A couple has to constantly invest time and energy to keep a relationship going. When this doesn’t happen, the relationship suffers and reaches a point where they may experience stagnancy.
A stagnant relationship is one where the couple does not feel connected anymore. It is a low phase in which the couple feels their relationship has lost the spark. They wonder if they will ever feel the same about each other again.
If you relate to this feeling, your relationship has probably become stagnant. Read this post as we tell you a few signs that indicate a stagnant relationship and the possible reasons behind it. We also give you a few practical tips for reviving your relationship.
12 Signs That Indicate You Are In A Stagnant Relationship
Are you having mixed feelings about your relationship lately? Have a look at the following signs that could indicate stagnancy in a relationship.
1. You do not have fun together
There was a time when the weekend meant having some fun, relaxing time with your partner. Now, the weekend seems neither exciting nor relaxing. You do not look forward to spending time with your partner. All you can think of is laying in your bed with your lappy and catching up on shows.
2. You do not try to resolve your differences
There was a time when a fight would not be carried to bed or dragged to the next day. But now, fights get stretched over days and weeks, and neither of you puts in any effort to resolve it. The cold war goes on for as long as you can remember.
3. You often question your relationship
As days go by, you often ask yourself the same question, “What was I thinking?” or “Why are we together?” You cannot fathom why you are still together when your partner behaves cold, distant, and aloof. It is not that you don’t love them; you do. It is just that you do not feel that spark you once felt.
4. You say ‘love you’ but don’t mean it
You probably have made a habit of saying ‘love you’ each time you step out of the house or hang up the phone. But deep down, you know you do not mean it, and neither does your partner.
5. You know the relationship will not last
For some unknown reason, no matter how hard you try, you cannot imagine a future with them. You take each day as it comes and knows that it is only a matter of time when this relationship will come crumbling down. And you are okay with it and somewhat prepared for it.
6. You get worked up easily
Your partner does something wrong, and you find yourself enraged beyond comprehension. Perhaps it triggered an old unpleasant memory, which you never fully dealt with. You thought you were done and over with it, but sadly, the bitterness remains, and you don’t know how to control it.
7. You are not interested in sex anymore
It has been ages since you and your partner made love. Neither of you even tries to get intimate in bed. You prefer sticking to your side and having a good night’s sleep. You have probably not lost complete interest in sex; you just don’t want it with your partner.
8. You do not confide in each other
Having deep conversations can keep a couple close and bonded. But deep conversations are a thing of the past for you and your partner. You avoid long conversations with each other altogether, and your conversations are related to general topics.
9. You avoid each other’s families
Initially, although you did not like their folks, you tried to be friendly and get along with them, but now, you do not feel the need for it. You avoid spending time with their family, and they avoid yours.
10. You feel like you are too patient with them
If you have been dating for a few years, you probably feel that marriage should be the next step in your relationship. But your partner does not seem to share the same feeling. They may assure you that marriage is indeed on their mind too, but they never seem to do anything about it, leaving you impatient for them to come to it soon.
11. You often criticize each other
It does not matter how hard you work, your partner will always find a fault in everything you do and vice versa. You fail to see the good in each other. You often find yourself either being put down or raining on your partner’s parade.
12. You are no longer each other’s priority
Work and friends mean more to you than your partner. You often feel lonely and neglected because your partner does not give you the importance they once did. You may also feel unwanted in the relationship because of your partner’s behavior.
Why Does A Relationship Become Stagnant?
Relationships become stagnant due to various reasons, and the reasons could vary from couple to couple. Here are a few common reasons.
1. You are unhappy with yourself
Sometimes, due to various reasons, you may feel unhappy with yourself. You may then focus on your relationship, hoping that it will make you forget any other pain in life. You work hard to make your partner happy and expect them to do the same for you. This can be unfair to them because even though they love you, they may not be able to give you the kind of attention you give them. Their inability to match up to your expectations can make you resent them, and you may feel cheated that they do not reciprocate your affection.
