Relationships go through a series of stages.
New couples experience the honeymoon phase. They tend to overlook their partner’s red flags and ignore their striking differences. Unfortunately, this blissful stage doesn’t last long.
Eventually, relationships can go sour—even those that were thought would stand the test of time. To prevent this problem from happening to your relationship, remember these common reasons couples break up:
1. Long-Distance Problems
Long-distance relationships are tricky to maintain, but they can work. In fact, they have the potential to form stronger bonds than face-to-face partnerships.1
Sad to say, going long distance is not for everyone. Couples may have trouble keeping the spark alive due to miscommunication, trust issues, and lack of physical intimacy. To resolve these, taking the initiative to communicate, considering the partner’s perspective, and having realistic expectations can help.
Infidelity is another common reason why relationships head south.
In general, men tend to cheat when there’s immediate temptation. On the other hand, women have affairs to seek the intimacy they long for that they’re not getting from their partner.
Coping with being cheated on is not easy. After all, processing feelings of betrayal and broken trust takes time.
If you’ve ever found yourself in this situation, remember that it’s not your fault. Take the first steps toward moving on by having self-compassion, keeping your cool, and seeking professional help.
3. Money Troubles
Financial tension is often a relationship killer. This problem occurs when couples have huge differences in spending habits or have varying opinions on saving and investing.
If you’re in a serious relationship, it’s best to have honest conversations with your partner about finances. This includes discussing your debt, career ambitions, and financial goals. Reaching out to a financial advisor might also help, especially if you and your significant other have trouble talking about money.
4. Unrealistic Expectations
Social media helps build and maintain relationships. However, this tool may cause unrealistic expectations among partners.2
Cute couples seemingly having perfect relationships are all over the internet. Because of this, partners might compare the connection they have with what they see online.
Relationships aren’t perfect, and they don’t have to be. That said, don’t hold your partner to unrealistic standards to avoid setting yourself up for disappointment.
Dr. Shawntres Parks, Ph.D., a licensed relationship coach, suggests having “a conversation to define what the relationship is, and constantly have conversations about the honest and specific expectations around this relationship.”
5. Sexual Incompatibility
Although sex isn’t everything in a relationship, it’s a common reason couples break up. This is especially true when partners have mismatched sexual desires, wants, and expectations.
Sexual incompatibility can be hard to deal with. Fortunately, you and your significant other can figure it out through open communication and compromise. Develop shared understandings around sex by considering your differences, acknowledging the importance of consent, and making more effort to be more flexible.
Read More: 20 Phrases That Will Turn Your Woman On
6. Lack of Empathy
Empathy is critical in relationships. It acts as an emotional bridge between couples by letting them experience and share their partners’ joys and pain.3
When people lack empathy, they appear insensitive, impatient, and selfish. Their partners likely suffer from unmet needs, which result in failed relationships.
If empathy isn’t natural for your partner, communicate your emotional needs. Tell them exactly how you want them to be more empathetic. For instance, ask them to avoid giving unsolicited advice when expressing your worries.
7. Lack of Compromise
Compromise is key to a healthy, committed relationship. It involves putting your partner’s happiness before your own to show love, which might be challenging for some.
According to relationship expert Laura Schlessinger, “If you want your relationship to last, you need to give up your need to be right and in control all of the time.” To compromise, find a way to meet in the middle with solutions that both parties agree to.
8. Poor Communication
Open and honest communication lets couples understand one another, feel secure, and grow together.
On the other hand, partners who frequently have screaming matches or use silent treatment are more likely to break up. Unsurprisingly, mental health professionals found that communication problems commonly lead to divorce.4
If you’re experiencing communication issues, you and your partner can still save your relationship. Try to view disagreements as a chance to learn more about one another. From there, come as a team to solve problems together.
9. Excessive Jealousy
Mild and occasional jealousy is expected. It may even positively affect the relationship. For example, it motivates couples to appreciate one another and ensure both parties feel valued.4
Unhealthy jealousy, on the other hand, is intense or irrational. It stems from a fear of abandonment. To maintain control and appease insecurities, jealous partners may resort to verbal bullying and violence.
Being able to differentiate healthy between unhealthy jealousy is essential in a relationship. When your partner consistently feels jealous, try to understand where this feeling is coming from. Figure out what you can do to lessen it to create an atmosphere of trust.
10. Lack of Friendship
Relationships rooted in healthy friendships have greater chances of survival.
Having a partner who’s also your best friend offers you the best of both worlds. It means having a companion with whom you can share experiences, secrets, successes, and failures without fear of judgment.
German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche explains, “It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.” This is because couples who aren’t friends might not see each other eye-to-eye.
To develop a friendship in a relationship, nurture your bond. Express genuine interest in your partner, create meaningful experiences, and reassure them that you got their back.
Facing reasons couples break up is normal. They’re challenging to manage, but the good news is they can be avoided and resolved.
Every romantic connection is unique, so there’s no one single way to build a healthy and lasting partnership. But as long as you and your partner are willing to be a team and discuss issues rationally, you increase your chances of saving your relationship.