Laura Donovan
December 31, 2015 6:13 am

When a relationship dies, it’s easy to point fingers. The other person was a bad listener, insensitive, unreliable, and all those other things we say when we’re reeling in pain. Though we may want to blame an ex when things fall apart, a lot of times it really comes down to incompatibility. Some people just aren’t a great fit together. It’s just that simple (and sad). But knowing the truth is better than holding a grudge or getting too deep into a relationship that just doesn’t fundamentally work.  So how do you know when it’s not meant to be? Consider some of the tell-tale signs.

1. You have different approaches to fighting

One of the many reasons I appreciate my boyfriend is because he’s not a fighter. Neither am I. We don’t believe in yelling or name-calling under any circumstances. Some couples, like Allie and Noah in The Notebook, are the exact opposite, and it works for them. All couples have disagreements, but if you don’t like the way your partner handles conflict, you have some big problems ahead.

2. You’re too different (or similar)

I stand by the opposites attract theory, but I also know that strong couples have similar visions and goals in mind. I’ve always been a creative person, so it’s fun for me to date a left-brained law type, but we both ultimately want the same things out of life. If you’ve got nothing in common with your boyfriend or girlfriend, you should create memories together or else there won’t be much you can relate to as a pair. If you’re too similar, you run the risk of clashing.

3. You don’t get along with the family and your significant other won’t defend you 

Many couples don’t have an easy time meeting the parents or hanging out with the in-laws. That doesn’t mean the relationship is in trouble, but if your boyfriend/girlfriend doesn’t stand up for you when necessary, you’re not getting the support you need and deserve.

4. There’s never anything to talk about

If you two can’t hold a conversation, sustaining a long-term relationship is going to be a serious challenge. Find someone you can talk to about anything—from the mundane to the super serious. It’s really important you feel comfortable saying what’s on your mind, any time, all the time.

5. You really dislike the other person’s interests

I’m an indoor kid with minimal athletic ability, so when my ex-boyfriend took me skiing in 2007, the experience was traumatic for the both of us. He loved activities like hunting, shooting/gun collecting, paint-balling, camping, snowboarding and hiking whereas I preferred books, writing, the wild and crazy Interwebs and yoga over getting my hands dirty. He said my hobbies weren’t real hobbies and that made me feel like a useless slacker, but in reality, I just needed a fellow nerd who enjoyed keeping up with blogs and the news as I did.

6. He or she talks down to you/blatantly disrespects you

This shows a lack of mutual respect, which is essential in all relationships. Be with someone who sees you as an equal and doesn’t take pleasure in feeling smarter or superior to you.

7. He/she doesn’t take your profession seriously

If you have a stressful corporate job, and your loved one mocks you for taking your job so seriously, you’ve got a problem. If you’re a creative type without a 9-5 job, and you’re constantly told you’re lazy, that’s no good either. Find a person who values the work you do whether you’re in the same field or doing completely different things. When it comes to a good relationship, it’s all about respect.

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