couple on bench in woods

Relationship Burnout: 5 Signs to Watch Out For

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When you find a partner who you want to be with for the long run, your mind instantly goes to the picture-perfect scenarios. It’s easy to expect and dream for the happily ever after. 

Over time, even with the best relationships between two people who love each other, it’s possible to hit a point of burnout. Life stress happens and can take its toll on the relationship. Things can start to slowly shift, making it easy to miss burnout as it’s happening. 

Even if you do notice small changes, you may not deem it necessary to act because you know all relationships take work. The problem comes down the road when the issues turn into negative feelings that are hard to return from. Here are five signs to watch for with relationship burnout.

1. You Feel Disconnected

For most relationships, in the beginning you start to form this strong connection with your partner. You have frequent conversations and schedule plenty of time together. The newness and intrigue pulls you together. 

As your relationship continues, that quality time together is what helps it thrive. People change over time, so quality time together should never feel unnecessary. If you’re hitting a stage of burnout, however, you may notice that you’re feeling more disconnected from your partner. 

Burnout makes connection hard. You may find yourself zoning out during conversations or not entirely present while you’re together. In some instances, you may have feelings of relief or reduced stress when they’re not around. If given the option to spend time together or alone, you lean towards the alone time or choose time with other people who aren’t your partner. 

2. Your Patience Is Fleeting

When you’re going through relationship burnout, you may find that you have less patience for your partner and their behaviors. You may be emotionally exhausted, drained, or frustrated . . . all of these can be contributing factors. 

Little fights may feel like full arguments. Quirks may feel more like annoyances now. With burnout, you’re less willing to overlook the little frustrations and write them off. You may also find yourself having less tolerance for any type of disagreement, resulting in harsh or overreactive responses. 

couple on bench in woods

3. You’re Constantly Fighting

A big red flag for relationship burnout is if you and your partner have been experiencing more frequent fighting. This carries a heavier weight if arguing or disagreeing isn’t your normal routine. 

While there are what’s considered “healthy arguments,” consistent and repetitive ones don’t fall into that category. If your arguments are more about winning and less about growth and resolution, this could be a problem. 

If you’re having small arguments that escalate quickly into large blowouts, it’s something to be concerned about. Somewhere your communication is missing. 

4. Your Intimacy Has Declined

Intimacy and sex are key components to any relationship, in whatever form you have established with your partner. When you’re reaching a point of burnout, it’s almost to be expected that your intimacy will decline. 

Life is stressful and can be filled with a plethora of reasons to make excuses — children, stress, and work often making the top of that list. During healthy times, you’ll still find time and significance in those intimate moments. With burnout, it become easier to let that decline. 

5. You Find Yourself Distracted

When a relationship is thriving, you want to spend time with your partner, learning things together, and take interest in each other. If you’re experiencing difficulty staying present or finding enjoyable activities for each other to do, you may have some burnout. 

If you can’t be present with your partner or are lacking humor and play, this could be the road to larger issues. 

Thankfully, there are resources to get your relationship back on track if you’re going through burnout. If any of the above signs sound familiar, contact us to discuss couples therapy

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