There are always telltale signs your affair is over, or whenever a relationship of any kind nears its end. Your intuition tells you exactly what is happening, only if you’re alert enough to pay attention to it. Even though they aren’t considered serious in nature by a majority of people, the couple involved in the affair goes through intense emotional and physical highs and lows.
The Journal of Sex Research published a study which said, “We have always been interested in the motivations to engage in infidelity.” They found that the most common reason married people or people in committed relationships would start an affair was due to feeling unfulfilled with their primary partner.
There are many obvious signs that your affair is over or nearing its end, such as, when your affair partner pulls away. Or when you realize any prospects of the future might be off the table. In this blog, you will find 15 such indicators explained in detail to help you figure out if you should be worried about your fling coming to an end or not.
How Do Affairs Normally End?
Affairs are mainly of two kinds – the common extramarital trope or simply a non-committal relationship, and both get initiated because of underlying personal reasons which are different for every person. Usually, when those circumstances are resolved or when you find someone else, the affair might lose its charm and end in a breakup. Even though people react and process the end of their affairs differently, it can be safely said that the affair ending takes an emotional toll on both of them. Amanda Robson, a Sunday Times best-selling author, said, “There is no such thing as an affair that doesn’t mean anything.” In some cases, the affair partners might even fall in love.
The ReGain Editorial Team in their article mention, “How long extramarital affairs last varies: about 50% may last between the period of one month to a year, long-term affairs may last for about 15 months or more, and about 30% of affairs last about two years and beyond.” But come what may, the affairs usually always end. Whether they end up becoming something more official and better, or end forever, is a different topic.
- As per a comprehensive article published on TheHealthyJournal, there are three potential ways for the fling to end:
In the case of an extramarital affair, it could lead to divorce from the spouse and marrying the affair partner
- Breaking up with the affair partner to reinvest into the marriage and make it better is also a potential end to an extramarital affair
- In case of a casual relationship, the affair could end in either an official relationship or the person getting rejected by their affair partner
15 Signs Your Affair Is Over
Sometimes, the end of a relationship is quick and clear in nature if the affair partner is straightforward and explicit enough in their communication while breaking up. But given the nature of affairs, honest communications that hint at the end of the fling might not be so easy to come by. If you notice your affair partner losing interest and doubt the future of your affair, check out the list below to keep an eye out for signs your affair is over.
1.There are no talks of the future anymore
The start of an affair is probably more exciting than any other part. The anticipation, planning, wanting to spend more quality time together is all that goes on in your and your partner’s minds. You make endless plans about lunches, dinners, booking hotel rooms for weekend getaways, among other things.
However, your first and most obvious red flag is when the planning seems to have not just become less frequent but has come to an end altogether. It could look a little like my friend Sharon’s situation. She said, “I was trying to decide with him where to go for dinner, and my affair partner cut me off, said he had to be somewhere that night, and left.”
2. You come up with more reasons to avoid spending time together
It is one thing to start doubting the future of your affair if your partner ignores their share of involvement. But it’s a whole other concern if you start dreading the time you spend with your partner. How often you see your affair partner and how often you have thought of making excuses to avoid seeing them on dates are questions that you should answer for yourself.
The avoidance of your affair partner can look like this:
- By avoiding them, you are subconsciously trying to avoid the anxiety and uncertainty around the potential end of the affair
- They’re too busy to hang out with you but they are suddenly busy with other people in their lives such as a new ‘friend’, or their spouse/kids
- You’re both avoiding most or any plan-making, even as simple as lunch or dinner dates
- Your talks on the phone have gone from regularly asking how each others’ days went to only getting in touch for something important
- You notice more of your texts going ignored than before
Related Reading: 13 Sure-Shot Signs A Casual Relationship Is Getting Serious
3. You have started to doubt more than you used to trust
Affairs have many unspoken but agreed upon rules. One of them is that the unofficial and secretive nature of the relationship leaves a lot of things hanging in the balance, and that both people need to accept that. Such as making last-minute plans or canceling already-made plans at the last minute or having to take rainchecks.
So, even though it is expected to not know what your affair partner is doing every minute of the day, unusual changes in their behavior can give rise to doubts. It becomes more troubling when your doubts keep getting intense and your affair partner doesn’t resolve or answer your questions around them.
