Few things in life are as exciting as falling in love with someone new. The feelings can be intense, passionate, and overwhelming, especially at first, and it’s easy to get swept away by the romance of it all. You might like someone so much that you’re willing to overlook just about anything they do wrong, because in your eyes, they’re perfect. Sooner or later, however, when you start getting serious with someone, you’ll start to realize that that isn’t really the case.
Of course, conflicts and misunderstandings are bound to arise, and a rocky start to a relationship doesn’t necessarily equate to a miserable one. On the other hand, however, a lot of the problems you’ll be dealing with later on have usually been there since the beginning, so it’s important that you keep your eye open for any warning signs.
With that said, here are 12 early signs that can help you figure out if your relationship is likely to stand the test of time:
1. Your Relationship is Solely About Attraction
Romantic attraction to your partner is important in any relationship, but it shouldn’t be the only thing keeping you two together. You should have something in common with your partner other than your attraction to one another. Without any mutual interests, shared experiences, similar goals, or any other kind of common ground to stand on, the spark that ignited your love will just as quickly fizzle out.
2. You Don’t Like Their Friends
There’s a lot of truth in the saying, “Tell me who you are and I’ll tell you who your friends are.” While it’s perfectly fine if you and your partner run in different social circles, it starts to become a problem when you don’t like the people they choose to surround themselves with, which may be an early sign that the two of you are not well-matched.
3. You Spend Too Much Time Together
Spending too much time together with your partner may erode your own sense of self over time. While it sounds romantic when we make the people we love “our whole world”, it’s not actually a good thing. The key to a healthy, long-term relationship is learning to exist outside of your partner and not making your happiness too dependent on them.
4. Your Relationship Feels One-Sided
It’s one thing when your partner tells you they love you and care about you, but another when they can’t show it in their words or their actions. Do you usually start the conversations or plan your dates together? Do you feel you are giving much more than you are getting back? While relationships certainly aren’t about keeping score, both you and your partner should be doing the work to hold the relationship together.
5. You Feel Like You’re Being Controlled
Imposing their opinions on you, making decisions without asking you, and expecting you to just go along with whatever they want or ask – if you notice your partner doing these things, it may mean that they don’t respect you and don’t care about your feelings. Being in a relationship with someone like this is never going to work out unless they can learn to value your opinion and stop being so controlling of you.
6. You Can’t Be Yourself Around Them
A lot of us tend to present a more ideal version of ourselves in hopes of impressing the people we like. We try to look nicer, sound smarter, and seem more fun-loving or laid back than we really are, as well as concealing our less attractive qualities. However, if you are already in a committed relationship with someone and you still feel like you can’t be yourself around them, then there’s definitely going to be trouble ahead.
7. You Don’t Feel Accepted
Your partner seems unhappy with the person you are right now and tries to change you “for the better”. They constantly criticize your flaws and want you to adjust the way you dress, the way you speak, and the things you do for their sake. You might go along with it because you’re afraid of losing them, but the truth is, you’re never going to be happy with someone who can’t accept you for who you really are.
8. You Fight All The Time
Conflict can be good for a relationship, but only sometimes. Constantly arguing with your partner, especially at the beginning of your relationship, is a clear sign that you’re not compatible. It’s emotionally exhausting to never be able to agree on anything or have all your conversations turn into a screaming match. It’s not healthy and it’s definitely not sustainable for a long-term relationship.
9. You Don’t Trust Each Other
When there’s a lack of trust in a relationship, it’s not something you can simply ignore and hope it goes away on its own. It’s going to keep coming back to haunt you unless you learn to trust each other, or end your relationship. Having trust in your partner allows you to be more honest, open, and intimate with one another, and if it’s not there, then your relationship won’t have any room to grow.
10. They’re Mean To Other People
It’s a definite cause for concern when your partner acts one way towards you, and another towards someone else. Are they sweet, thoughtful, and caring? But then rude, impatient, and impolite with other people? Do they pick on the waiter or act like a jerk to the driver when you go out? If the answer is yes, then you should be wary. They might simply be putting on a façade to win you over.
11. They’re Passive Aggressive
When your partner is passive aggressive towards you, it means that there is something wrong with the way you two are communicating in your relationship. It’s perfectly fine to be frustrated or upset with each other sometimes, but you need to be open about it and approach the problem constructively. Making back-handed compliments, calling each other names, or holding grudges against one another isn’t going to do anyone any good, and it will be the death of your relationship if you keep letting it happen.
12. The Timing Isn’t Right
Sometimes, no matter how much you want to be with someone, the timing just won’t allow it. You might be at different stages in your life and are on different paths for the future. Maybe you’re not ready yet, or you want to put your studies/career first, or you’re still getting over an ex. Whatever the reason may be, if the timing of it all just isn’t in your favor, it might mean the tragic end of your relationship.
While no relationship is certainly perfect, there are just some things we can’t compromise on. Know what you want from a partner and don’t settle for less. Don’t waste your time on relationships that aren’t going to go anywhere. Learn to recognize the warning signs before you invest too much in a new relationship, and you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble and heartache in the end.