There are few things as heartbreaking as being blindsided by the end of a relationship. You can be so in love, you don't even realize the other person is slowly inching their way out the door. But there are signs. And keep in mind that although your partner withdrawing from you could very well mean a break up is imminent, there are other possibilities. Depression, anxiety, stress, and a whole host of other problems could be at the root of the sudden personality change. If you're really worried or unsure, it's best to just ask them to talk things out with you.
1. He'll stop making plans with you.
You used to hang out constantly, but suddenly your serious boyfriend is finding every excuse not to see you. They might just be trying to put off the breakup talk until they're ready.
2. He might slowly start texting other women.
You have a feeling he's been talking with someone else a lot. Maybe there's a new coworker or an old ex. And it's not that he's cheating, it's just that some guys have an escape plan of sorts. If this is the case, then he might already know who he's going to pursue next after the breakup. It sounds shitty (and it is), but it's also a coping mechanism for him post-breakup.
3. He's always asking for long talks about the relationship.
He constantly needs to address problems he sees in the relationship. Maybe he wants you spending less time with friends, or is upset at your job trajectory. Things that were never an issue before are now major problems for him that you need to work on "as a couple." And although he makes it seem like you're a team, all the "problems" seem to be on your end.
4. He stops confiding in you.
You wind up hearing about his promotion from a friend, because you're not the first person he wants to call anymore when something major happens.
5. Everything you do suddenly annoys him.
If you don't remember him always being this grumpy, he's probably bottling up feelings about breaking up. It's a confusing time, and he might be lashing out unfairly.
6. He's never happy around you.
He stops joking around with you. He doesn't laugh when you try and mess around with him or drop one of your inside jokes. He just seems like he's... there. Maybe he ignores you and stares at his phone, checking emails. Whatever it is, it's indicative of someone who's already made a big decision but just hasn't told you yet.
7. He picks fights for no reason.
Here's a fun, sick, twisted fact about the male brain: if he can start enough arguments, even if no one is at fault, he thinks he can convince the two of you that the relationship has no staying power.
8. You've stopped having sex.
If he never seems interested in sex (and he used to be), this could be a sign he's already interested in someone else. Or he's just so tuned out at this point that he wants to keep his distance physically as well as emotionally.
9. He's asked for space.
It could just be that he wants more alone time. Some people are certainly like that. Or he's testing things to see how he feels away from you. It's sort of like asking for a break, except without freaking the other person out... as much.
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.