Print Edition: September 24, 2014
The signs that your relationship might be less than happily ever after aren’t always obvious. Your partner may not have cheated on you. The sex might still be pretty decent and you might think you’re just in a bit of a lull.
There comes a point in every relationship where the decision about whether to stay or go becomes a crushing question mark. The obvious signs of an unhealthy relationship — emotional or physical abuse, or unfaithfulness — might be happily absent, but what of the more subtle indications? Here are some get-out-now warning signals that will help you make an informed decision about your choice of long-term partners.
Your partner is almost incommunicado
Good communication is essential to any relationship. While it’s something that can be worked on throughout your time together, if you’ve reached the point where you’re considering whether this is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with you should be able to get more than monosyllables out of them. If not, it may be time to rethink your commitment.
A key trait to watch for in communication style is self-absorption. A conversation requires two sides; if you ask about your partner’s day without their returned interest, you may want to bring this to the attention of your lover. It may be that they are simply unaware of their faux pas, or you may be in a relationship with a crazy narcissist, in which case you’d best run for it.
Your partner is in a time warp
If in any way your sweetheart reminds you of Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite, it’s time to take a long hard look at your standards. A preoccupation with the past and an inability to discuss your future together will not make for an easy ride. Similar dreams and a mutual respect of each others’ life goals is necessary to make things work in the long term. If you haven’t had the talk, bring it up over baked brie and white wine. Don’t ever make any serious decisions without baked brie and white wine.
Your partner has ego issues
Your partner’s inability to show any sportsmanship when he or she loses at Mario Kart may have been a little cute at first. But the pride really should not go beyond the epic rivalry between Mario and Yoshi. If your partner continuously one-ups you, or has to have the last word in an argument, they may be showing signs of an inner egoist. If they care more about satisfying their sense of entitlement than your feelings, it’s time to find a new Mario Kart rival.
When trying to decide whether or not your partner is a keeper, remember that every relationship is unique. No Cosmo quiz can put you in a stay or nay category. Relationships are never perfect, so if you genuinely care about the person you are with, try working on things together. If you do and it doesn’t work out, you won’t have any regrets at the end of the day.