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7 Reasons Why Some Relationships Don’t Work

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7 Reasons Why Some Relationships Don’t Work

Is your relationship making you unhappy? If you feel content and positive, it is likely you are in a happy and healthy relationship. However, sometimes relationships can turn sour and you can be left with no idea what to do, or who to turn to.

Here’re seven reasons why some relationships just don’t work.

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1. They have a relationship checklist.

While it is important to learn what you like and dislike in a relationship, a great relationship is based in the heart rather than the mind. Creating a list of qualities a partner must have leads to high expectations and demands, and often takes away a lot of surprise and fun. Believe in your intuition and get rid of the list.

2. They are overly critical to each other.

Honesty is important in a relationship, but being with someone who is extremely critical can lower your self-esteem and make you feel depressed. Critical behaviour includes insulting your weight, height, appearance, friends, style or job, while making you feel worthless. Ask yourself: are these comments honest, or unnecessary?

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3. They don’t deal with jealousy.

Relationships should be supportive and loving. However, jealousy can often rear its ugly head in relationships. Some of the main warning signs are: acting irrationally angry when the other person receives good news, such as making a new friend or finding a job, demanding to know personal or private information, being angry if their partner talks to the opposite sex, or irrationally accusing them of lying or cheating.

4. They think that honesty is not important.

Telling a white lie won’t end a relationship, but dishonesty about important issues shows a lack of respect for your partner’s feelings. Continued dishonestly leads to mistrust, upset and anger, so it is important to be open during difficult times. In a strong relationship, you should be able to say yes to both of these questions: do I trust my partner to be honest? Can my partner expect the same of me?

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5. They blame each other unfairly.

Blaming someone constantly and without reason is emotional abuse, and often the person being blamed starts to believe they are in the wrong, making them feel guilty and upset for not thinking themselves “good enough.” It is important (and emotionally mature) to take responsibility for our own actions, and to treat the person you are in a relationship with respectfully.

6. They are emotionally immature.

Relationship maturity doesn’t come with age; it is a willingness to work at a relationship, accept blame, and compromise. Beware of starting a relationship with someone who gets angry over nothing. At the beginning of a relationship, most people try their hardest to avoid fights, so be aware of how they behave in certain situations, or how they treat other people. Sometimes emotionally immature people are willing to learn how to mature and grow, but be careful, pushing or forcing someone to change is also immature.

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7. They just want to control each other.

Being in a relationship with someone who is controlling is often emotionally exhausting. Trying to please a controlling person is difficult, as they often want you to live life by their rules, not your own, which can leave you feeling unfulfilled. Watch out for these signs: they tell you how to dress or act, they check your phone or emails, they show up at your home without being invited and they may go through your belongings without permission.

What else can stop relationships from working? Comment with your ideas below!

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Featured photo credit: Young Couple Man and Woman Hugging in Love Romantic Outdoor with forest nature on background Fashion trendy style via shutterstock.com

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Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Last Updated on November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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