Now that you’ve broken up, you’re probably mulling over the reasons why relationships fail – especially YOUR relationship. Those reasons might be obvious ones such as cheating, cruelty or abuse; in which case you will want to concentrate on rebuilding your life again. But sometimes the reasons why relationships fail are not so easy to understand.

Maybe you half-expected the breakup; in which case you’ve probably got some ideas about what went wrong. Maybe instead you were blindsided by it; and are struggling to grasp why it happened. Or perhaps your ex gave you HIS version of why he wanted out, but you’re struggling to reconcile it with YOUR experience of the relationship.

Whatever your position, it’s hard to move on if you don’t feel you’ve got a proper handle on the past. You don’t want to repeat your mistakes, especially if you’re hoping one day to get your boyfriend back again.

Here are the 7 most common reasons why relationships fail. Often it’s not one big thing that blows you apart. It’s a culmination of smaller things that build up slowly, causing dissatisfaction and conflict and eventually making your entire relationship unravel. See if you can improve your understanding of what caused your breakup, as that knowledge will help you to make a plan for how to get your ex back.

1. Not accepting your boyfriend as he is

Lots of people have an idealized picture of “The One”. Then when they fall in love, they try to make their beloved fit that ideal picture. This always ends in disappointment and resentment.

You can’t put the cart before the horse in a relationship. You must spend time getting to know your boyfriend and then decide whether he is the right person for you. And no-one is ever perfect: whoever he is, he will have character flaws and irritating habits that you will have to live with (and vice versa).

You must be able to accept these faults without making them into an issue. If you really can’t live with them, then your boyfriend is not the right one for you.

You can’t waver on this one. People don’t change, unless they themselves decide to do so. What you see will be what you get. And if you think you can change him, then you are just going to be unhappy and frustrated; and your boyfriend will be unhappy and resentful.

If you don’t love someone the way they are, then you don’t love them at all.

2. Unrealistic expectations (looking for someone to “complete” you)

Oh dear, Jerry Maguire has a lot to answer for. That terrible line: “You…. COMPLETE me.”

A lot of people, especially women, see this as wildly romantic. It’s not. And there are good reasons why it’s not.

No-one can make up for something you lack in yourself. If you have any personal issues, then work on them before you think about getting into a relationship.

If you allow yourself to depend on someone else to feel ‘complete’, then you will not be able to exist without them. They will own you. They will control not just your level of happiness, but its very existence.

Do you want to be owned and controlled by someone else?

And what happens when that relationship loses its early passion; when your boyfriend becomes less attentive, and more comfortable and careless in your company?

You’ll start feeling ‘incomplete’ again. You’ll blame him for your unhappiness and your own inadequacies. And eventually you’ll decide he wasn’t The One after all, and you’ll start looking for someone else to ‘complete’ you.

Love brings wonderful things to your life.

But ultimately YOU are responsible for your own happiness, and you need to be able to depend on your own resources to feel complete.

Like trying to make your boyfriend into someone he’s not, expecting him to ‘complete’ you will only end in disappointment. These are two reasons why relationships fail over and over again.

3. Trust and loyalty

Trust and loyalty always go hand in hand. A man who can’t trust you to be loyal to him will not want to stay with you. He will not feel able to depend on you when the going gets tough, and he will not want to trust you with his confidences.

Of course this means fidelity, but to a man loyalty means other things too. It means keeping the things that belong between you private. Some women are ready to talk about any and all aspects of their life to absolutely anyone. Talking about your relationship to other people will make a man feel betrayed.

Honesty also matters. People are especially prone to lying when they meet each other online, but even little lies will catch with you out in the end. You might say that you would never lie about anything big, but who defines ‘big’? Once you get yourself a reputation for deceit, it’s hard to slough it off again.

Trust is something you start building from the moment you meet, and when it is undermined it’s hard to rebuild it. It can be done, but like a broken vase, you will always be able to see the cracks. Loss of trust is one of the most important reasons why relationships fail.

