Relationships are really great... until they're not. You may be experiencing what you think are subtle signs your relationship is over. The thing is, your relationship may have been doomed before it ever really began.
Although we like to think that, early on, everything is wonderful in our relationship and then it just suddenly falls apart, the truth is that, sometimes, things were bad from the beginning, and we didn't pay attention. If you're wondering if you might have missed some signs and are now facing what could be the end of your relationship, read on:
1. You Were Critical Of Each Other From The Get-Go
Being overly critical of each other is one of the signs that a couple probably won't work out long-term. The thing that most of us don't realize, though, is that if you're being critical of each other in a relationship, you probably started out that way, rather than ending up way.
You may not have even noticed it, but if your partner is overly critical of you now, chances are, they made little digs at you early on in your relationship. In fact, if the two of you really don't have a great relationship, you may even find that you also criticized things early on.
If criticism keeps rearing its ugly head with you and your partner, it's likely that your relationship never really had a chance.
2. You Never Talked About Real Things
Early on in a relationship, it's easy to talk about fun things like books, movies, travel, and dreamy ideas about life. That said, at some point, while the best couples still discuss those things, the best couples also start talking about real life.
Usually, you'll talk about things like what their prior relationships were like, how they grew up, what they believe in, and the best and worst things they've done — talking about these things is how you get to know people. Not only that, but talking about more serious things opens the door to real relationship communication, the kind you need to sustain something long-term.
Sometimes, though, in the heat of the intense excitement of a new relationship, people forget to actually talk about the real things that make up their personalities. And what happens is that later, it comes back to bite them in the butt because a few months in, they realize they've been dating a stranger — a stranger that they can't even communicate with.
Susan Trombetti, matchmaker extraordinaire and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking, says not talking is definitely a reason a relationship could be over before it began. "If you can't talk it out, you can't work it out, which means someone is going to leave eventually," she says.
If you never really got to know each other and never really talked, but somehow ended up in a relationship together, it may have been over before it really began.
3. You Hated How Aloof They Were
In the stages of early flirtation, when our partner does something we're not a huge fan of (like waiting 12 hours to text us back), it can continue to fuel the flames of our interest in them. After all, if they seem hard to get, we normally try harder to "get" them.
But that's a bad sign, says James Preece, dating guru and relationship expert. If a partner doesn't make you feel special or make you feel like they're interested even in the beginning, it's unlikely to work out over time.
"If he doesn't make your feel like a priority in his life then that's because you aren't," says Preece. "Warning signs are when he cancels on you at the last minute or tells you he can't see you for a while. Either he's waiting for someone better to come along or he's already seeing other people."
Not only that, but someone who isn't ready for a relationship won't even spend time asking things to get to know you. "Something is definitely wrong if he doesn't ask much about you," says Preece.
Aloofness in the beginning usually spells doom later on. So if you never liked the way they treated you before, your relationship was probably just a ticking time bomb.
4. The Sex Was Never That Good
Seriously, girls, why do we do this to ourselves? Sometimes, when you're crushing on someone new, it's easy to get totally enthralled with everything about them. You love their hair, you love the way they smell, you love their jokes, you love their glasses. And that's all before you even get to the bedroom.
But then, you get the bedroom, and the results are, well, disappointing. Because you had such a crush on them before, you overlook the problems in bed, telling yourself it's just jitters or that you just don't know each other that well and it will get better with time. And then, it doesn't.
When the sex wasn't that good to begin with, it means the passion really wasn't there, and it probably won't just pop up overnight. If the sex was and continues to be bad — even after you talk about it and try to work on it — your relationship was never going to be good.
5. You Mistook Fighting For Passion
Sometimes, relationships start with a forest fire instead of a spark. And sometimes, we think that's sexy.
Whether it's that cute person you met at Debate that you just can't stop "play" arguing with or the lawyer you just started dating who always needs to be right, it can be kind of hot to spend time talking pretty passionately about topics with your new love. But sometimes, it's not hot. Passion can easily spill over into actual fighting, and it spells bad things for your relationship.
When you're in the throes of a new relationship, it's kind of easy to mistake a bad fight with something more. We get so easily enthralled by people that we think almost anything is fun and comes from love. As time goes on, though, we start to realize that it's actually just annoying as hell that they can't seem to stop fighting with us. And usually, this spells the end.
6. You Wouldn't Ever Be Friends Outside Your Relationship
If you wouldn't have ever chosen your partner to be friends with before (or after) you were in a relationship, consider it dead before it started.
This isn't to say you have to be friends with everyone before you date them. Instead, what it means is that when you think about them as a person, you should genuinely like them. You should feel like even if you weren't with them romantically, you wouldn't mind being friends with them, and you would like to still have them in your life.
Feeling like you'd like to be friends with someone generally means you think they're cool on their own, even without all the passion and romance that comes with a relationship. But if you would never in a million years want to be their friend and all that's been driving you is sex and flirtation, the relationship never really had a chance.
7. You Ignored The Deal Breakers
If you ignored any deal breakers you normally have early on, this relationship was always doomed to fail.
Anita A. Chlipala, licensed marriage and family therapist and author of First Comes Us: The Busy Couple's Guide to Lasting Love, says tit's always a really terrible idea to ignore deal breakers. "There are some things that just can't be negotiated, like one person wants a child and the other doesn't," she says. "It's a bad sign if you overlook deal breakers and think things such as, 'With a little more time…' or 'Once they see how awesome I am they'll change their mind….'"
Neither of these things is likely to happen, says Chlipala. "If your partner feels strongly about an issue, and you can't accept their stance, it's better to find someone whose goals and values are more aligned with yours."
Trombetti agrees that if you ignored the deal breakers from the get-go, you can consider your relationship already over. "This is over before you started," she says. "You just don't want the same things out of life and this is only a recipe for a broken heart."
We all make mistakes, and sometimes, our mistakes involve not being able to see a relationship for what it truly is until we've already gotten pretty far into it. Not to worry, though. Finally realizing a relationship isn't for you just means you'll create space in your life for the one that's right for you at the right time.
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