She’s Had A Drastic Makeover
Did she recently drop 15 pounds and become obsessed with making it to a morning workout (instead of cuddling with you)? Or did she buy all new clothes, dye her hair or adopt a new viewpoint on makeup? While these might be big warning signs that the girl you decided to date years ago isn’t the same one, a change in appearance could truly, and simply mean less about your relationship and more about her self-confidence.
Especially after a stressful period, overcoming a tough challenge or having children, “Sometimes a girl just needs a change to feel good about herself again. This may be more a sign of boredom with her current look, wanting to feel more confident,” Schewitz says.
Or she could actually be focusing more on how she looks to reconnect with you again: “It’s common for couples to neglect self care and stop dressing up for each other though it can impact the relationship. Maybe she realized this and is making a change — though not communicating it to you,” Geter says.
However, if paired with many of the other signs above, Geter says it is possible that’s she changing how she looks to satisfy the taste and preferences of a new partner. Or maybe, that person compliments her and makes her feel $3xy by commenting on certain clothes or looks, so she’s trying to replicate that feeling as often as possible. If you suspect anything, make an effort to compliment her and ask her what inspired her to make a change.
She Thinks You’re Insecure
If you’re typically supportive and loving girlfriend suddenly has a million complaints about you and dishes out some not-so-nice disses in your direction — like calling you insecure — you might wonder is it’s because she’s fallen out of love with someone and in love with someone else. But before you go there and talk to her about it, Geter suggests taking a glance inwards instead.
“Maybe you don’t realize it though your nonverbal or verbal behaviors are telling others how you’re feeling. There is nothing wrong with feeling insecure, though we need to find out the source to prevent conflict in all relationships,” she explains.
Her name-calling word choice could also be an indicator of how she’s feeling about herself. As Geter explains, “If you’re 100 percent sure you’re not feeling insecure, there is a change she may feel insecure and project that onto you. Feeling insecure does not mean she is cheating or insecure about the relationship. Insecurity stems from various areas of life including aging, weight, work and more.”
It could also be a way she’s expressing her own frustrations with your relationship, and yes, possibly that she’s recently become attracted to someone who she finds to be self-confident and assertive. “This indicates a lack of empathy on her part which could happen for a few reasons. She might be getting defensive depending on how you bring the topic up or she might just lack the ability to communicate calmly and effectively. If this is the case, a few sessions with a couples therapist can help that out,” Schewitz suggests.
She’s Spending A Lot Of Time At Work
Most people these days either meet online , at school, through friends or at the office. If you’ve noticed she’s logging more hours than she normally does, you might start to wonder if she’s doing more than putting in overtime.
“Work and home are the two places that we spend the bulk of our time, so it is the most common way that we meet people. When we are working closely with others, we can really get to know them, we might struggle and bond through some difficult times and environments,” Martinez explains. “The frequency with which we see them, and the easy proximity make it very easy to develop feelings for someone you work with.”
If you’re concerned with how much more she is working compared to how she used to — or she’s mentioning the same male co-worker’s name time and time again, approach the topic carefully. Being vulnerable and explaining how it’s been making you uncomfortable is a positive tactic to utilize, because it doesn’t blame her, but instead, expresses how you’re feeling.
Long-Distance Feels Even Longer Than Usual
If physical miles separate you, there are merely a few resources you have available to keep that connection. If you start to feel her drift further away than she already is by her zip code, you might wonder if a local has gained her attention instead. And though we hate to break it to you, long distance relationships are often more prone to cheating than ones in the same city.
“Although not all long-distance relationships result in cheating, there could be a higher risk since one important component of creating intimacy is closeness. By closeness, I mean both physical proximity and emotional closeness or becoming vulnerable with your partner. When you are not physically near your partner, you both miss out on shared time together and you’re both enjoying time with others. Sharing this time with others could lead to unintentional romantic feelings for a friend or coworker,” Geter says.
One way to help make your multi-town love affair stronger is to commitment to dependable communication and frequent visits. “When working with couples in long distance relationships, I encourage them to plan phone or video dates on a regular basis. This does not replace in-person dates though it does help create time for the relationship distraction free as if you were on a face-to-face date,” Geter says.
“I also encourage regular times to travel to see each other and treat each trip as real life instead of a vacation. When couples treat weekend trips as vacation, they don’t experience the other person in his/her daily routine. Therefore, when they begin to live in the same city, there is no sense of how the other lives and it’s similar to culture shock.”
If all else fails and you still feel like she’s not as invested as she once was — try to wait until you’re in person to have an open chat. Not only does it get rid of the temptation to read between those often confusing blue iPhone lines, but it gives you a chance to understand the ways in which your relationship might not be fulfilling her — and what you can do about it.
“We all have physical and emotional needs, and when we are in a long distance relationship, these needs may not be able to be met in the frequency and manner that we need. When the basic emotional and connective needs are not being met, people can be more vulnerable to the attention and affection of others,” Martinez says.
She Downloaded A Dating App
There might not be a clearer sign that she’s trying to bark up another tree than if you spot her with a dating app. After all, if you’re in a relationship already, why do you need an iPhone to connect to singles? If you’re not totally sure that you saw her browsing, keep a close look on her thumb movement for extra inspection.
“If you notice your partner swiping left and swiping right on her phone screen, it could be a sign she is looking at a dating app. There aren’t many apps that require that type of movement. If she suddenly closes out what she was doing when you walk by or hides her phone from your sight, you might have something to worry about,” Schewitz says.
The way to work this out is again, to talk to her. Though she might not be upfront at first, by expressing how much it’s hurt you, she might be more willing to express her dissatisfaction in the relationship, and either leave your couplehood or delete the app for good.