Relationships take work. It's one of those hard truths about relationships that you hear all the time. Both partners need to put in the effort to nurture and grow the relationship over time. It's something you never stop working on. But how much work is too much? The reality is, not all relationships are meant to last. If things are feeling a little too challenging, you may have to take a step back and ask yourself if you and
your partner really belong together or not.
"When chemistry and emotions enter into a relationship, a couple may overlook all sorts of signs that they should break up or not be together," relationship expert and
spiritual counselor Davida Rappaport, tells Bustle.
When you've invested a lot of time and energy into making a relationship work, you're going to keep working at it until it does. The last thing you want is a breakup. Some couples can
overcome a rough patch successfully, while others end up staying in relationships that are way past its expiration date.
Recognizing when a relationship really just isn't working is important so you can move on and find one that will. So here are some signs you and your partner might not belong together, according to experts.
You Keep A Lot Of Things To Yourself To Avoid Conflict
Young Asian lesbian couple argue and turn their back to each other in the period of sad in the bedroom. LGBT couple sulky to another in the bedroom with a sad mood. LGBT lover emotion concept. Shutterstock
If you let a lot of things go just to avoid arguments or you're convinced that things will eventually change, that's a sign that you and your partner may not be meant to be. Confrontation and conflict are uncomfortable and inevitable. In order to have a truly healthy relationship, you need to be comfortable enough to express your feelings no matter what. Successful long-term couples know
how to work through conflict in a way that brings them closer together. "If your partner doesn't want to discuss problems, you definitely need to be with someone who wants to discuss problems and other matters," Rappaport says. You can't feel truly satisfied if you're not being seen or heard.
You Feel The Need To Change Yourself To Make Your Partner Happy
If you start to feel like you're changing yourself to appease your partner, it may be time to break things off. As Maria Sullivan, dating expert and VP of
Dating.com, tells Bustle, "You need support as you grow and it’s not worth changing yourself to prolong a situation that doesn’t flow naturally." It's hard to be someone that you're not long-term. At some point, you're going to have to ask yourself if being in a relationship with this one particular person is really worth your happiness. Chances are, it's not. "It’s always more important to find someone who likes you for you," Sullivan says. Girlfriend and boyfriend sitting next to each other angry, couple fighting Shutterstock
"Relationships are all about give-and-take,"
Dr. Erica Rojas, Ph.D., licensed psychologist who specializes in relationships and the founder of Broadway Psychological Associates, tells Bustle. If you find yourself always agreeing with your partner’s requests or going out of your way to make them happy without getting anything back in return, they may not be the right one for you. If this is the case in your relationship, Rojas says it's time to have a serious talk. Your relationship won't be perfectly balanced all the time. But you shouldn't be making all the sacrifices. If you are, you may be dealing with a selfish partner.
You Don't Really Trust Them
If you don't trust your partner completely, your relationship is not going to work out. "Trust is the cornerstone of any relationship and it's often cultivated over time," Rojas say. "So if one partner has demonstrated behavior that has led the other to develop feelings of mistrust, this must be directly addressed within the relationship." If your partner just brushes you off and isn't willing to consider your feelings, they may not be the right fit for you.
Your Fights Get Personal
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Relationships start going downhill fast once the name-calling and personal jabs begin. While all couples do fight, healthy couples do it productively. They remain respectful even if they're disagreeing and they never get mean. Most importantly, they're both willing to put aside their pride to find a solution to the problem together. There's no "winner" or "loser." "If your partner is resistant to seeing things from your perspective or doesn't encourage your points of view during arguments,
resentment can build and further challenge any existing communication difficulties," Rojas says. "The most tell-tale sign of a relationship’s health and longevity is how you go about resolving these inevitable differences when they arise."
Your Partner Doesn't Support Your Goals
When you're looking to be with someone for a long time, you should expect for things to eventually change. For instance, you may get a new job, you may need to move, or you may decide that you want a career change. No matter how big and out there your goals are, your partner should always have your back. If they don't, it's likely not meant to be. "At the end of the day, being in a partnership does not change the fact that you are still your own person with individual hopes, dreams, and aspirations," Rojas says. So having a partner who's supportive of your needs is important in the long run.
Sad African woman in oversized sweater feels displeased as being neglegted by boyfriend, needs lively communication, her husband addicted to modern technologies. Family relationships concept Shutterstock
One of the biggest signs that you and your partner don't belong together is your values don't line up. In order to have a relationship that lasts, you need to be on the same page about family, kids, finances, and your goals for the relationship. If not, Rojas says you have to ask yourself if you can really agree to disagree without it affecting the relationship. If you can, great. But big things like getting married and starting a family are hard to compromise on. At the end of the day, it may be a compatibility issue.
Sometimes a relationship isn't meant to be, and that's OK. Don't be afraid to let go of something that's not working. If you realize that you and your partner don't really belong together, it's perfectly fine to move on. Once you do, you can find someone who's actually right for you.