2. You are unable to accept their flaws
You marry or move in with your partner and dream of having a perfect life together. But you are also agreeing to live with a certain set of flaws and habits. It can be difficult to adjust to living together and there are likely to be phases where you are not living in peace and harmony. When the adjustment seems to be one-sided, it can lead to anger, friction and frequent arguments and leave you feeling stuck in your relationship.
3. You try to change your partner
Once you know your partner’s flaws and habits, you might want to change them. Your partner may change certain bad habits for your sake. But when you try to change them too much, they may start to hate you for trying to make them someone they are not. They might even find comfort being away from you or in someone else’s company.
4. You are not on the same page
You may dream of getting married and leading a simple and comfortable lifestyle, but your partner may wish to work hard and enjoy a lavish lifestyle. Such differences in plans can create a rift between your partner and you. You might never be on the same page as far as future plans are concerned, and you may gradually grow apart.
5. You cannot get over the difference in status
You fell in love with a wealthy partner and thought you would live a great life. But the difference in your social status has made you a target of constant scrutiny by people who believe you are with your partner for their wealth and nothing else. Such public judgment can take a toll on a happy couple, leading to misunderstandings and unhappiness in a relationship.
How To Revive A Stagnant Relationship
It is common for couples to experience a low phase. But with a little love, care, and understanding, your relationship can not only be saved, but also bloom and flourish. Here’s some tips for getting through the hard times and learning more about yourself and your partner and possibly even growing stronger together. Be careful not to give up too soon and cultivate a positive perspective.
1. Talk to each other
The first step in mending a relationship is to have a heart-to-heart talk. If you want to save your relationship, you have to deflate your ego. Share your differences and listen attentively when your partner shares their issues with you. Do not get defensive. Instead, be curious and try to understand what your partner is saying and find a way to resolve your differences.
2. Quit criticizing and start understanding
Your partner may lack certain skills. Instead of criticizing them, try to be more understanding. Accept the fact that your partner is not perfect. Focus on their strengths and appreciate them for what they can do.
3. Support each other
What excites your partner does not necessarily have to excite you too. However, you can at least try to be supportive . Celebrate your partner’s achievements, no matter how small, and tell them how happy you are that their efforts are being recognized.
4. Change your approach
Let’s suppose your partner accidentally resorts to an old habit that has often been a bone of contention. Calm yourself Instead of getting angry, think about what you need or want and use the language of love and I-statements to help your partner understand how they can rectify it.
5. Try to reignite the lost spark
Spending time with your partner might seem difficult if you have had some bitter fights in the past. But you can try by signing up for a fun couple activity that you have never tried before. You can learn a skill together or go on a fun adventure trip. Do something that you both will enjoy doing.
6. Resolve conflicts as soon as possible
Try to resolve differences on the same day itself. Do not take it to bed or drag it out to the next day. Talk it out patiently, take responsibility for your actions, apologize, try to find a mutual solution, and then move on. Do not hold grudges against each other.
7. Focus on the positives of your partner
Whenever you remember any unpleasant thing about your partner, try to remind yourself of their positive side too. Remember the times they helped you, the times they made you laugh, and the times they sacrificed something for you. Remind yourself of what your partner means to you and how much you cherish their company.
8. Seek professional help
If you think your differences are too deep to be resolved on your own, it is best to seek professional help. A marriage counselor can guide you through this challenging phase. Problems in a relationship do not only mean personal differences, but also serious issues such as infidelity, addiction to certain substances, or gambling. A qualified counselor can help you move past these issues and focus on sustaining your relationship.
Every couple experiences stagnancy at least once during their lifetime. The way out of this is to hold on to your love, resolve your differences, and commit to making your relationship work. Remember, it will not be easy, but you can often rekindle the lost spark or move on to a mature, growth enhancing, new and better relationship.