14 signs your heart isn’t in the relationship, according to psychology

Every relationship has issues, but you know you’re really in trouble when you no longer care that much about them. 

The struggles and inadequacies of the relationship aren’t something you want to work on anymore, and something big is missing from where the heart of your connection should be. 

You can’t quite put your finger on what exactly is wrong, but you know for sure that something isn’t right and that you don’t want to be in this partnership anymore: 

The biggest problem in your relationship is the relationship. 

Here’s how to tell if that’s the case. 

1) You’re not emotionally invested 

You feel like you’re on autopilot in your relationship. 

You don’t get strong negative or positive feelings but mostly feel a creeping sense of indifference. 

Whatever. Meh. OK…

That’s increasingly a summation of how you’re feeling. Even if you have desire and affection for your partner, it’s faded quite a bit.

You may feel unsure if the issue is in you or in the relationship. In many cases it’s a bit of both. 

2) You don’t feel much desire to talk to your partner

Your desire to talk to your partner has waned. 

You may chat and joke with them now and then or discuss practical things, but you don’t really feel a strong interest as you once did. 

A good litmus test is what you feel instinctively when you see a notification from them on your phone:

Before consciously deciding or analyzing, be honest about your instinctive reaction.

This is your real level of desire to talk to your partner and says a lot about where the relationship is at.

3) Your physical desire for your partner is very low

Even if you still perceive your partner as attractive, your actual desire for them is low. 

You don’t particularly want to sleep with them. 

At the most basic level, this is what it comes down to. You don’t feel a sense of excitement or real anticipation. 

You feel like “I guess,” or somewhat ambivalent. 

You have desires and your partner’s a nice looking person who you should be attracted to, but at the same time you just aren’t feeling that burn.

4) You don’t want to discuss shared future plans or goals

When the future comes up and shared goals and objectives are under discussion, you tend to tune out. 

You know that the future matters. You may not have any plans to break up or even have thought much about being bored or done with the relationship. 

But talk of the future bores you and low-key scares you. 

You don’t want to think about it. And you may not even be quite sure why. 

Is it commitment issues? Or is it the relationship itself. In many cases it’s option two. 

5) You frequently feel irritated and short-tempered with your partner

Without quite being able to pinpoint why, you feel short-tempered and annoyed with your partner. 

The problem is that even when you criticize them and they respond by trying to correct their behavior to meet your expectations, you still feel annoyed. 

It’s like you have some low-key avoidance of them going on and their presence itself rubs you the wrong way. 

Their faults are suddenly glaring to you and impossible to ignore. 

6) You criticize your partner often and find them to be full of hard-to-fix faults

You often find yourself criticizing your partner and find them full of faults. 

You know that you may be unfairly focused on their failings, but you can’t seem to keep noticing them.

They may even feel uniquely annoying and disruptive to your well-being, as if they were designed to get at you in all your most sensitive and easily-annoyed emotional and mental trigger points. 

How did this happen?

All you know is the relationship has become a real drag. 

7) You still feel anger at your partner over things from the past 

If there is past pain or wrongdoing in a relationship, it can be hard to get over. 

With open communication and vulnerability, it’s often possible, however. 

But you no longer feel that sense of safety and being willing or able to open up to your partner. 

The pain of the past isn’t something you feel able to let go, and even if it’s more your failing than your partner, you aren’t sure how to move past it. 

8) You don’t enjoy doing activities and going to events with your partner anymore

Going to events and parties with your partner feels like a chore. 

Instead of the fun you once had with them, you now feel bored and even annoyed by most of what you do together. 

There may be one or two activities which still bring you closer and remind you of the good old days. 

But for the most part, the relationship has now become a chore, and activities and engagements make you feel burdened. 

9) Your commitment to relationship maintenance is near zero

You don’t really want to put the work in anymore. 

Even though there may still be affection and attraction to your partner right now, you no longer feel like the juice is worth the squeeze. 

You don’t want to put the emotional labor in that’s required and necessary to actually keep this relationship alive and well. You’re essentially on autopilot. 

As Psychology Today explains

“Maintaining a relationship requires some baseline measures of respect, which research suggests include a partner’s attention, affection, honesty, and gratitude, as well as a willingness to address conflict and an openness to sharing the household workload.” 

10) You’re increasingly likely to keep secrets from your partner

The idea of keeping secrets from your partner may have struck you as crazy early on in your relationship, but now it’s become a real possibility. 

There are small things from daily life that you just don’t feel like saying. 

Maybe an old friend came into your life who you’re attracted to a little bit, or an ex who you still love talking to. 

There would have been the time that you would have been transparent with your partner, but the desire for transparency has faded. 

You’d rather just live your life and spend time with who you want without necessarily sharing it with your partner. 

You know it’s not great, but it’s how you feel. 

11) You just don’t trust your partner anymore 

The fundamental trust that should be there in your relationship just isn’t there. At least not for you. 

Even if there’s no specific reason not to trust your partner, you feel like you can no longer know their real intentions or actions. 

What do they truly want? 

What are they thinking when they seem like a blank slate? 

You can’t really get a fix on them or what they really want, and you feel no real sense of trust. 

As relationship writer Rachael Pace notes

“Lack of trust makes you doubt your partner, leading to you keeping information from them. 

Lack of trust has factors like poor emotional support, compatibility, dependability, etc., and is a reason for relationship breakdown.”

12) You feel envious of the relationships that others have

Looking around at close connections and real love shared between others, you have a deep feeling of lack.

Your own relationship feels like the farthest thing possible from what others have who are really in love and committed. 

Outwardly your partnership may have all the right bells and whistles. You may even be imagining or idealizing how good the relationships of others are. 

But you just know that whatever you have it’s not the real love and joy you’ve seen in some couples. 

13) You daydream about being free and single

You frequently imagine and picture being free and single once again. 

Various things may be holding you back from taking the step of ending the relationship, but the desire to be independent again is certainly there. 

Maybe you feel stifled by your partner or are no longer in love. Maybe relationship issues that never got worked on have reached their peak. 

Whatever it is that’s happening, being single no longer seems like a lonely or limiting option. 

It feels like freedom, and you envision it happening quite often.

14) You have the persistent feeling your relationship is fraudulent

When you’re out in public with your partner or alone behind closed doors, you have a persistent feeling:

This is fake. This relationship has no roots. This is just me playing a role, not being who I really am. 

The relationship is something you’re no longer invested in. 

Your heart’s not in it, and now’s the time to decide whether you want to recommit and be together for real, or part ways. 

Anything in between isn’t fair to you or to your partner.

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