*Note: This article was written for Bolde.com on January 11, 2017. See the original article here.
After you’ve been with someone for a while, it’s normal for that “new relationship high” to wear off. Your relationship is bound to take on a different dynamic after a long period of time, but if you’re noticing these signs, it may mean that you’re staying together not because you’re in love, but because you’ve grown complacent:
1. THERE’S NO SENSE OF INTIMACY.
When you first enter a relationship, it’s mostly butterflies and fireworks every time you spend time with your partner. As the years go by, it’s normal for those feelings to settle down, but when you’re in love, they aren’t completely gone. Instead, they’re replaced by a deeper love, respect, and understanding of your partner that’s twice as special. You still make one another feel loved and appreciated, even if one kiss from him doesn’t send you into a tizzy. When you’re with your partner simply out of comfort, you begin to feel more like distant friends or even just roommates.
2. YOU DON’T IMAGINE YOUR FUTURE WITH HIM.
Actually, you may wonder what your future would be like WITHOUT him. Every day you go through the motions and the idea of “settling down” with him seems bleak. When you’re with your partner out of love, ideas like getting married and raising a family are thrilling, and you happily envision that sort of life together.
3. YOU’RE LESS AFRAID OF LOSING HIM AND MORE AFRAID OF BEING ALONE.
It’s hard to let go of a relationship that you’ve invested years of your life towards. If you’ve been dating someone for a few years, you may feel you have an obligation to make it work even if you aren’t feeling it anymore. You’re scared that once you make the decision to let the relationship go, you may regret it because you’ll be alone. Those who stay out of love do so because no matter how cliché it sounds, they can’t imagine their life without their partner.
4. EITHER FIGHTING MAKES YOU FEEL NUMB, OR YOU DON’T FIGHT AT ALL.
Although it may sound silly, fighting is a healthy part of a relationship. No two people are going to agree on everything, and after a big fight, couples who are in love are usually able to reach a resolution. Fighting helps you understand your partner better, and at the end of a fight, you may even feel closer to each other than you did before. If you never fight or you don’t care about resolving things when you do disagree, it may be a sign that you’re only willing to put the bare minimum into your relationship.
5. YOU DON’T WANT TO HAVE TO DATE AGAIN.
Let’s face it: dating is exhausting. You had to go through a number of bad dates and crappy boyfriends before finding someone worthwhile. When you’re with someone out of complacency rather than love, it’s not that you don’t want to date other people — it’s the thought of having to start that process all over again that’s terrifying.
6. YOU’RE AFRAID OF WHAT OTHER PEOPLE MAY THINK.
If you’ve been together for several years, the thought of having to change your relationship status is daunting. You know that you’ll inevitably hear, “But you two were so perfect together! What happened?” The only thing worse than a breakup is having to answer a million questions about it, and that alone might be enough to keep you with your partner if you’re only in it because it’s what you’re used to.
7. YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE MAKING AN EFFORT.
Relationships require work (and lots of it) in order to grow. Unless you and your partner are putting in the effort, you can feel stuck in one place with no escape. In order to move forward, both partners must have a willingness to make it work because they care deeply for one another. Couples who are in love will be more than happy to put forth this kind of effort, but those who are sticking together because it’s easier than breaking up won’t do more than they have to in order to keep the relationship together.
8. YOU’RE CONVINCED YOU WON’T FIND BETTER AND SHOULD SETTLE DOWN.
If there’s nothing wrong with your partner and you’re just not feeling it anymore, you may start to believe that every relationship reaches this point. Those who stay together out of love do so because they KNOW there’s no one else out there for them. There is no settling because they’ve found their match.
9. SEX HAS LOST ALL OF ITS MEANING.
Before, sex was more about making love and feeling close to your partner. Now it’s become a chore or a way to get quick satisfaction. Many couples feel the need to spice it up in order to bring heat back into the bedroom after years of being together. However, if you’re just avoiding a breakup because you’re comfortable, you’re much less likely to care about making things better in the bedroom.
10. YOU NO LONGER WANT TO SHARE YOUR FEELINGS WITH HIM.
Instead of talking about anything of importance, there’s nothing but idle day-to-day chitchat. The most productive conversation you’ve had in months is, “Did you pay the electric bill?” When two people are really in love, they’ll still want to share their thoughts and feelings with each other. When they’re just staying together because it’s less painful than breaking up, those significant conversations will start to disappear.