Relationships are fragile things. Bringing two people together with different backgrounds, viewpoints and feelings is difficult, no matter the stage of your relationship. Although differences can be a good thing, in some cases they may be a sign that you and your partner aren't meant to be. My husband and I couldn't be more different — he loves to be around people and socialize, while I'm content to stay home and watch Netflix and chill (no, literally watch New Girl and chill). He likes spicy food, and I hate it. I work best under pressure, while he needs space to think and relax.
But there was a time when I thought our differences would be too much. When we were dating, I learned a lot about the "make it or break it" signs of a thriving relationship. And while it's usually easier to ignore issues and hope they'll go away, it's generally not the safest move for either of you. Maybe you've just started dating, or maybe you've been with your significant other for years, but if things don't seem to be working out, there may be a good reason why.
Don't get me wrong, some relationships are worth fighting for, but some are just a classic example of "we weren't meant to be." So if you're on the fence about your current relationship, here are seven tell-tale signs that you shouldn't ignore.
1. Your Lives Aren't Aligning
In a healthy relationship, your lives should (generally) be headed in the same direction. Having a similar worldview and direction in life is key for long term success. If one of you desperately wants kids, but the other can't stand them, then it may be time to move on.
2. You Don't See Eachother
Making time to spend with each other says that you're making the other person a priority, which is a good thing. But in the same vein, spending all of your time together can be unhealthy too. You need to keep your identity after all.
3. You Have Zero Shared Interests
In an article for Psychology Today, psychiatrist Mark Goulstonnoted that "if common interests are not present, happy couples develop them." This doesn't mean forcing activities, but it may mean that if your partner isn't at least supportive of your hobbies (or vise versa), it's time to move on.
4. You Feel Disrespected
Respect is maybe the single most important factor of a lasting relationship. If you both feel respected it creates a safe environment where you'll be comfortable and loved.
5. You Keep Waiting For Them To Change
One of the most common mistakes people make going in to relationships is believing they can change their SO. In an article for the UCLA Newsroom, psychology professor Andrew Christensen said to love someone, "you must accept the essence of the other person; you must accept who he or she is." Attempting to change your partner's "essence" only leads to feelings of discontent and frustration, so do yourself a favor and be with someone you won't want to change in the first place.
6. You Can't Trust Them
Forbes magazine says trust is at the core of any relationship. You can't force someone to be trustworthy, but you can get out of the relationship. As Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "distrust is very expensive."
7. They Don't Put In The Effort
A study done by gerontologist Karl Pillemer, author of 30 Lessons for Loving indicates that in order for a relationship to be successful, you can't put in 50 percent effort. Pillemer asked over 1,000 older couples about their successes in marriage and concluded that "the common belief that marriage is a 50-50 affair is a myth..for long-term success, couples have to orient themselves to giving more than they get". If a relationship is going to thrive, both people must put in 100 percent of themselves. Anything less than that won't be satisfying to either of you.