4. Resentment arises and it isn’t worked on
Resentment is inevitable when a relationship hits a rocky road. It doesn’t have to end the relationship but if said resentment isn’t resolved, it most definitely can. If an affair is serious and both partners are willing to resolve the issues, there may be a way out of the resentment. However, some people hold onto resentment out of passive-aggressive tendencies. In other cases, their partners may be unwilling to change the behavior that causes resentment. In either case, the breakup of the affair becomes inevitable.
According to an article by Kalpana Nadimpalli, an English and Psychology graduate, “… resentment in a relationship is like stabbing yourself and hoping your enemy will get wounded. And when resentment is left unresolved, the issues escalate to the point that neither of you can find a way to fix it. Often termed the ‘cancer’ of relationships, resentment eats away at the core of any relationship; eroding its trust, reliability, and affection.”
- Resentment can arise when you, your affair partner, or both start keeping score of each other’s mistakes and bring them up later in arguments to put each other down
- Resentment can also arise for many other reasons such as feeling unheard or deprioritized in the affair
- If an affair is serious in the beginning, then resentment can also be the result of one or both of you physically or emotionally withdrawing from the affair
Related Reading: How To Deal With Resentment In Marriage? Expert Tells You
5. Your goals don’t align and there is no compromise
In many cases, where there is a lot of love and trust between partners, there can still be conflict regarding unaligned goals for the future. Your personal goals can lead you down a road where you just can’t walk together after a point. Initially, there is hope with negotiations and compromises, but ultimately, there is no wiggle room left. Your individual goals are comparatively more important than continuing the affair. These warning signs should not be ignored, and one can only hope to part as gracefully as Mia and Sebastian in the movie ‘La La Land’.
6. You experience a constant lack of consistency
When you start noticing your affair partner is showing less and less eagerness to make regular plans like they used to, beware. For example, you had been hearing from them every day, then it turned into once every few days, to just not hearing a peep for three weeks straight without apologies or solid reasons. Your affair could have turned into a situationship overnight without you having any idea about it.
7. Your secret is out
Affairs are usually secretive in nature and as well as you can keep your relationship hidden, some things are just not in your control. No matter what you do to keep your affair discreet, there always chances that the secret might come out.
- If a casual affair is exposed, there is a good possibility that it will end up in a split if the secretive nature of it is all that kept the passions high
- When an extramarital affair gets leaked, the people involved in the affair have much to lose. To save face and work on rebuilding their reputation, one or both partners may decide to end the affair
Related Reading: How Are Most Affairs Discovered — 9 Common Ways Cheaters Are Caught
8. You are constantly confused
If you notice yourself developing deeper feelings for the other person but don’t get the same response or realize they don’t ever see themselves getting steadier with you, it’s a red flag.
- A lack of explicit intentions might lead you to believe your affair partner is using you, which very well may be the case
- You should be concerned if they avoid wanting to resolve your confusion and anxiety around such issues
9. Anything your partner does irritates you even if they behave normally
In a romantic or emotional affair, spending time together may not always be satisfactory but it also shouldn’t become dreadful or mentally draining. If you start making excuses to avoid planning dates and meetups just because your partner bores or irritates you more and more, it is a change worth questioning.
Cheryl Whitten, a writer for WebMD, writes, “Feeling annoyed isn’t a sign that your relationship is doomed. Instead, it can be a sign that it’s time to nurture yourself and to honor your feelings. Paying attention to what’s going on in your life can help you get to the root of your irritation”. But if you’ve done this and your partner isn’t overly needy or irritating, and you still find yourself feeling tired and drained after meeting them, then the affair might be nearing its end.
10. Just sex or no sex at all is a sign your affair is over
There is no denying that sex plays a major part in the appeal and the overall success of the affair. But there should also be a balance and, not to mention, other components that make up a relationship. You might find yourself meeting your affair partner for sex only and if that isn’t on the table, you end up not meeting at all. In that case, you need to have a chat and clear it out whether you’re just there for booty calls or a romantic fling.
Related Reading: Is your man with you just for sex? 20 signs to watch out!
11. You start noticing their flaws and they give you the ick
It is a common and true fact that you see your partner through ‘rose-colored glasses’ when you have strong feelings of infatuation or even love toward them. No matter the key differences between love and infatuation, the red flags only look like flags in the early stages of both. But when there are more issues arising than solved, you might start getting the ick from their flaws and ignore their strengths altogether. And the worst part is, their flaws might be ordinary or less than noticeable, if anything major at all. So, if you struggle to find anything positive to think about your partner, whether you are in their company or not, it’s a major indicator that the affair is at an end.
