Whether a relationship is “meant to be” is often determined by how much work each partner decides to put into it. And if you feel you’ve done all that you can, and it still hasn’t worked out, then you decide the relationship wasn’t meant to be. But let’s review some signs that could help you identify sooner when a relationship is wrong for you.
You’re disconnected from you
One major red flag that you are in the wrong relationship is not feeling like yourself. I’m not talking about a random case of the blues here. Instead, this sign speaks to an ongoing dynamic where the essence of who you are seems to have faded away.
Things to look out for under this one include:
- Regularly policing yourself around your mate
- Not talking about how you really feel because you fear abandonment or the silent treatment
- Regularly placing your partner’s needs above your own
You feel like you’re witnessing a relationship instead of being in one.
Many people get to a state where they let life happen to them instead of allowing themselves to happen to live—by engaging and truly living to their fullest and making their dent in the universe. You can start to go through the motions of life rather than fully living your own.
This can also happen in relationships, too. You recognize the relationship but you no longer engage in it. You know that you’re “taken,” not single. You know the important dates and when to buy gifts. You know the routine for dinner. You know what he or she likes in bed. But all of this is information, not presence. The relationship is no longer built on passion but based on routines. If you believe in your heart that this is due to him or her more than to you, it’s a big sign. Scratch that: It’s a giant a banner that says “You Two Are Not Meant to Be.”
You feel like a relationship spectator
Another strong indicator that you may be with the wrong person is feeling like you’re watching your relationship instead of being in it. Some people refer to this as being a relationship spectator.
If it seems like you are detached from romance and spontaneity, look for these additional signs:
- You fake passion and interest during sex
- The focus of your attention is on making your mate happy with little regard for your own needs
- You regularly engage in activities with your partner that you don’t enjoy, believing: “relationships are about sacrifices.”
Nitpicking and criticism — even if said in jest — are constants in the relationship.
He finds your hourly texts really overbearing — and tells you so repeatedly. She jokingly compares her Ivy League education to the one you received at a state school, but always in a dismissive tone. If your partner’s overly critical eye is starting to affect your self-esteem, it’s time to speak up or jump ship.
Your partner makes all of the big relationship decisions.
You only get together when it’s convenient for your boyfriend and only hang out with his family and friends. You’ve been to all of your girlfriend’s work functions and friends’ parties, but have stopped inviting her to any social gathering you attend — she’s made it crystal clear she’s not interested.
Sound familiar? If your partner is calling all the shots and “you’re just following their lead, desperate for a few crumbs,” it might be time to reevaluate the relationship.
You break up with you
At some point, you’ve ended the relationship you had with yourself. You’ve given up or given in—and you may not even realize it.
Maybe you convinced yourself that this is what a relationship is supposed to look like. Maybe you told yourself that “true love” means finding someone who makes you want to live longer and be a better person. And maybe that’s how you justified changing yourself in order to make the relationship work.
Whatever the case, if you and your needs are no longer in the equation because of your relationship, you are probably not meant to be in that relationship. At this point, it’s not about signs. It’s about whys.
Your sex life is seriously lacking.
A relationship shouldn’t be all about the sex, but it needs to be somewhat about the sex, according to Sbrochi.
“If you feel like this person has all the other qualities you desire in a mate, see a sex therapist. Try some new tricks and see if you can make manufacture some chemistry,” she suggests. “Trust me, you need a sexual connection for a long-lasting relationship. You have plenty of friends, you don’t need another friend. It’s time to look for love and sex in one package.”
You want more “me” time — but your partner wants more “we” time.
You’re dying for some time to yourself. Meanwhile, your boyfriend is complaining about how little you see of each other. “In other words, the frequency of connecting is either too high or too low, whether it be texting, calling, or seeing each other in person,” marriage and family therapist Jane Greer explains. It’s a problem if “an amount that is mutually comfortable for both of you is never found.”