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If you’ve ever gone through a breakup, chances are a friend has tried to comfort you by saying, “It just wasn’t meant to be.” And while, sure, that may actually be the case, accepting that your relationship isn’t meant to be can be really hard. What does “meant to be” even mean? Simply put, not all relationships are meant to last forever. The cliche that some people come into your life for “a reason, a season, or a lifetime,” rings true. And if your relationship isn’t meant to be, you’ll know it.
If you realize that you and bae aren’t meant to last forever, it may be difficult to face the music, but parting ways and moving on sooner rather than later may be better for both of you in the long run. “You need to realize that not everyone is meant to be in our lives forever,” breakup coach and host of the breakup BOOST podcast, Trina Leckie, previously told Elite Daily. “You need to look at the situation realistically and be honest with yourself. See things for what they are. Not what you wished they could be.” So, if something’s been feeling off in your relationship lately, you may want to look back and see if you and your partner have come across any of these signs your relationship may not be meant to be.
1. YOUR DREAMS CLASH
It’s totally normal for you and bae to have different dreams – after all, you’re not dating yourself. But if your dreams are incompatible, that might be a sign your relationship isn’t meant to work out. If neither party is willing to compromise, it might be time for a more serious conversation.
“If your dreams clash, that means one of you will have to give something really important up in order to make the relationship work,” licensed marriage and family therapist Nicole Richardson tells Elite Daily. “If you really love your partner, you should want all of their dreams to come true and not encourage them to leave those things behind.”
Don’t forget: They should want those things for you, too.
2. YOU DON’T WORK TOGETHER TO SOLVE YOUR PROBLEMS
Working through conflicts together and trying to come to a compromise or solution can be really important when it comes to relationships. But caring and respecting each other as you work through an issue is just as important as resolving it, says Richardson.
“In happy, successful relationships that pass the test of time, roughly two-thirds of their conflicts don’t get resolved,” she points out. “The key to conflict is not resolving it, it’s communicating and caring about each other through it. If the relationship isn’t worth fighting for, how could it be meant to be?”
3. YOU CAN’T MAKE DECISIONS TOGETHER
Sure, maybe you’re in charge of making dinner reservations and your partner tackles vacation planning. It’s OK to take the lead on things if your partner is taking the lead on others. But that’s the trick: You’re both contributing. If “one person has to be in charge or [in] control, that’s not typically healthy,” Richardson states. If your relationship has no space for both sides of an argument, a plan, or a conversation, then you just might not be compatible. “In a partnership, it is important that both partners have their perspective[s] heard and needs listened to.” It’s called a partnership for a reason, folks.
4. THEY’VE BROKEN YOUR TRUST MORE THAN ONCE
If your partner has continued to break your trust repeatedly, that might be a sign they don’t totally respect you as much as a good partner should. If “you’ve confided very intimate things to your partner and they betray your trust, and tell anyone who will listen your deepest and most vulnerable secrets,” Dr. Brown says, it’s probably healthiest to part ways. Trusting your partner is the bare minimum. If you can’t trust them, there’s not much else you can do.
If any of this sounds familiar, don’t panic. Making an honest effort to resolve these issues and work on your relationship isn’t off the table. “You can try to work on them,” Richardson says. “Do your part to see if you can help switch up the dynamic.” But your partner should make an equal effort, too. It takes two to tango, and sometimes, accepting that you’re incompatible may be the healthiest option.
Try to remember that if a relationship isn’t meant to be, it’s probably because there’s something, or someone, better suited for you. It’s all a matter of knowing when to walk away, and looking toward the future.
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