5 Signs that your relationship is heading toward a dead end
December 20, 2006 12:53am CST
1. U ROLL YOUR EYES AT EACH OTHER DURING AN ARGUMENT You say potato, your date says well, even if he or she says it the same way, it's a given you're not going to see eye-to-eye on everything. And that's okayyour differences are what make things interesting! But while disagreeing is fine, it's bad news if one of you rolls your eyes at the other during the argument. "The reason you roll your eyes at someone is because the other person is saying something you think makes absolutely no sense to you and you don't respect what they're saying," says Hamburg. And since R-E-S-P-E-C-T is the cornerstone to any good relationship, take any eye-rolling you or your mate does as a bad omen. 2. U CAN'T HANDLE THE UNCOMFORTABLE SILENCES Every date has its quiet lulls here and there when the dialogue runs dry, and if these moments don't faze you, congratulations for reaching that comfort level. But if you find yourself squirming in your seat, trying to come up with things to say, checking your cell phone hoping to find a voicemail, or going back to the same old topics ("Have you talked to your sister lately?") that could spell trouble, since it shows you're not really relaxed when you're around them. Take it from Jason Parker of Atlanta: "The whole time my date and I were eating dinner, we'd have moments of silence during which she kept checking her cell phone," he says. "Finally I asked her if she was waiting for a call, and she said, 'No, I'm just checking the time.' As if that was any better!" Whether this gal was indeed nervous or just plain rude, either way Jason was relieved when their brief relationship was happily over. 3. YOUR DATES ARE ALWAYS CHOCK-FULL OF DISTRACTIONS It's healthy for you and your love to fill your time together with fun activities and mutual friendsthat is, as long as that's not all you do together. "It's not a good sign if the only things you're saying to each other are, 'Let's hang with friends, or let's do something like go to the ballgame or a movie,'" says Wolf. The reason: These things are buffers that help you avoid really getting to know each other, which may indicate that your one-on-one time ain't so thrilling. If an offer of "Tonight, let's just hang out together alone" doesn't sound exciting, ask yourself: Do you really want to spend the rest of your life with this person? 4. U FIND YOURSELF CRITICIZING LITTLE THINGS ABOUT EACH OTHER Everyone tends to be positive to each other on the first few dates, "but if the other person starts making critical comments like they don't like what you're wearing, that's not good," says Dr. Hamburg. Criticism, whether you realize it or not, is a way of pushing someone awayso if either of you are saying things that seem innocuous like, "That shirt looks weird" or "How can you stand living on this street?" you're tapping into a bigger problem. "As time passes, you should find yourself wanting to treat your partner as well as you did at the beginning of your relationship," says Bonnie Eaker Weil, Ph.D., a relationship expert in New York, NY. If not, consider this breakdown in polite behavior very bad news. 5. U ONLY WANT TO DEAL WITH EACH OTHER WHEN THE CHIPS ARE UP It's a red flag if the person you're with gives you the cold shoulder when you're not feeling hunky dory about something in your life. Happily-ever-after means loving or at least liking someone when life isn't so sweet. "I was seeing a guy who was usually wonderful, but when I would have a bad day and wanted to just talk to him or be near him, I'd call, and he wouldn't call back for days," says Rachel Harrison of Brooklyn, NY. "He just didn't seem to want to know the whole me, in good times and bad." And being able to weather the tough times together is definitely a quality that every good relationship needs.