Better half, significant other, love interest, partner, spouse – different words to describe that special person who means the world to you. But one day, you realize something is missing in your relationship. Soon, you are surrounded by alarming signs your partner is not right for you. After all, it is not for nothing that love is called blind.
Lovestruck couples see the world through rose-tinted glasses. Besotted by their partner’s charms, they fail to notice the red flags that later stick out like a sore thumb. The bubble of love bursts rather abruptly when your partner makes you feel like you aren’t good enough. Or they make it seem like they are doing you a favor by being in a relationship with you. It feels as if you are in a forced relationship.
Or maybe you’re still in denial. You are trying to force a relationship to stay on track because you love your partner. But you’re forgetting that compatibility trumps love. To help you understand the signs you are not compatible with someone, we have roped in relationship and intimacy coach Shivanya Yogmayaa (internationally certified in the therapeutic modalities of EFT, NLP, CBT, and REBT), who specializes in different forms of couple’s counseling.
11 Signs Your Partner Is Not Right For You
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Finding the one partner who is right for you is never as easy as it is portrayed in movies or pop culture. Forget about love at first sight. Even after endless conversations and meet-cutes, you can be duped into falling for the wrong person and can get trapped in an unhappy relationship. Well, not anymore, when you have this relationship guru here who has your back.
Breaking up a relationship is not always a bad option. Nor is it always fraught with pain and suffering. Of course, drifting away from a person you were attracted to is going to make you feel empty. But it can also be a positive step toward your happiness and mental peace. If your thoughts are always circling around “My partner means so much to me, but I’m unable to ignore our differences” or “I love my boyfriend, but I’m not happy anymore,” these could very well be signs your partner is not right for you. Look out for the following:
1. Your needs are always unfulfilled
When your own needs are always unfulfilled by your partner, it’s one of the symptoms of forcing a relationship. Let’s say you wanted to grab dessert after dinner and you’ve been craving that donut for over a month now. Your partner knows this but they are busy spending time on their phone and ignoring your pleas to go with you to the nearby Dunkin Donuts. When your partner doesn’t pay heed to your wants at all, it’s clear this isn’t the right relationship for you.
To be clear, just because they didn’t buy you a dessert doesn’t mean you must part ways. But the fact that they kept ignoring your needs is selfish and inconsiderate. It’s as if they don’t care about you at all. This is just one thing. If they are failing to meet your other demands like there is a lack of emotional connection. They could also be depriving you of a healthy sexual relationship. When someone is consciously not willing to do things for you, it’s clear you don’t matter to them enough.
2. Your partner is narcissistic
I, me, myself – this is how most of your partner’s conversations begin and end. One of the early signs a relationship won’t last is your absence in the picture. While you are obviously a strong pillar of the relationship supporting it with your whole-hearted presence, it is never acknowledged. Your partner takes the center stage wherein only their ideas, beliefs, opinions, and life is worthy of consideration.
Self-centered partners can never make themselves emotionally available to you. Emotionally detached relationships have an impact on the couple’s intimacy, which in the long run can leave you scarred with emotional trauma. As Shivanya observes, “One of the most crucial signs your partner is not right for you is the narcissistic streak. Relationships with narcissistic partners hover on the brink of being toxic. Such relationships can make for only fleeting romantic friendship and not a lasting one.”
Most people in love don’t see their partner’s narcissism till it’s too late. If you don’t know how to tell whether your partner is a narcissist or not, here are some warning signs of a narcissistic spouse/partner:
- They will gaslight and manipulate you
- They make you feel like you aren’t good enough for them
- Their love is conditional
- They hold you accountable for their happiness and unhappiness
- They make you beg for their love and attention
- They are constantly making excuses when they forget to celebrate your wins and achievements
- There is constant fighting in the relationship
- You don’t feel safe with them
- Emotional abuse takes place, like stonewalling and guilt-tripping
Related Reading: 8 Common “Narcissistic Marriage” Problems And How To Handle Them
3. Codependent relationship
The pervasive feeling that something is missing from your relationship can be one of the early signs a relationship won’t last. Your partner is not the right choice for you if they are too dependent on you. Partners that are demanding – be it emotionally, financially, socially, or physically – make for a toxic relationship. How to know If your partner is not the one? Codependency in relationships can look like this.
