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Love can be a difficult world to navigate – one day you’re on top of the world, sure that you’ve found your one true love, only to experience it all crashing down the next. While I would love to tell you that there’s some secret to avoiding heartbreak entirely, that’s just not realistic, but I can help you to notice when your relationship is headed for Splitsville.

A happy, healthy relationship is built upon many key things including trust, respect, communication, and understanding, but most importantly love. This is more than just a physical connection, but rather a deeper experience that incorporates the mind, heart, and soul. While some relationships will end in a massive explosion, a single event blowing everything apart at the moment, many will slowly dwindle away, this love fading slowly into the night.

Is your relationship failing? Here are 12 red flags that the love is gone and it’s time to move on:

#1 – You notice that ‘I love you’ is starting to disappear from your vocabulary.

Those three little words are often given far too much importance in a relationship if you ask me, after all, there are many ways that you can show you love someone without having to say it. However, if you once readily said this phrase quite regularly to one another and you’re now noticing that is disappearing, this is a sign that something has changed.

#2 – You no longer trust one another.

Trust is an essential part of any healthy relationship. Whether you entered into this relationship without fully trusting one another to begin with, or something happened along the way to break your trust, you should take note. A relationship without trust is doomed, so if you are at a point where you don’t think it can ever be repaired, you may want to end it now and do both of yourselves a favor. After all, doing so will help you to avoid further heartbreak down the road when your lack of trust in one another leads to bigger problems.

#3 – You criticize one another constantly.

Your partner should be your cheerleader, the person that is building you up and help you to feel more confident as you face life’s challenges together. Sure, there are times where it’s going to be your job to encourage your partner to grow into a better version of themselves, but if you notice that you spend all of your time criticizing one another, that’s a sign that something’s off. If every little aspect of your partner annoys you, then you should reconsider whether your heart is really in this relationship.

#4 – You start to feel awkward when you are spending time together with other happy couples.

It’s not that you no longer care for your friends or family members, in fact, you are genuinely happy that they are so happy in their current relationships. However, seeing them happy while you are sitting there struggling is a constant reminder that something is missing. You long for what they have, which can create resentment, shame and hurt feelings.

#5 – You begin to see your partner as more of a friend or a roommate.

Pay attention to the feelings you carry for your partner. When they are around you, do they still make you feel love and affection? Or, do you find that while you care about them, your feelings are more comparable to the way you see your best friend? Do you still enjoy moments of physical intimacy, or do you live together more like two roommates, simply respecting one another’s personal space?

#6 – Your thoughts regularly drift to someone else.

Sure, you may physically be with your partner, but who are you fantasizing and dreaming about. When you close your eyes, who occupies your mind? If you notice that this isn’t in line with who you claim has your heart, then you need to dedicate some time to self-evaluation. Is your mind drifting elsewhere because something is missing? If so, have you done everything possible to try to ‘fix’ that aspect of your relationship, or is it beyond repair?

#7 – You are no longer making plans for your future together.

When a couple is happy and healthy, they see one another in their future. Where they once had separate goals and plans, these are now altered to incorporate one another. They are excited to discuss and make these plans together. If, however, the spark leaves the relationship it’s not uncommon to see these dreams begin to fade. If you’re struggling to convince one another that you belong together today, it’s likely going to be really hard to picture tomorrow together, let alone 10 years down the road.

#8 – You are staying together for reasons other than the fact you don’t want to picture your lives apart.

Take a moment to really look at why you are staying together. Do you choose to continue this relationship because you truly love and care for one another? If you consider a future apart, is this painful? Or, do you stay together because it’s just easier? Relationships that are based on comfort, convenience or a dependency on one another for a reason such as finances will never truly bring you happiness.

#9 – Your relationship leaves you feeling emotionally drained and exhausted.

If you are feeling exhausted all the time, despite getting a good night’s sleep, then it’s time to take a step back and reassess your current situation. Anything that causes you extreme stress and negativity can have this impact on your mental and emotional health. That being said, try to pinpoint where the stress is coming from. Is it from your relationship? If so, you need to reconsider whether this is working for you.

#10 – You are communication less effectively than before.

Communication is a fundamental building block of a happy, healthy relationship. Therefore, if you notice this is starting to disappear you should take note. This includes not only verbal communication, although that is incredibly important, but also body language, facial expressions, and any other attempt to share what you are feeling or thinking at any given moment.

#11 – You no longer care to fix the things that have gone wrong.

Relationships take work, and even the happiest relationships will have to face the reality that something can go wrong from time to time. However, pay attention to how each of you acts after noticing that something is off. Are you taking steps to correct the problem? If you notice that you have entered into a state of complacency, where either one or both of you no longer seem to care to put the effort into fixing your relationship problems, this is the sign that your relationship is coming to an end.

#12 – You begin to feel as though your relationship is a burden as opposed to something that brings you joy.

This isn’t to say that relationships aren’t going to take work and dedication. However, take a moment to step back and consider how often you feel as though your relationship is a chore or a burden versus how often it brings you joy, happiness, and feelings of love. If you notice that your relationship is actually preventing you from being happy, it may be time to reconsider whether it’s time to cut ties.

Image via The Power of Positivity