When you care about someone, it's natural to want your relationship to work. But sometimes that hopeful optimism can turn into putting on blinders to all the signs and evidence that, despite what you heart wants, the relationship is just not the right fit. This can be hard to accept, but in some ways it can actually make the eventual breakup even harder because you stuck it out longer and got even more attached. It's because of this that having a clearer idea of the red flags your relationship won't last can help you as you move forward and save you some time and emotional energy. Ultimately, what you do with this info will be up to you, but even just knowing what to look for is powerful because it may make the difference between ending things in a kind and calm manner or trying to force a relationship until it grows toxic.
What warning signs should you be on the lookout for? And is it really even possible to spot them early on? According to Lisa Concepcion, certified dating and relationship expert and founder of LoveQuest Coaching, the answer is yes. "Especially when you are clear about your own life goals, values, and what questions to ask to determine if the person is a good fit. The more clarity you have about what you want out of life the easier it is to decide if the person has the values and qualities that are a match," she tells Elite Daily. Here is what the experts say to pay attention to in your relationship if you have concerns that you aren't the right fit for the long haul.
1. They resist letting you into their inner circle.
When you are in a relationship with someone, you're also in a relationship with all the people who matter most in their life — that is if you're SO is serious about you. This is why Concepcion says if your partner refuses to introduce you to their inner circle of friends and family, that’s a red flag the relationship is not built to last. “This is a sign they are not interested in blending you fully into their world and just want you as someone more casual,” she explains
2. You don’t get along with their friends.
What if they have let you in and introduced you to all their friends, only for you to discover, well, you don't really like their friend group? According to Mary J. Gibson, a relationship and lifestyle expert blogger and senior content strategist at DatingXP, that can be a red flag, too. “We pick our pals, and as a rule, we pick individuals that are like us somehow or another. If you find that you don't care for their companions, know that your most current love may have a few characteristics you don't care for,” she tells Elite Daily.
3. They avoid conflict by pulling away.
For any relationship to be successful over the long term, it has to be able to weather hard times — and hard conversations. So, if you find your partner dodging anything unpleasant or dipping out whenever things get too heavy, then Concepcion says that is a sign of a deeper problem in the relationship. “A long term partnership is going to come with challenges. If someone is conflict avoidant, they may lack the emotional intelligence and coping skills to thrive in a long term relationship where problem solving as a team actually bonds people closer,” she says.
4. They are uncomfortable talking about the future.
One of the best things about being in a committed relationship is knowing you have someone to share your future with; To get through the hard times and celebrate the successes. However, if your partner gets shifty whenever the topic of the future — or where your relationship is headed — comes up, Concepcion says to take note. “This is a red flag because it clearly shows that the person isn't certain they want something serious or long term,” she says. “When people are ready for a long term serious relationship they say so and they are typically upfront about it. They also don't get uneasy or pull back when the subject is brought up. They welcome conversation about the relationship because they want to see it grow.”
5. You struggle with communication.
Without question, healthy communication is the cornerstone of any relationship. It's how you work through issues as well as grow and bond together. So, if your communication struggles from the start, Gibson says this is another serious warning sign. “Each couple has various gauges for how much or little they speak with one another, however, at the start of a relationship, lack of communication indicates a blurry future,” she says.
6. You’re not comfortable being yourself around them.
The last red flag is not about how your partner behaves, but about how they make you feel. Do you feel your best and safest self when they are nearby? Or do you feel like you have to hold back part of yourself when you are together? If it's the latter, Gibson says this is not sustainable in a relationship. “[If] you can't be yourself in the very beginning of a relationship itself, it very well may be an indication that you feel like there is a piece of you that isn't appropriate for the relationship. When we forget any true piece of our self, we are setting up the relationship to remain superficial, which does not bolster long term potential for sure,” she explains.
Is any of this sounding alarmingly familiar? If so, Concepcion says there is still hope, but it will take a proactive approach to address the issues in the relationship. “I suggest having an open conversation that is rooted in curiosity and love as opposed to judgment. Making the conversation more about getting clear as opposed to getting your way is also important. The goal is to point out what you are noticing and get their feedback. Then you can make decisions from there,” says Concepcion. “Sometimes people get closer after having this kind of discussion because they are able to make some agreements that put one another at ease and get both people on the same page. Other times people realize that they want different things and are free to date other people who may be ready for something more serious.”
While the conversation may not go the way you hoped, Concepcion says that it will free you up to find someone who is a better fit. “When the right people get together, it gets serious and it often comes without drama or effort. People can go from ambivalent to fully committed when the right person presents themselves,” she concludes. At the end of the day, that's exactly what you deserve: The right person.