By Audrey Tan 

Relationships aren’t always about sunshine and rainbows. It’s normal to disagree, have arguments, or days when you just can’t seem to see eye to eye on anything. Nevertheless, these moments, which are merely just moments, pass, and you find your way back into each other’s arms.

But now, things still seem a bit off, and you have an unsettling suspicion that your partner may be secretly unhappy. Your lives seem more parallel than interlaced. Of course, this doesn’t mean that it is the end of the road for your relationship — it is still possible to talk it out and work through things

But before you have “the conversation”, it’s important to find out if your partner is really secretly unhappy, and we’re here to help with a few telltale signs:

Uncomfortable Silences

After a long day of work and being apart, you used to always catch up and talk about things that happened during the day. Not necessarily anything groundbreaking; one time, you saw a dog wearing a hat! 

Now, though you’re eager to tell your partner about your day, their energy is just off, and they don’t seem excited. They also don’t have much to say after, leaving an unpleasant silence and a million doubts racing through your head. If this happens every time you hang out, especially on date nights, it could be that something’s up.

You Rarely Argue

Having arguments every now and then in a relationship is completely normal. In fact, it’s when you stop arguing that something may be off. When healthy couples argue, both parties spend time hearing each other out, helping you find somewhat of a solution. It’s back and forth. 

Now, when you argue, your partner seems to just cut it off by drifting or walking away and mumbling things like “not this again”. While it might seem like your partner is doing you both a favour by not having it out, the behaviour change could indicate they’ve reached a point where they just don’t care enough to figure out what’s wrong. They don’t want to try and understand or even care about why you were upset in the first place. 

You Become Housemates

Before, your place always felt like a home, but now, it feels more like a houseshare. When you first started dating, you were eager to spend time together at home, even if it was just lounging around having a lazy day. 

Now, you find yourself home alone more often, and your partner seems to just come and go without you knowing anything about where they’re off to or what they’re doing. You want to ask but don’t want to seem too overbearing. They’re an adult, after all. 

But it never used to be like this; you would’ve gotten an invite, or at least be in the know about their activities. Suddenly, all you ever seem to talk about are things to do with the house, like whose turn it is to empty the bin or if the boiler needs fixing. 

They Put More Effort Into A Night Out With Friends 

It’s healthy for couples to hang out with friends. But this time, you can sense their enthusiasm or excitement to just be out of the house. You used to be invited, even just as a nice gesture, or at least knew where they were going. 

When it’s time for your date nights, they never seem to want to do anything exciting. You wish they were as eager to spend time with you as with other people. You’ve brought it up before that they seem more excited to be spending time with others than alone with you, but it’s always simply brushed off without the usual comfort or reassurance. And again, you’re left alone with your own wary thoughts. 

Unexplained New Hobbies 

Although it doesn’t necessarily mean that your partner is secretly unhappy just because they have a new hobby, if it is a hobby you aren’t invited to join and it seems like they’re using it to escape the relationship, it could be a red flag. 

You used to always do new things together. But this time, you don’t even know anything about their new interests. Other than that, they always seem to arrive home happy, just to return to their quiet and moody demeanour.

It’s a gut-wrenching feeling to suspect that your partner is secretly unhappy. I’m sorry you have to go through this, but trust me, it’s better to know than to continue living in a one-sided relationship that doesn’t do anything to benefit either of you. You need to know if there’s a chance of working things out or if there’s anything to be worried about in the first place. 

Hopefully, by learning some of the signs, you can figure out whether or not it’s time to have a conversation about your suspicion so that you can put your worries to rest once and for all.