4. Being unable to communicate well

Do you find it difficult to talk about what’s bothering you? Or perhaps you never STOP talking about anything that’s bothering you?

Either way, you’re creating problems for yourself.

If you don’t talk about problems when they arise, your frustration and resentment will build up inside you, growing and festering, until it boils over in an explosion. When this happens, your boyfriend is left thinking “Where did that come from?” and the whole thing becomes a much bigger and more destructive issue than it might have been.

If you make an issue of everything, so that you are never offline when it comes to problems, then your boyfriend gets overloaded and eventually tunes out completely.

You need to be able to talk about all aspects of your relationship. If there are problems; then the only way to resolve them is to discuss them calmly together, bringing with you a desire and willingness to find a solution. But you need to know which issues are important, and which aren’t.

Too many people lock themselves into entrenched positions because being right is more important than being happy. A good relationship is one in which both partners are willing to see the other point of view, rather than trying to force their own onto the other.

Most problems can be solved with a bit of give and take on both sides. Don’t be afraid to say when you’re unhappy about something, because you’re afraid of making things worse by speaking up.

You’re not. You’re doing both of you a favor. And you’re removing another of the reasons why relationships fail.

5. Compatibility problems

This can be a big subject, so it’s important to keep thing simple and straightforward. There are basically three ways in which incompatibility manifests itself.

First of all, it’s about how you handle change. It’s natural that people change as they go through life. Things happen, experience changes us and we learn more about life as we grow and develop. You need to be able to handle that in ways that don’t separate you. Sometimes you are just growing and changing at different speeds, and you will eventually catch up with each other. But sometimes you come to realize that you have become two such different people; you can no longer coexist together.

Then there’s managing your expectations. Everybody has their own ideas about what kind of person their life partner should be, and what kind of life you should be leading together. Those ideas are not always compatible with either your partner’s expectations, or with the person you really are. Life becomes a conflict about “What I want”, instead of an agreement about “What we want”. If you can’t reconcile these desires, then your relationship can’t progress.

And then there’s the question of priorities. What matters most to you? Career or hobbies? Family and children; or travel and adventure? Religion or politics? Wealth or pleasure? Unless you can find common ground on the things that matter most to you, you are bound either to separate, or to end up disappointed, frustrated and bitter.

Compromise is necessary in every relationship, but unless you feel you basic needs are being met, at least to some degree, then you are bound to end up discontented. There has to be a basic compatibility of ambitions and wishes between you. Lack of this is another of the reasons why relationships fail.

6. Not living in the moment – waiting for “it” to happen instead

Relationships need time, both to develop and to flourish.

Don’t treat your relationship as a series of hurdles that have to be negotiated or crossed. Your relationship isn’t an obstacle course that you have to navigate in order to get where you want to be. Things won’t suddenly become magically different just because you’ve arrived at some perceived summit; like becoming engaged, or married.

A relationship is always what it is at that moment, and you should always be in the moment, enjoying it to the full.

So don’t be the kind of person who tells themselves they will be happy once they are in a relationship, or when they are engaged, or once they are married. Life isn’t lived to a timetable, and a good relationship develops naturally, at its own pace, over time.

So just give your relationship time. Not giving enough time, or enough OF your time, is one of the most common reasons why relationships fail.

When you are with your boyfriend, try to focus on the present, rather than on what you quarreled about yesterday, or what you think you should be doing tomorrow. You can’t really connect with someone if you are distracted by something else, and not really paying attention or listening to him.

If you don’t give your relationship the priority and attention it needs, you won’t be contributing anything to it either.

7. Not being honest about what you really want

It’s important to share your expectations of how you want to live your life with your boyfriend. This is the big test of your compatibility, and one of the commonest reasons why relationships fail.

Without shared ambitions and values; you will always be in conflict, because you want different things.

