Even after two years, I still feel embarrassed and irritated at myself because I can’t just get my hands on why I couldn’t get myself to walk away from my past relationship even when it was obvious that the relationship wasn’t working. Hell, it wasn’t supposed to work in the first place.
Whenever I think about it, one question usually comes to my mind: Why the hell did I keep holding on to an obviously shitty relationship and even pretending to be happy in a relationship that’s mediocre at best and suffocating at worst?
I feel this way about everything because I was fully aware that it wasn’t the type of relationship I wanted for myself but I couldn’t call it quits — I couldn’t deal with the fear of starting all over again after realizing I’m in a relationship that’s rooted in deep-seated incompatibility.
Sure, even if a relationship isn’t toxic to the extent that it’s physically or emotionally abusive, it’s always difficult to leave a dysfunctional relationship, but is there any point in staying in an unfulfilling one?
Although this might sound a bit narcissistic, I do believe we all deserve to be in healthy relationships that aren’t just built on the five pillars of ideal relationships (love, trust, open communication, healthy boundaries, respect, and support), but could be best described as worthwhile and fulfilling.
We deserve better than pretending to be happy in mediocrity.
Hence, if you’re worried that your relationship feels too wrong all the time, here are seven tell-tale signs of early relationship incompatibility you shouldn’t ignore at all costs.
1. You don’t Genuinely Enjoy their Company
Staying stuck in a long-term relationship with someone who at worse, even the most exciting, passionate, and adventurous things aren’t as enjoyable to you as you know they should, let alone, boring, monotonous things is the true definition of a prison of unhappiness.
At the end of the day, you might end up like a friend of mine who felt so trapped in her former relationship that she would often cry whenever she came home and her ex wasn’t there. That’s how badly she felt trapped in the relationship even though from the outside, everything seemed to be quite okay.
The truth is, a relationship with someone that you don’t genuinely enjoy their company (maybe only for a few exciting or adventurous things), but you practically endure mundane moments together is everything but a highly compatible one and would be soul-crushingly unfulfilling.
Because ideal, compatible, and happy relationships aren’t just built on a strong foundation of friendship, but also one in which the people involved can genuinely enjoy each other’s company no matter what they do or the situation they find themselves in.
Sure, this doesn’t mean there should never be a time (during conflicts) when one wouldn’t even want to talk to his partner, but you deserve better than a partner whom every moment with feels like a jail sentence.
2. You don’t Often Feel Understood
If two people are perfectly suited to each other — like a match made in heaven, they’ll both feel listened to, respected for their thoughts and opinions, and of course, very comfortable speaking their minds in the relationship. Yet, a lot of people ignore this and instead choose to stay in a relationship with someone that doesn’t seem to ever get them.
Why? Maybe because they know it takes time and they’re willing to wait for ages for a partner that’s yet to understand them even after a significantly long time together.
But if you take a close look at the relationships of such people, you’ll find out that their partners never pick up or get the slightest hint of even their most obvious emotions. Talking about their relationships, feelings, or things they hold dear is just so difficult. Worse, you’ll even learn that they’re more emotionally distant than close to their partners.
I just hope you aren’t one of them. But if you are, I’m afraid you’re so incompatible with your partner that you don’t click well emotionally.
In fact, relationship coach, Andi Labrune, once told Bustle that if one’s partner doesn’t understand him or her very well, then they’re not fully compatible. Simple.
3. You Feel an Extraordinarily Strong Urge to Abandon your Interests for Theirs
It can be quite soul-crushing and even shameful to find yourself in a situation where you’ve completely drifted away from your hobbies and interests after some time into your relationship.
Especially when it’s not because you willingly gave up your interests to fit in or to be accepted (although that’s actually a terrible mistake), but because you were directly or indirectly forced to by the incessant put-downs, dismissal, and jest-making from your partner.
The truth is a relationship where your hobbies, interests, and even dreams or goals are often made so small, laughable, or unachievable that you feel compelled to give up on them is so much worse than being single for years. Only a few things are worse than a relationship that requires you to lose yourself completely to adopt a new whole before you’ll be loved.
It all boils down to this:
If your partner is constantly talking you down, discouraging you, and even causing you to drift away from your passions, interests, hobbies, goals, and every other thing that makes up who you are, it’s probably a wrong partner you aren’t compatible with.
That’s to say, a relationship that isn’t full of support and encouragement enough to make you feel like you’re better than the best in the world whether, in your career, dreams, or even hobbies you do for fun might not be worth the effort and time. Especially when the other party doesn’t even want to see you win in anything you do. Or won’t ever be by your side when you need them the most.
