When we seek out partners, we’re looking for someone who will be our true soul mate, our best friend — the who understands us to the core without us even uttering a word. But love and even marriage is not enough to guarantee that a relationship stands the test of time. Couples can be together for a decade, love each other very much, move to a new town, have a child, yet still not be right for one another.
Sure, relationships aren’t perfect and most will often meet with some challenge or the other, but can you really be happy if you ignore the red flags just to ensure history is left untouched?
One of the more difficult relationship skills to master is the ability to make decisions that not only play to your happiness, but help strengthen your own self-worth. Recognizing that something isn’t working and gaining the strength to walk away is an essential value those in relationships must prioritize. It’s easy to overlook the little things that happen, but it’s not wise to ignore them in a long-term union. If you want to stay in a lasting and committed relationship that is rooted in trust and love, you need to understand the essentials.
While it can be incredibly confusing to figure out whether or not you are compatible with another person, there are surefire signs that can alter the future of a relationship and hit the point of no return. We’d all like to believe that all you need is love in life, but in reality, it’s a lot more complicated than that.
Lacking emotional connection
Sexual chemistry is one piece to a relationship’s puzzle, but that alone cannot sustain it for a healthy future together. For a relationship to truly last, you need to have a deep connection with your partner and ensure you break down every layer until you see the core of their being. You must be able to know your partner most intimately and this knowledge goes beyond the bedroom. Touching on their purpose, hopes, dreams and fears, you’ve got to go past the basics and reach far beyond what their friends and family know. Make an effort and create a judgment-free zone as you two connect with an honest vulnerability.
Little or no sex
When you first meet that love of your life, the sparks fly and the intensity of your physical attraction hits an all-time high. In a euphoric state, the two of you can’t seem to keep your hands off each other. But along the many turns in your relationship over the years, that spark begins to dim and the intense attraction you once had for each other starts to taper down. Whether it’s an incompatible sex drive or just a lack of interest, sexless marriages are on the rise in the U.S., with an estimated 1 in 5 couples considering their relationship a sexless one. While many couples mutually agree on not including sex into their dynamic, there are plenty who are forced into it because one partner says so. In an interview with Paul and Lori Byerly of The Marriage Bed for The Hudsucker, the marriage counselors say not wanting sex is an indication of a problem that’s either personal or relational. They go on to share that when you see all other areas of communication like couple time, overall touch and other intimate attributes start to slide, sex is not far behind.
Trust is broken
Without trust, there is no “good” relationship. Trust is a precursor to love — without it, it’s hard to give your heart to someone or even feel secure. As sensible, smart-thinking individuals, we only naturally love someone once trust is built. But sometimes when a lack of trust develops because of something substantial like cheating or abuse, trust is lost and remains that way for years. If so, be honest with yourself first in deciding if you can truly move past the deceit or if it’s something that will always linger in your mind. If you can’t assess reasoning and find it creates a sense of paranoia or insecurity, that’s a red flag of incompatibility and there isn’t much point in sticking it out. Relationships are meant to bring out the best in you, not the worst.
Your values and intellect differ
One of the most important aspects of a good relationship is when partners can get along emotionally, physically and intellectually. All three in harmony, and you are good to go. These components ensure a relationship is not only healthy, but also effective in its various forms of communication. But like a domino effect, if intellects and values differ, there is a chance one might seek this necessity elsewhere. This loss leads to the rest falling apart with emotional, physical and spiritual chemistry plummeting. If one of you longs for adventure and the other rather stay home, then you are going to have problems down the road. When values or intellect differ and face conflict, this is an ominous sign that the couple cannot get along, and will soon break up their communication.
Seeking freedom from boredom
When relationships first start out, both of you are in love and can’t see anything wrong with one another. But because of your values and intellect taking a nosedive due to a mismatch, one of you begins to grow bored. As you grow jaded, you begin to feel a bit of relief when your significant other is not around. As a form of seeking thrill or adventure, you might look towards excessive drinking, gambling or pornography as an escape; or even choose so drastically to change the exterior of your life so that you are not at home as often. This can permeate into newfound hobbies that take time away from the relationship or even changing your job so you have a longer drive from home. However, if you immediately feel a sense of freedom or relief when away from your partner, this is indication of a deeper unhappiness that causes negative feelings in both your mental health and relationship.
There’s nothing wrong with being stubborn. But in intimate relationships, stubbornness has steep costs and can affect a relationship to the point of no return. We all love being right, but two tenacious individuals in a relationship don’t make it an effectively healthy one. If you both can’t seem to compromise and come to a mutual understanding regarding specific needs, or don’t feel you can because you want to maintain your own value system, then you are in an incompatible relationship — one that will only continue to suffer with arguments that increase in severity and frequency.
Communication lacks with dry conversation
Conversation is the fruit of life and an effective way for relationships to flourish. While you don’t need lively conversation every minute of every day, the best conversations are the ones you can have with your partner about anything and everything. When you’re compatible, enough is always said without too little or too much. But if communication starts to break down and you find yourself only talking about work and the kids, this can be problematic. If you are not able to share things with your partner out of fear for being judged, your relationship is in danger. Communication keeps relationships in balance and without it can suffer. If you can’t voice your inner feelings and opinions without an argument arising, you’re heading into a relationship that needs some serious reconsideration.
Everyone tells you to call it quits
When we’re in relationships, we often view them in rose-colored glasses. Everything is fine and dandy. But the truth is, our friends and outsiders have a more articulate advantage over us that allows them to see the cracks of discord we usually overlook based on history. Of course, our friends and family don’t always know what’s best for us, but in situations like these where a relationship has met with trouble, they can often see more clearly from a distance. If every friend, family member and outsider you know is hinting that this is a bad relationship, chances are there is truth in it and should at least consider the why.
Have you been guilty of experiencing these red flags in your relationship? What are some incompatible signs you know? Share with us in the comments below.