By Kristin K.
After investing so much time and emotional energy into a relationship, it's sometimes difficult to see that it's unraveling before your very eyes. While there are a few egregious signs that you should jump ship immediately (physical abuse or catching your partner in the sack with someone else), other symptoms of disease are easier to ignore. However, if you can learn to identify these symptoms, you might be better prepared for the inevitable split. Here are five signs that - taken alone or in combination - may indicate you or your partner might be headed for the door:
Indifference: Did your partner not remember your birthday? Or maybe he or she didn't bat an eye about your promotion. A considerable change in one's level of concern for someone else's wellbeing and happiness is not a good sign. Events, successes or milestones that are important to one person should also be important to a lover. In addition, if someone's no longer doing those little things that make being in a relationship so wonderful, like picking up flowers once in a while or giving you an impromptu foot rub, you've got reason to wonder.
Chemistry has disappeared: Do you no longer feel attracted to your partner physically or mentally? You have to have chemistry in and out of bed for a relationship to endure. Hot sex with no intellectual depth is just as bad as your lover morphing into more of a buddy than someone with whom you'd want to roll around in the sheets.
Negative behavior: If your partner's been acting irritable, moodily snapping at you for any minor infraction, you need to have a talk. This may be symptomatic of something else going wrong in his or her life, but it could also be a result of pent-up frustration with the relationship in general.
Secrets: Maybe he's quietly having dinner with a female co-worker, or maybe she's hitting the bar scene with friends - if there are lies involved, something rotten is lurking beneath the surface.
Distance: Is your partner spending all free evenings with anyone and everyone but you? When you do have precious moments together, do you immerse yourself in a book? If you find yourself avoiding time alone with your partner or lavishing more attention on your cat, maybe the single life is what you desire most. While it's healthy to maintain your own friends and outside interests, relationships suffer when one person suddenly becomes distant - physically or even emotionally - in an attempt to lead a separate life.