Feel like your relationship may have hit the rocks? Is he failing to commit? Are you not quite sure of your future together? Here’s how to tell if your relationship is not on the path to a blissful forever after…
- You never talk about the future
It’s great to live in the moment, but if you don’t make plans together for what’s around the corner, your relationship could end up being short-term, not long-term. “Making future plans is a healthy ingredient for a growing relationship,” says Amy Levine, sex coach and founder of Ignite Your Pleasure (www.igniteyourpleasure.com). “It’s also an indicator of the commitment you have to each other.”
- He says you’re “the one” but he never talks marriage
If you want to be married to him, then you need to say it out loud! “I don’t recommend pressure, but you need to state your desire to be ‘hitched’ to him,” says Renee Paine, singles advice guru at www.singlesadvice.com. “If he says you are the “one for him”, do you know if he wanted marriage? If he isn’t on the same page, then you have to make some new choices for yourself so you don’t waste time thinking you can convince someone to get married. Speak the truth with love, and then see where it leads you. Do what is best for you!”
- You’ve got other blokes on the sidelines
Don’t expect a commitment from him until you are prepared to take the plunge and jump in with both feet yourself! “Having other men in the periphery is often an indication that you know the main guy isn’t the best match for you,” says Amy Levine. “Or that you’re scared to take the leap of faith into intimacy.”
- Deal-breaker or compromise?
You’ve had a couple of discussions about the future and learned that you are not on the same page in terms of wanting to have children, how to raise those future children, religious practices of your household, or how to deal with finances. “If one of you is a big spender and the other is as cheap as cheap comes, you’ve got an uphill battle in terms of budgeting money for the things you’ll need,” says Stacey Becker, relationship blogger at www.thoughtcatalog.com . “Some issues can be compromised on but the bigger ones (children vs. no children, religion, debt) are usually deal-breakers.”
- You have nothing in common except sex
If all you have in common is what happens in bed, it may be hard to achieve a long-term relationship together. “Hot sex is more than satisfying, but it’s not enough to make for a healthy balanced relationship,” says Amy Levine. “When you’re incredibly attracted to someone, all of your critical thinking powers immediately go out the window,” warns relationship coach Evan Marc Katz (www.evanmarckatz.com). “This is why you’ll put up with a man who only calls you once a week, a man who doesn’t call you his girlfriend after three months, and a man who doesn’t propose after three years. If you were thinking critically, you’d never put up with this, but you’re not. You’re under the biological effects of lust and sex.” Remember, great sexual chemistry is not a solid predictor of a fab future together.
- The sex was great at the start, but now it’s disappeared
“It’s rare for lustless lovers to live happily ever after in platonic bliss,” says sexpert and author Tracey Cox (www.traceycox.com). “Invariably, one person isn’t happy in a sexless marriage/relationship and ends up either leaving or having an affair. A relationship stripped of the intimacy and physical closeness which sex provides feels hollow: the person who is supposed to find you attractive, sexy and desirable doesn’t. Who wants to live with that?”
- You feel like you’re settling
“Once the honeymoon period and the initial flurry of lust settles down, you may find your feelings deepen, or alternatively the things you loved about him in the beginning are starting to drive you crazy and you wonder if someone better might be around the corner,” says Emma Draper, relationship writer at www.lovestruck.com.” Ask yourself if you want to be with this person in 20 years’ time.” If you don’t, skedaddle!
- If you’re not single, you shouldn’t act single
Even though you’re coupled up, you find yourself hanging with friends or online, more than hanging out with him. If you want a more serious relationship, you both need to approach the relationship with an “us” instead of “me” mentality. “If you want to act single, be single – and if you want to be in a relationship, act like a decent human being,” says writer Christopher Hudspeth at www.thoughtcatalog.com“In a technologically savvy generation, we regularly see shitty boyfriends and girlfriends do disrespectful things with phones and computers, like adding friends on Facebook who you don’t know, but find aesthetically pleasing, flirtatious comments, and inappropriate emoticon use. Obviously anyone who wants to flirt and be out there should do that — but don’t screw over a good person while you bat lashes and send flirty texts.”
- You haven’t made your desires clear
If he doesn’t know how you really feel about your future together, he may not understand that moving things forward is important to you. So tell him! “You should always make what you want clear from the very beginning,” says matchmaker and relationship expert Siggy Flicker (www.siggyflicker.com ). “You don’t want to waste your time and not be true to yourself. You shouldn’t stay with a man if you’re afraid of telling him what you need and want.”
- Physical abuse
“Most of us know that it is dangerous to stay in a relationship with a physically abusive partner,” best-selling author, relationship expert, and Inner Bonding (www.innerbonding.com) founder, Margaret Paul, PhD, writes at www.huffingtonpost.com “No matter how much you feel you love your partner, and no matter how often he or she says they are sorry after being physically abusive, ongoing physical abuse is dangerous and has nothing to do with love. If your partner physically harms you, it’s time to leave. Of course, leaving is often hard, so it is likely that you will need help with this. In fact, leaving may cause even more danger, so you need to make sure you will be safe once you make the decision to leave.”
Former AOL UK Editor, Julie Hodister, has written for numerous women’s and teen magazines including, Heat, Bliss, Dare, more! 19, Smash Hits, Big! J17, Q, Sky and Chat.