There’s a very specific kind of pit you get in your stomach when your intuition starts warning you that your partner is pulling away or questioning the future of your relationship. It's like a nagging ache that something’s not quite right, and you can feel the space forming between you two. Often times, the early signs your partner isn’t sure about your future together are subtle, so you might not quite be able to put your finger on what the problem is. You just know something’s changed, and it doesn't feel good.
"It’s not a lot of fun when you realize your one and only could be on the fence about your future,” Julie Spira, online dating expert and author of Love in the Age of Trump: How Politics is Polarizing Relationships, tells Elite Daily. Part of what makes this so difficult can be the ambiguity coming from your partner. No one deserves to be unclear about what the heck is going on in their relationship. Fortunately, there are some signs that can help you see a clearer picture.
Here’s what the experts say to be on the lookout for if your gut is telling you your partner may be questioning your future.
1. They Become Increasingly Distant.
According to Spira, one of the earliest signs your partner may be having doubts about where the relationship’s going is when they start pulling away and wanting to spend less time with you. “It’s natural not to be attached at the hip after the first three to six months of dating, but if your partner prefers to spend time alone over scheduling regular date nights, it’s the first sign that your coupledom isn’t glued together anymore,” she explains. “You’ll notice the conversations [between you] are shorter, and the lack of enthusiasm will wane, to the point that your partner might appear to be bored or not listening to you.”
2. They Don’t Factor You Into Their Decisions.
If your partner is fully committed to you, they’re likely to consider you (or even consult you) before they make big decisions, Pricilla Martinez, a life coach at Blush, previously told Elite Daily. “[You can tell by] whether or not you're included in any decision-making, [or] whether or not you're taken into account even if it ends up being their decision in the long-run," Martinez explained. In other words, if you’ve stopped being a factor in their decision-making process, consider that a red flag something’s off in the relationship.
3. You Haven’t Met Their Friends Or Family.
If you’re growing concerned your partner isn’t sure where your relationship is headed, consider how close you’ve become with their inner circle. Have they introduced you to their family and closest friends? If the answer is no, that may be a sign your partner is unsteady about your future, as Susan Winter, NYC relationship expert, love coach, and author of Breakup Triage: The Cure for Heartache, previously told Elite Daily.
“When a partner's not looking for commitment, they'll make excuses for not introducing you to their friends and family," she explained. "Remember, getting into your partner's inner circle means you're a priority and are considered an important part of their lives."
4. They’re Reluctant To Make Future Plans.
While there are a handful of behaviors to be on the lookout for, Spira says the clearest sign your partner’s on the fence about the future is simply if they avoid making long-term plans and talking about what's next for you. “If your partner stopped talking about the future and can’t seem to make plans for more than one week ahead, you just might be ‘the one for now,’” she says. “There’s something exciting about the beginning of a relationship when you just click with your partner. It’s a natural path to talk about future goals or make a list of movies or shows to watch together. That’s a commitment. But if your partner can’t commit to making a plan three days, weeks, or months away, their vagueness is a solid sign they aren’t committing to a life that includes you.”
What To Do If Your Partner Isn’t Sure About Your Future.
If this is all hitting a little too close to home, Spira recommends taking a breath and giving your partner some space. “Everyone needs space from time to time,” she says. ”After a few weeks, if you can make it that long, try suggesting a few fun outings or vacation ideas that are six months in the future, and see if your partner is game.” If they’re still hesitant to talk about future plans, it might be time to consider how you feel about a future with them. “Why waste your time with someone who doesn’t value yours?” she asks.
You don’t have to immediately call it quits, but it’s probably time to have a conversation about what’s going on. “Remind them of the fun plans you dreamed about together, and bluntly ask, 'Where do you see our relationship one year from today?'" she suggests. If their answers don't include you, “it’s time to cut the cord and find someone who worships the ground you walk on, because you deserve to have the greatest love on the planet," Spira says.
Ultimately, whether you choose to stick things out and see if your partner comes around, or if you want to part ways and be with someone who knows they’re all the way in on the relationship, your future is yours to decide. As Spira explains, not all relationships are meant to last, and that’s OK. Do what feels right for you, and what you know will make you feel happy and whole.
Julie Spira, online dating expert and author of Love in the Age of Trump: How Politics is Polarizing Relationships
Pricilla Martinez, a life coach at Blush