Stagnant Relationship: Reasons, Lessons, And Steps To Revive It

Don't let the sparks in your relationship fizzle out by becoming too judgemental or forgiving.

Reviewed by Rodolfo Parlati, Professional Life Coach Rodolfo Parlati Rodolfo ParlatiProfessional Life Coach facebook_iconlinkedin_iconyoutube_iconinsta_icon
Written by , Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach Sneha Tete Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Edited by , MA (English) Subhrojyoti Mukherjee MA (English) Experience: 4 years
Fact-checked by , MA Sangita Goel MA linkedin_icon

Dating your crush and eventually getting into a relationship can give you a ‘new emotional high’. However, the excitement and passion may die down as the years pass, and you might end up in a stagnant relationship.

Things change so quickly, isn’t it? What was exciting a few months ago has now gotten monotonous. During this dull phase of love, many partners may think of walking out of the relationship, while on the other hand, many choose to stay back even if they find the relationship unexciting.

But here is some good news – you can certainly re-ignite that lost excitement and passion in your unchanging and unfulfilling relationship if you are willing to welcome some change in your life. Keep reading to know more.

4 Unexpected Signs Of A Stagnant Relationship

Couples who have grown apart in their stagnant relationship do not wish to face each other in bed
Image: IStock

If you feel that there has been a lack of love in your relationship lately, be on the lookout for the following signs:

1. You Miss Your Partner’s Presence

No, we are not speaking about a long-distance relationship! This is that intense feeling where you miss your partner even when they are right beside you. You may feel as though you have become the sole contributor when it comes to the flourishment of your relationship.

Despite trying over and over again to establish a connection with your partner, you find that they are unwilling to meet you halfway. Your conversations with them feel robotic, and talking to them about your problems feels like a pain because they are not ready to listen anymore.

Dylan, a YouTuber, shared how his relationship was affected because he did not give his hundred percent to the relationship. He explained, “I really place a lot of focus on being there for other people and overlooking my needs and overlooking the needs of my relationship and even in my self-concept. I really stopped focusing on my relationship and the best version of me that could show up in that relationship and it definitely caused quite a few problems (i).”

2. You Are Way Too Forgiving

A common assumption that many people make is that you need to accept your partner for all their flaws. Yes, you should avoid constantly nitpicking your partner for minor imperfections. But when some red flags start to show, they should be called out.

As a result, if you avoid intervening when your significant other messes up, it could be a sign that you are in an uneventful and stagnant relationship.

Being less emotionally invested in the relationship may make you too tolerant of your partner’s mistakes. You may choose to ignore their financial problems or fail to address their emotionally abusive ways. If they are dismissive of your opinion, you let it slide instead of confronting them about it, even if it has hurt you deeply.

It is a clear sign that your relationship is losing its importance in both of your hearts, leading you to be more lenient toward your other half.

3. You Don’t Feel Excited

You are way too comfortable with everything around you, to the point where your relationship seems to lack any excitement. You may have become too stuck in your respective bubbles to avoid going beyond your comfort zone to welcome newness and revive your love life.

Without any spark in a committed relationship, it can be hard to envision a happy and rewarding future with your partner. This can result in one or both of you feeling stuck with one another.

4. No More Intimacy

Lack of intimacy can be a telltale sign of a stagnant relationship. If the sparks of your relationship have dimmed, you may notice an emotional disconnection or unresolved issues with your significant other. This includes a decrease in sexual activity, infrequent or absence of physical touch, cuddling, or other similar expressions of affection. There might also be a lack of sharing feelings, thoughts, or deep conversations. Over time, couples might lose interest in each other’s lives or stop engaging in activities together. Fading intimacy usually signifies a deeper underlying problem, like communication breakdown, routine becoming mundane, or unaddressed conflicts. When physical and emotional closeness diminishes it impacts your overall connection with your partner.

Now that you know the warning signs, let’s unpack the reasons why your relationship feels stagnant.

Reasons Why You May Be In A Stagnant Relationship

Couple cannot communicate calmly as they do not understand each other anymore
Image: IStock

1. You Or Your Partner Are Not Genuine

The reason you may be feeling stagnant in a relationship lately could be because you or your other half are pretending to be someone else. The disconnection from your ’real self’ might be causing you to lose your connection with your partner, or vice versa.

Struggling to embrace your true self may lead you to think that your partner will not like you for who you really are. As such, you may have convinced yourself that your partner chose you because of who you are pretending to be.

Your partner may also be pretending to be someone they are not to hide their underlying insecurities and self-doubt. They may feel that the only way they can gratify you is by trying to be your ideal type.

