Signs Your Partner Is Quiet Quitting Your Relationship

None of us are left unscathed from the effects of an unhealthy relationship. Unlike ghosting or even going off the grid, quiet quitting is a concept that attempts to explain disinterest and lack of engagement in a relationship. You may already be familiar with disillusionment in your relationship, or the pros and cons of treating them like a job, but quiet quitting is almost entirely different. Rather than break off a relationship, quiet quitting allows your partner to disengage from the relationship until faced with the repercussions (without wanting to end it themselves).

According to sex and relationship expert Pippa Murphy, quiet quitting is a product of ineffective communication. "Quiet quitting is when one person stops trying and gives up without telling the other person about their feelings or needs," she explained to PureWow. "The other person may not even know that they're being neglected until it's too late after the damage has been done and things are irreparable."

While the result of quiet quitting seems unavoidable, there are a few ways to identify signs that your partner may be engaging in the concept. What you choose to do moving forward is entirely up to you, but there are a number of signals to look out for. Let's dive in.

They start spending significantly less time with you

One of the first red flags when it comes to quiet quitting is less time spent together. Although relationships are evershifting and growing, open communication about quality time should never waver — after all, time spent together is a pillar of healthy relationships. Be conscious of how a partner behaves at the beginning of the relationship and throughout, noticing if they ever skip out on communicating or have suddenly started spending less time with you. It's not ideal to observe a partner's lack of communication or unwillingness for quality time, but the answers you find will ultimately lead to a solution.

Long term plans aren't on their radar

One of the great qualifiers of a long-term relationship is making plans in advance. When a partner is experiencing cold feet, they may suddenly lose interest in long-term plans like a vacation, wedding, or other big celebratory moment. As Pippa Murphy explained to PureWow, "If your partner refuses to talk about their future together, it could be because they want out, but don't want to hurt your feelings by telling you directly," she relayed, emphasizing the importance of communication. "If they show no interest, then this is a major red flag." Be sure to bring up future plans if you're noticing signs of quiet quitting.

They're dismissive of your issues

What's worse than a lack of communication? Communication that dismisses your very real, valid feelings. You may be used to their attentive nature, but quiet quitting may bring out their dismissive tendencies and leave you feeling unseen and unheard. Take note of this — if your partner is no longer interested in hearing about your issues, internal struggles, or any joint problems, it may be time to assess the relationship. Quiet quitting thrives on sudden disinterest, and no one wants disengagement to come between you and your partner. Take note of dismissiveness, address it, and see what results may come out of it.

Avoidance and lack of affection

Similar to being dismissive, avoidance and lack of affection can completely derail a relationship. Intimate interpersonal relationships — especially romantic ones — require affection and intimacy, which is usually what separates them from our day-to-day interactions. If a partner has disengaged from physical and emotional affection, there's a chance they're quietly quitting the relationship and no longer value your closeness. Per Marriage.com, affection and intimacy are essential components of romantic relationships, and without them, both parties are likely to feel emotionally and physically disconnected from one another. Avoiding intimacy is often a signal of something else that needs to be addressed.

Emotional cheating

One of the toughest and final blows to a relationship involves emotional cheating. Emotional cheating is defined as a type of infidelity where a partner begins sharing emotional and intimate information with someone besides their partner. If your partner has disengaged from you, there may be someone else on the receiving end of their thoughts, feelings, and complex emotions. While you shouldn't be the only person in your partner's support circle (and vice versa), vulnerable thoughts and feelings are often reserved for our most intimate relationship. If your partner is sharing that experience with someone else, it may be a nod to quiet quitting — and you deserve better than that.