If your bae is having you turn into a Mr./Miss Fix-It, then they are a misfit. The unbalanced scale of responsibilities needs to be evened out. Picking the kids up from school. Having the furniture repaired at home. Running errands. Frequent visits for grocery shopping. All these and more shouldn’t be your onus alone. If you are the one carrying the burden of everything, it is certainly one of the signs you’re not right for each other.
Shivanya explains, “Happy relationships are about equality. Shared responsibilities and mutual understanding lay the foundation of a harmonious relationship. Equal roles are undertaken by two individuals – this is what you should aim at while looking for a partner.”
4. Your growth is stunted
The point of being in a relationship with someone is to grow in life. The growth can be of any kind including:
When you feel like your individual growth has been restricted because you are busy cheering for your loving partner, it means there is only one person benefiting from this relationship. Relationships are a two-way street. Both people should grow individually and as a couple. Spend time with your partner and let them know what you feel like. Talk to your friends and family or a family therapist and ask for their insights on how to have this conversation with them.
5. You are not happy with them
“My relationship is perfect but I am not happy!”– don’t take this to be the rambling of a bored person. This is one of the clear signs you are not compatible with someone. Boredom seeping into relationships, conversations seeing dead-ends, happiness fading away – all these are early signs a relationship won’t last. Something is missing in your relationship that’s causing this unhappiness in your life.
Relationships are about being happy and content in love. Sure, no one can be too hyped about love and romance 24/7. But the spark should never fizzle out. If you can’t keep the love and the child in you alive, when in their company, then it is a red flag for your relationship. Communication issues cropping up all the time are again one of the serious signs you’re not right for each other. As per a survey conducted on 886 couples, dying communication was a contributing factor toward filing for divorce, accounting for 53% of votes.
Some other signs you are not happy with your romantic partner despite being in a great relationship include:
- You are overly critical of everything your partner does and this is causing a barrier between you two
- You have become selfish and you don’t care about other person’s feelings
- Your long-term relationship has become stagnant and neither of you is doing anything to revive the love and happiness
- You feel like you would be happier with someone else
- You have different goals
- Your friends and family can see how miserable you are in this relationship
Being together with your partner should be an exercise in fun and revelry. Be it going on dates, staying in and binge-watching shows, or just being silly with each other. If you don’t enjoy spending quality time together, then your partner is not the right person for you to spend your life with.
6. Lust takes over love
Couples who get together only for the sake of lust doom their relationship easily. As Shivanya points out, “Greed for power and money often form the crux of many relationships. Or your partner could be driven by their sexual interests. Either way, you need to be watchful of your relationship with them.”
You know someone is not right for you if the relationship finds its base in their selfish interests. If physical intimacy is the whole and sole basis of your relationship, then it is undeniably one of the early signs a relationship won’t last. You feel like it’s all about sex and there is no other form of intimacy anymore. You question your self-esteem and feel bad for being in a relationship with someone who is using you for sex and vice-versa. When there are no other ways to keep your partner happy except fulfilling their sexual needs, then your current relationship will crash and burn sooner or later.
The National Library of Medicine conducted a study on 189 female and 119 male university students to understand the nexus between friends-with-benefits relationship and social and psychological connectedness. It was found that 50% of the participants felt deceived by their partner and experienced loneliness and psychological distress due to a relationship guided by only sex, and no romance or attachment.
Related Reading: Does A Friends With Benefits Relationship Actually Work?
7. You don’t trust your partner
Trust, faith, honesty, and transparency are the wheels that drive every relationship. Maya, a 26-year-old software designer, shares with us, “I love my boyfriend. My relationship is perfect but I am not happy. It is so difficult to open up to him about what I am going through. It really impacts our intimacy. I don’t feel completely comfortable around him because of this and have a hard time trusting him with my feelings.”
Here are some tips on how to know if your partner is not the one for you:
- You constantly get that uncanny feeling that your partner is hiding something from you
- They often lie to you which is the reason behind your trust issues
- You simply don’t know how to trust someone again after they’ve hurt you
- Your partner is extremely secretive with their phone lest you chance upon something
- They lie to you about their outings with friends
- You don’t feel good about their intentions
- Your friends and family have felt the same suspicion that your partner is not being completely honest with you
These could be some of the worrying signs you’re not with the right person. Shivanya says, “Many modern relationships are being called off due to lack of honesty or transparency. You need to consider the level of trust and transparency in your relationship, and see if your partner is including you in their lifestyle.”
Research conducted by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows how crucial trust is for every loving relationship. The study shows a breach of trust is extremely difficult to restore. Moreover, relationships that have no faith and trust are bound to fail.
