How To Know When A Breakup Is Inevitable

The Gottman Institute has conducted research looking at what relationship variables are predictive of a future breakup. We want to talk about them because awareness gives you an opportunity to remedy them. However, keep in mind that the more you have, the less likely it is that you can repair your relationship.

  1. Your memories of the relationship are mostly negative. This doesn’t apply if you have a lot of both positive and negative memories, but instead applies to when you sit down and actively try to think of all the good aspects of the relationship, you come up empty handed.

  2. You don’t have a lot of fondness or admiration for your partner. This one is pretty common when you settle; when there are things that you didn’t like about them but assumed would change with time (except they didn’t).

  3. When you talk about your relationship, you talk mostly about yourself rather than the couple. A lot of “me” rather than “us”. This one is very common with avoidant attachment styles since these individuals tend to be very independent and like to solve problems by themselves.

  4. Talking about your relationship history in an impersonal way. You become dissociated from the relationship.

  5. When you have relationship struggles, they push you further apart rather than bringing you closer together. The entire purpose of a relationship is mutual growth and development, so mutual struggles should ultimately strengthen your bond, not weaken it.

  6. The relationship falls short of your expectations. You had a game plan of what the relationship was going to be like, and it just isn’t meeting those expectations. This could manifest in two ways: either you had unrealistic expectations and need to change them, or your partner became complacent and is no longer keeping their relationship promises that you had expected.

Again, these are six things that predict with great certainty whether your relationship is in trouble. The more you have, the more you’re sinking. If you have a couple, then work on them. All are solvable with a little effort.

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Further reading can be found here, here, here, and here.

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