5 phrases that tell you your relationship is in trouble

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Sometimes break-ups come out the blue. One minute you’re planning next summer’s holiday together, the next they’re moving out your flat leaving you emotionally stunned. Often though these surprising break-ups happen because we’ve chosen to ignore some pretty big signs in our relationships.  This is totally natural; facing up to a bad situation is hard.

Next time, be prepared. We’ve pinpointed five phrases (though there are more) that should set alarm bells ringing, and have you preparing for the worst.

1.    “It’s not you, it’s me”
When we asked around, this was the phrase most people said they’d heard before a break up. The problem with it is that we all know that it’s a get out clause. What the other person really means is ‘It’s you, but I don’t want to feel too guilty about ending our relationship, so I’m going to say it’s because of my own issues.’ When someone says this, they’re not leaving any wiggle room, it really is over.

2.    “I need to get my head together”
This can be translated as ‘I don’t know what I want from this relationship’.  There are two possible out comes here though: either your partner is using this phrase as a get out clause, or they really do need to figure out what they want. Either way it’s not great. In time there’s a possibility they might work out what they want, but don’t let yourself become their emotional chew toy – ultimately, you’re either in a relationship or you’re not.

3.    “I’ll be in touch later”
This statement says your other half just can’t be bothered to talk to you right now. Maybe they’re annoyed with you, or maybe they’re just bored with you and have something better to do. And what does ‘later’ even mean? It’s so vague it could mean in an hour, or it could just mean never. We all lead busy lives, if you’re getting the communication brush-off you should consider that your partner isn’t willing to put the time into your relationship.

(As side note: if your loved one is about to jump out of a plane, or go somewhere they won’t be able to get signal, this DOESN’T count – they really will call you later)

4.    “My mother/James/Helena doesn’t do that!”
Comparisons are never good. Loving relationships are about acceptance, not about wanting your partner to be someone else. Whether it’s because you didn’t make his dinner the way his mother would, or because she says her ex James used to be much more thoughtful than you, there’s a problem.  This one may be fixable though, but you need to tackle your partner on why they’re so fixated on you being someone you’re not.

5.    [Silence]
What’s worse than all these phrases put together? Not communicating at all. When you’re barely speaking it’s time to cut your losses and move on. We all know that communication is the key to a great relationship; without it, there is no relationship.


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