Updated: Feb 24
With one of the most romantic holidays just around the corner, many people will be on the hunt for their special Valentine. Be it best friends or significant others, we all love spending quality time with those closest to us during this time. However, relationships can easily be a hit or miss and the people we consider to be our soulmates may not always be deserving of this title. In hopes of having the perfect relationship, we often look past certain red flags and risk ending up with the wrong kinds of people in our lives. For that reason, here are some warning signs we should look out for to help prevent that.
1. You don’t talk about the things that actually matter.
Open communication is an essential part of every healthy relationship. It is important to have vulnerable conversations with your partner because it helps the both of you to learn about each other beyond the surface level. You should feel comfortable enough to talk to your partner about your vulnerabilities and vice versa. Without having deeper conversations, your relationship lacks transparency which could be caused by the fact that you are unable to fully trust each other.
2. You’re tackling each other, not the problem.
Dealing with problems is never pretty, and sometimes we might end up saying things we don’t mean. Oftentimes, being caught up in the moment leads us to say things we regret and end up harming the relationship. That’s why it is crucial to remember that you are never really against each other. It should be the both of you against the issue. If winning the argument or ultimately being right is more important than dealing with the problems together, that means you are unable to work well together.
3. You’re not getting the same effort you’re putting out there.
Maybe you have tried to communicate your feelings and needs, but they don’t seem to get the memo. Everyone has different ideas of how relationships work - that notion is completely valid and we should try our best to respect that. Having said that, you should still feel like they are putting in effort in their own way. For example, a workaholic partner puts their phone in aeroplane mode to spend quality time during dates. Feeling like your efforts aren’t reciprocated may indicate that you’re in a one-sided relationship.
4. You have conflicting moral values.
It is okay to disagree on certain things, like your fashion styles and favourite genre of movies. Real problems arise when you both can’t agree on what constitutes cheating and how much alcohol is too much. You could have great chemistry and similar interests but if you disagree on the fundamentals, there is a high chance that the relationship won’t last. Due to our values shaping our personalities and worldview, having a partner that doesn’t share them would only lead to a conflict riddled relationship in the future.
5. They don’t accept you for who you are.
Everyone changes constantly throughout their lives. Even so, the idea of being able to change your significant other is highly romanticised by the media and unrealistic in real life. Entering into a relationship means choosing to accept the person as they are and growing together with them. If your partner is making you change things about yourself which they don’t like, chances are they have started seeing you as a project they can fix. While this can be seen as them trying to aid your personal growth, they are likely only trying to mould you into their idea of who you should be. If your partner is trying to change the things that make you who you are, it’s time to rethink the relationship.
This isn’t the most uplifting topic this Valentine’s season, but no matter the time of year, it’s always important to look out for yourself. There are people we wish would be The One or the BFF that lasts forever, but that ideal relationship might not hold up in real life. In reality, soulmates are hard to come by and relationships require a lot of work and compromise. That doesn’t make happily-ever-after unattainable. We just have to understand that, like everything else in life, relationships are a constant work in progress.