Sometimes it might feel easier to ignore unhappy relationship signs and just hope for the best. But if you don’t pay attention to the signs a relationship is not working, you’re setting yourself up for devastating heartbreak.
Look out for these signs a relationship is not working, so that when you know a relationship is not right, you can do something about it.
Signs A Relationship Is Not Working: 12 Unhappy Relationship Signs You Should Never Ignore
1. Your relationship revolves around passion/lust.
Plenty of relationships — or even most relationships — start from passion and lust. In those early days, you just can’t keep your hands off each other, and that’s perfectly normal. But as time goes on and it feels like your relationship is based on nothing else but the physical, then that spells trouble.
Eventually, your physical attraction will wane, and when that happens, what will your relationship be based on?
2. You don’t talk about the future.
If you can’t picture yourself having a future with your partner, then that can’t be good. But sometimes, even though you can envision yourself growing old with him, he still refuses to talk about the future even though you’ve been together for over a year. Sure, he could just be bad at talking about his feelings, but this also might mean that he can’t see you in his future. Uh-oh.
3. You can’t be yourself around your partner.
In the beginning of a relationship, it’s normal to always put your best foot forward. But if you’ve already been dating for quite some time and you feel like you’re still walking on eggshells around your partner, that’ll bite you in the ass later on. A healthy relationship is built on honest and open communication — if you’re not capable of being yourself around your partner, try to figure out what you can do to make it better before it’s too late.
4. You never fight.
You’d think that never fighting is a good thing, but that’s actually a big red flag. No matter how compatible you are, you and your partner aren’t going to see eye-to-eye on many things. If you sweep things under the rug, this builds feelings of resentment, and also robs you of the growth you get when you reach a compromise together.
5. You don’t have a give-and-take relationship.
How much do you compromise in your relationship? Does your partner meet you in the middle? When you have an argument, is one of you always the first to apologise? A relationship with no give and take makes you or your partner a martyr, which is no way to have a healthy relationship.
6. You don’t like his friends.
Birds of a feather flock together. If you can’t stand your partner’s friends, chances are your partner will similarly get on your nerves once the honeymoon phase is over. And if he doesn’t like your friends, that’s a sign that he won’t be able to accept you for who you are as well.
7. You don’t have a life outside of your relationship.
When you and your partner’s likes and dislikes are completely in sync, it’s easy to get totally wrapped up in each other’s lives. But if you don’t pursue hobbies or friendships as individuals, your relationship could quickly turn codependent and toxic. You want to be able to grow as a person within your relationship, not get boxed in by it.
8. You feel like your opinion doesn’t matter.
For a relationship to flourish, you need mutual respect. This means that you and your partner should value each other’s opinions. Sure, it might feel good to have your partner take charge every now and then, but if you feel like you no longer have a say in the relationship, that’s a huge red flag.
9. Your partner treats others badly.
Your partner might treat you like a princess, but if he’s totally rude to restaurant servers or their coworkers, that’s a red flag you shouldn’t ignore. If they’re terrible to their family and friends, chances are as time goes by, they’ll treat you similarly as well.
10. Your partner is still hung up on an ex.
Sure, it’s okay to rag on your exes every now and then, but if your partner frequently talks about his ex — even to just badmouth them — that means they might not be totally ready to focus on who really matters: you.
11. Your partner doesn’t trust you.
This is a huge warning sign that you shouldn’t ignore. If your partner is looking through your phone or rummaging around your room looking for “evidence” of your unfaithfulness, that shows that your partner doesn’t trust you. They might not even go as far as physically snooping through your things, but if they’re constantly asking you about your whereabouts and what you’re doing, that’s a no-no.
12. You feel like it’s your duty to spend time with your partner.
When dates start feeling like a chore to you, that’s a sure sign that there’s something off in your relationship. Spending time with your partner should feel like a joy, not an obligation.
Some Parting Notes on These Signs a Relationship Is Not Working
If you recognise some of these warning signs in your relationship, that doesn’t mean that your relationship is doomed to fail. Much of these problems can be resolved so long as you and your partner are willing to work on them. When you know a relationship is not right, do something about it. As long as you’re on the same team, you can get through this.