5 Subtle Signs Your Partner Is Checked Out of the Relationship
Therapists say you should pay close attention to their social media feed.
No matter how well you know your partner, you can never know exactly what they're thinking. Sure, you can guess their major emotions, things like happiness, sadness, and anger. But what about the smaller ones? For example, do you think you could predict if your partner was checked out of your relationship? According to experts, you can—if you know what to look for, of course. Keep reading to hear from therapists about the subtle signs that mean your partner is, well, over it.
They suddenly lack accountability.
If your once-dependable S.O. suddenly becomes a no-show, it could mean they've checked out.
"This can manifest as neglecting to follow through on promises or commitments, failing to show up for important events or appointments, or disregarding the needs and concerns of the other partner," says David Tzall, PsyD, a licensed psychologist based in Brooklyn. "This behavior can indicate a lack of investment in the relationship and a lack of consideration for the well-being of the other partner."
Sit down with your partner for a chat to talk about this behavior. Like many on this list, it could be caused by a range of factors—and not all of them indicate an impending breakup.
They stop asking about your day.
When the two of you see each other after a long day, you should be excited to chat about your experiences. However, if your partner is checked out, they might stop making this effort.
"This can be an easy sign to miss because when we start feeling vulnerable and wondering if our partner is checking out, we may offer this information without question in the hopes of making things feel normal, or we may distance from our partner and not even realize this is a change that has originated from our partner," says Marisa Perera, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist at Natal Counseling. "An invested partner has interest and concern in their partner's life outside of their relationship together." If yours isn't, that's cause for concern.
They're always on their phone.
It never feels good when someone ignores you for their phone, but the situation could be direr than you think.
"An easy sign to miss that someone is checked out of a relationship is when they are completely immersed in their phones, no longer engaging in meaningful conversation or even making much eye contact," says Jackie Martinez, LMSW, LCSW, a therapist at Suffolk Family Therapy. "I think this is so common to miss these days just because most of us are so attached to our technology."
This could be a poor habit your partner needs to kick, or it could signal you need to have a deeper conversation.
They don't post you on social media.
According to Ariel Landrum, a licensed marriage and family therapist, we often curate our social media profiles to showcase how we desire our lives to be. "When someone starts over-posting about their relationship alone, they may be making a bid to showcase the changes they hope to see," she says. "They will highlight moments in hopes that their partner will understand the image they want to sustain in the relationship."
If those bids go unnoticed, the person may create social media posts that exclude their partner, even if the highlighted activity includes them, Landrum adds. That simple shift could mean they've made a conscious or subconscious decision to distance themselves from you.
For more relationship advice delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
They stop picking fights.
Not fighting is a good thing, right? Wrong. According to Paige Bond, LMFT and couples counselor, it could mean your partner is checking out.
"You may think, 'wow, things are so healthy, we aren't fighting anymore' when that's not quite the case, and your partner is truly having an 'I don't care' attitude toward the relationship and has given up in a sense," she says. "This is a super common tactic with people who have avoidant tendencies as their number one goal is to not engage in conflict." Healthy conflict is a good and necessary part of any relationship.