You know you are drifting apart in a relationship when the fairy tale first days seem like a thing of the past. The mushiness, the untimed phone calls, late-night chai-pakodas – all seem like a distant dream. If you and your partner are reminiscing about the good old days, or, worse, you aren’t, chances are you’re going through a rough phase in the relationship. And the memories of the fairy tale first days, or the honeymoon phase as we like to call it, are all we have left.
Something is definitely up. These ‘Me and my partner are drifting apart’ pangs can leave you feeling truly unsettled. Losing the romance, feeling disconnected from each other, being out with friends more than being with each other are just a few signs that you are drifting apart in the relationship.
What Does It Mean To Be Drifting Apart In The Relationship?
Like soda bottles fizzling out after the cap is opened. Consider that an analogy for the drifting apart meaning in a relationship. Think of your relationship as a bottle of Coke. While capped and unopened, the fizz is intact. The fizz is the wholesomeness of the relationship.
Drifting apart in a relationship happens when you no longer connect with your partner. You no longer share the gory details of a colleague getting fired or feel the need to hug or touch each other. You do not make eye contact or make date nights happen. You sort of just getting into your jammies and hit the bed. Your conversations are limited to the occasional “What do you want for dinner?”. These are some subtle signs that indicate you are growing apart in your marriage.
Here’s a story that can shed more light on the drifting apart meaning. Elijah and Summer had been dating each other for four years. Started dating in high school and now in the same uni together, the two were the perfect representation of high school sweethearts. They had been living together in college and things had been going relatively smoothly until their sophomore year hit.
The two were still together but they rarely spent any time together outside the apartment anymore. They didn’t go on dates, didn’t even go grocery shopping together. Summer was too busy with her student council commitments and Elijah had just joined the swim team. They spent their evenings apart and only spoke to each other for a little bit in the morning before their classes. In the evening, they were too tired to even ask how the other’s day was.
If you feel your relationship drifting apart like Summer and Elijah’s, the key is to not let the ever-growing space between you get to you. Every relationship stalls at some point. Every long-term relationship gets to a point when you do not text as much, don’t spend time together, or take weekend trips together anymore. It’s not like you don’t love each other.
You’re sort of just hanging there, taking the relationship for granted and not willing to bring the fizz back in the relationship. This is the time that makes or breaks couples.
What do you do when you feel you are drifting apart from your partner? You cannot force them to sit down with you to address the issue in the relationship.
But here are a few things you can do to make things better.
10 Things To Do When You Are Drifting Apart In Your Relationship
Chances are you’re thinking “My boyfriend and I are growing apart what do I do!” and that’s why you’re here. But, like mentioned before, it is totally natural for a relationship to plateau every once in a while. What seems like the end, may actually not be it. So, before you mistake this for one of the major relationship red flags, consider doing the following.
1. Start with the touch
If you were the kind of couple who held hands at the mall, chances are you have noticed that your relationship has drifted apart when you don’t hold hands anymore. The lack of touch is scary because you always liked it when she held your hands while crossing a busy street. So, start with the occasional touch.
Not the grab-her-by-her-ass in public kind of touch, but more passionate, less anatomical. A simple pat on the arm, a short hug before leaving for work can work wonders. Humans are built to feel a connection through touch and it is a surefire way to reconnect with your partner again.
2. Take the first step
You can start to feel the drift in the relationship when you are there with each other but not really there. You might be busy with your phones and, except for the occasional exchange of information, you have nothing to talk about. So, take the first step. Instead of burying your heads in your phones or laptops, start the conversation about how you feel about not being that much connected anymore.
Don’t use your phone as an escape. Put it aside immediately and address the problem with your partner. If your partner is emotionally still invested in the relationship, they would not avoid the conversation. Let your gadgets not pull you away from each other.
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3. Do not play the blame game to stop drifting apart in a relationship
It’s easy to blame each other for the rut in the relationship. It’s easy to go “You work too much”, “You spend more time with your friends”, “You barely acknowledge me anymore”. In fact, many people just resort to blame-shifting when they’re not able to figure out what is actually wrong with the relationship.
Replace the yous with us. Instead of placing blame on each other, try talking about solutions. You are not there to figure out who is responsible for the drifting apart scene. You are still with each other and working together to get yourselves out of the rut you are in. So, work towards it, not against each other.
4. Bring back the spark
Bring back the chai-pakodas at midnight. Or anything equivalent to chai pakodas that you two enjoy immensely. If midnight movies were your thing once, try doing that once a month. If role-playing was your thing back then, surprise her with a sub-dom variation of cosplay.
Not all your efforts may be well received, but at least it will show that you are putting in an effort. If your partner too wants to work towards drifting back to you, they will appreciate the effort. To stop drifting apart in a relationship, you must remind your partner of all that used to bring you together in the first place. It will also open up avenues to talk about what’s going wrong in the relationship.
5. Get your mood right to fix a relationship that’s growing apart
It’s okay to feel disconnected from your partner but if your mood is rotten because of it, your partner will pick up on it too. Instead of sulking in a different room, find ways to better your mood and solve the problem. If you are bit of an emotional person, the drifting apart in the relationship might make you anxious, sad and sometimes angry. Do not sit on it. Do not lash out at your partner. Nothing good would come out of it.
Keep the complaints to a minimum if you are serious that you want to fix a relationship that’s growing apart. The key is to identify the problem and work on it instead of fixating on the same. Think of the happy days and show your partner that the relationship can be better than ever before.
6. Start a conversation
If she was the kind to text you during work hours (and you liked it) but doesn’t do it anymore, leave her a kind text. “I liked how we texted even while working. I miss it”. It’s possible that they have also recognized the problem but are unwilling to bring it up, same as you.
If you are both thinking about the same thing, it might be the start of working on the relationship. However, do not be too clingy or demanding about the same. Simply bring it up to see if they are concerned about it too.
Related Reading: How to make up after a fight
7. Treat your relationship like its brand new
Remember how close an attention you paid when you just started going out? Treat your relationship like that right now. Instead of sitting at home and complaining, “Why do I feel like me and my boyfriend are drifting apart?”, do something about it instead!
Set out to re-woo your partner. If necessary, tell them you are out to re-seduce her again. It might seem a little odd at first, but it might help. Bring that honeymoon phase back.
8. Settle your priorities to stop your relationship drifting apart
While you are drifting apart in the relationship, you start looking for distractions elsewhere. That doesn’t necessarily mean you are cheating on your partner. You might go out with your friends too many nights in a row. Or bring work back home.
If your relationship is drifting part, it’s time to bring in the big guns. Make each other your priority. Even if that means cooking together on a Friday night. Let them know they are your top priority.
9. Revisit old places
Are there specific places you visited at the start of the relationship? Probably the cafe behind your college where you both talked about your feelings for the first time? Suggest going there. Did you first make out in a cemetery? Try going there again and take a trip down memory lane to stop drifting apart in a relationship and rekindle love.
While drifting apart in a relationship, you should reminisce about what got you together in the first place. Visiting the same places might remind you of the good times you have had and that rekindling the flame is still possible.
10. Make love, don’t just have sex
In a relationship stuck in reverse, or in a ditch, sex becomes more of stress relief or a momentary revival of connection. But that rarely lasts. Don’t just have sex. Make love to each other. Talk about what you liked during the lovemaking session and what else would you like to do. Affection and passion play huge roles in bringing you closer in a relationship that’s drifting apart so cuddle and communicate afterwards.
Drifting apart in a relationship does not mean the end of the relationship. Know it’s temporary but treat it with a permanent solution. The rut might appear later in the relationship but at least you’ll be better equipped to deal with it.