The seeds of a relationship breakup are always there at the beginning.
In hindsight, most of us see that the stuff that ended our relationship was always there. Those seeds (or reasons) for a breakup were hidden in various places: truths avoided, lies spoken, differences overlooked, issues unaddressed, broad tolerance at the beginning, unimportant beliefs at the time, and the yet to be discovered. So how do we know when to bail and when to keep trying to make our relationship work?
Important keys to lasting relationships include the ability to honestly identify and resolve differences as they arise, and developing a stable model of intimate communication and conflict resolution. Interpersonal differences are not absolute deal breakers. But there are some early signals of relationship failure.
Specifically, here are four early indicators of a relationship headed in the wrong direction. These red flags are the LAST factors: Lies, Abuse, Selfishness, and Temper.
LIES: Even white lies are significant because they establish a dishonest tone and a less intimate character for the relationship going forward. Essential trust becomes fragile.
ABUSE: Physical abuse may seem an obvious deal breaker; but any type of abuse (or even meanness) – verbal, physical, or emotional – signals problems not being addressed that could put you at risk. (Also included in this category are untreated abuse of alcohol and other substances.)
SELFISHNESS: If your new partner fails to consider your needs or respect your opinion, the stage is set for a one-way relationship – and not your way.
TEMPER: Individuals who lack anger management skills also have trouble with emotional expressiveness in general. Intimacy may be unreachable or unstable with this person.
Further into the relationship, you may discover other unacceptable traits or habits, but consider the LAST factors as serious reasons to consider an early exit.