9 Signs Your Relationship Isn’t Working

May 25, 2016

It’s not me, it’s you.

You know when you’re in a relationship and you can’t quite figure out whether it’s working or not? Sometimes everything seems great, and other times you don’t know what you’re doing with the person. Should you hang in there, or cut your losses? It’s not always easy to decide.

Luckily, I’ve spent decades doing firsthand research in this area. In my experience, these nine signs mean your relationship probably isn’t working out…

1. There’s no sexual chemistry

No relationship is going to be perfect in every way, but if you aren’t connecting physically, there’s no reason to try to make up for it in other areas. If you don’t love how he smells, how he feels, how he looks— if you don’t love kissing him, it’s time to move on.

2. You don’t have good conversations

Just like physical chemistry, a good rapport is essential. After all, you can’t spend all your time in bed. You need to be able to talk about something over dinner. Discussing your day, talking about politics or religion or current events or your feelings — those are the things that keep your relationship interesting and build strong connections.

3. He doesn’t laugh at your jokes

Not getting each other’s sense of humor is a huge bummer. What’s worse than a guy who stares at you blankly when you’re trying to be funny?

4. Your friends don’t like him

This one can be tricky. Sometimes friends can feel competitive with romantic partners, and sometimes they just don’t see what you see in someone. But, in general, your close friends are a good gauge of whether someone is right for you or not. They know you and they want the best for you. If they hate your man, there’s probably a good reason.

5. He’s never seen you without makeup

Right before her wedding, a friend of mine told me she was nervous because her fiancé had never seen her without makeup. I later found out her marriage didn’t last. If you’re uncomfortable letting him see your naked face, are you really going to be okay letting him see the rest of you?

6. You can’t relax around him

True story: when my college boyfriend moved in with me, I didn’t go to the bathroom for a week. I was curled up in the fetal position, crying, before I confessed what was wrong. He offered to take a long walk to give me a little privacy. Sure, it’s nice to retain some mystery in a relationship, but if you’re not able to let yourself be human and perform normal bodily functions, something is probably not quite right.

7. You don’t know the status of your relationship

Are you seeing each other exclusively or are you both free to date other people? Have you deleted your online dating profiles or just put them on hold? Can you tag a picture of the two of you in a post on social media or would that make things weird? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, and you don’t want to bring them up for fear of rocking the boat, that’s not a great sign.

8. You have sex instead of talking

In my experience, there are two times in a relationship when you’re likely to have tons of hot sex: at the beginning, and at the very end. Sometimes having lots of sex is the death knell of a relationship, because you’re avoiding talking about serious issues.

9. Everything he does bugs you

When you stop noticing how cute he looks when he wakes up in the morning and only notice that he forgot to put the seat down (again), watch out. Everyone has negative traits as well as positive ones, but the ones you hone in on are the ones that will loom ever larger in your mind. “Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want” is a kind of woo-woo saying I find to be useful in relationships. If you can’t bring yourself to fawn over his good qualities because you’re preoccupied with his bad ones, it might be time to move on.

Images via giphy.com and tumblr.com.

Comment: How did you know a relationship wasn’t working? 


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