Relationships are tough, so it's perfectly fine to vent to your friends about everyday stressors, and it's OK to experience small daily problems with your partner. But if you catch yourself complaining about
the same problems in your relationship, time and time again, it may be a sign of deeper incompatibility issues — and it may mean you're not with "The One."
That's not to say, however, that you should bail at the first sign of an issue, or give up hope for a relationship that's otherwise healthy. "Conflict is a normal, natural part of relationships, and can be healthy, especially if it leads to improved communication and strength of the relationship,"
therapist Julie Williamson, LPC, NCC, RPT tells Bustle. "Couples need to share and agree on the fact that they are different, have some different interests and view points, and that, even though they differ, they can respect the other's view point."
It's only when the same major problems keep coming back, that you may want to rethink your future together — not only because they make life difficult, but also because it's a sign you just don't work well together. As Williamson says, "Without the mutual respect and understanding, the same conflicts can occur over and over, which may indicate that the relationship is not healthy.
If you keep arguing about any of the issues below, relationship experts say it may be a
sign you're incompatible with your partner — especially if you've already tried to fix them.
One of the top things
couples argue about is money, so don't be surprised if this is a point of contention between you two, whilst you sort out your finances. It's normal to disagree as you sort out your budget, or figure out who will pay for what.
Do take note, however, if you have wildly different views when it comes to spending, saving, and constantly argue about it. "If you disagree consistently over financial matters, it rarely improves," Jonathan Bennett, dating expert and founder of
Double Trust Dating, tells Bustle. "Financial values are formed very young and without serious effort, neither side is likely to change."
If your partner has a tendency to invalidate your feelings when you're upset, or when you're arguing, call them out. Not only is it hurtful when someone refuses to support you when you're upset, but it also won't make for a very healthy, constructive relationship in the long run.
Sure, they may slip up a time or two again. But take note if this becomes an ongoing problem. "If your partner invalidates your feelings or brushes them aside repeatedly, this may indicate that they are unable to empathize with you and offer comfort and security when you most need it," Williamson says. And if that feels like a dealbreaker, so be it.
We all get mad and say things we don't mean. But there's a big difference between letting something slip out, and being downright malicious. And the latter is almost always a sign someone isn't "The One."
"If your partner has a pattern of calling you names or using vulnerable information against you in arguments, this
indicates verbal and/or emotional abuse," Williamson says. "And [it] indicates that they may not be able to accept responsibility for their part in conflict, which makes conflict resolution next to impossible." Which, of course, does not bode well for the future.
We can all work to improve ourselves, so don't jump ship if you have small disagreements about personality quirks. But if your partner has a problem with one of your deeper traits (or you have a problem with one of theirs) it may indicate you're not in a "soulmate" situation.
Issues like these "are what [relationship expert John] Gottman refers to when he talks about '
unsolvable problems,'" relationship expert Lucio Buffalmano tells Bustle. "They relate to deeply ingrained values, beliefs, or personality traits, and arguing ... about them will rarely solve anything."
Basically, you are who you are. So if you can't accept certain core traits in your partner, and they can't do the same for you, it may be a sign the relationship just wasn't mean to be.
Disrespect Towards Friends & Family
It's perfectly fine if your partner isn't super close with your friends, or if they aren't the biggest fan of your family — and vice versa. While it would certainly make things nicer, it's not a requirement for a healthy relationship that you all hang out and get along perfectly.
That said, you shouldn't be embroiled in an ongoing argument about your friends and family. As Williamson says, in a healthy relationship, your partner will be able to respect the people in your life and what they mean to you. But if not, it won't make for a very peaceful future.
It can take a long time to overcome jealousy issues. But if you still encounter them regularly and to a severe degree — even after you've discussed ways to create healthy boundaries — it may be a sign of a deeper issue.
"If you’re constantly fighting over the attention you or your partner gets from others, it could be a fundamental incompatibility," Bennett says. "Some people are incredibly jealous and others don’t care about the issue at all. If you’re both on opposite sides, it could cause major problems."
After spending a certain amount of time spent together, you should both be able to verbalize a pretty clear plan for the future. So take it as a sign if you constantly disagree.
"If you and your partner constantly fight about your future together, it shows you are both on very different pages," Bennett says. "And, the disagreement can be about matters relating to core values. This could include marriage, living together, and even kids."
These are all things that, if you can't reach a conclusion and agree early on, may indicate a total and complete lack of compatibility. Plenty of relationship problems can be worked on and improved. But when it comes to ongoing issues like these, it's time to reconsider the relationship.