In romantic comedies, you have probably seen more than once how the characters overcome all obstacles on the path to happiness and stay together under touching music from the credits. The reason is simple – they love each other.

Unfortunately, real life is much harsher: sometimes even the strongest feelings are not enough to save a relationship. Moreover, love can cloud common sense. Scientists figured outthat even when looking at a photo of a loved one, we produce the hormone dopamine – an element of the brain’s “reward system” that makes us feel better. In this state of euphoria, logical arguments are the last thing we listen to.

Julia Hill

Family psychologist, psychotherapist.

A couple in their development goes through several quite natural crises, associated, for example, with moving, illness, the birth and maturation of children. At first, when partners are enamored and in love, the relationship curve goes up. As they live together, mistakes accumulate and relationships reach a plateau – the couple finds themselves at the point of choice: to reconsider their views on roles, find a joint way to solve problems, nullify resentment or leave everything as it is.

In the first case, the stage of a new acquaintance takes place – the partners are together, but the quality of their relationship is changing. There is more understanding, care, attention to each other – and the curve goes up again. In the second – the stage of destruction begins. Claims accumulate, nothing changes, a critical mass of grievances leads to a break.

Unmet needs, disapproval from family and friends, working on relationships for a long time – all these and other signs of a relationship coach. consider a good reason to break up. However, these same signs can mean something completely different – that feelings can and should be worked on. Together with a family psychologist, psychotherapist Julia Hill, we analyzed seven such ambiguous signs.

1. Your needs are not being met

Each of us has our own ideas about the ideal relationship. For some, emotionality comes first – for example, they want to spend more time together. For others, on the contrary, functionality is important: they would prefer, say, a partner to take over the financial component of their life together.

Julia Hill

Family psychologist, psychotherapist.

We always enter into relationships to satisfy our attachment needs: security, closeness, care, support, acceptance. We want to be important, needed, loved. That is why we are looking for a partner, there are no other reasons.

When you feel that a loved one is forgetting your needs, it’s worth talking about it. If the partner is not ready to meet halfway, it may be time for you to go your own way.

People often end up in unhappy relationships where their needs are not met because society denounces loneliness. It may seem to you that you will not find anyone better than your current partner. Do not listen to this inner voice. Yes, it takes time to meet the right person, but you deserve to be truly happy.

2. You are trying to get what your partner does not give you from friends and acquaintances.

Think about who you will first tell about a promotion at work or a family crisis: your partner or someone else. This does not mean that you cannot have close friends and acquaintances. However, if you find yourself sharing your feelings with friends and colleagues more often, it may mean that you are not getting the support you need from your loved one.

Julia Hill

Family psychologist, psychotherapist.

The question is how we are used to asking for support and how we present it. If a wife asks her husband: “How do you like my new sweater?”, he nods approvingly, and she would like him to say: “You are beautiful, dear! The sweater is very stylish, how grateful I am to the universe that I met you ”- of course, she will not feel support from her husband.

Relationships are always a dialogue between two interested parties. I not only expect something from you, but I also help you understand what exactly I expect and at what moments, and if you cannot support in this way, I hear and understand you.

But if you feel like you’re constantly knocking on a closed door that won’t open, there are two ways to go – get couples therapy or break up.

3. You are afraid to ask your partner for more.

Frank conversations are very important, because open communication is the basis of a long and healthy union. Relationship coaches notethat keeping silent about your wants and needs destroys relationships rather than saves them.

Julia Hill

Family psychologist, psychotherapist.

In close trusting relationships, there should be no discomfort when discussing personal needs. I talk about myself, I open up, I know that you won’t hurt me back.

If it is always difficult for us to talk about our needs – in the family or at work – this is a signal that at such moments we find ourselves in some kind of “sore spot”, perhaps a feeling of self-doubt, unworthiness. We need to think about whether it was difficult for us before to talk about ourselves, to ask, or whether this feature appeared precisely in these relationships.

If this has always been the case, then you should pay attention to personal boundaries and determine how often you act to the detriment of your interests. If this happens only in your relationship and you want to keep it, it may be worth going to a specialist together with your partner. Another option is to leave.

4. Family and friends are against your relationship

It is worth listening to the observations of relatives and close people, but this should not be a decisive factor in your personal life. Some relationship coaches believethat if you are trying to isolate yourself from the opinions of loved ones that you are not a couple, they may be right.

Julia Hill

Family psychologist, psychotherapist.

It’s great when you have such caring, caring loved ones. But an adult, psychologically mature person is different in that he himself is the author of his life, makes decisions and bears responsibility for them, including for their negative consequences.

5. You think you have an obligation to keep the relationship.

Study, published in Current Psychology in 2016 found that people are more likely to stay in relationships that they have already invested time and effort into.

This is similar to the “cost incurred” effect commonly known in the investment industry. Its essence is that investing in a certain product leads to subsequent investments, even if you no longer like the project. You’ve already spent money on it, so it’s a shame to leave everything just like that.

Many stay with a partner, hoping to get a real “profit” from the “investment” already made. But months and years spent in a relationship does not solve the problem. If, despite your best efforts, nothing changes, it might be time to stop wasting your time.

Julia Hill

Family psychologist, psychotherapist.

In psychotherapy there is the work of making a decision. One technique is to imagine in great detail how your life will go on if you stay with this partner and if you leave.

Make up the most detailed description: “Here I got up in the morning, I go out into the kitchen, there are dirty dishes, and she sits offended, but incredibly sweet. I’m in a bad mood, but I try not to show it.” This technique helps you understand if you are ready to stay and how long you will last, or to discover the significant advantages of the current relationship, despite the disadvantages.

6. You’ve been working on relationships for over a year.

When two people love each other, the desire to make their union better is absolutely natural. Sometimes this work takes longer than we think. Sometimes relationship coaches advise consult a psychologist, but give yourself a time limit – one year.

Julia Hill

Family psychologist, psychotherapist.

I was reminded of the old joke: “Honey, can you imagine what we have been taking for an orgasm all our lives – it turns out to be asthma.” This is to the question of how each of the partners sees the work on relationships, how much this vision coincides, whether new circumstances appear that the spouses face as the given period.

Family therapy can take a year or more if the couple is complicated. For independent work, such a period seems overly optimistic.

7. You don’t like your partner as a person

Yes, yes, it sounds strange and illogical, but falling in love with a person you don’t like is quite possible. In this case, relations can develop well in normal times, but such a union runs the risk of not surviving difficult times.

Julia Hill

Family psychologist, psychotherapist.

If I enter into a relationship with a partner, knowing in advance that I don’t like him, then most likely there is some kind of attachment need behind this, for example, for security or care. And as long as the partner satisfies this need, the relationship can continue and, moreover, be happy.