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By Hein Kaiser


Quiet quitting in relationships: Are you at risk?

Periods of celebration like the festive season see frequent breakups. But has your partner been quiet quitting your relationship for a while?

Relationships tend to hit rock bottom during periods of observation. Whether it be Valentine’s Day or birthdays, it seems to happen too often for comfort. And the festive season is no different.

There are signs though, said sex and relationship expert Pippa Murphy of condoms.uk. She said that we’ve seen quiet quitting in the workplace; but there’s quiet quitting in relationships, too.

Murphy said: “Quiet quitting is when one person stops trying and gives up without telling the other person about their feelings or needs. The other person may not even know that they are being neglected until it is too late after the damage has been done and things are irreparable. Quiet quitters know that they are doing their partner harm, but they do not want to face their own emotions or deal with confrontation, so they stay silent instead of communicating with their partner honestly.”

She said that there are seven signs that your significant other may be on their way out.

They stop being available for you 

If your partner used to make time for you but now does not, that could be a sign of quiet quitting. They might not even realise what they are doing because they have gotten so used to being single that they do not think twice about leaving their partner hanging when they have other things going on in their life. Some examples include not making plans with you, or no longer inviting you to hang out with their friends.

ALSO READ: What is cobwebbing in relationships?

Next year does not feature in plans yet

If your partner is avoiding talking about the future, or even next year, it could be because they may want out or they are weighing their options. Murphy said: “It could be because they want out of the relationship but do not want to hurt your feelings by telling you directly. One of the positives of it being near the end of the year is that you can ask about plans for the New Year – from moving in together, or booking a holiday – however, if they show no interest, then this is a major red flag.” 

Chats about happy memories dry up

A sure sign is when you your partner stops or disengages from conversation about your memories together. Murphy suggested that thus happens because they do not want to feel guilty about wanting to exit your relationship, and instead are trying to forget about their relationship with you. 

Replies to messages take longer

Murphy suggested that when the time between responses on text messages become greater or their excitement wanes in the tone of a reply, warning lights should go off. She said: “This could be a sign that they are silent-quitting the relationship.”

They do not share their feelings

A common sign of quiet quitting in a relationship is when partners stop sharing their feelings with one another and avoiding the subject at all costs, said Murphy. She said: “They are trying to end the relationship without having to deal with the emotions that come with a breakup. It is like putting a plaster on an open wound and not dealing with what is really going on.”

You are sweating the petty stuff

Murphy said that a relationship without conflict is not healthy either but nit-picking on small issues could be a sign that your partner has had enough. Normally petty stuff has no relevance on the big picture but, sweating the petty stuff may be a sign. Said Murphy: “it might be because they have decided that they do not want to stay with you anymore but do not want to hurt your feelings by telling you directly. So, instead, they take their anger about the situation out on small, petty things that do not matter in the grand scheme of things.” 

They do not listen to your problems

When a partner no longer shows interest in your problems or challenges, said Murphy, alarm bells should go off. Especially when it is about work, or other life haggles. This happens when they stop caring about your state of being and is another sign of quiet quitting a relationship.

Murphy said that quiet quitting in a relationship can be saved. There is always hope. She suggested that waiting for a partner to raise the issue is counterproductive, and that the concerned party must raise the issue. She added that this should occur outside of a fight or argumentative environment.

Murphy added that honesty and hearing your partner is important. She said: “The first step to take is to understand what is happening and why it is happening. If your partner is quiet quitting, there may be other issues going on in the relationship besides just one person wanting out.

“There could be communication problems or trust issues or financial problems or any number of things that might have nothing at all to do with love but everything to do with the fact that neither person feels safe enough in the relationship to talk about it openly and honestly enough for both to feel supported long-term.”

Also, she said, if none of the interventions that a couple produces works, and the relationship ends, make sure that you do not take it personally. And never give up on love.

Murphy said: “This is a tough one, but it is important to remember that if your relationship does not work out, you will have plenty of chances to find someone else. You are going to be okay; this breakup will not define who you are or how many people fall in love with you again.”

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