When relationships take a bit of a downward turn, it can be hard to tell whether it's just a rough patch, or if maybe you're actually not in love with that person anymore. And, if you do come to realise your relationship has morphed into little more than a friendship, pulling the plug can be really hard. They've technically not done anything wrong, but your (or their) feelings have changed. That's a tough one to navigate.
Women who've been through this took to Reddit to explain exactly how they knew their relationships had turned into friendships (and ultimately, how they had to end).
- "Flirting would rarely be reciprocated. Any convos would be shorter and less meaningful. We'd take longer to respond to each other's texts. Overall, even though we were still just as close, the spark wasn't there anymore. We loved each other deeply, but long-distance was harsh and unforgiving. Eventually, we both moved on. It took so long because we were still talking every day—we just weren't dating." [via]
- "When he tried to kiss me and I was grossed out. I couldn't remember what I ever saw in him in the first place. He's not a gross or unattractive guy, I just was not attracted to him sexually or romantically." [via]
- "When I was looking forward to my period in order to avoid having sex. The spark was just never there for me unfortunately. We were together for almost four years. I just wasn't physically attracted to him." [via]
- "After we had gone several months without sex. I brought it up because it occurred to me that maybe he was feeling really badly and resentful about it. He kind of shrugged and just said that he liked hanging out with me. We talked about it and, realising that neither of us were that sexually attracted to the other, ended up breaking up." [via]
- "When I was no longer sexually attracted to them. There was no dramatic change to their appearance. Wouldn’t matter too much to me if there was. The spark was just gone. When the spark is gone, you slowly lose your sexual attraction to them. Doesn't mean you love them less, the love just changes into something platonic." [via]
- "I didn't want him touching me at all. No sex whatsoever. [I was] constantly thinking about other men. We would fight all the time over absolutely everything. It was the hardest break up though. Typically I leave because the boyfriend had cheated or was an asshole. My ex didn’t do anything wrong. I just fell out of love with him. Glad I did though because I have the most wonderful life with the most sexual man I’ve ever met!" [via]
- "It slowly started to become more of a friends with benefits type of thing for the last six months of our two-year relationship. To this day we are still really really close friends but he just stopped loving me as a partner, [he] continued [loving me] as a person though. I could tell because he would stop sending me cute texts, complimenting me, planning dates, putting any effort into what he looked like even when we went out, doing all the things he used to do to show he loved me." [via]
- "I got tired of him constantly whining to me about really small problems, while refusing to talk through the bigger issues (like if we were planning to be in the same place after we graduated, or if either or both of us wanted to get married to each other, etc.) We had been together for over three years at that point, and I felt like I was with a needy juvenile. I could no longer view him as a sexual being, and I still can't." [via]
- "He had lost interest sexually long before I did, but made excuses. Finally he started putting effort into it but we both had tons of reasons why it wasn’t happening. We weren't sharing a bedroom. Neither of us felt any jealousy. Finally I met somebody and felt that hunger again. I told him I wanted an open relationship and he agreed. Maybe if everything else was okay we could have made it, but he was a toxic abusive creep on top of it so, bye Felicia." [via]
- "When I was holding onto the 'good times,' aka the honeymoon stage, and trying to remember how excited I was to be with him. It started feeling like a chore, staying with him, after I forgave him for things I never should have. I should've stuck to my gut and refused to have allowed him to talk me out of breaking up (the first time) with him at six weeks." [via]
- "I enjoyed our shared interests but everything I did with him I could also do with my girl friends, and probably have a better time doing so. Also, there was no enjoyment in kissing, and heartfelt, meaningful compliments disappeared and became awkward and forced if they were ever exchanged." [via]
- "When he told me he loved me and I couldn't say the words back." [via]
- "When I told him I wanted to take a break from our relationship and once we were on the break, nothing felt different." [via]
- "We were friends first, and there was definitely some initial spark/intrigue, but the relationship should definitely not have survived past the first couple months (instead of the five plus years it did, ugh). The foundational friendship confused the boundaries of feeling, and I always tried to twist the narrative to make it work, ('We have a companionate love', 'Even though this might not be what I want forever, it's good for right now,' 'I'll end things when he's less depressed/has a better job/other things in his life are doing better.')" [via]
- "The Valentine's Day before I broke up with him, I remember praying to God that he wouldn't propose. My true feelings that day were clarified and I broke up with him very soon after." [via]
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com/uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.