People who are in a good relationship but secretly crave the single life often display these 9 subtle behaviors

Have you ever seen the film Closer? It’s a fascinating narrative that revolves around the intertwining relationships of two couples, exploring the complexities of modern love, intimacy, and, finally, betrayal.

The 2004 drama begins with Dan, a writer, having a chance encounter with Alice (Natalie Portman), a young woman he meets on the street.

They develop a connection, and enter into a relationship. Despite this, he becomes infatuated with Anna (Julia Roberts), and soon begins a passionate affair with her.

Dan grapples with guilt and internal conflict. The weight of his actions and the deception involved lead him to withdraw from Alice as he tries to reconcile his feelings.

Clearly, he has one (big) foot out of the relationship.

Is there a Dan in your life? Or maybe, if they’re not outwardly being unfaithful, you have a feeling they want out of the relationship—even if it’s a good one?

Here are some of the tell-tale signs.

1) They show reluctance to make long-term plans with you

So, your partner seems a bit hesitant when it comes to making long-term commitments or plans. What’s that all about?

First off, we’ve all been there—the classic commitment-phobe. But if this behavior becomes a pattern, it might be more than just a fleeting moment of indecision. 

By avoiding long-term plans, they could not be fully committing to you, and it might be just in case something better (or different) comes along.

They might be secretly yearning for the carefree days of solo life.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Not everyone who hesitates with long-term commitments is dreaming of singledom. 

People have various reasons for approaching relationships differently. However, if you notice a consistent pattern of reluctance, it might be worth having an open and honest conversation with them.

2) There is less kissing, cuddling, or sex between you two

If you and your partner suddenly find yourselves in a bit of a intimacy drought, it might be a cause for concern.

Why? Well, us humans are creatures of touch. We crave it, we seek it, and we revel in it—especially when we’re in love. It’s natural.

So, when the physical closeness in a relationship starts to dwindle, it’s time to dive deeper.

I’m not saying a lack of physical closeness is a major sign of trouble in paradise. Life gets chaotic, stress happens, and sometimes, schedules misalign.

However, if your once-sexy relationship has turned into a platonic friendship, it might be time to ask some tricky questions.

After all, a thriving relationship usually involves a healthy dose of physical connection.

3) They spend more time alone or engage in activities without you

Has your partner suddenly developed a love for solo adventures, opting for solitary walks, impromptu coffee shop visits, or even taking up a new hobby that doesn’t include you.

Is it as if they’ve become the lone wolf of the relationship?

Well, them spending an unusual amount of time flying solo could be a subtle way of signaling a need for independence.

It’s important to note that this may not necessarily be about them abandoning ship, but rather a desire to reclaim some personal space and rediscover interests on their own.

It’s not necessarily a red flag, but a beige one. People evolve, and sometimes, in the quest for personal growth, they need a wee bit of time alone to figure some stuff out.

Think of it as a relationship pit stop rather than a detour.

In the end, the key is balance. While independence and personal space are essential ingredients in the recipe of a healthy relationship, too much of it might leave you lonely.

4) They engage in flirtatious behavior outside the relationship

one sided relationship People who are in a good relationship but secretly crave the single life often display these 9 subtle behaviors

Ever been at a party with your loved one, having a good time, when suddenly, you notice them having a flirt?

The laughter, the lingering touches, the subtle glances—it’s all right there in front of you. 

When someone in a relationship seeks constant external validation, it might indicate a deeper insecurity or dissatisfaction within the relationship.

They could be seeking affirmation that they still “got it” from people outside the relationship.

Engaging in flirtatious behavior might also be a subconscious way of escaping the routine and responsibilities of a committed relationship. 

It’s like a little mental vacay where they get to experience the thrill of something new without actually crossing any lines.

Remember that everyone is different, and context matters. Occasional harmless flirting doesn’t necessarily spell disaster for a relationship. 

It’s more so when it becomes a consistent and intentional pattern that alarm bells might start ringing.

5) They show less interest in your daily life or achievements

Relationships thrive on shared experiences, genuine curiosity about each other’s lives, and being each other’s biggest cheerleaders. 

