30 Body Language Cues That Show Your Relationship Is In A Mess

We always tend to believe that no matter what, our partner always conveys what is going on inside their heads. However, that is not always the case, and people convey not just with words, but through their body language as well. It isn’t exactly a good idea to seek out issues in a relationship. But sometimes, these issues only present themselves in the form of body language cues. If you are getting vibes that your partner wants out, you should start listening not just to what he or she conveys through words, but also to what their body is trying to communicate. In fact, experts point out that body language cues are a bigger and clearer sign of what exactly is going on in a relationship than spoken words. Right from the way a person hugs to the way they stand, body language is capable of expressing every single thought going through a person’s mind, but is not necessarily said out loud in the form of spoken words.

Are you curious to know what your partner’s feet, hands, or even elbows are trying to communicate? We’ve compiled a list of 30 body language cues that experts believe are a signal that your relationship is in a mess, so that you can prepare yourself for the serious talks if required.


They mimic you or roll their eyes at you

According to a marital stability expert John Gottman, contempt for one’s partner is one of the leading signals that the relationship is soon going to end. Mimicking your partner, rolling eyes at them, or sneering is a typical example of body language filled with contempt for your partner. If you notice these things in your partner’s behavior, you should make a serious effort to understand the core issue that is bothering them, so that you can patch it up before it is too late to fix.



Lack of enthusiasm in the bedroom

One of the biggest body language cues that your partner is unhappy and wants out is his or her lack of interest in the bedroom. Sex requires a good connection in order to be enjoyed, and when either partner is not responsive enough to it or avoids it completely, it is a very clear sign that they are really bothered and unhappy with the relationship.



Short and curt responses

If you notice your partner giving those short, one-word answers to your questions such as a simple “yes,” “OK,”, and “no,” it is a very clear verbal signal that your relationship is heading down the wrong path. Of course, it could also mean that your partner is simply busy or tired, but if their short responses are usually with an agitated or aggressive tone, you can safely assume that you are the primary source of frustration for them.



Lesser enthusiastic hugs

You should pay close attention to the way your significant other hugs or kisses you, and see if it feels any different. According to experts, kissing is a combination of emotional, physiological, and biological aspects. So, if your partner isn’t interested, it is time for you to prepare for those serious talks.



Touches that don’t last long

According to relationship experts, when a relationship is going through tough times, partners often touch their significant other only through their fingertips, or for a very brief period of time. This is called “distal touching” and is actually our subconscious mind telling us not to touch the person because they are dislikeable. So, if you find your partner touching you very less or just through fingertips, it is possible that they are not feeling the love sentiments anymore.



Or, they shy away from any kind of physical contact

People express their love and fondness for their significant other by making physical contact. If you notice that your partner seems disinterested, or shies away from your physical advances or hugs, it is a clear body language cue that your relationship is on the rocks.



They keep checking the time constantly

If your partner is more interested in glancing at their watch or phone instead of enjoying your time together, it isn’t a good sign for your relationship. It suggests that the relationship if more of a nuisance for your partner rather than something worth cherishing, according to relationship experts.



They move their hands away

Obviously, not everyone enjoys displays of affection in public. However, if your partner shies away from holding your hand even in your own home, then there is something that’s bothering them. He or she might have feelings of resentment that you should try to address as soon as you can before it is too late.



They jab a finger towards you

If you find your significant other baring their teeth or jabbing a finger towards you, he or she is trying to subdue you unconsciously – even though they aren’t physically touching you. According to Stella Resnick, who holds a Ph.D. and works as a psychotherapist, in such cases, the argument is usually more than what meets the eye. And in order to resolve the issue, it is impertinent that you resolve the real issue first.



Facial expressions aren’t pleasant

Even though a person should feel and think independently, there are numerous instances when it is extremely important to be on the same page as your partner, for the relationship to hold together. According to several human behavioral experts, if your partner’s face doesn’t reflect the emotional response that the situation demands, it is a sign of a troubled relationship, and you should try to find out the real issue.



Furrowing their eyebrows

Every part of our body language is capable of giving away our innermost feelings, which includes our eyebrow movements. According to trial lawyer Maria Katrina Karos, furrowing eyebrows is a clear indicator of negative body language and it suggests that something is not well. So, if you find your partner furrowing their brows while talking to you, you should be ready for some serious talks with your significant other.



Keeping elbows locked while hugging

Hugging is one of the most common ways people show their love and affection for their partner. However, the way a person hugs shows a lot about how they are feeling about you. If you find that your partner keeps their elbows locked during an embrace, it is more than likely they are doing it on purpose in order to avoid more physical contact with you.



Pats on the back!

Let’s face it – we all deserve a pat on the back when we’re feeling low. However, a pat on the back is the last thing you’d expect to get from your romantic partner. A pat on the back isn’t a good sign if it is coming from your partner, they aren’t your teammate! So, if your partner pats you on the back while hugging you, it is definitely not a good sign for your relationship.



Touching their throat during a conversation

According to human behavioral experts, touching one’s throat during a conversation indicates that the person is trying to hide something from you. The logic behind it? The throat is supposed to be the “gateway of words,” and is considered one of the most vulnerable body parts that give away what a person is feeling at a particular moment.



