7 Common Reasons Relationships Fail And Precisely What To Do About It

Critical info.

Last updated on Nov 07, 2022

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Hollywood sells movies that give you the notion you can look in another person in the eye and know you can live happily ever after.

I fully believe in love at first sight. However, love is not enough. Healthy people take their time when they fall in love. However, they know these interactions do not tell them much about the type of love they want for the rest of their lives.

The type of romance that will be in their lives long after their brains and bodies become familiar with each other is much more dynamic and exciting. It is based on an ever deeper understanding of their partner. It is tremendously exciting to feel known — inside and out — by someone. This is true passion.


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If you cannot say "No" to a person who is not right for you, the following may be why your relationships fail.

7 Common reasons why relationships fail

1. You mix up two biological processes.

Your genetic instructions have you searching for a partner. However, you also have genetic instructions to reproduce. Humans are highly complex beings.


When you are first getting acquainted with someone you are attracted to in both ways, as explained by Louann Brizendine in her book The Female Brain, "The being-in-love circuits… The amygdala — the brain’s fear alert system — and the anterior cingulate — the brain’s worrying and critical thinking system — are turned way down when the love circuits are running full blast."

Not knowing how to say no when you are in danger is a relationship killer.

2. You confuse your true desires with wishful thinking.

Doing this brings movement toward expected pleasure and away from non-pleasure (or pain). You can confuse your true desires with the desire to follow the impulses of your wishful thinking. Any awareness of problems gets steamrolled under the belief you will be living happily ever after.

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3. You have too clear of a sense of what you want to feel with a partner.

You may know that your current partner does not fit all of what you want in your ideal mate. This is where you need to know what you don’t know about them. You do not know if they will change and get better. If they do change, you can start to trust them then.

The most important skill a healthy person should put to use while in a relationship is to build trust slowly based on what they truly feel for someone.

4. You disregard long-term signs of danger because you're too caught up in it.

The more important the thing is, the more we attempt to come to conclusions, the more we realize what we don’t really know. In a bad relationship, we do this by disregarding signals of danger.

We choose short term pleasure and blindly expect it to last. It is automatic for your brain to predict the future and feel as if you are certain.


When you are predicting the future and wishful thinking, you will easily rush the process of getting to know someone and be blind to dangers.

The good news is, we are also wired to want long term pleasure, comfort, and passion. It takes about six months for your body/brain to be done with its fevered state of falling-in-love without attention to being afraid.

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5. You make emotional decisions about your future.

This includes how you see your partner. Jaak Pankseep talks of instinctive impulses in his book The Archeology of The Mind stating, "The primary-process emotional feelings are raw affects that automatically make important decisions for us, at times unwise decisions."


When making decisions about your future using these limited influences, you are bound to keep making the same mistakes over and over again.

6. You want to be independent and dependent at the same time.

Humans have an unresolvable tension between a desire to be independent and a desire to be dependent. Both must coexist if you want to experience closeness with another. Empathy and intimacy are experienced only in a shared moment.

The real struggle is to risk being dependent at the same time as asserting who you are to your partner. This only happens when you are aware of yourself and aware of the other person.

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7. You're not aware of possible relationship dangers.

In a psychological sense, it is very challenging to accept that you don’t know possible dangers. You have to feel secure within yourself first, then you are able to take the time to get to know another person enough to trust them. The more insecure you are, the more you feel bad when important emotional things are unknown.

If you sense something dangerous or unhealthy about the person you are dating, it could either get better or worse. Don't try to change it! Wait and see. If it gets worse, gracefully pull away from that person. The quality of this separation will determine the amount of fear you start with in your next involvement.

The first six months is not the time to gamble. After your brain and body have calmed down, you will be better equipped to notice things that will bother you. Weigh the rest of your life against a few months of having fun.


Act as if you know what you want.

Say "No" to the person who is not right for you. It takes courage and patience to begin a relationship. The true spice of intimacy is becoming different at your core as you share with your partner.

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Bill Maier is a psychotherapist, specializing in treating depression, PTSD, trauma, and addiction. He has helped thousands find their way to freedom from damaging habits.