6 Signs You’re Burned Out from Your Relationship
Do you find yourself all by yourself in the middle of a “couple crowd” at parties? Do you feel the cringe of singlehood despite being in a relationship? Do you feel you are not getting the love and care that you deserve? Does your partner seem to be more into everything else than you? You might go out for a nice weekend but the moment you are back home you get back to the same nagging and annoyance. If all of this is what you feel then you might want to read a little more about “relationship burnout” below.
Relationship burnout is when either or both of the partners feel that they are putting in way too much energy in their relationship but are not getting enough in return. Even in general when you feel that you have been putting a lot of effort and emotions into something (even a project at work) and in return you do not get enough output you tend to feel exhausted. When we do something in professional or personal life, it is but human to expect output/reciprocity. When a similar thing happens in your relationship that is known as emotional exhaustion or relationship burnout.
Relationship burnout develops due to long term stress which has a negative impact on both your physical and mental health. It creates a negative energy around you that impacts every aspect of your life. It may also push a person to distance oneself from his/her partner thus making things ironically detrimental.
When you feel the spark is gone and there is no fun or even connection between you two it’s time your relationship needs urgent attention.
Sometimes despite knowing all of this you still would not have enough motivation to do anything to mend the relationship . This is the time when couples might need counselling. There are various relationship disenchantment signs to be aware of.
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Signs of Relationship Burnout
1. Physical & Emotional Exhaustion: Where earlier you could go for long walks, longer drives, lately night dates, movies, and adventures together sounded something rejuvenating, now you might have no will or even motivation to do something extra for your partner. Forget extra, now you barely have motivation to do anything for the sake of you two, it means that you are exhausted. If making even a birthday card is too much for you then your relationship burnout phase has started.
Research has shown that stress and exhaustion cause weight gain too. It comes as a symptom of all the mental trauma one is going through. Increased weight further accelerates many other physical and mental problems including depression.
2. Detachment & Disbelief: Gradually there is a build up of disbelief between the two partners. There is a gradual fall in the level of trust and a simultaneous increase in cynicism for each other. You will notice that the trust that brought you together is disappearing and now you might have started doubting everything they do or say.
Even if you may not agree, attraction between you and your partner is at a low point and other people may seem more attractive than they actually are.
3. Lack of positive behaviour: Apart from special efforts to show your love there is a need for maintaining a positive environment for a prosperous relationship. A cheerful attitude is the most essential factor in building that up. But in case of a relationship burn out you are so exhausted and pessimistic about life in general that any gleeful reaction or behaviour may seem a far possibility. In fact, a positive or happy reply to the smallest of questions from your partner may seem forced.
4. Lack of will to share: The bedrock of every relationship is sharing- both happy and sad moments, experiences and wishes with your partner. Like in a new relationship, when anything big or small happens in your life, the first thing you would want to do is to tell everything to the special one.
But when you are emotionally exhausted and you feel that either your partner would not be interested in knowing about events in your life or that s/he may not care as much. This makes you not want to share and gradually the proportion of things that you don’t share swells than the ones you do. This brings resentment.
5. More bliss in times away: When you are totally into your partner and submerged in each other’s love, it is harsh to even think of staying away. But when your emotional investments give you no return and leave you emotionally exhausted then in that case you find more bliss away from your partner. Be it office parties or sporadic travel plans, all you may want to take away from your partner because with them it seems to be a constant negative zone.
6. Loss of Hope: All of this disillusionment creates a pessimism around the relation and constant heart aches further pushes one to lose hope for any betterment now.
What causes relationship burnout?
The causes of such relationship burnout can be similar to the ones that cause emotional burnout in general, as suggested by many researchers in the field of psychology. These include
- Too much stress (too much work, not enough resources);
- Control (micromanagement, lack of influence, accountability without power);
- Reward (not enough acknowledgment, or satisfaction);
- Community (isolation, conflict, disrespect); and
- Values (ethical conflicts).
Burnout can result from a mismatch between the two individuals.
How to avoid burnout in relations?
- Acknowledgement: we tend to keep telling ourselves that it is just a phase and will pass on. But the reality is that it will not pass on and even if it does it definitely is going to harm the relationship first. So, if you see above signs then the first step that you need to take is to acknowledge the fact that your relationship needs help. Give yourself some time to heal and then take the next step because whatever the situation be, you should always your priority.
- Talk: After acknowledging the elephant in the room you should then talk with your partner. It is going to be difficult and it may not go the way you would expect but it is important that you discuss the things that are hampering your relationship. You never know, just communicating your feelings and concerns may remedy the situation to a large extent. But before this you must remember that gentleness in words is the key.
- Invest time together: Start spending more meaningful time with each other. Sometimes a major cause of emotional exhaustion is lack of time spent together. Gradually, with one positive step, you will see all other things falling in place. You take the first step; they might follow and it all becomes completely effortless.
- Ignite Interest: Yes, you may need to put in a little extra effort there but if the relationship is worth fighting for then nothing else should matter. Plan surprises for each other, plan little gifts, just start small and see the magic.
Burnout in any form is not a mental illness but just a way of your body telling you that you are in pain. You must know that it is normal to feel exhausted with situations, people, relationships because we are humans. We will have expectations, many times they will not get fulfilled, we will have heart aches if they do not, there will be resentment followed by a phase of regrets. But being humans we also have the ability to mend our lives, make it better and that takes baby steps towards acceptance and remedies.