I was in a relationship once where whenever I brought up future plans, even if they were only weeks away, my boyfriend would clam up and not want to talk about it. It seemed like he was completely afraid of the future, even though we’d been together for six months. He broke up with me a few weeks later after an argument about dishes turned into a character assassination (yeah, I left that bowl in the sink because I hate his parents, he was right). In retrospect, there are signs if a relationship isn’t built to last — and I was ignoring all of them.
You don’t have to feel bad if your relationship wasn’t meant to work out — sometimes, it’s just a compatibility issue and neither person is at fault. Relationships ending can be sad, but if you read the signs correctly, you might be able to see it coming and prepare yourself. I gathered up some key signs that your relationship might not stand the test of time. These are just hints or indicators, so even if you notice one of these in your relationship, that doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed. Only you know the truth about what’s going on between you and your partner, but knowing what to look out for can be helpful.
Read on to find nine signs that your relationship isn’t built to last.
1. You See Your Partner Less, Without Explanation
If you feel like your partner has been disappearing and you’re not sure why, your relationship could be struggling. Of course, if your partner is going through a particularly busy time because of work or any other commitment, then it’s totally normal to feel like you’re not seeing them as much as you did earlier in the relationship. Try communicating with them about why you haven’t seen them to make sure you’re on the same page about each other’s lives.
2. You And Your Partner Don’t Discuss The Future
Do your conversations about the future go nowhere? If your partner is unwilling to talk about the future, it might be because the relationship isn’t going to last until the future. "A common sign that a relationship is not built to last is not having the same life vision and constantly finding yourselves in conflict with each other about decisions that impact that vision," Sex and Intimacy Coach Irene Fehr tells Elite Daily. Some people also find talking about the future stressful in general, and it doesn’t have to reflect negatively on your relationship, but being at odds about the future could be a warning sign.
3. Your Partner’s Friends Aren’t Becoming Your Friends
As a relationship develops, you may start to feel like you and your partner are assimilating into each other’s lives. You may also not feel that way, and if you feel like your partner’s friends aren’t becoming your friends, it could be because the relationship isn’t built to last. Then again, it could also be for many other reasons, so don’t panic just because your partner’s friends aren’t on speed-dial — instead, try to find common interests with their friends to connect over.
4. You Fight In Unhealthy Ways
Fighting is totally normal. However, when it starts to become unhealthy, your relationship might be in trouble. "All couples fight — healthy and unhealthy," Fehr says. "However, the ‘how’ of fighting determines if the relationship can succeed over time. When a couple fights, the more they display contempt, stonewalling, criticism, and defensiveness, the less likely they are to sustain a close and loving relationships." If you’re fighting a lot with your partner and you’re invested in the relationship working out, it could be worthwhile to figure out if you can get to the bottom of some of the most common fights.
5. You’re Keeping Secrets
Do you feel like you can tell your partner anything? It’s OK to be a private person and not share every aspect of your life, but the more you keep hidden from your partner, the harder it can be to keep the trust up in the long run. "The best and most important thing is for you to talk about it with your partner," Fehr says. "Get curious where they are and what’s true for them. Share what is true for you." If you find yourself keeping more and more secrets from your partner and being unwilling to share, it might be useful to ask yourself why.
6. You Complain About Your Partner Constantly
Venting to your friends is totally fine, but if your partner becomes a source of constant complaint, it could be because you’re not happy in the relationship, and maybe you want someone to tell you to end it. If your partner is your main source of frustration, the relationship might not be built to last.
7. You Trust Your Partner Less
Do you feel nervous when your partner is out with their friends? Have you started to worry about infidelity when you never did before? It could be because you and your partner are starting to trust each other less, and this might be a sign that the relationship is winding down. This can be fixed if you want to fix it, though. "Consult with a therapist or relationship coach who can help you facilitate these conversations and explore places of alignment and misalignment, as well as learn to repair and heal hurt feelings to be able to sustain the relationship," Fehr recommends. So, while eroding trust may be a sign that a relationship is in trouble, DW — it can totally be saved.
8. You Have Many Other Crushes
There are relationships where it’s totally fine to have crushes on other people and be open about them. If that’s yours and it works for both of you, that’s great. However, if your crushes are growing in size and you feel like you’d rather be in a relationship with someone else you know, it may be a warning sign. It can be healthy to tell your partner when you’re attracted to someone else, but it might be hard to tell them you’re fantasizing constantly about other people. Consider the intensity of your other crushes when you evaluate if your relationship is on the right track.
9. Your Partner Is No Longer Your Confidante
You can choose what you do and don’t share with your partner — there are no rules. However, if they used to be the first person you told whenever anything funny happened, and now you find yourself telling friends instead, that could be a sign of too much fighting and distance. "Over time, these patterns of destructive fighting and lack of repair will destroy trust to the point where a couple cannot regain their sense of closeness and the relationship will be doomed to failure," Fehr says. If fighting has shifted the relationship to the point where your partner is no longer your confidante, you may need to take a step back.
Relationships that don’t work out aren’t failures — they’re learning experiences that help you figure out your needs and how to care for another’s needs. If your relationship has signs that it isn’t built to last, it might be worth re-evaluating if it’s something you and your partner both really want, and if it is, talking to your partner about how to make stand the test of time. And if not, there are wonderful experiences and relationships on your horizon regardless!
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