9 signs of incompatibility in a relationship, according to psychology

Should I stay or should I go? A phrase that has probably crossed everyone’s mind at some point when it comes to the relationship they are in!

Maybe you’ve just started dating, or maybe you’ve been dating for a long time. Either way, it makes you wonder how compatible the two of you really are.

This is a difficult realization to reach. I know, I’ve been there! But it’s something you should know sooner rather than later.

Things change and people change. And sometimes someone just isn’t right for you, no matter how well you get along.

If you two are incompatible, there are classic signs according to psychology. Starting with the next 9:

1) They make you anxious

First, your partner shouldn’t make you worry. This is something I should have learned much sooner in relationships!

If you anxious attachment style certain people (also called avoiders) will trigger your fears to no end.

Unless you’ve found a rare, good egg, they won’t want to work with you to give you the reassurance you need…

Having butterflies when you talk to them on the phone, worrying about what they will think of you when you send that text message, and worrying about whether they still like you is not a sign of compatibility.

In any case, it is a sign of incompatibility!

2) You don’t enjoy each other’s company

It may sound crazy to have this on the list, but it really needs to be here!

I can’t tell you how many friends I have who complain about their partner like they hate him. They can’t stand being in their home. Any excuse to leave the house or not invite their partner, they are ready for it.

On double dates, they don’t want to talk to each other all night. If they do, it is only to criticize each other. And not in a funny way…

I even admit that I once did this myself in a relationship! Right before it ended, I purposely made plans most Saturdays so we could have some time apart.

When you reach this point, it’s a sad truth that you are no longer compatible. Your relationship is over and it’s probably time to let things go.

3) You have no shared interests

Have different interests is a good thing in a relationship. It’s good to have something of your own that you can enjoy without your partner. That way you have your own time and talk to them about it later.

Goal experts also say that it is important to have shared interests. Otherwise, you may find it difficult to connect or jump over the little things. You may even find it difficult to have real quality time together.

I was once in a relationship where we didn’t have the same interests – not one! Even though we got along well and did things that the other enjoyed, in the long run this put a strain on things.

We both knew that we were doing the other a favor when we did things that the other liked. And it made the quality time we spent together just a little less enjoyable…

Looking back, this was a pretty clear sign of our incompatibility. I wish I had noticed it sooner!

4) You take different paths in life

When I first started dating an ex, we wanted the same things. A few years later, our views have completely changed.

I wanted to get a new cat, go for walks on Sunday mornings, take care of my health, and plan for a family soon. He wanted to work longer hours, go to the pub most evenings and drink until the early hours every weekend.

In short, we started down two very different paths in life.

When two people walk different paths in this way, it can be difficult to find common ground. And it’s probably one of the biggest signs that you’re no longer compatible.

5) You have drastically different worldviews

Ever heard the saying, “Opposites attract”? Good, experts say that this is not entirely true.

It is completely normal to have different opinions and views in a relationship. And you don’t have to break up just because you disagree on some things.

However, it is important to be on the same page about most things. Otherwise, your relationship probably won’t last that long.

Suppose you have different political views. It may be difficult, but you can probably do something about it.

But suppose you have different ideas about how you want to raise your children. Or what religion you want to follow. Or which country you want to live in. These views are more difficult to process. They may even be impossible.

And of course, if you’re constantly arguing about your different views of the world, it can make you both feel misunderstood. Which isn’t a sign that you’re compatible…

6) You want different things

Years ago I read a book about dating. He was talking about a woman who had 21 questions to ask on a first date. As you can imagine, it included things like their views on children, marriage, living together and even sexual preferences.

At first I thought this was crazy. Until I entered the world of dating and realized it was actually quite smart!

Why? Because in a relationship you have to want the same things when things are going well.

If you want children one day and they don’t, then you are not compatible. The same rule applies if you want to get married one day and she doesn’t – and everything else that’s that important.

Unless you’re both willing to (thankfully!) sacrifice certain things, the relationship probably won’t last. At some point these differences will tear you apart.

7) You don’t feel happy when they are happy

Jealousy has its charms, but also its disadvantages. I stand by the fact that a little jealousy is good in a relationship.

I like it when my partner gets a little jealous, and he likes it when I do that too. It shows that we both care deeply about each other and love each other. But too much jealousy and you’re in trouble!

You’ll know if your relationship has too much jealousy when you find yourself jealous of their lives, instead of their relationships. Let me explain.

If you get jealous when your boyfriend tells you where he got his ex from, this can be considered quite normal. But if you get jealous of them when they get a promotion, go out for a night with their friends, or visit their family, this isn’t so good.

Why? Because it means you get jealous of their happiness – and you don’t like it when they’re happy and you’re not!

While if you are compatible, just seeing a smile can put you in a good mood. Let alone seeing how happy a round of golf or time with their family has made them…

8) You don’t share or understand each other’s love language

Everyone has different love languages. And just because you have different ways of showing and accepting love doesn’t mean you’re incompatible.

What makes you incompatible is if you don’t understand the other person’s love language or try to make the relationship work around them.

Suppose your love language is physical touch. You like to sit close to them on the couch when you watch a movie. You enjoy spooning in bed at night. And you love nothing more than to hold their hand when you’re on the road!

But your partner likes his own space. They don’t want you touching them all the time. They prefer to show their love by making you hot drinks, covering you, or fixing your car when something goes wrong (i.e., they have “acts of service” as their love language).

If you are compatible, you will both understand that you enjoy different things. So you sometimes let them do things for you. And you will understand that if sometimes they don’t want to sit with you, it doesn’t mean they don’t love you.

Likewise, they will understand that touching them is your way of showing love. It’s not just something you do to annoy or bother them…

If you don’t understand these things and can’t get over them, you’re probably not very compatible.

9) You can’t talk to them about the “deep stuff”

The most important thing in a relationship is that you feel loved, accepted and seen for who you are. The only way to achieve this is through good, healthy, honest and open communication.

Your partner should make you feel safe: safe to open up to him or her, safe to talk about your insecurities, safe to discuss your interests, and safe to be 100% yourself.

If you don’t feel this way about your partner – or if they don’t feel this way about you – this is not good news. And psychology says you might not be right for each other!

Final thoughts

Facing the truth about your relationship or situation is never easy. Believe me, I know! I was holding on to a relationship where we weren’t compatible for far too long.

It’s especially difficult if you’ve been together for a long time and you’ve only just noticed that you’ve grown apart.

Either way, if you recognize any of these signs in your relationship, it’s probably not making you very happy. And maybe you already know that…

So maybe it’s time to work on your problems together, or discover what is really meant for you…

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