People break up every single day. I’m sure more than a few dozen people broke up in the amount of time it took me to write that sentence alone. But what determines a breakup can vary. Sometimes love just dies, sometimes there’s been a betrayal, sometimes distance gets in the way, and other times it’s a lot more complicated. You wake up and realize that it’s just over, and no amount of change or reason can bring you back to the place where you and your partner once were.
But even before the end of a relationship arrives, there are usually some signs things aren't looking too good. While many of these signs are very obvious, others are a bit more subtle, sort of like a whisper in your ear that you’d rather ignore than accept as some sort of proof that it's time to call it quits.
One way to tell? “If you’re generally a happy and positive person and you’ve changed since your relationship, it doesn’t bode well for your relationship,” dating and relationship expert Anita A. Chlipala, LMFT tells Bustle. “Your loved ones may have noticed, but may not say anything because they don’t want to hurt your feelings.”
Here are some more of those subtle signs that a relationship may not work out.
1. You’re Vague On The Details Of Why You’re With Your Partner
According to Chlipala, if when asked why you’re with your partner you respond with, “because I love him or her,” and you “don’t have a detailed response of their awesome qualities about who they are as a person,” that’s a definite sign. Love is great and all, but relationships need more than love to survive. Simply being in love isn’t enough to make a relationship last.
2. You Don't Want To Feel Like You Wasted Your Time
When you’ve spent years and years with someone, it’s an investment. And, to be honest, no one likes to make an investment only to walk away from it. So if your reason for staying with your partner is because you’ve made this investment in each other, then that’s another subtle sign that things aren’t likely to work out. Sometimes you need to admit that it was a bad investment, cut your losses, and run — any financial broker would tell you the same.
3. You’re Not Too Concerned About Whether Or Not Your Partner Is A Good Fit
In keeping with the theme of not really seeing the relationship for what it is, Chlipala says that focusing on other things, like not wanting to have wasted your precious time and, perhaps, what love remains, as opposed to whether or not your partner and you are a good fit is another sign. In the long-term, isn’t your compatibility going to be more important than than the last two years of your “investment?” I would hope so.
4. Your Relationship Has Changed You (But Not For The Better)
Change is usually the glaring evidence one needs to realize that something is wrong. However, as Chlipala points out, you may not have even recognized the change in yourself. If this is the case and you’re open to input from loved ones, it might be time to ask if they’ve seen a difference in you, especially if the other subtle signs are starting to line up and become a bit more clear.
5. You Have A General Unhappiness
When we’re unhappy in a relationship, it’s sometimes hard to pinpoint why or even admit that maybe the relationship is to blame. But, as Chlipala told Bustle, when “your emotional needs aren’t being met,” unhappiness is to follow. While unhappiness may not seem very subtle, it’s the reason behind the happiness that’s subtle.
6. You’re Anxious When You Think About The Relationship
Again, when we’re not getting what we need from the relationship, we’re emotionally affected. If you find yourself more anxious than not when thinking about your partner and your relationship, that should give you a heads up that, for the long-term, what you have here might have much of a chance.
7. You Complain More Than You Probably Should
“When you talk with your family and friends, you seem to complain more than you talk about good things,” is another sign isn’t not going to work out, according to Chlipala, which makes sense. If you can’t find the good in someone, especially when talking to those closest to you, then something has got to give. If this is the case, it may be time to rethink your relationship — it's not fair to you or your partner.
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