Top Signs your Relationship is Failing
Aside from being fun, the dating world’s ultimate purpose is to provide you with a suitable partner, and with whom you can build a fully-functioning life.
Finding that person, or someone you firmly believe to be that person, can be as much of a ride as going out every night.
It’s not all roses. Two independent lives can be incredibly difficult to intertwine, and doing so takes work, timing, and trust. You also have to be receptive to little signs that could point to an unhealthy dynamic.
When considering the all-important question “Should I break up with her?” it pays to assess whether the relationship is worth salvaging, or whether you should be rebuilding yourself and continuing your search.
If my relationship seems to be ending, do I break it up or do we work it out? A bad relationship can be toxic and all-encompassing. Losing a good relationship that could have been salvaged can be just as bad.
It’s crucial to look out for these signs and evaluate whether you are in a position to work on them.
Signs of an impending breakup include:
• Jealousy and trust issues
• Boredom and never going out
• Decreasing and deteriorating sex
Let me break down how to know when there are relationship issues.
Constant arguments are an obvious sign, but there are a few different types of argument. You have the necessary ones – where to live, if/when to have a baby, issues with your partner’s family – which can span pretty hefty issues that would take time to resolve between any two people.
That’s part of sharing a life with another person and is not a sign that all is lost. If you communicate well, you should find a happy compromise.
The real problem with arguing comes when it is for the sake of arguing, and this normally manifests itself from petty issues or a general confrontational air.
It’s often not about the chore you were postponing or the post-work beer you had, just a vocal expression of just how frustrating it can be when a relationship isn’t living up to expectations.
“What’s wrong with my relationship?” can be a pretty difficult question to answer, but it’s important that you circumvent the petty arguments to sit down and discuss the core relationship problems at hand.
If you cohabit, get some space from each other, either with friends or alone, and use the time to simmer down and articulate some real talking points before reconvening for discussion.
It can honestly be harder to say “there are some real issues here” than to scream and shout and swear at and insult each other. Taking that step is the only way to gauge if these underlying issues are insurmountable.
A relationship can and should become a large part of your life. However, if all you do is hang out, cuddle, and watch TV, you can become dependent.
Feeling comfortable is great, but feeling too comfortable can mean that you forget to work on yourself. Not only that, drifting into comfort can be selfish too. Placing too much focus on how good she makes you feel about yourself rather than building together and investing in the relationship can be harmful.
This, alongside the added pressure dependency can place on a person, means that neediness can be a creeping menace. It’s comfortable, so by nature confronting it is like wriggling out from under a warm duvet when you have to go to work.
This is where you can get sideswiped by a surprise breakup before you even get to ask “are we ready to break up?”
This is a far from terminal situation for a relationship, but if you don’t catch it early enough, you may be too far gone. Go on dates and dedicate special time to each other, but also be sure to do your own thing.
Go to gigs without each other, have an activity or hobby you do alone, or plan some time away with friends. More than any other time in history, relationships are comprised of two individuals with disparate lives, and to forget that can be to drive your partner away.
JEALOUSY AND TRUST ISSUES
Jealousy can spring from neediness. If you are so focused on one person, the fear of losing them may override any sense you can apply to her inevitable conversations and friendships with other men.
Past experiences can also fuel a jealous attitude. Either way, if you find yourself unable to trust someone, whether they give you reason to or not, it’s likely that this will lead to relationship problems.
It means that one or both of you are not ready or, even worse, not trustworthy.
You can still look at other women, and she can joke about a celebrity crush. Act respectfully and know the boundaries of your relationship. A little casual flirting at the cash register is only going to be good for your confidence but leave it there.
Do enough to know you’ve still got it, but not so much as to convince you to try and push your luck. Take that confidence home to your partner.
Acting jealous, checking her phone messages and interrogating her every time she comes back from a night out with her girlfriends is going to do you no favours either.
If you’re starting to see a pattern in your reactions to her lifestyle or her reactions to your own, you may need to start considering your compatibility, or your preparedness to be in a meaningful relationship.
Relationship counselling can be an excellent way to diffuse this kind of friction. Sometimes an external mediator can see your actions from a clearer perspective and will be able to strengthen your trust.
If there are clues pointing to foul play, then communicate with her clearly and raise the issue sooner rather than later.
If you spend a lot of time with your partner, you are inevitably going to reach a point where you get takeaways instead of going out to eat or sack off plans with friends to stay in and binge Netflix.
You may never leave your town because it’s easier and you have each other. This routine will ultimately lead to one place: boredom.
A relationship needs to be fun and add value to your life, not tie you to the sofa. It’s probably the most easily solved problem on this page – go out and do more.
It can be hard to see the trappings of domesticated comfort until it is too late. It can also detract from your drive and focus in other parts of your life, such as work.
If you’re bored to the point of not enjoying your time with your partner, the real test will be if she wants to work with you on getting out more, and going on dates. If the excuses keep coming, it’s only going to leave one horse pulling the cart, and that will wear you down.
When a relationship is ending, it’s often not anger or malice that puts the nail in the coffin. A creeping complacency and hollow disappointment can be all it takes. If you’re not going out, you’re not making an effort.
Sex is not the be-all and end-all, and not getting laid for a couple of weeks does not mean the relationship is dead.
Life, work, health and all manner of things stand in the way of an erotically-charged encounter, and the physical side will naturally slow down after you’ve known someone for an extensive period.
It’s important to have perspective. Communicate openly about sex and normalise it as a point of discussion, sure. But as men, we can put focus on it after just a few days of limited action, and this can create problems where there are none.
Take stock of what you have before you take issue, or you’ll open up some cans of worms that could make things needlessly awkward.
However, if you’re not having sex at all, or it’s a listless fumble when you are, it’s one of the first hints as to how to know when there are relationship issues. In my sessions, I often find that relationship issues come from not trying, and it applies here.
Whip out a massage with some lotion, try new things like handcuffs or blindfolds, or whisk her off for a romantic spa weekend somewhere to inspire some excitement.
Don’t whine, complain or guilt trip. Just be proactive. Negativity is not sexy.
If you’re not having sex, it’s down to having hit one of the first four relationship roadblocks. It’s a symptom, not a cause.
Use it as an opportunity to improve both yourself and the relationship. Also, put it to use as a chance to work out if you still want the relationship.
Ultimately, do what’s best for you long-term. Don’t settle for less than you deserve, and work to prove you deserve it when it does come your way.