The first few months of your relationship are the time when you should discuss your dreams and ambitions; as that is the way to tell whether you really do have a future together. There’s no need to do it in a pressured way. Just take the opportunity to talk about where you see your life going when it comes up.

If somehow it never comes up, because your boyfriend keeps evading it, then that is a clear message that you shouldn’t ignore. If your boyfriend won’t talk about the future, it’s probably because he doesn’t really see you as part of it.

Don’t sacrifice your dreams to keep an unsatisfactory relationship alive. Take it as a sure sign that this man is wrong for you, and you must be brave enough to let go, so that you can find the right man and be happy.

So Which Of The Reasons Why Relationships Fail Is Most Relevant To You?

Sometimes you and your boyfriend did nothing wrong. It’s just that it wasn’t meant to be.

The early days of any relationship are always a heady time. Everything is new and exciting, and just spending time together makes you happier that you’ve ever been before.

But this is also the time when you should pay attention to how well you “fit” together.

Are there any little niggles that just take the shine off your happiness?

Does your boyfriend sometimes say or doing things that upset or disturb you?

Do you see aspects of his character that are deal breakers for you?

These can be signs of a basic incompatibility between you, which will become obvious and wearing when the first passion has faded. Of course, no-one agrees all the time, but it’s important to know what your boundaries are, and stick to them.

Acknowledging when something is wrong is a sign of a mature and well-integrated person who understands themselves and what makes them happy.

It’s not a sign of failure.

All your relationships give you positive things and contribute to your understanding of yourself and other people. Just because they don’t last for ever doesn’t make them bad or worthless, or a waste of your time.

They are helping you to learn and develop as a person, so that you can move on to bigger and better things in the future.

But what if you still believe your boyfriend IS the one for you? If you want to find out for sure, then go here to discover what the future may hold for you.

Not sure what to do next?

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This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Veronica Estelle


  2. Veronica Estelle

    I broke up with my boyfriend because I didn’t think I really loved him. It was my 1st relationship so I didn’t know what real love is but I thought it would make me feel happy all the time but it didn’t. So after not seeing each other for over a month, I broke up with him the day we saw each other again. The second I did it, I regretted it but it was too late. We tried not talking to each other for about a week but then he came and asked to be friends and I said yes thinking it would bring us together again. But he just tried to convince me to like his friend called Luc. I didn’t like Luc because I still liked my ex but I couldn’t tell him that. We started getting closer and closer but every time I bring up our relationship, he changes the subject. I really miss being with him and being friends just makes me miss him more but I don’t want to push him out of my life again. I tried flirting but it didn’t work. Now he’s become best friends with my best friend but she is already taken. So now I feel like I can’t tell him about my feelings for him because 1: My friends will mock me and 2: He just wants to be friends. What should I do to try move on from him?

    1. Veronica Estelle

      I thought about trying to go out with other boys to either help me move on or make him jealous but I don’t want to because I don’t want to rule of getting back together by being single.

      1. Sarah

        Don’t go out with other boys to make your ex jealous: go out with them because it’s what you want to do.

    2. Sarah

      If you want to move on then avoid seeing him if possible. If you have to meet, be friendly but not familiar. If you weren’t sure that you really loved him, then you probably didn’t. Get some space and take some time to sort your feelings out.

  3. Teresa

    I broke up with my boyfriend because we were long distance. I hated him not being there when I needed him. But now there’s a chance that I could transfer in my job to be near him. Should I take the opportunity, and try to get back together with him? Or should I wait for him to be more supportive, and come to me? I’m confused.

    1. Sarah

      How did your boyfriend feel about being long distance? Did you ever tell him how you felt, or discuss how you could change the situation?

      The best thing you can do is to find out whether you boyfriend is willing to try again. If so, you need to have a frank talk about why you broke up, and how you would make it work this time. But don’t do anything as drastic as to uproot your whole life, until you know you are both on the same page together.

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