But these behaviors act as obstacles to growth and fulfillment in a relationship. True love cannot blossom when you do not accept yourself – it can lead to problems with respecting your partner’s authenticity as well.

2. You Are Too Judgmental

Everything seemed to be perfect and in place when love was in its first stage. But as time seemed to pass, the little flaws in yourself and your partner crept up, and the negative judgment started to pass between each other.

We judge ourselves when we set certain criteria of perfection and fail to meet them. And sometimes, we become judgmental toward our partners as well. This behavior could be unintentional, but it makes your partner feel insecure and empty. This will lead to them pulling away and gradually showing disinterest in the relationship.

On the other hand, judging yourself will put you into limiting beliefs and stop you from achieving your goals. Hurtful critique of yourself can scar your confidence and self-esteem, leading you to feel disillusioned about the lifeless relationship and slowly give up.

3. You Want Your Relationship To Be Perfect

Many couples make the mistake of entering into a relationship with notions of a perfect, blissful life. But the truth is that any long-term relationship will eventually get over the honeymoon phase.

Expecting a fairytale romance in real life can give you or your partner a false sense of boredom or stagnation. You may have unrealistic expectations of one another and the relationship in general. This can make you think that there is nothing left to cherish when the butterflies in the stomach fade away or the moment you hit a rough patch. Additionally, it is possible to engage in a relationship with the wrong idea of who you have in front of you. This is because some people fall in love with the “perception” of what the other person could or should be in the relationship. So, this leads to setting unrealistic expectations and confusing the relationship with a projection of your desires.

This is not to say that you cannot still find a way to keep the romance going. Big gestures and fancy dates are welcome, but the little ways your partner cares for you are equally precious in your relationship.

At this point, you may have a valid question about your uninteresting relationship: can it be fixed? We explore some helpful tips to revive an unengaging and stagnant relationship below.

How To Revive A Stagnant Relationship

Couple trying to talk and bridge the increasing gap in their relationship
Image: IStock

If you are looking for ways to fix your problems, it means you still have that respect, fondness, and admiration for your partner. Following these tips can help you rekindle that love and instill growth in your long-term relationship.

1. Communication And Listening Are Key

Love is a two-way street. Sacrifices must be made from both ends. While you always point to your better half as a reason for your dwindling and withering relationship, realize that you can be a contributor as well!

To fix your unstimulating relationship, keep calm and discuss the issues you think are making your love fall apart. Bring your problems to the table and find a solution together. Also, make it a point to listen. Speaking is good, but listening to your partner will make them believe that you respect and care for them.

2. Learn To Work As A Team

It’s not one step at a time – it’s two steps at a time. Now, you are tied to your partner’s decisions as well. Remember, your partner is not a burden to you, neither are you a stone tied to their leg while they are running their race.

If you are a couple experiencing stagnancy, bear in mind that love is more about ’you and me’ rather than ‘I.’ It is a road that you and your partner will travel together, so you need to work as a team.

Don’t think of yourself as an individual in the relationship. Instead, try to support each other and be more involved in each other’s lives. Find healthy ways to express your needs and wants, and learn to respect your partner’s wishes, too.

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Ensure to set realistic expectations by clarifying your boundaries. This can help understand and respect each other’s space and communicate effectively.

3. Embrace Fights And Arguments

You may be inadvertently increasing the distance between you and your partner by avoiding an argument. You may also not know how to express your opinions in a way that will resolve matters between you two. But, fights in an intimate relationship are needed to ignite passion, progression, and understanding in life.

Arguments left untreated by the medicine of communication will harm the bond you share with your significant other and leave you feeling stagnant in the relationship.

Remember that silent treatment does not work! Speak up and discuss the problems you both seem to be having. The best thing to do to unlock this locked-up, unprogressive relationship is to have a clear conversation with your partner.

4. Try New Things Together

Couple celebrate reaching the top of a hill as a team
Image: IStock

If you feel that the love between you two is not completely dead, consider trying new experiences together to breathe some life into your unvarying relationship.

You could go on a short trip to a place neither one has been to before, sign up for a class, or go out on double dates with your friends. Experiment to your heart’s delight, but make sure that your partner is also on board with whatever activity you plan on undertaking.

Re-igniting and rekindling the lost love with newness is a sure-fire way to fix a stagnant relationship. Try to make boring things romantic, be present, and be passionate about your love.

5. Learn To Love Yourself

Generally, we are forced to think that love exists only between two people. But, we forget that sometimes love is a language that needs to be communicated with ourselves instead of somebody else. You may expect your partner to love you beyond the limits of life, but have you done that to yourself?

