You keep asking yourself, “It’s a little early in the relationship to be worrying, isn’t it?” After all, you have met this new person and, in many ways, things are going great between you.
But still, there are some subtle (and some not so subtle) reasons that keep you unsure about whether this is the best relationship for you.
If you are trying to figure out whether you are where you need to be in terms of your romantic life, then consider the following clues. Your new relationship may be in trouble if …
1) You Two are Experiencing lots of Conflict
Conflict is absolutely normal in any relationship. In fact, it’s often evidence of two strong and healthy individuals who are willing to voice their own desires and opinions. But early on in a relationship, especially, two people ought to be enjoying themselves and each other a vast majority of the time. The excited, passionate, “in love” period of a relationship is when there is most often a certain amount of bliss. It’s impossible to sustain these idyllic feelings long term, but most relationships that are headed for real success begin with a “honeymoon” period in which each person is willing to forego many of his or her own preferences for the sake of the other’s. So if you two are already fighting a good bit, then that might be cause for concern.
2) You Sometimes have Trouble Getting in Touch
These days, all of us are busy, and few of us can immediately answer every phone call or text message or email. But if you are having trouble tracking down your new significant other on a regular basis or if you get the sense that he or she is avoiding you at times, then it might be time to raise an eyebrow. Again, early in a relationship, you two should be dying to be with each other as much as possible and to talk to each other whenever you can. So if one of you seems to be feeling just the opposite on a consistent basis, then it’s probably not time to bet the farm on the future of the relationship.
3) Jealousy is Already Rearing its Ugly Head
On the opposite end of the spectrum is someone who insists on keeping tabs on you every second of the day. As we said, it’s absolutely normal to want to be together as much as possible. But if you begin feeling that your every move is being watched, that you are being micromanaged, or that you aren’t being trusted to go out with friends, these are major red flags. Jealousy has wrecked many a relationship, and that jealousy often gets stronger over time. If it is already showing up in this relationship, then you should give some serious thought to exploring other options.
4) You Never go out Together
It should probably trouble you, at least a little, if you and your new partner never go out on dates. Sure, it may simply be that you are both homebodies who love to curl up on the couch and take in the evening’s prime-time offerings. But there’s a chance that this tendency to stay in is based on more than a love of takeout food. It’s probably a good idea at least to explore the possibility that one of you doesn’t want to be seen in public with the other, or that there isn’t a lot of thoughtfulness and investment being put into developing things further. If that’s the case, then that is a real cause for concern when it comes to the health and future of your relationship.
5) An Ex is in the Picture
We all bring relational baggage to any dating relationship. And exploring and addressing this baggage is a very healthy thing for partners to do as they are getting to know each other better. But enough is enough. If your partner cannot stop talking about her ex, bringing up his name, or mentioning a story about him every time you two are together, then some moving on needs to take place. Either your new significant other needs to move beyond that old relationship and turn his or her focus to what you two are trying to build together, or you need to move on yourself and find someone who will give you undivided attention.
6) There is a Lack of Openness
Sure, there is such a thing as over-sharing. But especially if this new relationship has a future, it’s important that you two are open with each other and reveal your authentic selves. Vulnerability in a relationship creates intimacy, which is absolutely crucial when it comes to creating a strong, deep, loving connection. If one of you is holding back too much, it will prevent this intimacy from developing and also keep you two from becoming closer and closer. So examine whether you two are increasingly revealing to each other your inner thoughts and feelings. If so, that’s a good sign for the relationship. If not, then it’s going to be tough to set up a deep and meaningful connection that lasts.
7) Your Instincts are Telling you to be Wary
If some part of you is insistently crying out that something is not right in your new relationship, then it is extremely important that you listen to that voice. Yes, sometimes our inner voices can be wrong, especially when we are motivated by fear, insecurity, or some other negative emotion. However, before you ever dismiss what your instincts are telling you, you should at the very least give them a good listen. Then, if they turn out to be wrong, you aren’t out anything. But if your instincts are saying that this new relationship may be in trouble, and they turn out to be correct, then you will have saved yourself a lot of heartache.
Read on for similar articles in our Stages of Love road map!