As harsh as it may sound, a lot of relationships will never work out.

But that’s not because the couple isn’t meant to be together. It rarely has anything to do with true love and everything to do with the fact that one or both people don’t have the right balance of factors in place from the beginning.

Forget how much you like someone, there’s so much that goes into the success of a relationship that many people never consider, most having more to do with how you live and the person you choose to be in your daily life than your personality.

And so, like so many others, that couple has a period of perfect bliss followed by a widening gap of pleasure to pain and, finally, things tank as the pain becomes unmanageable between both parties because of the absence or one or more of these integral elements.

But what are those things? What are those elements that are so essential to a relationship that it will almost surely fail without them?

Knowing what they are is the first step to making sure you can create the kind of environment where love can blossom and grow well into the future.

We are responsible for our own relationships, their success, their failures, the good times, the bad times. Take responsibility for creating the relationships that you desire.

– Sam Owen

As blunt as it may sound, if you’re dealing with these five things in your daily life, your relationship is likely to fail, so it’s time to make a change.

1. Apathy

Apathy rears itself often in relationships after the shine that new relationship energy brings with it has faded.

When you just don’t care enough to respond to your partner, whether they’ve done something nice for you or just made an effort in general, or they’ve done something you don’t like and you fail to speak up, it’s a bad sign that you’ve become disengaged.

2. Chronic self-indulgence

Every great relationship sees each partner eventually develop a selfless caring for one another. Each person seeks to support the other person and is regularly checking in to see how that person feels.

So, if you’re used to spending very little time for other people in your life, you’ll have a hard time making the relationship last.

If everything you do each day is about you– going out, keeping up with your favorite shows, playing games, etc. you’ll either have to make a massive shift in the way you live your life or accept that your relationship is bound to fail.

3. An anti-social solitude

There’s nothing wrong with solitude at all. In fact, a bit of alone time each day is a good thing.

However, if your solitude is persistent and intentional anti-social behavior, that behavior will eventually inflict pain on your relationship. Relationships are based on communication and interaction and a lack of that makes the entire foundation crumble.

You might think right now that you’d never do that to your partner. However, when the shine of the early relationship wears away, those habits will start to take hold in your relationship too.

The only way to change this is to change your habits. If you don’t, your relationship is likely to fail.

4. Deception and cover-ups

Do you have a habit of throwing out little white lies to cover your ass?

For example, someone I knew for many years would always lie to get off the phone. “Oh, hey Bob, the guys are calling for me to help with something, going to have to call you back.”

They could have just as easily said they needed to go without throwing in the cover-up but they did it anyway out of habit.

It might not seem like a big deal in isolation. However, this kind of behavior spreads like fungus, multiplying and growing until it becomes a persistent part of your personality. This isn’t just wrong– that is, lying consistently to your partner– but it creates problems because you start to forget what is truth and what is a lie.

If you’re used to using deceptive behavior such as this, even if you’ve only ever used it benignly to cover your ass, it will pollute your relationship and may just result in its demise.

5. Unchecked chronic stress

Everyone has stress. It’s a part of life that you can’t escape.

With practice, you can learn to better manage it and even gain control over it. However, it won’t make it magically go away. That stress will still be there to some degree.

But if you experience heavy chronic stress, a stress so intense that it threatens your physical health and sanity, that’s going to place your relationship in real danger.

When one or both people are running around consistently at the end of their fuse, arguments are sparked for the smallest and most insignificant things. And, over time, that wears down on the patience of both people, eventually causing irreparable damage to the relationship.

To combat such chronic stress, take time each day to yourself whether through meditation, journaling, running, or some form of therapeutic activity such as a creative task.