Words by Alison Bonaguro
Women are many things, but straightforward isn’t one of them. So while you may sense that something is amiss when your girlfriend or wife displays obvious signs that she’s not happy in a relationship, there are other subtle clues you can watch for before the not-so-subtle ones hit you like a ton of bricks.
We aren’t talking about her reluctance to jump into bed with you. Or her lack of feigned interest in the details of all 18 holes you just played. Or the fight picking. Or the time she unfollowed you on Twitter. We know you know those.
But these are some of the more obscure indications that The Talk may be coming soon to a relationship near you.
1. Dirty talk isn’t reciprocated
You text her to tell her she looked sexy as hell in bed this morning and that it killed you to leave for your breakfast meeting, and instead of responding that that would’ve rocked her world, she just says, “Thanks!” Thanks? She might as well have texted “Who dis?”
2. Her good news is news to you
When you become the last one on her call list with news of a raise, a promotion, a seriously heavy piece of gossip, or even a story about something adorable her dog/cat/baby did, know that you are not her No. 1 anymore.
3. That cheery disposition of hers goes cold
If she was the more sanguine of the two, and she suddenly goes Debbie Downer on everything, it might mean that your relationship has her seeing more cloud and less silver lining.
4. Suddenly, she starts doing things she hated
The girl who swore up and down that she’d rather be punched in the face before going to another pretentious book club, candle party, or dinners with girls she can’t stand is now saying yes to all of the above. With gusto. It’s like she’ll do anything to avoid you.
5. You know that argument you two have over and over?
You win. She starts going down without a fight. She no longer feels compelled to change your mind. About whatever it is, or was.
6. There are no more tears shed when you leave
In fact, it might feel like she’s glad to see you go. When you break the news to her that you have to go to New York for a few days, she doesn’t beg to go with. She might even be giving you the vibe that you should extend your stay. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out and all that.
7. She pulls away from all the parts of you
It’s not just you, it’s every extension of you. She stops picking up calls from your mom, and your sister notices that she cancels at the last minute every time the two of them have plans.
8. Your bedtimes have become suspiciously contradictory
If you’re going to turn in early, she says she feels like burning the midnight oil. But on the nights that you declare that you are going to stay up late and polish off that bottle of red, she ends up in bed with a book by 9pm.
9. You know that vast collection of private jokes that only you two get?
She no longer gets them. You might find yourself having to explain them. And then the jokes just aren’t funny anymore, and you’re just the guy with the way-too-vivid memory.
(If she leaves you heartbroken, don’t wallow in self-pity for too long. Here’s How To Rise Up From Your Breakup.)