4 Signs Your Relationship Is Just Not Working, No Matter How Hard You Try
It can be so much easier to end a relationship when you're no longer happy in it than it is when you and bae are in love, but the relationship still isn't working. Unfortunately, some relationships simply don't work despite how desperately we may want them to. If you find yourself in a situation like this, there are several signs your relationship is just not working to look out for, even though they may be hard to accept. If you and bae are trying as hard as you possibly can to make your relationship work, and nothing is changing, it's normal to feel discouraged. But fret not. Try to look at it glass half full, instead of half empty. If this relationship doesn't work, it can make way for a better one that will down the line.
Some conflict in a long-term relationship is completely normal. When two people are trying to come together and make a life for themselves, "there will be bumps in the road, misunderstandings, and conflict," Benjamin Ritter MBA, MPH, EdD, founder of the Breakup Supplement and consultant for Live for Yourself Consulting, tells Elite Daily. "That is all OK as long as both partners are still future and goal-oriented to make the relationship work. What isn't OK is when a relationship stops moving forward. If one or both partners decide that they aren't going to focus on the end goal of the relationship, a relationship isn't going to work, no matter how hard one partner tries." Below, some signs your relationship is headed down that very road.
1. The word "compromise" doesn't exist.
Compromise is hard. I know that, you know that, Shirley over there knows that. But the fact that compromise is often a crucial part of any relationship rings true, too, regardless of how difficult it may be. And when you or bae refuse to compromise in any way, it could end up causing a rift in your relationship. "A relationship is about listening to each other and helping one another feel comfortable in the relationship," Ritter says. "If one partner stops trying to compromise and understand the other, the relationship isn't working anymore."
2. There's a lack of intimacy.
At some point in your relationship, the intimacy you and your partner had in the beginning may simmer down, and that's completely normal. But when the intimacy isn't there at all, it could be a sign that there's something more going on. "Your partner has stopped being intimate and doesn't care to make any changes or discuss the topic," Ritter explains. "A lack of intimacy in a relationship can occur due to stress outside of the relationship, but a sustained lack of intimacy in a relationship without any acknowledgment or desire to improve it can mean the relationship isn't working anymore."
3. There's more of a negative vibe than a positive one.
Your life should be full of positive vibes, and when one of the most important people in your life is bringing you the exact opposite, it might mean they're doing you more harm than good. "A relationship should be a positive force in your life, most of the time," Elle Huerta, CEO and founder of heartbreak recovery app Mend, tells Elite Daily. "Rocky patches are inevitable, but on the whole, a relationship shouldn't make you feel insecure, sad, angry, stuck, or confused."
4. You start to feel stuck.
If you've been with someone long enough and you're in love with them, but something still feels like it's missing, you may start feeling stuck. You know you're not 100% happy, but you also know you don't want to end things with bae. They still mean so much to you, and the chance that figuring out what's best for you may be moving forward without your partner can be daunting.
"To get clear on your own feelings, find some time and space away from all the distractions of your day-to-day life," Huerta advises. "Take a break from your phone, and allow yourself to find some peace and quiet so that you can sit with yourself and journal. Write down how the relationship makes you feel, and what you feel you truly deserve and want in your life. Does this align with your current situation? If not, why not? What's holding you back? So often your gut is trying to communicate, but it gets overpowered by someone or something else. I think deep down we often know the right answer when it comes to relationships, but we just don't always hear it or act on it."
So, what now?
If you've noticed any of these signs in your relationship, it may be time to admit to yourself that maybe it has run its course. But you don't have to accept that without trying one last thing to make it work. "You can try coaching, counseling, or mediation (as long as both of you are on board)," Trina Leckie, breakup coach and host of the breakup BOOST podcast, tells Elite Daily. "So, that [way] you know 100% that you have tried to salvage the relationship versus walking away with 'what ifs' or regrets. Once you feel like you have tried everything, and nothing seems to be working, you just need to decide that you want more for yourself."
If nothing changes, it may be time to rally the troops to help you get through the end of your relationship. "Gain the support of your friends and family," Ritter recommends. "If you are sure that you want the relationship to end, then you need to recruit people that can support you, talk to you about your feelings, and support you through this transition."
He also recommends being realistic and evaluating your current situation, instead of what it was, or what you wish it was. "Focus on today. Not what could be. Not the ideal version of this person because they will never be that person. Who is your partner today, and do you work today?" Ritter asks.
Try to remember that when one door closes, another one opens. This relationship may not have been the ~one~, but maybe the next one will be. You won't find true happiness unless you open yourself up to the possibility of finding it. As Leckie says, "One day, you will look back and be grateful that the breakup happened (as hard as that may be to believe now). You can’t meet someone better suited for you if you keep hanging onto the wrong one out of fear of the unknown." And the unknown doesn't have to be as scary as it seems. Who knows? It could bring you unparalleled happiness.
This post was originally published on Oct. 11, 2018. It was updated on Sept. 5, 2019 by Elite Daily Staff.