These red flags could spell the end for you and your partner.
Most relationships start off dreamy. You can't keep your hands off each other. You want to spend every second together. As time goes on, though, those crazy-in-love vibes can begin to wear off. After a nasty argument or the realization that you don't see eye to eye on a lot of topics, you may even wonder whether you two are really meant to be.
The good news is, it's normal to question if your relationship has legs, especially when conflict creeps into your bond. “Conflict is not necessarily a sign that your relationship is headed for a breakup,” says Tammy Nelson, PhD, sex and relationship therapist and author of The New Monogamy. That said, there actually are some red flags that might signal you won’t stay in love long-term. Here, experts reveal five signs your relationship might not last.
You fight dirty
It’s natural for couples to argue; any therapist will confirm that. But how you quarrel with your SO matters more, and it can actually provide insight into whether or not the relationship has what it takes.
“When arguments turn destructive and unhealthy, meaning you are quick to blame, shame, criticize, withdraw, or name call, it is not a good sign for the relationship,” says Rachel Needle, PsyD, a Palm Beach, Florida–based psychologist. Sure, fights can get heated on occasion; we all lose our cool. But in general, if partners are unable to calmly open up about what’s bothering them and hear out each other's perspective, it’s likely they'll have trouble working through relationship issues down the line.
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You never have sex
“Yes, sex comes and goes, and you might find yourselves in a dry spell every now and then,” says Nelson. But a lacking sex life could also signal that one of you is not as invested in the relationship, she adds, or you don't have the chemistry to keep things going. Since it can be tough to determine whether your dry spell is due to the usual suspects (think: stress, exhaustion, busy schedules) or something more serious, it’s always best to bring it up.
“Ask your partner directly,” suggests Nelson. "Don’t do it when you're lying in bed wondering why they haven’t made a move, though." Instead, if you’re watching TV and a sexy scene triggers you to wonder why you aren't getting it on like the characters in the show are, hit pause and ask, "Hey, how come we don’t do that?" Having an honest conversation about why you’re not having sex can shed light on whether the situation is fixable—or your bond has fizzled.
You have different plans for the future
It may sound obvious, but wanting different things out of life will mess with your happily ever after. “If you have different ideas of what you want for your future, especially on important issues such as children, finances, religion, lifestyle, and where you want to live, and you cannot get on the same page, this might mean your relationship won’t last forever,” confirms Needle.
You’re tempted to stray
Ever suddenly find yourself checking your ex’s Facebook profile more frequently or toying with the idea of downloading a dating app? “Searching behavior could indicate a healthy sexual appetite but it could also be a sign that you are ready for a relationship outside of your current one,” says Nelson. If that’s the case, consider talking to a therapist to determine how to end the relationship with intention and kindness—rather than letting your partner discover that you're thinking about straying or already have done so.
You’re not feeling it (literally)
Sometimes our bodies know a relationship is over before our minds do, says Nelson. “Are you turned off by the way your partner smells, or the feel of their touch? Do you recoil when they put their hands on you? Do you avoid their kiss? These are all signs it could be the beginning of the end.”
Feeling like you need space could also just be a signal that you’re angry or frustrated with your SO. If so, tell him or her what you're going through no matter how difficult it is. Says Nelson, “Intimacy means sharing your feelings, even the bad ones.”