What To Do When You Realize Something's "Off" In Your Relationship

24 hours ago, everything was fine. You were happy, you were in love, Snow White's Squad of forest animals danced around you as you made your morning coffee. But something has changed. All of your texts are unanswered. There's a horrible, rotting feeling in your gut. A voice in your head asks: do we throw up or cry? There's no moment or specific event you can pinpoint as the "beginning" of the bad feelings, they're just there, and there's only one thing they can mean: something is off between you and your significant other. Call it what you will, ghosting, the cold shoulder, something's not right in your relationship and here's what you can do about it.

1. Ask Them About It

When has ignoring a problem ever really worked? Supposedly, this is one of the people you're closest to in the world. If you can't address this new feeling of distance in a conversation, maybe you're not as close as you thought.



2. Give Them Space


Sometimes you've just gotta let the other person have the space they need to get something out of their system. Back off, take a "you" day. Bury your phone in your underwear drawer and don't look at it for 24 hours. The worst thing you can do is obsess yourself into a black hole of despair.

3. Revamp Your Shit

Honestly, some people just need a reminder of why they love the person they're with. Put on the goddamn Ritz, get your hair done, make him his favourite meal, buy her flowers. Most of all, be yourself. Hit them with the inside jokes, re-tell the story about how you met on the subway and he tripped over your foot and almost broke both his legs but recovered and asked for your number instead. If you can still laugh together, there's hope.


 4. Don't Get Drunk And Demand Answers


This is the worst thing you could possibly do in this situation. If you need a glass of red wine before you get up the courage to ask them what's going on, that's fine. However, drinking seven white Russians and making an obliterated phone call in which you scream "WHY DON'T YOU LOVE ME?" is not. You want to come off as open and considerate, not like The Wolf Of Wall Street in the Quaalude overdose scene.



5. Ask A Friend

Normally, a second opinion on your relationship is the last thing you need. However, given the situation, someone with an outside perspective might be able to provide some clarity. Maybe your friends have noticed that you've been in a shit mood for two months straight...this could have something to do with your deteriorating love life.



 6. Focus On Something Positive

This can be anything: work, school, a vacation you're planning. Just don't ride your bike around the cul-de-sac of anger and sadness until you can't live your life. Buy a pet lizard, start taking watercolour classes. Anything is better than biting a washcloth as you sob silently in the shower so your roommates won't hear you.

7. Think Outside Of Yourself

A fundamental issue of human connectedness is that we can never really know what anyone else is feeling. This means we have to accept the fact that interiority is a big 'ole mystery. Consider any difficult or troubling developments in your significant other's life. They could be dealing with something serious and the erratic behaviour you're noticing is just a side-effect.



 8. Wait It Out

If the person's worth waiting for, wait for them. If you're worth waiting for, they'll wait too.

9. Prepare For The Worst

While it's true that every relationship goes through rough patches, sometimes you have to know when it's over. The feeling that something is "off" is an instinctual one. If you feel it in your bones that it's coming to an end, you're probably not wrong.



 10. Be Progressive

If your significant other won't give you any answers as to why your relationship has changed, they might not have them. Either way, don't exhaust yourself trying to discover the root of the problem. Move on with as much grace as possible.


Video: GIRL TALK | Bad Relationships + Self Confidence



Credit: Samantha Maria

Emily Yaremchuk
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