12. You have started feeling alone even when you spend time together
This might be one of the biggest factors in the end of an affair. Being physically present with each other but feeling alone emotionally is a huge dealbreaker and an indicator that an affair isn’t going well and might be nearing its end unless the issue is worked on. Some of the indicators of feeling lonely with your affair partner are:
- Not being heard or taken seriously when you voice your anxieties around the affair or in
- You start feeling detached from the whole premise of your affair
- Your affair partner has stopped giving you a sense of safety and freedom like they used to
- Experiencing more and more communication gaps that don’t get resolved
Related Reading: 11 Warning Signs Of Lack Of Emotional Connection In Relationships
13. Your gut has gotten more and more anxious
It is true that your gut feeling will tell you something is up way before you start to understand what exactly is wrong.
- There can be little changes in your affair partner’s behavior, body language, their moods around you, or the tone and involvement of their responses that might make you anxious
- Though these things can happen with anyone who is not having a good day, if they do become fairly regular and your gut tells you it’s time to brace for the impending end, believe it
14. If you are ridden with guilt and shame, it’s a sign your affair is over
“Say what you want about people getting involved in affairs, the human tendency to self-moral police kicks in every time,” says an article published by CouplesAcademy. The guilt and shame can surface time and again. The start of an affair can be thrilling and exciting but the underlying shame of having cheated or lied to someone else to be somewhere else can send you on a guilt trip.
It seems like a ‘no harm no foul’ deal to get involved with a married or committed person because there is no pressure for emotional attachment or serious commitment from either you or them. But with time, you may realize there are many people attached to you and them that are getting affected indirectly. The realization strikes and the affair usually ends soon after.
Related Reading: The Affair Aftermath – How To Get Over Cheating Guilt
15. They have gone back to their life and forgotten all about you
If your affair partner has gone no-contact without any prior warning and without anything going wrong, your affair is most definitely over. When someone chooses to forget anything ever happened and to behave as if they have been oblivious about your existence altogether, it is smart to realize that your ex-affair partner will never give you closure or be brave enough to break up straightforwardly. But worry not, there are things you can do to move on with your life and stop thinking about affair partner.
How Do I Get Closure After An Affair?
No matter how much you love your partner, having an affair requires work. But when you know it’s ending and the points mentioned above clearly warn you of an imminent breakup, anyone would find it difficult to handle. Some would experience that wave of rejection, and their once-charming behavior would quickly deteriorate. Let’s face it, nobody really wants a good situation to end, therefore, some would even lash out and be rude. But no amount of slandering would change the situation.
So, what to do after an affair ends?
- Is it over?: The biggest step toward getting closure for yourself is to make sure that the affair is really over, for both you and them. This doesn’t mean you have to go out of your way and reach out to them after they already cut you off. But you should avoid getting back with them on their prompts and negotiations at all costs
- Block them: Remove them everywhere you can think of and make yourself accountable enough to avoid backsliding and repeating emotionally harmful habits
- Me time: Use your freed up time to work on yourself, invest in your hobbies, get your routine right
- Seek help: Truly moving on with your life by yourself takes a lot of hard work and it is especially difficult to do alone, so take help of a non-judgmental friend who you know will hold you accountable and keep you on track forward instead of looking back. You can also ask advice from professionals. The counselors of Bonobology will always be ready and happy to help you
Related Reading: Why ‘I Need Closure’ Weighs On Our Mind After A Breakup
- A couple involved in an affair goes through intense emotional and physical highs and lows, and the end of it usually brings unpleasant emotions to one or both partners
- The reason for the end might be different for different people
- A person might end their official relationship to start one with their affair partner, leave marriage for the affair partner, or end the affair to work on their current relationship
- If it’s a casual affair and not an extramarital one, then an affair could end once it loses charm, or when you move on to someone else, or when one of them falls in love with the other
- Some signs your affair is over include piled up resentment, lack of conversations around the future, feelings of guilt and shame, less or disengaged sex, and constant confusion
- The first step to take after an affair ends is to accept it, try to find closure, distance yourself from them, and move on
You might be doubtful of how your affair partner feels about your fling, but you don’t know how to interpret the change in their behavior. Or you want to get confirmation about whether it’s just in your head or if you are actually seeing signs your affair has ended. In the end, introspection and moving on takes time and no matter how your affair ends, don’t hesitate to ask for help from close friends, or professionals if you need to. And as the author Shannon L. Alder says, “Sometimes you can be touched by God, but not healed. Often when this happens, he is using your pain for a greater purpose.” So, keep persevering.