So, when the applause starts to fade and the curiosity takes a dip, you might be witnessing someone pulling away.

Imagine you just completed a big work project, and instead of your partner doing the victory dance with you, they give you a half-hearted “That’s nice.” 

When someone in a relationship starts treating their partner’s wins with the enthusiasm of a wet blanket, it’s like they’re withdrawing.

If your partner’s enthusiasm for your daily victories takes a nosedive, it’s time to pay attention. 

6) They become more discreet in communication, potentially seeking connections outside the relationship

Have you ever spotted your partner being discreet in their communication? Are they planning a surprise party, or is there something more secretive going on?

Maybe they miss the thrill of the chase or the excitement of discovering someone new. 

It’s not about you or the relationship lacking something—it’s about an individual craving the freedom and novelty that a single life can offer.

In a world where swiping left and right is more common than ever, the temptation to explore what’s out there can be overwhelming.

The discreet communications could be their way of dipping a toe into the single pond without fully committing to the dive.

But why wouldn’t they just break up with you, you ask? Ah, that’s where it gets tricky. 

Sometimes, people aren’t ready to let go of the safety net of a relationship. It’s like having your cake and eating it too.

7) They become more concerned about personal appearance

Ever noticed how your partner, who used to rock sweatpants and messy hair with pride, suddenly turns into a fashion icon seemingly overnight?

Or maybe they once cared more about pizza than abs, but are now hitting the gym like it’s a full-time job?

Well, this may be a sign that they’re yearning for the single life. 

I’m not talking about the occasional wardrobe upgrade or a newfound love for skincare. No, no. We’re diving into the realm of extreme makeovers.

It’s time to ask some questions, like: are they doing it for themselves, or is there someone they’re trying to impress?

We all know that confidence is a wonderful thing, but when it morphs into an obsession with external validation, it might be a clue that someone is looking for singledom.

It’s essential to approach these observations with empathy and open communication

Maybe there’s an underlying issue or a need for affirmation that hasn’t been addressed yet. A heart-to-heart conversation can actually reveal a lot.

8) They express admiration for single life

relationship is holding you back People who are in a good relationship but secretly crave the single life often display these 9 subtle behaviors

Ever found yourself in the middle of a conversation where your significant other seems oddly intrigued by the concept of singledom

Do they wax on about the joys of solo adventures, nights without plans, and the sheer thrill of spontaneous decision-making? 

It’s like they’re yearning for the unbridled joy of doing whatever, whenever.

It’s not necessarily a cry for a breakup, rather it’s a silent plea for a sprinkle of that single life magic within the confines of a committed relationship.

But if they keep looking at their single friends with envy—then we might just have a problem on our hands.

This envy of single friends might indicate that your partner feels restricted or burdened by the relationship.

It might also be a signal that your partner has unmet needs or desires within the relationship. 

It’s crucial to explore these needs together and work towards finding compromises or solutions that fulfill both of you.

9) They reduce efforts in contributing to the relationship

Maybe your S.O. is suddenly forgetting they agreed to do the dishes or leaving their socks scattered around, whatever it may be, they’re slacking as of late.

So, let’s unpack this charming behavior. You see, when someone in a relationship starts dialing down their contribution, it’s a bit of a red flag.

It’s not just about the dishes or the socks, rather, it’s a peek into their mindset. 

Shared responsibilities are like the glue that holds a relationship together. When one person starts flaking, it’s like the glue losing its sticking power.

Maybe they’re just overwhelmed or preoccupied, but if this becomes a recurring theme, it’s time to ask the million-dollar question: is it all code for “I secretly want to be single”? 

Final thoughts

To sum things up, it’s important to notice subtle signs that your partner might be wanting the single life. 

These signs include holding off on long-term plans, a decrease in physical affection, more solo activities, flirting with others, and reduced interest in your life. 

If your partner becomes secretive in communication, focuses excessively on their appearance, expresses admiration for single life, or neglects shared duties, it may signal a desire for time apart. 

Approaching these signs with empathy and open communication is crucial. It’s an opportunity to discuss any unmet needs or issues within the relationship

Remember, this might not necessarily be the end, but a beginning.

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Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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