Sometimes, life presents you with glaring warning signs. I mean, I’m pretty sure I drove past at least one flashing neon sign that read “Get out!” when I felt overwhelmed by my last relationship. OK, maybe it was a road closure sign advising me of alternate routes to get to campus for the next few days but I still took it as a sign that I should have been on an entirely different life path. Some signs are less obvious but that doesn’t mean you should ignore even the tiniest signs the relationship won’t work out.
No one wants to believe their relationship is destined to fail. In fact, most people argue that if you assume your relationship is doomed, it will be, which is a fair assumption if you subscribe to the idea that you get out of life what you put into it. But sometimes, relationship flaws are out of your control. Sometimes, things deteriorate so quickly and so subtly that you don’t even realize your relationship isn’t what it used to be.
I spoke with relationship psychologist Dr. Kathryn Smerling about how to identify little red flags that your relationship might be short-lived. Most notably she explains that “if you feel like you’re saying or thinking things like, ‘I’m done,’ ‘I don’t deserve this,’ or ‘I can’t deal with this anymore,’ you’re literally confirming that you’re past the point of mending your relationship.” The problem is we’re often quick to console ourselves by thinking things will get better. If you’ve noticed these subtle changes in your relationship, you’re only hurting yourself by hoping for the best.
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