing anything I wanted. I even used to go traveling on my own, but he never minded.
But regardless of how trusting he was, I still felt constrained.
Like, just the fact that I was in a relationship made me feel suffocated.
Well, I hate to break it to you, but it’s another sign that perhaps you’re ready for the single life again.
It sounds like you’re craving that total independence, the ability to pick up and leave whenever you want without having to check in with someone.
That’s something you can’t find even with the nicest of partners.
4) You love being by yourself
Most of us enjoy some alone time, even if we’re happy in our relationships.
But if you find yourself way more comfortable being alone than with your partner, it could be an indication that you’d suit single life more.
When you’re together, you crave solitude. Even doing activities that you enjoy, you still can’t help but wish you were doing them alone.
It might be hard to be honest with yourself about this one – I certainly felt guilty when I first had these thoughts.
But ultimately, it’s important to acknowledge your feelings and act on them – for your sake and your partner’s!
5) You avoid intimacy
When I say intimacy, I don’t just mean sex.
Emotional intimacy is also just as important. But if you find yourself checking out every time your partner tries to get close to you, it might be time to reevaluate whether you want to stay coupled up.
No matter how hard they try to get you to open up, you feel blocked. You may even want to share your vulnerabilities or emotions, but you just don’t seem able to.
This could be because your relationship lacks depth, or perhaps your heart just isn’t in it…in which case you’re better off being single anyway.
6) You’re easily annoyed by your partner
Does the sound of your partner breathing make you want to scream?
Does everything they do, no matter how innocent or trivial, drive you crazy?
I’ve been there. It’s pretty crap actually. Because deep down, you know they don’t deserve your irritability.
So you feel bad and you try to push down those feelings.
But unfortunately, they won’t go. So it’s best to take it as another sign you secretly want to be single, rather than punish your partner unnecessarily
7) You’re reluctant to make sacrifices
Every relationship requires give and take. And by default, sacrifices.
Ask yourself honestly:
How do you feel when you need to compromise for your partner?
Do you resent them? Do you wish you could just do things your own way?
I’m not trying to make you feel unreasonable or selfish.
But if you really struggle to make sacrifices, it could be that you’d prefer to prioritize your own happiness and well-being over the relationship.
And that’s okay. But what isn’t okay is stringing your partner along and making them miserable in the process. So be truthful with yourself when you answer the above.
8) You avoid meeting your partner’s family or friends
Another sign you secretly want to be single is if you find yourself avoiding meeting your partner’s loved ones.
Deep down, you know that this takes things to a whole new level relationship-wise.
And you don’t want to go there. Think about it this way:
If you were completely loved up and saw a future with your partner, you’d be excited to meet their loved ones.
The dread you feel is another indication that this relationship might not be right for you.
9) You hesitate to make commitments
Do long-term plans freak you out?
Has your partner been mentioning moving in together, or booking a cruise for next year, but all you can think about is how to get out of it?
Some people have a fear of commitment which has nothing to do with wanting to be single.
But if you’ve been in relationships before and never felt this way, take it as a sign. You’re not making long-term plans because deep down, you don’t want to be in this relationship for much longer!
10) You’re jealous of your single friends
This is something I can really relate to. When I was with my ex, I felt such envy whenever my single friends spoke about their lives.
I wanted that for myself. But I couldn’t find a reason to leave other than, “I want to be single”…which didn’t sound fair at the time.
But looking back, I realize it was more unfair to stay in the relationship when my heart wasn’t in it.
So, even if your partner is a gem, if you crave solitude and freedom, that’s a good enough reason to leave.
After all, your partner will meet someone who wants the same as they do, and you’ll end up happier too.
11) You feel happier in your friendships than in your relationship
Now, I’d like you to make a comparison. Think about how fulfilled you feel by your friendships vs your relationship.
Which comes out on top?
If it’s your friendships, there’s a good chance you secretly want to be single. You get everything you need from them, so why be in a relationship?
I know I used to enjoy hanging out with my friends way more than my partner. It wasn’t until months went by when one of my best friends said, “You spend more time with us than with him. You might as well be single.”
That was a lightbulb moment that triggered the start of the end.
12) You find yourself “distracted” by other people
And finally…do you catch yourself checking out other people?
I’m not trying to suggest you’d ever cheat, but if window shopping turns into fantasizing, it’s not a good sign.
Sure, even those of us in happy relationships take a sneak peek at what’s out there every now and then – we’re human after all – but it’s not a regular thing.
So, if you constantly find yourself dreaming about the hunky Amazon delivery guy or the cute barista at your local caffeine hole, perhaps you’re secretly craving single life.
Either way, your attention isn’t fully on your partner, and that’s telling enough!
We’ve covered the 12 signs you secretly want to be single…how are you feeling?
If your stomach sank while you were reading, I’d say it’s time to sit down and have a serious chat with your partner.
And although you’ll undoubtedly feel terrible, know that you’re freeing them up to find the love they deserve, while also granting yourself the life you truly want.