The Anatomy of Love: 4 Signs that you’re in the Wrong Relationship

Relationships are complicated, and even the best ones require a great deal of compromise and negotiation. Having conflict is not, on its own, a reason to end a relationship that is otherwise healthy. Wrong relationships are different. They are overwhelmed with issues that feel too big to fix. At The Anatomy of Love, we believe that not every relationship is meant to last, and that it is always better to be alone than to stick with the wrong partner. Here are 4 signs that your relationship is wrong for you.

  1. You want to change yourself

In general, a good relationship makes you feel happy, content, and self-assured. In a bad relationship, many people’s instinct is to try to fix the problem by becoming someone else. If you feel insecure, overly needy, unusually distant, or like there is something wrong with you, your relationship might to be to blame.

Of course, every relationship ebbs and flows. People in healthy relationships are often eager to smooth out the rough edges and become the best version of themselves that they can be, while people in unhealthy relationships sometimes feel supported in a particular aspect of their personality. To decide what is really going on, look at overall trends. Do you generally feel better or worse about yourself than you did before the relationship began? Do you feel that your partner genuinely cares for you as a person, or do you feel like a fix-it project?

  1. You want to change your partner

Some people are in love with the idea of being in love, and create an idealised image of their partner that is far from the reality. If this applies in your life, you might actively try to fix that person, to mold him or her into your ideal. Or you might downplay serious behaviour flaws in your mind, justifying them as minor quirks in an otherwise perfect partner.

It is normal for even the healthiest couples to wish they could change certain things about each other. However, these are generally small but annoying behaviours such as leaving the toilet seat up or not loading the dishwasher. When you are with the right partner, that person’s overall personality, belief system, and ways of dealing with the world feel right. You are proud of your partner and genuinely happy to share your life with the person he or she is. If you are with the wrong partner, however, you might constantly feel like you need to apologise for him or her. You probably spend a lot of time feeling irritated or sad, and wish that things were different.

  1. Your loved ones don’t approve

In general, our friends and family want us to be happy. They accept our partners readily, even if they don’t fully agree with our choices. If you are in a good relationship, your loved ones will see the happiness it brings, and will support your decision to work through issues that arise.

If you are with the wrong partner, your friends and family will know it. They will see the effects of the relationship on your happiness and self-esteem, and will make their feelings known. Taking one person’s advice can be dicey, as everyone looks at life through the lens of their own experiences. If several people from different backgrounds are all telling you the same thing, however, you might want to listen to what they have to say.

  1. You wonder if the relationship is wrong

In love, as in much of life, your gut instinct is generally correct. Everyone has moments of doubt, even in the most solid relationships. When you are with the wrong partner, though, your gut brain is working overtime. You might find yourself mulling over the relationship during quiet moments, even when things are going well on the surface. You might think about past partners or wonder what it would be like to date a friend. When doubts surface, take a moment to analyse them and note them for future reference. Passing thoughts are normal, but if the same issues arise again and again in your mind, it is worth paying attention to them. You might come to realise that the relationship is no longer healthy.

Looking for verifiable information on the science of attraction and relationships? We’re a neuroscientist and a biological anthropologist eager to help you put The Anatomy of Love to work in your own life.


Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.