People change all the time.
We’re constantly evolving our interests, careers, education, goals, mindset, etc – even if we don’t fully realize it!
The problem is that some couples grow together when these things about us change, while others grow apart.
Think this might be happening in your relationship? If you recognize these 10 signs, it should tell you everything you need to know…
1) You don’t laugh together anymore
Laughter is one of the best things for a relationship.
When you laugh together, experts say you bond and feel safer around each other. Laughing also shows that you feel romantically attracted to each other.
Reading between the lines, this means if you don’t laugh together, you aren’t as attracted to each other emotionally. You also aren’t bonding or feeling safe together…
These same experts say you’re unlikely to withstand the test of time when this happens. Nor are you going to experience much joy in the relationship!
So if you used to laugh together all the time, but now all you do is roll your eyes (or have eyes rolled at you), you might be growing apart…
2) You don’t enjoy doing things together
Dating is something you should always do in a relationship – no matter how long you’ve been together. It creates opportunities for quality time, laughter, new experiences, and (most importantly) joy!
So many couples stop dating when life gets busy. But some couples don’t stop dating for this reason alone…
They stop because they don’t actually enjoy each other’s company anymore. They’d rather go to a concert or out for dinner with a friend than their partner.
Even basic things like going shopping or cooking aren’t something you enjoy doing together anymore.
It might be you who feels this way, or it might just be them (and you can sense it). Either way, it’s not a good sign!
3) You have different goals in life
As self-motivated humans, we’re always changing the goalpost for what we want to achieve in life. And this is a good thing!
The only problem is that when your goals change too much, you can end up leaving your partner behind. Or, of course, they can end up leaving you behind instead…
This issue becomes pretty obvious when it comes to the big stuff. Like if you want to move abroad, but your partner doesn’t. Someone has to compromise, or you have to end things.
But it can happen with much smaller changes, too. My friend and her partner, for example, started growing apart when she gave up watching TV and he didn’t.
She started reading, exercising, baking, and trying new hobbies. He kept watching TV in the evenings and on weekends.
They eventually split because their interests became so different that they didn’t know how to spend time together anymore. They didn’t even know how to talk to each other at the very end!
If you’re noticing these same things in your relationship, this is bad, bad news…
4) Your careers are going in opposite directions
Your career is an important aspect of your life. It gives you purpose and creates opportunities for personal growth.
But when your careers start going in opposite directions, it can drive a wedge in a relationship.
Like with an ex-boyfriend of mine. His job increased his hours, so he had less time at home. Whereas mine went fully remote, giving me more time at home.
Neither of us wanted to change careers, but the new routine made conversations about the future and starting a family very (very!) strained.
Of course, you don’t have to end things when your careers take different paths. But when it starts affecting your relationship, this is a different story…
5) You have different opinions on everything
Couples don’t have to agree on everything to have a happy relationship. But they do need to agree on some things. They also need to understand each other.
People change their opinions all the time. I used to love clubbing 10 years ago, but now I don’t. Likewise, I didn’t used to enjoy debating world topics, but now I do.
If I was dating someone who still loved clubbing every weekend and hated global conversations, we probably wouldn’t get on too well anymore.
When your opinions change and you start liking different things, it can force you to grow apart (or even outgrow) your partner.
Which is sad, since you used to get along fine when you liked/disliked these things. But now, you feel misunderstood and like you’re not on the same page anymore…
6) You lack interest in the others’ passions
You used to fall more in love with them every time their eyes lit up to talk about their hobby. You could listen for hours just because you could see how passionate they were!
But now, whenever they talk about things they enjoy, your eyes glaze over. Your mind wanders and you’d rather be talking about anything else but this.
This is probably one of the most obvious signs that you’ve grown apart. And that you’ve lost a little bit of love for your partner…
Because even if you don’t share their passions, you should still enjoy hearing them talk about them.
But when their passions grow too different from yours, or you just can’t bear to hear about them anymore, it’s a bad sign.
7) You have hardly anything to talk about
I remember going on a double date with a friend once. At some point, the guy joked:
“We prefer going out with other people. When we go out the two of us, we don’t even talk!”.
We laughed along politely, but it wasn’t very funny. When you lose the ability to make conversation with your partner, this obviously isn’t a good sign.
But even if all you do these days is small talk, this also isn’t good. Some experts say that engaging in small talk all the time can damage a relationship beyond repair!
Why? Because avoiding deep, meaningful conversations means you’ve stopped being vulnerable with each other. It also means you’ve stopped finding each other interesting and exciting.
Both of which can make you feel disconnected and even rejected in your relationship. Plus, it can be a sign that you’re growing apart…
8) You don’t feel like they “get” you
When a friend of mine’s mum passed away, she started questioning her relationship, too. “I just don’t feel like he gets me anymore” – she said to us.
I felt the same when I lost a parent years ago. I felt like the experience changed me and most of my social circle didn’t understand that I wasn’t the same person I used to be.
It doesn’t have to be a major event that’s made you feel this way. Of course, if you’ve experienced something big, this could be why you feel like your partner doesn’t understand you anymore.
But it could happen with smaller life events, too. And you used to be able to talk to them about how you felt, and you felt seen by them.
Yet that doesn’t happen now. You’d rather talk to anyone but them when you’re struggling. And if you ever do speak to them, you come away feeling deflated…
9) You feel like you don’t know them anymore
It’s a weird feeling, but it’s definitely something you’ll experience when you and your partner are growing apart. You’ll have this strange feeling that you don’t really know who they are anymore.
I had it once in a past relationship. He started talking about these new hobbies he wanted to do and voicing opinions I’d never heard him voice before.
I went to bed that night feeling like he wasn’t the person I used to know. Like I didn’t really know him at all anymore!
When he used to tell me things, I understood why he thought them and why he wanted to do them. But now, his views and goals were too different to comprehend.
If you get this same feeling with your partner, you might be growing apart. Because when you aren’t growing apart, you’ll happily accept their new hobbies or debate their new opinions.
But when you are, it’ll leave you with an unfamiliar, unsettling feeling in the pit of your stomach…
10) You don’t tell each other the little things
It’s important to tell your partner the “big” stuff going on in your life.
Like if you were about to apply for a new job or your parents were getting a divorce, you should probably tell your partner about those things.
If you don’t tell each other the big stuff, this is definitely a sign that there’s something wrong!
But I think it’s important in a relationship that you don’t just tell each other the “big” stuff. I think you need to tell each other the little things going on in your life, too.
Like in a past relationship, my ex didn’t tell me that he’d started doing the weekly lottery. He also didn’t tell me when he changed gyms.
I stopped telling him things, too. Like funny things that happened in my Pilates class and little compliments I got from people at work.
It was all because we were growing apart and didn’t want to share these things with each other anymore.
So if these little conversations have stopped in your relationship, it might be because you’re growing apart, too…
Growing apart from your other half is an awful feeling. If you still love and care about each other, this is even worse!
And once you realize what’s happening, you have two choices. You both either need to commit to reconnecting or you need to respectfully part ways…
Which might not be what you wanted to hear. Because none of those options are easy.
But sadly, burying your head in the sand isn’t going to make things in the relationship any better.
And the sooner you face the truth and take action, the quicker you can feel better about things.