When things are going right between you and your partner, you can feel it. You’re happy when you are together; you support each other; you think and talk about each other (in positive ways) when you’re not together.
And when things aren’t going well, you can feel that, too. Here are eight signs that your relationship may be in jeopardy.
He or she Cringes During the “Where are we headed?” Talk
It’s a fair request to ask for some clarity about where the relationship is going. You don’t want to put too much pressure on the other person, but there is nothing wrong with trying to get a sense of where things stand. If your partner freaks out and gets defensive whenever you bring up the subject, then he or she may not be as invested in the relationship as you are. That’s not necessarily a problem, especially early in your time together. But if you two have been together for a good long while and your partner still doesn’t want to even discuss the status of your relationship, then that’s a definite sign that your relationship is in jeopardy.
One of you Constantly Demands to be the Center of the Relationship
Ideally, a relationship is made up of two individuals who work to achieve a balance. On the one hand, they each want to make sure that their individual needs are being met. On the other hand, they are willing to make sacrifices for their partner and compromise, even when it goes against their own desires. If your partner is demanding too much attention, ordering you around, and insisting on having his or her way every time a disagreement arises, then that’s a problem. You two are probably going to have a hard time building the kind of respectful relationship that allows for maximum personal and relational growth if one of you refuses to compromise and sacrifice.
The Focus is Always on what’s Wrong, Rather than what’s Right
When you two talk about how things are going between you, do you seem to always end up trying to address problems? If so, your relationship might be in trouble. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t address relational obstacles. Even the healthiest relationships face conflict and struggle from time to time. And, of course, you two should try to resolve whatever difficulties you face together. But if it seems that all you ever do when you talk about your relationship is solve problems and overcome difficulties, as opposed to enjoying each other’s company and laughing together, then something may not be quite right between you.
Conflict is a Permanent part of your Relationship
Again, there’s nothing wrong with arguing. All couples do. And conflict, when it’s handled in a way that is respectful, can actually be good for a relationship. But if you feel that all you and your partner do is argue, that’s a problem. A healthy relationship is full of laughter, gratitude, kindness, and respect. If conflict is crowding out all these elements and leaving you with nothing but constant squabbling, then it’s going to be tough to build a meaningful and fulfilling relationship.
One of you is Frequently Jealous
There has to be a high level of trust for any relationship to work. Both people need to know that when they aren’t together, they don’t have to worry about what the other person is up to. If you find yourself always wondering if your partner is being true, then that will be a huge hurdle for your relationship to overcome. Likewise, if your partner refuses to trust you even though you have given him or her no reason to doubt you, that’s another sign that the relationship isn’t headed in a promising direction.
One of you is Feeling less Invested in Spending Time Together
There are going to be times when one of you legitimately has to spend extra time at work or on some other type of project. And there will be times when you’ll spend time with other friends and your family. But if an ongoing pattern emerges where your significant other is repeatedly choosing to spend more time with his or her friends than with you, or to put in more time than necessary at work, it could be a warning sign. When all kinds of distractions continually pull your partner away, there’s a good chance that those distractions have become more important in your partner’s mind than you are.
One of you isn’t Feeling Supported
Constant (or even frequent) criticism is one of the most obvious signs that a relationship is in trouble. It can really wear you down to hear over and over again that you should dress differently, avoid making a certain type of joke, or act a certain way when you’re with a certain group of friends. And it’s just as hard on a relationship. Constant criticism is often a sign of underlying anger or insecurity—neither of which makes a relationship work well. If you continually harp on the negative characteristics of each other, leaving out all the positive qualities you each possess, then it’s going to be hard for the relationship to succeed.
Your Emotional Needs aren’t Being Met
We all have certain desires and expectations for how we expect to be treated by the people we care about. And some of those desires and expectations are actual needs. In other words, we can’t survive and thrive as individuals if those needs aren’t met. So if one or both of you is failing to have your most basic emotional needs addressed by the connection you share, then that’s a definite sign that your relationship may be in jeopardy.
If two or three of the items in this list apply to you and your partner, there may not be anything to really worry about it. You should still explore that facet of your relationship and see if you can strengthen the bond you share. But as noted before, even the best relationships struggle from time to time.
If you read through the 8 signs in this article and found yourself relating to these issues much more than you’d like, then this is a good time to give some serious thought to the question of whether this a relationship into which you want to invest so much of your time, mind, and heart.