10 Early Warning Signs Your Relationship May Need Some Work

See if you can spot these common relationship red flags.

True, relationships take hard work. But some relationships make you want to pull your hair out and throw large pieces of furniture out the window.

Trust me, there’s a big difference between a spat between you and your significant other every once and awhile versus a full-blown argument every time you cross each other’s paths.

But I have some good news: Relationship drama with your partner is often an inside job. Translation: you, alone, have the power to heal, mend and improve it at any time you want.

However, before you can make things better, you have to know if things need to be improved in the first place. It may seem obvious when something’s wrong, but many times we overlook major red flags when a relationship is going south.

Read on for 10 telltale signs that your relationship might be more toxic than you think.

1. You fight about the same things over and over again

It could be something as little as your S.O. nitpicking everything you do, or as big as your husband flirting with other women any time he leaves the house. Or maybe small disagreements turn into full-blown arguments at the drop of a hat. Whatever it is, if there’s more drama than not, you’ve got a major problem on your hands.

2. You avoid each other

Aka, the silent treatment. If you pretend like the other person doesn’t exist, or just find yourself withdrawing from your loved one, there’s cause for concern. Sure, needing your alone time now and then is totally normal, but going out of your way to avoid someone is a different story.

3. You are afraid to say what’s on your mind

If you find it difficult to communicate with your partner, you may have an unhealthy relationship on your hands. Maybe you’re nervous it will start a fight. Maybe the other person fails to validate your feelings whenever you express them. Being in a healthy relationship means feeling safe to say what’s on your mind, as long as you’re doing it in a way that’s respectful to them, too.

4. You no longer feel like you can be yourself around them

Remember a time when you used to laugh together, tell each other your deepest secrets, and never feel judged for it? If you feel in your gut that something is off—that things just aren’t the way they used to be—you might want to reevaluate why that’s happening. Is it because you’re insecure telling them things? That they’re more successful than you? Whatever it may be, if you can’t seem to be yourself around this person, your relationship might need some work.

5. Conversations have become generic

If conversations don’t go deeper than talking about if it’s going to rain tomorrow, your relationship needs a major makeover. Conversations become generic when you no longer enjoy spending time together, and just want to fill the silence to make things seem normal—when, in fact, they’re not. Ask yourself this: when’s the last time you talked about something exciting and new? If the answer is “I can’t remember,” then it’s time to re-evaluate.

6. You feel drained when you are together

If you feel drained when you’re together, instead of filled up, you’re using too much energy to either a) argue with one another, b) force yourself to be cordial with this person, or c) both. A healthy relationship should make you feel good. There’s nothing better than looking forward to spending time with someone, not dreading the exhaustion afterwards.

7. The words you use to describe them are negative and unflattering

This one’s self-explanatory. If you have nothing nice to say about this person, there’s probably some toxic stuff going on. Words like demanding, controlling, annoying, rude, and nasty are just a few negative terms to watch out for.

8. The relationship feels unbalanced

Ever feel like you’re the only one who reaches out or makes relationship bids? Maybe you’re always giving your partner advice, but when you ask them for help, they act like it’s some big chore. An unhealthy give and take balance is extremely unhealthy, no matter who it’s with. So if you’re feeling like your relationship is being taken for granted, or you feel unimportant, it’s a sign you guys might need some help.

9. You don’t like who you are when you are around this person

Be honest: Do you find yourself manipulating or controlling your relationship out of frustration with the other person? Maybe being nice takes effort that you can’t seem to conjure up. This is usually manifested from feeling major resentment towards the other person. Trust me, I get it, you don’t want to be this way—it just happens. And knowing that it happens is the first step to making it better.

10. You complain to everyone around you about this person

Picture this: you sit down with a coworker, and they ask you how your day is going. “It’s fine,” you say, “but my husband is driving me absolutely crazy. He never does anything around the house. I mean, does he expect me to do everything?” If the person you’re angry with is constantly on your mind, and all you can talk about, it’s a major red flag. A person should never take up that much space in your day, and if they do, it’s time to get to the bottom of it.

Imagine what it would be like…

…to have more intimacy and more connection with your spouse. Imagine coming home at the end of the day, actually excited to catch up with your partner. What would it look like to go to bed feeling both happy and fulfilled?

No matter what that little voice is telling you in your head, these things are truly possible.

This is The Power of One: A six-week program that will teach you how to create the drama-free, non-toxic, super-satisfying relationship you’ve always craved—once and for all. 

Over the course of six weeks, we’ll focus on a) who YOU are and what you want in your life and relationship, b) discovering what’s holding you back, and c) learn tried + true successful methods to create the relationship you crave.

This program offers proven techniques and secrets to help you create the fulfilling, true love relationship you desire. Think of this as an actionable plan for fixing your relationship. In other words, I’m not just teaching you what to do—but how to do it. Ready to own your sh*t? Click here to learn more.

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Lisa Panos

Lisa Panos is a Certified Life Coach and Author who helps people stop struggling and start thriving in their personal and professional relationships. Trained by Dr. Martha Beck (aka, Oprah’s Life Coach), Lisa helps her clients create new, healthy relationships, mend those that are broken, or say goodbye to ones that no longer serve them. She combines highly effective coaching tactics with an explosive arsenal of personal experience that swiftly moves people out of dysfunction and into a place of deep inner strength.

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