When you learn to love the roots of yourself – the good, the bad, and everything in between – you can successfully receive the light of love that you expected from the world. If you lose love and hope in yourself, the world will too, let alone your partner!

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Loving yourself can also make you more resilient and mentally tougher. This even increases your ability to respond to stressful issues and make smart decisions.

However, some red flags will outweigh the reasons why you should continue to stay in an unproductive, stagnant relationship. Find out whether you should consider ending things with your partner below.

When To Walk Away From A Stagnant Relationship

Woman taking her ring off and ending a meaningless stagnant relationship for good
Image: IStock

By numbing yourself to the serious flaws in your relationship, you end up with more pain and heartbreak, so it’s best to move on in such cases. Here are some signs that indicate it is time to end your stagnant relationship:

  • Your partner refuses to listen or change, despite your constant efforts to communicate your feelings to them.
  • You both have different expectations from the relationship. Be it marriage, children, or anything else – intimate partners that cannot find ways to stay on the same page will not move forward.
  • Making things work between you two is taking an emotional toll.
  • Your fights are getting worse over the course of time.
  • Even without fights, you can still feel a lack of support or love from your partner. If you find your needs aren’t being met, it may be time to put the brakes on your relationship.

Infographic: 3 Ways To Revive A Stagnant Relationship And 3 Signs That You Should Walk Away From One

Reviving a stagnant relationship requires effort and commitment from both partners. While open communication can address underlying issues, help you reconnect emotionally, and find common ground, it may not always work. Lack of effort and consistent unhappiness might mean the relationship is no longer fulfilling or healthy, and it is time to walk away. Trusting your instincts and prioritizing your well-being can help you heal gradually. Check out the infographic below to learn about three ways to breathe new life into a stagnant relationship as well as three signs that indicate it is time to move forward.

3 ways to revive a stagnant relationship and 3 signs that you should walk away from one (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Problems are inevitable in any relationship. But if you and your partner understand each other, are compatible, and are always working towards making your relationship successful, nothing can break you apart. If you can relate to the signs of an unfruitful, stagnant relationship mentioned above, then it is time for you both to fix the issue. Sit down, list the shortcomings, and strive to thrive in the relationship instead of letting negativity and monotony bother you. Your ultimate goal is to be happy together, so do not forget that.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you know if your relationship is fizzling?

There is always a childlike excitement and a sense of belonging in a healthy relationship. If the thought of coming home at the end of a long day to warmth and comfort does not put you at ease, or you do not look forward to talking about your day with your partner with that childlike excitement or assurance, then your relationship might be fizzling out.

How do you spice up a stagnant relationship?

There are many ways to keep a relationship alive. However, if you want to spice it up and reignite the fire from the honeymoon phase, you must go back to the basics. Many couples fall into the trap of believing that they cannot play the same cards twice. It is a misconception. Flirting, going on cheesy dates, bringing flowers, and hand-writing notes, are timeless romantic gestures that will always work. The only thing that makes relationships stale is doing nothing, ergo letting it stagnate.

Is it normal for couples to not talk for days?

No. Being unable to talk for days on end might be normal in long-distance relationships considering different time zones, busy schedules, or inaccessibility. But if you are living together or in the same city, you should have at least small talk or little interactions where you update each other about your day, saving the deeper conversations for the weekend. Communication forms the backbone of healthy relationships. If you haven’t heard from your partner for days, without any intimation about their absence, something is off.

Does space help a broken relationship?

It depends on the extent of damage the relationship has experienced. Sometimes relationships are broken beyond repair, and nothing can fix them. But if your relationship has just recently begun going under some strain, it could be because there is no space for the relationship to breathe and grow. In such cases, giving your partner and yourself space to process the changes, reflect on the issues, and focus on self-care and improvement can benefit the relationship.

Key Takeaways

  • Lack of excitement, interest, or efforts from either or both the partners may hint at a stagnant relationship.
  • If either or both partners seem too aloof to be emotionally or physically invested, things could be heading towards to a downward spiral.
  • Aligning on expectations and healthy commmuncaition is key to help revive the relationshsip.
stagnant relationship

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Are you in a stagnant relationship? Don’t worry, help is here! Follow the proven steps shared in this video now to get your relationship back on track.

Personal Experience: Source

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Rodolfo Parlati

Rodolfo ParlatiProfessional Life Coach

After having graduated in Business Administration, Rodolfo decided to follow his passion for supporting others by becoming a professional coach. Today, his mission is to help people be happy and successful by discovering their potential and finding together the right way to fully exploit it.   His clients experience improvements in their communication skills, relationships, work-life balance, productivity, conflict resolution, full bio

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