Have you ever had that niggling feeling that something is wrong? You know, that uncertain feeling that the relationship you’re currently in may not be the relationship you should be in… forever?
With almost a thousand potential partners across a city, according to The Mathematics of Love by Hannah Fry, trying to find The One is no easy feat, especially when complicated human emotions are involved.
And, although doubts are normal, there definitely are indicators that you and your partner may not be meant to be – at least until death do us part. We consulted the experts to identify the tell-tale signs.
You Feel Under Pressure To Hit Milestones
According to psychologist and cognitive behavioral therapist Dr. Becky Spelman, when your love life starts becoming obsessive around milestones, then you might not be thinking about your partner per se.
“Do you find yourself doing things because you think you’re ‘supposed to’ at your age?” she asks.
“Think about what you’ll be doing 20 years from now and see if you can imagine your partner being with you.” Consider that your litmus test – not whether you’re on track for marriage by age 30.
You Lust Them More Than You Like Them
Contrary to the popular belief that falling in love is all about that fluttery feeling in your stomach, life coach Elisabetta Franzoso says that actually “a sign you might not be in love is when you start a relationship based purely on that familiar feeling of butterflies.”
Love doesn’t shape itself from butterflies
“This can signal infatuation and lust despite what many believe. Love doesn’t shape itself from butterflies if the attraction is merely sexual or physical. True love is more balanced and grounded, and you should feel you have balance across the physical, intellectual and emotional.”
So while you may be experiencing a significant fling, it’s probably not the real thing.
Your Ideas Of The Future Don’t Line Up
With divorce continually on the rise according to Office for National Statistics, it’s no surprise the younger generations are really asking themselves if they have what it takes to get to the homestretch with their significant other.
You should not go into the relationship expecting to change the other person
Alexis Germany, SeekingArrangement’s spokesperson and in-house relationship expert, says there are several signs that point toward a doomed relationship.
“If your views of the future don’t line up, it’s likely the relationship won’t last,” she says. “We often try to convince ourselves that things will change, and we will eventually be on the same page, but this is a mistake. You should not go into the relationship expecting to change the other person.”
Couples therapist Dr. Juliana Morris, PhD, states that it’s important to make sure you want the actual person you’re with rather than the idea of the person or the relationship or family you could have with them in the future.
They Value Their Friends Over You
Being in love is all encompassing and although you both need your alone time, not needing each other is a sure sign that you may not be each other’s soulmates.
“If your partner values their friends more than you and refuses to ever make you a priority your relationship will not last,” highlights Germany. “Of course, you will both have your own friendships but you should both make your relationship a priority if you want it to grow.”
You Don’t Hear News From Them First
When something great (or terrible) happens to you, who is the first person you call?
Aside from a family member, it should be your significant other. And, if your partner isn’t your go-to person then chances are you’ve stopped sharing your life like you used to, according to Dr. Morris.
There’s So Much Drama
Love coach, motivational speaker and co-author of The Inner Fix Persia Lawson says if there’s endless drama, one of you has probably checked out.
“Signs you’re not meant to be with someone include not feeling at ease or yourself with the person you’re dating, not trusting them, and having a relationship full of drama and chaos because one of you is emotionally unavailable and unwilling to commit.”
Your Partner Is Demonstrating These 4 Signs
According to research by renowned relationship expert Dr. John Gottman – who was able to predict relationship failure with 93% accuracy – there are the four markers that indicate that a relationship is deteriorating:
– Increased criticism of a partner’s personality or character
– Feelings and words of contempt towards a partner
– Being defensive and never willing to listen to anything a partner says or does
– Stonewalling and ignoring, avoiding or placing a huge distance between the two of you
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Dr. Mark Winwood, Director of Psychological Services at AXA PPP healthcare says, “The research suggests that people who are aware of experiencing two or more of these behaviors take the opportunity to actively work on the issues or seek outside help, perhaps from a relationship counselor, to see if the issues can be resolved.”
Being aware of the problem is the first step towards fixing it, after all.
They Make Digs At You
On a serious note, if the person you’re with is in any way emotionally abusing you, it’s a definite indicator that they are not for you.
A person who takes it upon themselves to make unhelpful commentary is someone you should watch out for
According to research from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 1 in 4 women (and 1 in 7 men) have experienced some form of emotional abuse from their partner.
“A partner who constantly makes little digs such as asking if you really want to order dessert as a way to imply you need to watch your weight is a red flag,” says Germany.
“Of course your partner wants you to be healthy and if you have asked them to support your diet initiative by pointing out when you are making a bad choice that is one thing, but a person who takes it upon themselves to make unhelpful commentary is someone you should watch out for.”
“The first few times it happens, I suggest pointing it out and letting your partner know that those comments are not helpful. If it continues you might have a gaslighter on your hands.”
They Don’t Compliment You
Compliments may not seem like the biggest deal but they’re a sign that you’re still being noticed.
Seeing a change from goodnight kisses to barely there flirting can mean that things are going south.
According to Dr. Morris – and anecdotal evidence from anyone whose ever been in a relationship – it’s paramount to always feel seen, understood and appreciated.
“You want your person to feel lucky to have you,” says Dr. Morris. “And to be able to list off awesome things about you, rather than find it hard to compliment you at all.”
They Isolate You From Your People
“A partner who wants to isolate you from your friends and family is not for you,” says Germany.
“At first, it may seem cute that your partner wants you all to themselves, but if you notice your partner gets angry or agitated when you want to spend time with other people, you should consider this a major red flag.
“If a person wants to become your entire support system, you can be sure they want this to happen so that they can have major influence over you and your life and this is not healthy.”
What does this do? It will lead to a controlling and possibly mentally abusive relationship.
You’ve Gotten Complacent
If you or your partner overlooks the other easily (while not caring much about their behavior or characteristics), chances are you’ve grown apart. If nothing they do drives you crazy or bothers you, you simply don’t have the drive to better your other half or stay with them.
Dr. Morris asks, “are you just staying in it in order to not be alone?”
And let it be said that avoiding being single is no way to be with someone.
You Argue All The Time
Have arguments become the norm?
“When conflicts turn into a sport of arguing rather than a way to work together to make something better (or to learn something more about each other), then you’re fighting just to fight,” says Dr. Morris.
“Plus, if meeting your partner’s needs to make their life easier is no longer a huge motivator in your choices, chances are you’ve disconnected.”
You Need To Trust Your Gut
Relationship counselor Christina Fraser says it’s hard to truly know when you’re meant to be. “Couple success is a lot to do with time, luck and kindness – and whether you can weather the darker times.”
“Most people will find their partner maddening at times and it really is a battle but a passionate relationship is going to have rows and have ups and downs.”
So, your job is to decide whether your relationship is worth it – and if the negative aspects are coming from a place of passion and love rather than indifference.