Movies, books and celeb scandals generally leave us thinking our relationships will end in some super dramatic catastrophe.
But, my own very unofficial, very unscientific research of all the relationships around me has proven that 99 percent of the time, relationships end for the most boring, simple reasons ever.
Before I get started, it’s important to note that sometimes, people actually do love each other enough to make it past these f*cking awful circumstances, and that is when you know you’ve got the real deal.
Nevertheless, here’s a list of the top five real-life relationship killers to look out for:
This one’s pretty simple. You spotted him from across the cafeteria at freshman orientation and the rest was history. You two fell madly in love and spent the next four years of your lives basically inseparable.
But then, college ended and he got a banking job in New York and you’re staying in California to work for a startup. Long distance is doable when there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, but what happens when there’s not?
Being in a relationship is virtually impossible when you have to live with the fact you will never be physically close to each other again.
You can try doing the long-distance thing for a while, but the fact of the matter is that time differences are annoying and Skype sex is awkward.
2. Previous Baggage
This can come in all sorts of different forms.
His last three girlfriends cheated on him, so he has trust issues. He had some traumatic experience as a child that makes it hard for him to open up to you. He’s been divorced, so he has no desire to get married again. He has a kid and an ex who will forever be in his life.
But, let’s not put this all on him — you can have previous baggage, too. We have all had that moment of self-loathing when you realize that you have met the absolute perfect person, but for some reason, you cannot stop thinking about your douchebag ex.
"The Devil Wears Prada" syndrome can happen to the best of us. You guys met in college, where you were able to spend every waking moment together, and unlike our unlucky friends in scenario one, you two lovebirds were lucky enough to end up living in the same area post-grad.
But, real life is different than the fantasyland we call college. Your job isn’t just some bullsh*t internship your parents set up for you — it’s your career.
Not to mention the fact that you are extremely poor and would sacrifice your first-born child for a raise. Working a few extra hours is no big deal compared to sacrificing your first-born, but odds are it will still piss off your significant other.
We would all love to be powerful career women with fantastic relationships, but, nine times out of 10, you can’t have both.
Going from spending every waking moment together to six extremely exhausting hours a week can and will slowly murder even the strongest of relationships.
In the grand scheme of life, seven years is not a huge deal. But, when you’re 21 and he’s 28, suddenly it is the biggest deal ever.
He could be the funniest, smartest, hottest, most wonderful guy in the entire world, but no matter how hard you try to make it work and beat around the bush, you are just at different places in life.
He’s starting to think about settling down and starting a family, and you’re trying to pick a topic for your senior thesis and a dress for your last sorority formal. It’s just not going to work.
If reality had an army of assh*les, timing would be its lieutenant general. Why? Because all four of the previously mentioned reasons fall beautifully under its umbrella of evil.
Sure, maybe location is a huge issue now, but what happens 15 years down the line, when the long distance already deteriorated your relationship?
You’ve both moved on and gotten married with children, and finally, somehow, you end up living in the same town.
All of that previous baggage would have never been an issue if you had met each other in the very beginning, before there was any baggage to be had.
What happens when you get to the top and you inevitably realize you’ve lost the one person who mattered more than anything to get there?
You’re finally at the point in your career when you can give your ex the time and attention he wanted, but it’s been 20 years, and he's moved on.
Age was everything when you were 21 and he was 28, but now you’re 28 and thinking about settling down, but he’s now 35 and already settled down with someone else. All you can do is bloody your knuckles punching a wall because, yep, timing sucks.