7 Reasons Why Modern Relationships Are So Fragile

For years, psychologists have been doing their best to unpack the mysteries of love and romance, and to understand how relationships work. There have been countless of studies, surveys, and theories all dedicated to enlightening us on the matter, but in spite of their best efforts, it seems that most people are still as clueless as ever when it comes to matters of the heart.

In fact, the startling rise in separation and divorce rates over the past decade (CDFA, 2013; McNulty & Widman, 2014) has us all shaking our heads and wondering, “Why are modern relationships so fragile?”

With that said, here are 7 key reasons why most relationships nowadays fall apart so easily:

1. You’re Not Ready Yet

All too often do our relationships fail because we’re simply not ready to be in one yet. Maybe you want to keep things casual and fun, and you’re not willing to commit. A strong and healthy relationship is all about compromise, dedication, patience, and sacrifice, but modern relationships seem to have lost sight of that. The unrealistic standards set by mainstream entertainment and social media make us think that a perfect relationship should be one where we’re always happy, there’s never any conflict, and we’re perfectly matched for our partners. So until you learn to let go of these ideas, you’ll never be ready for a serious relationship.


2. You’re Too Busy to Settle Down

Modern society values success, hard work, and accomplishment, so people nowadays have become more ruthless and ambitious than ever. Everybody wants to be the best in their field, the top of their class, or the most popular person at school. They want to get into prestigious universities or be promoted to the top of the corporate ladder.  With so many other priorities in your life, it can be hard to make time for a romantic relationship.

3. You Don’t Want Commitment

Another important reason why modern relationships have become so fragile is because people often confuse love with other feelings. Maybe you don’t actually want love, but you want excitement or companionship. Maybe you just want someone to show you a good time, or someone to talk to regularly so you don’t feel lonely. Love is all about mutual trust, respect, and friendship. It’s not always going to be intense, passionate, or exhilarating.

4. You Want Something Immediate

For a relationship to become mature, healthy, and strong, it needs time to blossom and room to grow. The problem is, most people nowadays simply don’t have the patience for it. Most of us are guilty of wanting something but not willing to work for it. We rush into relationships but end them as soon as we find something better. When something goes wrong, we’d rather start over with someone new than try to work things out with our partners. But in wanting too much, too fast, we set ourselves and our relationships up to fail.

5. You Don’t Want to Make the Effort

So many people seem to have this misguided belief that everything they want in a relationship will just magically present itself to them, neatly tied in a bow. But the truth is, these fantasies and ideals can be harmful to us and make us ungrateful of what we already have. Most people forget how rare and precious love truly is. You’re too caught up in this perfect version of a partner you have in your head that you lose sight of all the good things right in front of you.

6. You’re Too Guarded

Do you let your head rule your heart most of the time? Do you talk yourself out of the things that you want and let your fear keep you from being happy? Maybe you do, and you just don’t know it yet. When people build too many walls around themselves, it can be hard to reach them. If you’re too sensible and careful with matters of the heart, you might never truly fall in love, because sometimes love is illogical and unexplainable. Sometimes love means taking a leap of faith and opening yourself up to someone wholeheartedly. You need to forget about time, distance, compatibility, or practicality, and allow yourself the freedom to be with whomever you want, no matter the problems or complications.

7. You’re Too Dependent on Technology

Last but not the least, being too dependent on technology might be the reasons why most modern relationships don’t last. While technology may have brought us all closer together, it’s also keeping us apart. With the world wide web at your fingertips, you can be so caught up in your virtual life that you forget to live your real one. Texts, chats, and voice calls have replaced face-to-face quality time with the ones we love, and when your whole life is already chronicled in an Instagram story or a Twitter thread, it can leave us with very little to talk about.

There are a number of reasons why modern-day relationships may be struggling to survive, but these are just a few of the most likely ones. Too often do we forget to make time for love in our lives. We treat relationships as nothing more than a casual convenience, because we want immediate gratification and we’d rather be open to having as many different options as possible. But the truth is, love never comes easy, and no great relationship happens overnight. So manage your expectations, compromise with your partner, spend more time on what’s truly important to you, and be grateful for all the people in your life who love you.



  • Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA, 2013). A National Survey on the Leading Causes of Divorce.
  • McNulty, J. K., & Widman, L. (2014). Susceptibility to Infidelity in the First Year of Marriage. Archives of Sexual Behavior.
  • Johnson, S., & Norton, W. (2017). “Humanizing the Narcissistic Styles of Modern Love.” Journal of Modern Social Psychology, 19 (8); 177-182.
  • Gottman, J. (2002). The Relationship Cure. Harmony Publishing Inc.

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