The slow fade
Do you know that fairytale about a love that lasts forever? The one where you have butterflies for your partner until you are old and grey? Unfortunately, that is not how real life works. The truth is that the butterflies and warm fuzzy feelings may come to an end. But do not panic as this is normal and if your relationship is built on a strong foundation you have nothing to worry about.
However, there are some cases where the inevitable distance is too much for your relationship to handle. The tricky part is figuring out whether it is a phase you can get through or the final moments of your union. Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself to help find the answer.
How to find out whether it is a phase or your last hurrah
Does any of you feel the need for more and more space?
Personal space in a relationship may be underrated, but it is very important. It could be physical space or emotional distance. If you or your partner asks for this, then there should be no cause for alarm.
The trouble comes in when either of you keeps asking for more space and time to be alone. That could either be a conscious or subconscious attempt to distance yourself from the relationship. That way when the inevitable end arrives, it is easier to detach.
Are you using sex as a smokescreen?
Does sex seem to solve every problem you have in your relationship? Do you consider it the only thing that is keeping you in the relationship? If the answer is yes, then the chances are that you are headed for the end. Many couples hide behind healthy intimacy forgetting to deal with all the issues that drive them apart.
Are there pet peeves that either of you can’t deal with?
No one is perfect so there will always be a few things about your partner that will annoy you. Maybe it is how she leaves her shoes all over the house. Or it could be the old toilet seat up or down debate. You should probably start getting worried if these pet peeves you or your partner have started to seem unbearable. That is often a sign of detachment. You no longer want to excuse the behavior subconsciously, and you are pretty much packed and ready to hit the road. So if your answer here is a yes then this is not a phase.
Do you miss each other when you are away?
If your answer to this question is yes, then there may be hope for your relationship yet. It shows that there is still some emotional investment in the arrangement. You are probably still willing to work on it, and so the distance is a phase that you can very easily overcome.
On the other hand, if you feel happier being away and you dread seeing them again, then it will probably not be ending with happily ever after for you.
Do you understand the problem at hand?
The distance you are experiencing in the relationship did not manifest from thin air. It is usually a result of unresolved issues. If you understand the problem and you are willing to work on it, then your relationship is more likely to weather the storm. However, if you are still in denial of there being an issue or you do not understand it, then your relationship is probably on its way to being over.
Are you playing the blame game?
The distance in a relationship crosses the line and becomes toxic when a couple starts to play the blame game. Maybe you do not acknowledge your part in the issues, and neither does your partner. If this is the case, then it is unlikely that what you are going through is a phase. However, if both of you are willing to accept liability and work on making things better then it might just end up being a phase you will get through.
Are you willing to compromise?
Sometimes the difference between a phase and irreversible distance in a relationship is the willingness to compromise. Coming to a compromise might be hard, but if you truly want the relationship to survive, then it is something that you will have to do. The important thing is to ensure that both of you understand what the problem is in the first place.
Do you see a future with your partner?
The question is pretty self-explanatory. If you see life with your partner after this unpleasantness, you might just be dealing with a temporary issue. It does not mean that your relationship is guaranteed to last forever, but it is a sure sign of great things ahead. If you do not see a future together, then it is time to call it quits. There is truly no use investing any more time or energy as you have most likely already emotionally detached from your partner or vice versa.