Have you ever been in a relationship and asked yourself, "are we meant to be together?" I've had a lot of friends talk about when they "just know" or they've met "the one", and it always makes me nervous. Not because I don't think they should be happy and get married and run off into the sunset and all of that. I hope they do. But that "just know" feeling normally wipes out a lot of logic, and more often than not turns into "I just knew... until reality set in and I realized the relationship was like a plane crash when the plane is full of crying babies and fire and also no vodka". Because there are some things that, no matter how obsessed or in love you are, just aren't sustainable. Sometimes it's just not meant to
And I'm not talking about one of you being a dog person and the other person being a cat person. (Because we can all agree, dogs are the worst.) I mean bigger picture. Call them dealbreakers or relationship red flags are whatever you like, but there are some things there's just no coming back from or working around. And it's awful and gutting and absolutely no one's fault, but sometimes... it just is. If you've been there, you know the frustration, and if not, consider yourself lucky.
Here are eight signs you just weren't meant to be together:
1. Kids Or No Kids
To me, this is a massive no brainer of a dealbreaker. It's a huge life decision, and no matter how much you might love each other, if you don't have the same views on kids one of you is always going to be missing out. And that means hurt and resentment, because neither of you are going to budge. As Dr. Margaret Paul says "if you really want children and your partner says he or she doesn't, do not count on this changing".
2. You Want To Live In Different Places
Location isn't a little thing. If one of you would rather live in New York but one would sort-of prefer Philly, you'll probably be okay compromising. But if you one of you is only happy in the country and one of you is dedicated to big city life, you may find that you just can't be satisfied in the same place. I've watched a couple try living in both of their home countries, but one of them was just never happy. It sucked, and they ended up breaking up. It's no one's fault, but you've got to put yourself first.
3. Different Attitudes Towards Money
I don't mean having the same amount of money. But a lot of studies show that financial hardship is one the biggest, if not the biggest, source of conflict and stress in couples. I'm not saying you can't get through it together, but if you combine that stress with one of you being frugal and the other one making it rain all over the place, the constant source of tension can be a deal breaker.
4. It's Just Too Hard
Some parts seem perfect— you have the same favorite book, agree on every show you'll binge-watch, and they make the world's best coffee. And you love them. But you always fight. Like really fight. The fighting itself isn't a bad thing, as Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil says "Arguing can be a sign that your relationship is strong and passionate, and that you're comfortable enough to express negative feelings without fear of losing each other in the process". But if it's all the time, it's just not working but you can't put your finger on why, it's okay to admit it's just too hard.
5. You Hate Each Other's Friends
You don't have to be besties with each other's besties. That would be weird, and plus everyone needs their unadulterated alone time with their friends. But, as Glamour says, if your friend's hate your new boyfriend "Be willing to take a hard and honest look at the guy for whom you've gone googly-eyed... Your friends may just have a point.". And if neither of you can get along with the other's friends, that's probably a warning sign. At the very least, it's going to put a huge amount of pressure on your relationship and cut you off from a lot of support.
6. You Love Each Other, You Just Don't Like Each Other
One of my friends was passionately in love with her ex. Or in something. Anyway, it was passionate. They fought, they f*cked, they thought about each other all the time. But they straight up did not like each other as people. Every little thing niggled the other one, and they just didn't seem to get along. Was there a connection? Absolutely, a mind-blowing one. Were they meant to be? Absolutely not.
7. One Of You Is Isolated
One of the biggest relationship red flags is if one of you feels isolated in the relationship. As clinical psychologist Marie Hartwell-Walker says, it's a form of control, because your partner "can’t trust what they can’t control" you slowly end up cut off from the rest of your world. In the worst cases this can be a manipulative partner, but even for those who don't have malicious intent— your relationship can't be your whole world. It's not sustainable.
8. You Want Different Things From Each Other
It doesn't matter how in love you are if you're both looking for different things. I've been with people who simply amazed me, but were looking for more or less commitment than I was willing to give at the time. Or were looking for someone who wanted to settled down in the near future when I definitely did not. Everyone's entitled to their own wants, but that doesn't mean they're right for you. It can be heart-wrenchingly sad, and sometimes it's just bad timing, but it's better to admit it sooner rather than later.
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