The gospel truth? It’s normal and ideal for your partner not to like or have a genuinely great interest in things that interests you and vice versa. But nothing beats having a partner who’s supportive and caring enough to at least know a few things about your interests and even encourage you to be better at them.
Photo by Nathan McBride on Unsplash
4. You Feel Pressured or Forced to Change
Don’t you think life will be anything but happy and fulfilling to have a partner that endlessly pressures you to live entirely according to their opinions and expectations? I think so too.
Yeah, I know that a good and healthy relationship shouldn’t only validate your every whim, but also challenge and nudge you toward personal growth and a better life.
But the truth, however, is that there’s a clear-cut difference between a partner that encourages you to be generally better and one that’s bent on imposing their ideals on you and molding you into a reflection of themselves.
There’s nothing that screams of high incompatibility and even toxicity than having a partner that’s supposed to love and accept you the way you are, incessantly criticize and put you down with the sole intention of changing your core character and who you are.
Just tell me, how can you be ever happy in a relationship with a partner that endlessly picks on your ‘perceived imperfections and incessantly offers unsolicited suggestions on how to improve and become better on their own terms? That’s why I believe that such types of relationships are rooted in deep-seated incompatibility.
Realistically, your partner doesn’t have to like and tolerate every one of your bad habits even the ones that are detrimental to them or the relationship in general, but you don’t have to be in a relationship where someone simply enforces their unrealistic ideals on you. Or a relationship where the other party is constantly trying everything possible to make you a reflection of themselves.
The bottom line? Again, you should be in a relationship that respects your opinions, beliefs, and overall values. A relationship where you can say no to things that don’t align with your core values and it’ll be respected.
5. Bottling up Your Feelings is Your Other of the Day
Even though it’s quite obvious, perfectly suited couples always freely communicate and discuss almost if not everything with each other — even their deepest negative or otherwise feelings.
The funny thing? Some people simply ignore this and stay in a lonely relationship with people they’re loosely emotionally connected to.
They often shy away from speaking up and letting their partners know how they truly feel either to avoid conflicts or to avoid being judged or anything by their partners.
Forgetting that fights and conflicts are normal and essential parts of even the healthiest relationships — they’re even considered one of the strongest glues that keeps the best couples together. In the same way, with a loving partner whom you’re compatible with, you won’t ever have to bottle up your thoughts and feelings out of fear of judgment — they’ll understand you so much to judge you or anything.
But when it’s just challenging to express yourself in a relationship — because if you do, it’ll most likely fracture the relationship, it might be a sign of incompatibility between you and your partner.
The problem is, staying back in such a relationship will only fill you with so much resentment and pent-up anger towards your partner that’ll one day lead to an emotional blow-up that’ll, in turn, ruin everything. And if this doesn’t happen, it means you’ll be in a relationship that makes you sad than happy for as long as you’re in it.
6. They often Play the Blame Game
No one has the right to constantly blame you for their or your flaws and errors as a form of defense because nobody is perfect and people are bound to make mistakes.
That is to say, a partner who constantly blames you for their own or your own shortcomings out of defensiveness or insecurity, as a response to a perceived attack, out of righteous indignation, or by acting the victim, is only toxic.
Because blaming someone continuously as a way to deal with pain or exert control over a negative situation frequently destroys most relationships.
Therefore, it is clear that you are not in a healthy relationship if your partner never accepts responsibility for any issues, never holds themselves accountable for their actions, and never makes the necessary changes to improve the quality of your relationship.
And the best thing to do is to use the door out of such a relationship. Else you’ll be sabotaging your chance of finding that blissful and happy relationship you deserve.
7. You don’t Compliment Each Other in Any Way
So there seem to be more dissimilarities than similarities between you and your partner recently despite being attracted to each other at first based on some common interests, hobbies, etc and you can’t get your hands on why or what to do about it?
Well, the blunt truth is that even the most compatible couples also disagree about some things and might even grow to disagree on things they agreed on initially.
The difference, however, is that right from the beginning, they’re always so good at managing their differences in the best possible ways. In fact, their differences have always and will always complement each other no matter what.
Hence, if your relationship has all along been the type where you always battle out your similarities and dissimilarities instead of focusing on how they can complement each other.
Then it’s certain that in no distant time, you’ll join the bandwagon of lots and lots of couples divorcing and breaking up every day with the popular “we have nothing in common” songs on their lips — even when they were initially attracted to each other based on some common interests, hobbies, and similar personality traits. It’s almost inevitable unless complementarity exists in a relationship.
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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Photo credit: Charlie Foster on Unsplash