We’ve all been in enough bad relationships to know when we have something good, which makes it that much more devastating when you’re unhappy with your partner. However, if your love is something worth preserving, there’s hope. As the cliché goes, relationships, even the best and most compatible, take a lot of work. If you’re not feeling the love with your partner, here are five potential reasons why, and what you can do to change it.
1. You have unrealistic expectations.
Having high expectations for your relationship can cause you to feel dissatisfied, and, in turn, unhappy. By comparing your love story to The Notebook, you could be facing major disappointment. In light of the overly-romantic plots or over-the-top gestures often hyped in film and news media, your relationship may not seem as good as it really is. However, every relationship has different things that make it work and make a couple compatible, harmonious and happy.
If you know you know you’ve been having unrealistic expectations for you and your partner, it’s time to wise up. Instead of expecting your significant other to be romantic or on-point all the time, understand that this will never be the case. Resist the urge to compare your relationship to others’, especially ones on the silver screen. Instead, focus on the positives in your relationship and why you make such a great couple.
2. Things are becoming habitual.
Once you and your partner have started to get into a comfortable routine, it’s easy to find yourself suddenly missing the passion that used to be. If you live together, partners can start to feel more like roommates than soul mates. The loss of infatuation is a natural part of the relationship process. Still, when it feels like you’re stuck in a rut and you’ve lost your “spark,” you won’t be nearly as happy as you could be in a relationship, no matter how compatible you are.
To break up your routine, try doing something new with your partner. Take a class or learn something new together. Go on a weekend getaway, or have a special date night someplace you’ve never been before. Even doing something as small as making a new meal together can remind you of the things you love about your partner.
3. You’re over-thinking things.
If you’re one of those people who reads too much into everything, beware: your relationship may suffer. Analyzing every detail of your love life could cause you to think that the natural conflicts and imperfections that you have as a couple are worse than they really are. The same goes for reading too much into your future, individually or as a couple. Although it’s tempting to speculate, and a little analysis can be good, when over-indulged the urge to brood can cause minor problems to bloat out of proportion.
Instead of thinking about all the details of your relationship, try to look at the big picture. Think of the important aspects of your relationship and what keeps it together. This will show you that minor arguments and differences of opinion won’t ruin the whole affair, and that your relationship is strong and happy.
4. There’s a communication gap.
When the lines of communication in a relationship are strained, it can cause many problems. If you or your partner have feelings — however small — of jealousy, resentment or anger, and don’t talk about it, those emotions can build up. Without even realizing it, you could become completely unhappy in a wonderful relationship, all because of a few missed conversations.
To make sure you are as happy as possible with your partner, learn to talk about everything. Even if you know the conversation won’t be pleasant, dispel any negative feelings in a calm manner. In future, dealing with issues as they come up will help prevent negative emotions from getting out of hand and cause your relationship to grow much stronger.
5. You’re feeling stressed.
Yes, weirdly enough, the reason you may be feeling happy in your relationship could have nothing to do with your relationship at all! If you’re stressed about your work, money issues, school or any other reason, it could affect your happiness, and in turn your relationship.
To keep yourself sane and happy, try hard to de-stress. Take time each day to do something that makes you happy. Do your utmost to keep on top of outside issues, and don’t be afraid to ask your partner for help or forbearance if you’re feeling especially swamped. Identifying outside sources of stress and learning to manage stress effectively can help you and your relationship weather the storm safely.
If you know your relationship is enviable, but you’re not feeling as happy as you should be, you’re not alone. Whether it’s stress, bad communication or over-analyzing that’s making you unhappy, being aware of your relationship’s strengths and weaknesses and dealing with them effectively can help you to get your love back on track.