"Bustle" Feature - Has your Partner's Attraction to you Changed?
Deanna Fernandez, MHC
Call me crazy, but I don't know anyone who'd want their partner to no longer find them attractive OR cheat on them. While we can't ever be certain, or control/prevent these outcomes, some signs can be helpful to recognize. Please note that not all signs apply to all individuals and relationships. The important thing that can be helpful is if you (or maybe others) see a noticeable difference in your partner’s usual behavior. Meaning, they’re not necessarily displaying “abnormal” behavior, but rather deviating from their normal behavior. Any of the items below may place a strain on the relationship and contribute to anxiety, depression, or general insecurity - it’s important to put yourself first if you’re feeling under-appreciated, and also consider if you are satisfied in the current relationship.
Some helpful/subtle signs your partner isn’t attracted to you can include some of the following:
Less physically intimate (initiating or responding), not just sex but physical touch, PDA, etc., or not physical at all. This is especially important if your partner is normally physically affectionate and displays a lot of public affection.
Limited eye contact or avoiding eye contact when speaking. Believe it or not, it’s extremely challenging to look someone bold in the face and lie about/withhold feelings.
Not engaging or initiating contact/conversation. If your partner is normally chatty/engaging, this could be a helpful sign something isn’t right.
Changes in the way they dress/changes in normal hangout places. This one may isn’t typical “body language” but it’s changes in behavior.
Some helpful/subtle signs your partner is cheating can include some of the following:
Forgetful, inattentive, constantly running late. This may signal your partner’s mind is elsewhere.
Avoids conversation about sex/intimacy. Either they’re just not interested or something could be up!
Provides limited info about whereabouts, including details of who’s there, where they’re going, etc. This could certainly be sketchy if your partner usually offers info when they’re out without you.
Avoids spending time with you 1:1 or with groups. If your partner is shying away from spending quality time with you, you may want to check in with them.
Being sketchy with their phone. This tends to be a biggie! We’re normally okay with leaving our phones around, right-side up, when we’re not worried about anything. If you’re noticing somethings off, it’s worth asking about this.
Overall, pay attention to how you feel. If you’re pausing for concern, questioning reality, or wondering why their behavior has changed, try honoring these emotions by communicating them without sounding accusatory. And know that your mental health comes first, so if your partner is struggling to display attraction or stay faithful to you in a relationship that is agreed to be monogamous, it may be time to find a better match or talk it through in individual or couples therapy.
Check out the full feature in Bustle here!