We invest in a lot of things throughout our lifetime, college, work, friendships…


However, of all those significant time investments, intimate relationships are arguably the most catastrophic to the rest of our life. That is, if the relationship goes on and on only to find out, eventually… it’s just not going anywhere.

Tears shed, time lost, and effort wasted in the name of a love that just isn’t working out.

It’s tough to accept and can be even tougher to do what’s necessary to get out, however, it’s necessary if you want to be happy and continue progressing through life.

So, if you have a hunch, a nagging feeling which just won’t leave you alone that your relationship is at a dead-end, you need to start looking for the signs now.

I believe that often people even stay in bad relationships longer than they should because the fear of the pain of dating is scarier than the pain of a bad relationship!

– Karen Salmansohn

Here are five signs you’re in a dead-end relationship.

1. They’re not a part of your future

Sometimes, it’s you. And other times, it’s them. This first one is all about knowing yourself because it has to do with how you feel about the relationship and not necessarily anything about them specifically.

If you’re a goal oriented person, you’ve probably spent considerable time thinking of what your future could look like. If you imagine your muse as part of that vision, the two of you backpacking through Europe or lounging on a beach somewhere, that’s a good sign.

However, if your partner is nowhere to be seen — in fact, you kind of prefer it that way, however guilty that makes you feel — that’s a strong sign you don’t have any desire to move forward with the other person.

2. You’re always trying to change or “fix” your partner


One way we express incompatibility in a relationship is by trying to “fix” the other person.

Do you think your partner needs to get a different job? Follow a different career path? Do you wish they were more outgoing or less of a sports fan and more into what you like?

Anytime you feel you need to change the other person for the sake of your happiness is a sign that the relationship is at a complete dead-end. You’re not compatible, no matter how you slice it, and you should probably move on.

(Side note: It could just be you perpetuating your desires and insecurities off onto another, however, if that’s the case, it probably wasn’t a fit in the first place anyway.)

3. There’s no trust

Trust is one of the single most important elements in every strong, healthy relationship.

There can be a lot of reasons people don’t trust each other, from either person’s past to questionable things that happened within that very relationship.

Regardless of the reason for the lack of it, a relationship without trust is a relationship that’s going nowhere and will continue to sit idly until it’s built.

So, if you don’t trust your partner, or neither of you trusts each other (ouch), that’s a sign it’s just not going to work out.

4. You’ve been together a while and your partner is reluctant to commit

Growth in a relationship is about the development, the strengthening, of the bond between two people.

However, there are corresponding events which symbolize that growth: moving in with one another, getting married, having children, etc., all of which are important in their own way.

If your partner is showing a reluctance to commit and move forward to the next stage, that’s one of clearest signs you’re in a dead-end relationship. Not every relationship needs marriage or kids but both people should be fully committed to moving forward together in some way, however you define that.

5. They’re not playing their part


Sometimes, we fall in love with people who don’t quite have their crap together.

This happens for a lot of reasons, especially to the more patient of us, but it rarely ends well.

Once you’ve fallen hard enough for a person, you’re very likely to create excuses for their behavior.

The faith we can develop for people we care about is astonishing but not always the best thing when in an intimate relationship. In fact, it can border on delusion in the worst cases.

If your partner is consistently letting you down, or they’re just not getting their stuff together time and time again, it’s important to look carefully at how you’re acting. If you’re being unrealistically forgiving and sticking around because you have some shot-in-the-dark hope they’ll change, you’re probably in a dead-end relationship.

Don’t ever settle just because you’re afraid of what’s on the other side of singledom. What’s best for you is always positivity and being around people who love and appreciate you. Sometimes, that’s easier said than done (and, sometimes, that’s being by yourself for a while). But it’s always true.