8. You two are not good friends
Detecting the early signs a relationship won’t last can leave you perplexed. When your partner is not serious about being in a relationship with you, there won’t be any close bond. You will be able to anticipate the failure of a relationship when there is no camaraderie between you two. When two people in healthy relationships become friends before lovers, it can greatly impact the health of the relationship down the lane.
Sure, chemistry, passion, and good sex are great to keep things exciting. But people choose to be in a relationship because they want someone to pull them up when they fall down. Furthermore, what matters, in the long run, is the relationship compatibility you share with your partner. You should share good camaraderie with them. You should never feel like you will be judged for speaking your heart out, and you too should make them feel like they can be vulnerable with you.
Shivanya points this out as the basic ingredient for a lasting relationship, “I have noticed that the lasting relationships have not survived because they had lesser conflicts. They lasted because the couples had a friendship in place, making them like a team against all odds. If you see a friend in each other, then your relationship might have better longevity.”
As a research paper in the Journal of Happiness Studies points out, relationships are happier and more satisfactory when the partners are best friends. To quote from the study, “… well-being effects of marriage are about twice as large for those whose spouse is also their best friend.”
9. Your partner is not respectful toward you
If your partner has no respect for you, then there can be no question of being in a relationship with them. Respect and appreciation are two pivots of a relationship. The lack of these becomes a breeding ground for problems. When your partner makes you feel not good enough or disrespects you, you know it is time to walk out on them.
When was the last time your partner asked you to weigh in on important decisions? Or valued your efforts and showed gratitude? Hardly ever? Then this is certainly one of the signs your partner is not right for you. Disregarding your efforts, not validating your opinions, and negative or derogatory remarks about you – are some of the red flags in a relationship.
Shivanya opines, “Couples fight all the time, but that doesn’t mean they will speak to you in a disrespectful manner. If your partner does not respect you and takes you for granted, these are the early signs a relationship won’t last. With respect thrown out of the window, there is no compatibility between the partners.”
10. Your partner is a control freak
Shivanya marks out other similar personality traits as contributing factors toward an unstable relationship, “Jealousy, possessiveness, and an over-dominating and controlling behavior can smother your relationship.” If you notice any signs that your partner is a control freak, then it is a decision gone wrong. Controlling and restrictive ways are pitfalls in relationships. An overbearing partner is not only detrimental to your growth as an individual but is also conducive to a stagnant relationship. People show love in different ways. But none of the ways should ever make you feel like your partner is your boss.
Having their say in everything you do, controlling your decisions, and not giving you personal space to breathe in are the few things to guard against. Do they enforce their opinion on your choice of clothes? Do you need to seek their permission before heading out with friends? Are they distancing your family from you? Personality traits like these signal toxic relationships that can stifle you and strip you of your freedom.
11. They don’t support you
An ideal partner would be someone who adds value to the relationship, bringing out the best in you. The last thing you would want your partner to do is to doubt you and bring your morale down. Discouraging words can do more harm than one can ever imagine. If your partner does not believe in you and your dreams, then it’s a sign your partner isn’t enough for you. They don’t deserve you and they aren’t worthy of your love.
Encouraging each other to be the best version of themselves is what a supportive relationship is about. Support in a relationship is a basic fundamental, be it emotional, social, financial, or spiritual. It is synonymous with growth. Your partner should uplift you as you go on to achieve your dreams. They don’t have to move heaven and earth for you. Just a few motivating and encouraging words are enough to make you feel like you can conquer the world. It’s always these little things that matter.
Shivanya adds, “Relationships should not be dutiful. If your partner is only concerned with fulfilling their responsibilities and duties, it will make your relationship boring and a matter of routine. They will behave in a certain way because they are obliged to do so.”
- A person who is controlling, demeaning, and unsupportive is a strict no-no as a partner to anyone
- If you don’t see a friend in your partner whom you can trust with everything, then they are not the right choice for you
- It is difficult to be compatible with narcissistic and abusive individuals, or people dealing with addictions
- Steer clear of your partner if there are notable differences in opinions on non-negotiable terms
With this, we come to the end of our discussion on signs you’re not with the right person. We are sure this information doled out by our expert will have your back when you set out on your journey in search of a partner. Keep your eyes open to pick up these signs, listen to your heart (and that gut feeling), and take the plunge. There is love and abundance for you in store!
This article has been updated in March 2023.