“There are so many reasons why relationships fail to take off,” says Shari Goldsmith LISW, a life and success coach for women. “You don’t want to ‘push’ a relationship to work if it’s not meant to be.”
If you’ve recently experience a failure to launch situation, perhaps the best thing is to adopt a Zen attitude about it and know that not everything is meant to be. Still, a sputtered pairing can leave you wondering WHY? Read on for the six most common reasons new relationships fail.
1. Unrealistic expectations.
“Single people can sometimes have a tendency to build up the perfect person in their head,” says Chris Sonjeow creator and co-founder of LoveBookOnline.com. “Modern media will tell you ‘what kind of guy/girl you deserve.’ Worse is watching your Facebook feed—all those happy couples posting pictures together portraying the fairy tale romance. These examples can be damaging when it comes to finding a partner who isn’t perfect, but perfect for you.” An extension of this is the belief that relationships should always be easy. “I’ve encountered many people who believe that relationships shouldn’t be work,” says Anita A. Chlipala, MA, MEd, LMFT, a marriage and family therapist in Chicago. “They think it should be effortless if it was ‘meant to be.’ I frequently tell my clients that no one is taught how to have a healthy relationship, so why should they ‘just know what to do?’ Good relationships don’t just happen – they take effort, daily.”
2. Past hurts.
“The most universal deal breaker is the emotional baggage dragged from prior romantic relationships which sabotages all future relationships,” says Russell Friedman, executive director of The Grief Recovery Institute Educational Foundation, Inc. and author of Moving Beyond Loss. “If I am incomplete with my past, what will have been most affected is my ability to trust. If I don’t trust, I won’t commit.” Dylan Thrasher, a life and relationship coach in Los Angeles, agrees. “Too often, people are
ending relationships in messy fashion and are not taking the time to work out those feelings and really ‘get over’ the Ex. They jump into something new without quite having let go fully (fully being the key word) of the ex, who is more than happy to meddle in their new-found joy.”
3. Reluctance to get real.
“Technology is a fabulous tool, but it’s not a venue in which to conduct an entire relationship, says April Masini, relationship expert, author and founder of AskApril.com. “I hear from lots of men and women seeking advice for relationships that, upon pushing for real truths, I discover are conducted long-distance and online only. Usually, these couples have never met in real life—and the relationships have gone on like this for months, and sometimes years. The rule of thumb I encourage is: if you meet online, and haven’t had an in person date in three months, move on.” Similarly, new relationships can fail if one or both people involved is putting on a show. “People often put on a mask when dating,” explains Claire Brummell, a relationship expert in London. “They become the person they think the other person wants rather than being themselves. This isn’t feasible to maintain long term, and when they start to be themselves they’ve attracted someone who wants the person they seemed to be at the beginning rather than who they actually are—so it doesn’t last.”
4. Your relationship to yourself.
“People usually think it’s all the things on the outside that make a relationship work or not work, but really it’s an inside job,” says Christine Gutierrez, a psychotherapist, advice columnist, speaker, author and founder of CosmicLife.com. “Having a loving and healthy relationship with yourself is the number one way to ensure that you can have a relationship with someone else.” Jason Weberman, a certified dating and relationship coach in New York City, sees things similarly. “Most people don’t know themselves, what their needs are in a relationship and what type of person can fulfill those needs. People get distracted by what I like to call ‘shiny objects’ such as sexual attraction and other surface attractions when they should really be looking to see whether or not their core values complement those of their potential partner.”
5. Desire to succeed.
“Younger generations are taught early on that they should be ‘winners,’” says Sonjeow. “They believe failure is not an option…even in relationships. Sometimes the desire to ‘win’ the hand of a guy or girl supersedes the entire idea of building the foundation of a relationship. Failure to launch is a quick way to abort mission before anything bad happens.” Christan M., founder of AndThatsWhyYoureSingle.com, agrees. “A lot of people panic at the first sign of trouble. Instead of seeing it through so they can gain experience and get the insight necessary to work through these bumps, they implode. They either issue a pre-emptive strike of sorts suggesting that a break might be necessary or they internalize everything and then let loose at the wrong time.”
“Miscommunication is a primary challenge,” says Chad Dion Lassiter, a relationship therapist/expert in Philadelphia. “It is best to get to know one another and respect differences and embrace the diversity of differences and highlight
similarities. Facebook, tweets and text are sometimes taken out of context.” Don’t jump to conclusions if you read a confusing status message online or get an odd text. Talk things through slowly and see if you can find common ground before walking away.
Furthermore, you might find yourself failing to connect if you rely too heavily on texting. “People don’t know what to talk about anymore,” notices Lynn Gilliard, author of Let Him Chase YOU. “One issue I notice is that a lot of people only text each other—you can’t really develop a bond with someone by sending random ten-word messages.” Be patient, and take the time to get to know someone before jumping all in—or giving up. Christan M. summarizes, “Everybody has their own time frame. It’s rare that you and someone you’re dating are on the exact same page at the exact same time.”