15 Early Signs Your Relationship Isn’t Going to Last
New love is so intoxicating we often miss the early signs the relationship may be doomed. Here are the red flags experts say you should be wary of.
You’re not on the same page
You found someone that shares your penchant for all things British—royal watching, Pembroke Welsh Corgis, and bangers and mash. But what about the other stuff—the core values you hold more dear than sticky toffee pudding? “It’s vital that a couple share a basic, overall picture of how they’d like for their lives to unfold—financially, family, spiritually, lifestyle, contributions to the world, etc.,” says relationship expert Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Bregman. “If it’s becoming apparent from the beginning that you’re both not on the same page with some of life’s core basics, it’s a great sign that this person isn’t ‘the one’ for you,” says Bregman. To figure that out, start with the communication rules every couple should know.
You keep your guard up
Maybe you’ve never been an open book, but you should find it easier to start revealing at least a few chapters. “If you’re finding that you are uneasy with your new partner and unable to drop your guard and be vulnerable, this doesn’t bode well for the future. It’s difficult to have truly honest communication and to share love, fears, and hopes without judgment if you can’t be fully real with them,” explains Bregman.
Your partner can do no wrong
Your new love doesn’t feel contrite or admit wrongdoing—ever: That’s a red flag. “If the new person you’re seeing has a hard time showing you they’re imperfect, or apologizing for even silly mistakes, this relationship probably will not last,” says Bregman. In fact, there’s nothing wrong with having these fights that are actually healthy to have as a couple.
The problem: You make a gesture—an unexpected gift, for example. Your partner perceives your generosity as the sign of a guilty conscience and accuses you of some sort of betrayal. Bregman points out that a partner who projects their own issues or insecurities onto you is unlikely to be a keeper. “It’s a sign this relationship doesn’t have a rosy future.”
When your new love frequently tests your patience, it’s a fool’s errand, Bergman says. They may do it by not answering your texts for hours when you’re looking for them, all the while posting pics on social media of them out with friends. “It’s a clear sign this relationship probably has an expiration date that is just around the corner,” says Bregman. Learn some other things you never post online about your relationship.
Not in sync spiritually
Politics, religion, finances—there are some topics you shouldn’t bring up at dinner parties or with new acquaintances. But all discussions are wide open when you’re sizing someone up for the long haul, says Bregman. His tip is to simply lay out your beliefs and expectations with as much honesty as possible. “Explain what you mean, not just theoretically, but practically as well,” advises Bregman. For example, if you go to church every Sunday, let them know up front. Help the person you’re with understand what your beliefs mean to you, he says. How they react will tell you all you need to know.
They run hot and cold
One week your new squeeze leaves notes for you to find and devotes an entire weekend for fun activities and quality time together. The next week, you’re lucky to hear from them at all. This hot and cold behavior is a sign they’re not ready, according to Amy Deacon, clinical social worker and founder of Toronto Wellness Counseling, and it’s definitely not one of the daily habits of couples in healthy relationships.
One way or the highway
If they only go to the movies they want to see, only try the restaurants they’re interested in, and only meet you on their terms, watch out: “This may be a sign that the person is not going to take your thoughts or feelings into consideration moving forward,” says Deacon.
Nasty to others
If they often lose their cool with wait staff and salespeople, watch out: You could be next, warns Deacon. “Be careful and mindful of how they treat others, for as the relationship develops, that same treatment will most definitely come your way,” says Deacon. It’ll likely be one of the common behaviors that are sabotaging your relationship.
They won’t come clean about the relationship
It’s been a couple of months and they still won’t talk about what’s happening between you. “Clarify whether this is a fling, an open relationship, or a relationship where both parties are hoping to cultivate a future, and act accordingly,” says Deacon. If your new love interest avoids this conversation, or makes jokes about it, they’re being disrespectful, according to Deacon: “It’s an indication that the person does not have the emotional capacity or maturity to handle tough conversations.”