17 Relationship Deal Breakers That Say It’s Time to Move On

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By Darryl Henderson

Before you decide to make a deeper commitment to a relationship, it’s important to make sure that your partner is truly right for you. While everyone has different deal-breakers when it comes to relationships, here are 18 non-negotiables that mean it’s time to cut your losses.

Poor Communication

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Poor communication is one of the main causes of relationship breakdowns. This might include superficial conversations, ignoring important or difficult topics, and refusing to listen to and respect each other’s perspectives. According to MindBodyGreen, poor communication causes escalated conflicts, loneliness, negative attitudes, lack of intimacy, and difficulty setting goals.

Incompatible Values

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Values shape our personal identities, give us a sense of purpose, and determine how we live. If you and your partner don’t share common values or have conflicting beliefs or priorities, this can lead to tension in the relationship and strong feelings of resentment. Realistically, your values will never change, so you’re, sadly, incompatible.

Emotional Unavailability

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Everybody wants to feel loved in a relationship, but some people might have difficulty expressing emotion or showing empathy to their partner. An unwillingness to share feelings and vulnerabilities or prioritizing other things over emotional connection can cause significant problems down the line, making for a serious dealbreaker.

Lack of Respect

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Someone who disrespects your boundaries or personal autonomy or exhibits belittling and demeaning behavior should not be in your life. Having boundaries in a relationship is crucial because it shows mutual love and respect. A relationship with a lack of respect is going nowhere, fast!

Different Life Stages

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We all mature at different levels, but if you’re already planning your wedding and have picked out names for your future children while your partner is still out partying every weekend, something’s not right. You might eventually find yourself feeling like you’re wasting your life, forever waiting for a partner who will never mature.

Financial Incompatibility

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Financial incompatibilities might include irresponsible spending habits or secrecy about money, disagreements on budgeting and saving, or one partner being financially dependent on the other. This can lead to mismatched priorities, frequent arguments, and a whole lot of stress–it’s a serious red flag!

Unresolved Conflict

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We’ve already mentioned that poor communication is a huge barrier to a successful relationship, and unresolved conflict is a consequence of ignoring this. Repeated unresolved arguments, avoiding important underlying issues, and holding grudges can all contribute to a tense environment in which most relationships can’t survive. 

Trust Issues

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Psych Central claims that distrust can affect how you view yourself and your relationships. Once trust is broken, it’s hard to get back, as it can easily be shattered if a partner lies, withholds information, or cheats. Constant suspicion, jealousy, or invading privacy can also damage the relationship.

Problems with Intimacy

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It’s normal to notice a reduction in physical affection after a while when you’ve been with someone for a long time. However, if neither party puts in the effort, this can indicate an inability to connect on a deeper level. However, it’s best to discuss this before making drastic decisions. 

Control and Manipulation

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Always remember that your partner should make your life better, not worse. They should also be an extension of your life, not the whole point of it. Any attempts from a partner to control or manipulate spells trouble for a relationship; that’s just not how it should work, period!

Different Relationship Expectations

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Relationships only work if both parties understand and agree with each other’s expectations. If you want commitment and exclusivity, you need your partner to feel the same way. You might believe in sharing housework or engaging in shared activities and interests, but without this, mismatched expectations can make for a very unhappy relationship.

Substance Abuse

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According to the National Library of Medicine, the effects of substance abuse don’t just impact the user but also their family, friends, and partners. It can cause increased conflict and financial instability, as well as a risk of violence, so if your partner is hopelessly addicted, it may be time to move on.

Lack of Support

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An absence of emotional or practical support during challenging times is a sign of a relationship that’s not meant to last. Your partner is supposed to be your safe haven, so if you find them unwilling to compromise or indifferent towards your well-being, it may be time to throw in the towel.

Family Interference

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If your or your partner’s family is excessively involved in your relationship, this can cause serious problems, such as constant conflict and tension, a lack of boundaries, and negative influences on beliefs. If your partner is not willing to compromise by escaping the family’s clutches, it may, sadly, be time to move on.

Physical or Emotional Abuse

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Physical or emotional abuse of any kind is unacceptable in a relationship. This may include violence or threats of violence, gaslighting, intimidation to control, or verbal abuse. If your partner regularly makes you feel bad about yourself, it’s time to find someone who deserves you.

Lack of Effort

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Minimal effort in a relationship can lead to one or both partners feeling neglected and unloved. According to Bustle, if partners don’t consistently make an effort to meet each other’s needs or show consistent disregard for relationship-building activities, they might have more fights and find their connection fizzles out over time.

Loss of Individual Identity

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Finally, it’s important to maintain your own identity throughout a relationship, but it’s common to get swept up in one and forget about your own goals and interests. If you feel overshadowed, stifled, or unable to maintain a life outside of your relationship, you might want to think about whether it’s time to move on.