What Are Relationship Flaws And How To Deal With Them

Dating experience | | , Lifestyle writer & Editor
Updated On: December 18, 2023
relationship flaws

Everyone knows the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Goldilocks happens to find herself in the bear’s house and keeps rejecting a chair because it’s “too big,” a bed because it’s “too small,” and only eats the bowl of porridge when it’s “just right”. Much like Goldilocks, we keep looking for flaws in a relationship and stop a good thing before it has even started. Sounds familiar? If you feel like Goldilocks in your life story and are still searching for Mr. or Miss Flawless, you might wait a long time before you find love. 

What Are Relationship Flaws? 

According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, relationship flaws in a person are described as “an undesirable quality in someone’s character”. These could also mean limitations, imperfections, and weaknesses as perceived by another person (or oneself). Character flaws in relationships can sound extremely judgmental, and that’s because there are.

Let’s face it – no one is perfect. Everyone has their own set of personality traits and quirks that either appeal to or repel potential partners. It is up to each person to decide how to accept your partner’s flaws. What can you live with, and what deal breakers would end your relationship?  

Keep in mind there are healthy relationship flaws, and there are glaring red flags. It is important to understand the difference between the two. Common flaws in a person are issues such as tardiness, messiness, and selfishness. Flaws are relatively minor concerns or one-offs that occur in any and every relationship simply by being human. On the other hand, red flags are signs that your relationship’s future is doomed. Emotional and physical abuse, bad debt, and infidelity are all glaring red flags that, if ignored, could seriously affect one’s mental health. 

25 Most Common Flaws In A Relationship 

Experts have listed out the biggest flaws in a relationship (as well as how to deal with them). As we’ve said before, which ones you can live with and which ones turn out to be deal-breakers varies from person to person, and is up to you to figure out. To be able to do that, you need to know what these flaws look like. To that end, let’s look at the 25 most common relationship flaws:

1. Dishonesty 

This is not an easy flaw to ignore in intimate relationships. Then again, with open communication, one can get to the root of the problem and try to work through it. Some people lie easily and often about inconsequential things. Whereas others may be harboring one big explosive secret. Where you draw the line and how much you value honesty is what determines how damaging this negative trait can be to your relationship.

Related Reading: 25 Most Common Relationship Problems

2. Insensitivity 

Are those constant jibes and jokes at your expense getting to you? Is your partner always putting you down in front of others or purposely saying things to hurt you? These are all signs of insensitivity and disrespect. To deal with it, you either need to be vocal about what you will and will not accept or walk away. 

3. Clinginess 

There is dependency, and then there is codependency. The former can be a normal expression of an emotional connection, while the latter can slowly wring the joy out of any long-term relationship. Ideally, you want a self-sufficient partner who is unafraid to say they need you. 

4. Commitment-phobia 

Why are you even together if you are not on the same page regarding long-term plans, marriage, and children? When choosing a potential partner, a fear of commitment should be a definite deal-breaker. 

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5. The need to control 

Some people just need to control every facet of their lives. Whether this trait in your romantic relationship has the power to affect one another is up to both parties. If it’s just a matter of your partner planning the day down to the last minute, it may be easier to let go. However, if they want to have a say in what you do, whom you meet, and how you behave, there may be trouble ahead.  

6. Being unromantic 

Not everyone is into flowers and candle-lit dinners. If this is your jam and not your partner’s thing, you need to sit down and have that talk. Maybe meet halfway and reach a compromise? Date nights twice a month should do the trick. Just keep in mind that some people do feel love but just have trouble expressing it. 

7. Thriving on conflict 

A healthy relationship is not one based on arguments and petty fights. Some people love to prove a point at all costs, which can be exceptionally difficult to deal with. 

8. Self-centered 

If your partner is selfish and nothing else seems to matter, a lasting romance may not be in the cards. 

9. More like friends

A lack of sexual chemistry can be a deal-breaker in your relationship. While that initial spark will die, a healthy dose of long-lasting attraction to your partner is essential for keeping the romance alive. 

10. A poor listener 

When you look out for your flaws in a relationship, ask yourself, “Is your partner a good listener? And are you?” Do you make each other feel valued and respected? If either partner doesn’t make an effort to hear the other one out, it can lead to a feeling of being unseen, unheard, and unappreciated in the relationship, which can trigger resentment – a glaring red flag that all is not well in your romantic paradise.

Related Reading: 7 Signs He Is Dominating In The Relationship

11. A lack of gratitude 

A strong relationship is one where common flaws are overlooked and minor relationship issues can take the backseat, thanks to an attitude of gratitude. Being appreciative and grateful for what you have is one of the easiest ways to connect on an emotional level. When that’s lacking, even the most inconsequential irritants can begin to take a toll on your connection. 

12. Constant jealousy 

A jealous partner has the ability to bring out the worst feelings. Major problems that accompany feelings of jealousy in a relationship, such as low self-esteem, insecurity, depression, and anger, can push your relationship beyond the point of redemption.

13. Poor money management 

Bad debt, crippling financial problems, and poor money management can quickly add up to insurmountable odds. When looking for the biggest flaws in a relationship, you will have to decide whether your spouse’s opinions about money align with yours.

14. No ambition 

Your partner’s lack of get-up-and-go should not be a problem if you are not ambitious. However, if you are looking for someone on the same page as you regarding relationship goals and future prospects, a partner who takes life one day at a time may not be right for you. In that case, it’s best not to waste too many years in an essentially dead-end relationship. 