Your walks are no longer synchronized

One of the most positive signs of a healthy relationship is synchronized walking. Couples who are in love tend to walk on an invisible line side by side. However, whenever there is a disconnection between the couple, it is often seen that their walks are no longer in sync.



Licking their lips while talking

If you really want to get an honest answer out of your partner about the status of your relationship, pay close attention to their lips while they’re talking. If their lips are pursed, it can be a sign of anxiety or the fact that they are withholding something from you. Add to that the fact that our mouth becomes dry when we are nervous, and we lick our lips as a result while we try to find the right words.



Hands are always in the pockets

If you notice your partner’s hands are in the pockets when you’re having a conversation with them, it is a very clear sign that they are trying to hide something from you. According to body language experts, liars often try to keep their hands hidden, or still. This is precisely why when someone is trying to hide the truth, they’ll keep their hands in their pockets, or behind their back.



Physical distance is large

In a relationship, the distance your partner maintains with you says a lot about the status of your relationship. People who are truly in love with each other don’t shy away from being as close to their partner as possible. On the other hand, when you dislike a person, you will subconsciously try to maintain as much physical distance as you can. So, if you are worried about your relationship status, pay close attention to how far (or close) your significant other is while enjoying your company.



Crossed arms

Just like with keeping hands in one’s pockets, crossing arms while talking to a person signifies that the person is not comfortable with sharing everything, and is trying to hide something. For people who are in love, they trust their significant other and opening the stomach to them is a big sign of that. On the other hand, when a person crosses their arms, it covers the stomach area and gives a clear signal that things are not working great in that relationship.



Not making eye contact

It is not always necessary to make 24/7 eye contact with your significant other to be in love, but when your partner is trying to avoid eye contact at all costs, there is something amiss in your relationship. If a person avoids eye contact, it could only mean two things – either they are lying and they don’t want you to find out, or they are simply not having any emotional connection with you. Both these scenarios aren’t good for a relationship, and this is why you should pay close attention to whether or not your partner makes any eye contact with you.



Or, your partner is making eye contact all the time

Even though the lack of eye contact is a clear sign that something is not working in your relationship, too much of it isn’t good, either. When people are not interested in a person or thing, they would look away in any other direction for something or someone that suits their eye more. And since this is common knowledge, people try to overcompensate by making an uncomfortable amount of eye contact just to not be interpreted as being rude!



Non-dilation of pupils

A study in the Royal Society Open Science journal found out that when a person is attracted to someone, their eyes give it away pretty soon. This is because dilated pupils are a sign of attraction. So, if you are worried whether or not your partner is still interested in you, just look into their eyes and you will most likely get your answer.



Not giving undivided attention

In this modern age, we all are hooked onto our smartphones most of the time. However, when your partner purposefully looks at his or her phone only when you try to strike a conversation, it is time you have a serious discussion on where the relationship is heading, with your partner.



Making a lot of left-hand gestures

Body language experts rely on hand gestures a lot. When you’re talking to your partner, pay close attention to their hand gestures, and pay attention to which hand they use more to do so – left or right. Why is that so important? According to body language experts, making a lot of gestures with one’s left hand indicates that the person is uncomfortable with the words that are coming out of their mouth. For instance, rubbing one’s eye with their left hand is a clear indication that the person isn’t being fully honest with you, and you should not trust everything that comes out of their mouth.



Sighing all the time

Body language experts also place a great deal of stress on voice and intonations. The most important sign that something about the relationship isn’t clicking is when your partner makes use of a lot of non-audible noises such as pauses, sighs, and silences in every conversation you have with them.



They lean away from you while talking

A healthy sign of emotional closeness is physical closeness, so you should always pay very close attention to the distance your partner maintains when the two of you are together. One of the major body language cues that are a clear sign the relationship is not going to work is the subtle leaning away of one of the partners while standing or sitting together.



Fake smile

Happy couples don’t have to fake their smiles as they are genuinely enthusiastic about their relationship. So, watching your partner put on a smile that doesn’t go anywhere near their eyes is a big sign that something in the relationship is not working, according to leading physiotherapist Toni Coleman.



Biting lips, a lot

No matter how hard a person tries to hide their actual, true feelings, the body language gives it away quite easily at some point. And while there is no standard way of how one’s subconsciousness communicates nervousness through body language, regularly biting one’s lips is a clear indication that the person is hiding one thing or another.



Crossed legs

Body language cues are indeed so helpful in reading a person’s actual feelings, especially when it comes to relationships. For instance, if you are in the middle of a heated conversation with your significant other, the last thing you would like to see is your partner sitting with their legs crossed. What does it indicate? It is a clear sign that your partner has simply shut off all the mental, emotional, and physical doors to themselves. And since all this happens subconsciously, you can be quite certain that it is indeed true.



Feet are pointed away from you

If you really want to read your partner’s feelings and get true answers about how he or she feels about the relationship, just pay close attention to how they sit when the two of you are having a conversation. If their torso and feet are pointed away from you, it is a clear signal that they are no longer interested in you. This is true even when their head is tilted towards you, as that can be a sign of politeness.