Nine Reasons Good Relationships Go Bad

by eHarmony Staff

Most of the triggers that cause a budding relationship to detonate are not that mysterious. Here are nine of the most common:

Distance

An emotionally distant partner can be frustrating, which is why it is important to keep the communication flowing. When the talking and sharing stops, an invisible wall goes up, which can lead to some very unhappy endings.

When it comes to long distance relationships, these can certainly work, usually if there is an end goal in sight (knowing that eventually you will be living in the same city!). If you are entering into a LDR and you happen to be jealous or insecure, then you are in for a tough road ahead. It's best to really consider whether you can handle these types of challenges -- or not.

The Real Self Emerges

We have heard these stories countless times: "She seemed so amazing in the beginning, and six months in, she turned into a controlling nightmare!" "He was so sweet in the beginning, and now he's turned into the biggest cheapskate." There is a common school of thought that it takes about six months to get to know someone fairly well, and to see multiple sides of that person. This is why it is so crucial that you take your time getting to know anyone you are dating. It's either going to get better and better, or you will start to see cracks in the foundation. Protecting yourself by wading in slowly is a smart way to begin anything new.

What was the main reason your good relationship went bad?

Dishonesty and Deception

Want to know how to instantly ruin a really great relationship? Then lie to your partner, cheat or engage in other questionable behaviors. Lies destroy a crucual component in a partnership: trust. A person's need to lie is a telling clue about his character and emotional health as well.

Lazy Bones

"Things started out great! He planned nights out, made me dinner, and now I can't get him off of the couch or to do anything!" Some people put their best feet forward when trying to woo their partners, but once they are feeling comfortable, they stop putting any thought or energy into the relationship. This can be a fatal error. Both partners have to give in a relationship, and that means sharing responsibilities, thinking up date ideas, and providing dinner (even if it's take-out!).

When Criticism Creeps In...

See the sad pumpkin? This is how your partner feels when you start believing it is your place to criticize them. A once-fantastic relationship can turn negative when one of the parties starts picking apart the other. There really isn't room for this in a flourishing relationship, where both people should be lifting one another up -- not tearing them down.

Different Directions

For awhile, it seems you and your new interest are in the same 'space' together. And then? She gets a job in another state, or he decides to go to graduate school and focus all of his attention there. Sometimes the circumstances and timing in our lives are enough to end a once-promising union. In these situations it's not about pointing fingers, but accepting that not every relationship is meant to last. Live and learn, right?

Too Physical, Too Fast

It takes time to form the healthy emotional circuits needed to sustain a lasting relationship. Trust and the willingness to commit can't be rushed. But surging sexual energy can short out a potential partnership, if switched on too early. Becoming physically intimate can open up a large amount of issues that put pressure on a fledgling relationship -- so proceed at a pace that feels right for you.

Fairy Tale Fantasies (a.k.a Unrealistic Expectations)

A woman who describes her guy as "Prince Charming," or a guy thinks his girlfriend can absolutely "do no wrong," are both headed for nightmare on romance street. There's nothing wrong with believing the best about each other, but understanding that along the way there will be bumps in the road is important. Every relationship requires compromise, patience, understanding and hard work -- that's living in reality.

Unchecked Emotional Baggage

Now, hopefully your partner's baggage doesn't include a surprise child (and dog!), but we have heard worse. The biggest type of baggage which will stop the best relationship in its tracks? Unresolved emotional issues. All of us carry around wounds we've received as children, or in past relationships, the key is how willing you are to examine them, understand them, and work through them. Left unchecked, you'll likely encounter the same problems in every relationship you start. Self-exploration is a wonderful thing!

View Next Slideshow : Seven Ways to Master the Art of Mingling

Not sure how to approach an interesting stranger? Here are some strategies to get you started.


more blog posts

More like this:

By posting a comment, I agree to the Community Standards.
Need help with eHarmony.com?