15. Constant mood swings 

You must ask yourself whether you can accommodate another person’s constant moodiness. Is this something that doesn’t bother you, or would you get sucked into the rollercoaster of emotions and opinions? 

16. Addictions

When a person tells you what they are like, it’s time to listen. We often think we can ‘save’ people from their addictions and improve things. Accepting such flaws in a relationship can do more harm than good in the long run. 

Related Reading: How To Fix A Toxic Relationship – 5 Best Ways

17. No respect for boundaries 

These could be emotional or physical boundaries – the bottom line is that we all need space sometimes. When a disregard for this need is taken to an extreme, this lack of boundaries can slowly choke any hope of a lasting union. Closeness and dependency being mistaken for signs of intimacy, then, become one of the most common flaws in a relationship. 

18. Trust issues 

Often things that happened in past relationships can continue to affect one’s current opinions and emotions, leading to unwarranted trust issues. If this is the case, it would help to talk to a mental health professional and get the support you need to work through this relationship flaw and create a healthy future.

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19. Infidelity 

This is a big one. Either you treat infidelity as a deal-breaker and walk away, or you decide to see past this transgression and attempt to revive your relationship. But remember, when it comes to accepting flaws in a relationship, infidelity is often the most difficult to accept and work through. 

20. Time management 

Opinions about tardiness and punctuality can indicate more than time management skills. To someone who values and respects time, a partner who tends to be chronically late can be an insurmountable obstacle.

Related Reading: Should I Give Him Another Chance – 9 Points To Consider

21. Passive-aggressiveness 

Passive-aggressiveness can come across as controlling at best and downright abusive at worst. If your mate indulges in this type of behavior, know that any chance of fair fighting is an impossibility.

22. Anxiety 

If previous relationships have left you anxious and mistrusting or a past experience has led to anxiety issues, it’s best to be up-front about the state of your mental health at the beginning of any relationship.

23. Too comfortable with each other 

Yes, there is such a thing as being too comfortable with each other and it corrodes the romantic aspect of any relationship. However, if this is unimportant to you and you prefer your soulmate connection, warts and all, you can overlook this flaw and move along. 

24. Intimacy 

A healthy and regular sex life can make or break your connection. If there are problems in this department or one person needs more than the other, counseling may be able to help. 

25. Being a workaholic 

If you are dating a workaholic who cannot draw the line between home and office, it’s time to have that talk. You know, the one about priorities and whose opinions matter in the long run. 

How to Deal with Flaws in a Relationship? 

Want to become more accepting of your relationship flaws? Here are some popular opinions that can help you reevaluate and reconsider whether these flaws should be ignored, worked upon, or be the reason you leave.

1. Understand the extent of the flaws 

You must ask yourself, “What is the meaning of these flaws in my relationship? Are they really that big a deal? Am I making a mountain out of a molehill? In the larger scheme of things, is my anger at these perceived flaws disproportionate to their role in my day-to-day life?” When resentment builds, it’s easy to lose sight of this, so take a step back and reevaluate. 

Related Reading: Quality Time Love Language: Meaning, Ideas And Examples

2. Look at yourself 

If you sit down and list out all the annoying habits your partner dislikes and puts up with, you will realize a happy relationship is ultimately a compromise between two people who want to stay together no matter what. Plus, turning the mirror on yourself can be quite humbling, so I urge you to do that and get off that high horse you’ve been riding.

3. Why is this triggering? 

There’s a theory that says what you hate in others is actually what you hate in yourself and your low self-esteem. The next time your mate’s quirk drives you nuts, ask yourself why are you so triggered by this. Looking at what extra meaning you add to another’s personality trait may indicate the root cause of your frustration and help you work through deeper issues.

4. What are your alternatives? 

If your spouse will not change, what are your other options? Do you learn to accept the flaw? Are you ready to ignore it and move along? Can you do anything to minimize its impact on your behavior? Is this unacceptable, and are you ready to walk? For example, my partner is never on time, but we have agreed that I schedule everything with a half-hour extra window so things still get done without either of us freaking out. 

5. Focus on the positive 

Sure, he may be messy, but he’s also kind and sensitive. If she loses her cool too easily, but she’s an excellent mom and takes good care of the family, then maybe it’s worth glossing over any minor irritations and letting go of common relationship mistakes. Choose to see the positive in your partner (and hope that they do the same for you too). 

Key Pointers

  • Relationship flaws exist in every partnership. It’s up to each couple to decide which flaws are manageable and which are red flags
  • Several relationship flaws exist. We are all human and imperfect. When we look inwards first, it becomes easier to accept the flawed humanity in others
  • Friends have opinions, and the world wants a say, but ultimately, only you can decide whether something is acceptable. Don’t let others determine what’s best for you

There’s a lesson to be learned through all of this. My one takeaway is this – if I only look for flaws in my relationship, I can lose so much more. Cataloging possible flaws, such as he’s too short, he doesn’t earn enough, or he’s messy, will only add to the baggage I bring to the table. After all, my flaws in a relationship will also be present, and I would hate for those to be the focus of any new love. While it’s human nature to want “only the best for myself”, it’s also important to realize that we are all imperfectly perfect in our own right. Waiting to be accepted for who we are and what we do, above all else. 

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