Quiet Quitting: How to Recognize the Signs

Fifty-seven percent of Canadians reported being in couple relationships in 2021, demonstrating that the number of Canadians in couples has been steady for over a century (Zimonjic, 2022). However, we know that the number of individuals who report being in a romantic relationship can be vastly different than the number of individuals who may report being happy and committed in a romantic relationship.  

There can be countless events and experiences you have with your significant other(s) where you might be consciously or subconsciously evaluating them. For example, some individuals may evaluate the way their partner(s) engage with children with this being something that is important to them if they want to raise children. Or perhaps individuals are evaluating the way their partner(s) make financial decisions with a hope of their decisions being in alignment with their needs/hopes for their life.

Ultimately, the assessment of your internal evaluations can then predict the longevity of your relationship, your relationship satisfaction, and the extent to which you try to change your partner’s behaviours (Chesterman et al., 2021). This blog article aims to provide guidance on signs that may suggest your partner(s) is/are quiet quitting on your relationship.  

What is Quiet Quitting?


Quiet quitting is a term that stemmed from the employment sector. It is not a term used to describe when an employee explicitly quits, but rather when the employee chooses to work only within their assigned duties without communicating such to their co-workers or supervisors (Mazur et al., 2023). It is a commitment to do the bare minimum.  

Think about occasions where we may have returned from a day off and a co-worker has taken the initiative to support us without being asked to, A co-worker that is quietly quitting commits to the minimum of the job description and is unlikely to commit to more than what they feel is required of their job that day.  

When thinking about romantic relationships, quiet quitting is likely occurring when significant other(s) ascribes to the bare minimum, indicative of their minimal involvement in the relationship (DiDonato, 2022).  

Yes, this person may be faithful, respectful, and honest but do they go “above and beyond” for you? Do they have capacity and/or interest to invest in and commit to the relationship? 

(Pace, 2022)

Signs of Quiet Quitting

 Quiet quitting in a relationship is likely evident through romantic disengagement (Barry et al., 2008). The following may be key indicators that your significant other is “just doing their job” to continue the romantic relationship: 

  • Poorer communication 

  • Avoidance and withdrawal behaviours 

  • Decreased demonstration of love and/or passion 

  • Lower levels of energy during interactions 

  • Decreased physical intimacy or affection 

  • Less attentive  

Quiet quitting, especially with high levels of disengagement, can be detrimental to a relationship’s stability and overall satisfaction between partners. This is so because such withdrawal leads to loneliness, conflict, and the questioning of commitment (Barry et al., 2008). 

What to do about Quiet Quitting?

Well, that’s up to you! Each person is unique according to what they need in a relationship and what attracts them to a selected partner. But it is worth reflecting on your relationship and your partner’s contributions to decide if they are fit for you in their way of showing up.

There are also many reasons why your partner may be behaving in a certain manner aside from intentionally quiet quitting.

Mental health experiences are one of many reasons why a partner may present in a manner in which feels to meet the criteria of quiet quitting, as they may be influenced by factors that affect their participation in your relationship.  


Putting it into action

Are you noticing either yourself and or your partner(s) presenting in a way that may be deemed as quiet quitting?  

If you would like to discuss a previous or current relationship regarding challenges including but not limited to possible quiet quitting, a therapist on our team can help be there to help you individually or for your relationship! Our therapists are experienced in providing couple therapy, marriage therapy, and relationship therapy in Mississauga, Burlington and in online couple therapy.  

If you and your partner are ready to discuss potential signs of quiet quitting, we have couples’ therapists eager to help you navigate your relationship! 


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The Relationship Therapy Centre supports individuals, children, couples, teens, and families in Mississauga and Burlington. Virtual therapy is offered across Canada. Understand yourself and build deeper connections.

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