1. Always being the person who initiates everything. It sounds like common sense that if the other person isn’t ever putting in the effort to see you, the relationship is being forced and one-sided, but sometimes the most basic things need to be reiterated. Just as you want to see them, they should want to at least indicate that they’d like to see you — and if they’re just so chill that they don’t mind it either way, there’s a problem. There’s nothing inherently bad with wanting to be wanted, so long as that desire is mutual.
2. Feeling like you’re being guilted into everything. Conversely, if you feel like you’re being smothered or like you don’t have any breathing room of your own, that’s only going to breed a lot of resentment. Here’s the thing, though: unless you talk to the other person about your need for alone time, chances are they’re never going to figure it out. Moreover, it’s only going to make you feel more and more suffocated every time they ask to do something. Take the reins and also suggest some things; if that doesn’t chill them out so that they understand that a relationship is a give and take, then maybe it’s time to talk more explicitly about how much alone time you require.
3. More baggage than you can handle. In an ideal world, yes, a relationship means that you’re helping someone with their #stuff, and they’re doing the same with yours. You are not, however, obligated to take on something that might completely derail your life in the attempt to help them with theirs. It sucks to admit this sometimes, and while the person you’re with might genuinely not be trying to pull you under with them, sometimes you need to cut yourself free so that you both can learn to swim — and hopefully, find your way back together once they (and you) are stronger.
4. Someone who pushes you to completely change yourself. The best relationships will help you grow. Hell, living a good life, coupled or single, will be catalyst enough to want to make positive changes about yourself. But if someone keeps hinting that they’d love you more if you lost 10 pounds, if you changed how you dressed, if you became a vegetarian (or stopped being one) or anything, then that’s not the kind of love you need. You shouldn’t have to augment huge parts of what makes you you to earn someone’s love. It’s hard sometimes to tell them that if they want something so badly, they ought to find it in someone else, but no one should make you feel less than for not aligning perfectly with their personal idea of a soulmate.
5. Someone who’s ashamed of you. Maybe they’re shy and just like to keep their personal life off of social media — that’s perfectly fine. We live in a world where we’re programmed to share every last microscopic minute of our lives with total strangers; sometimes we need to be reminded that it’s okay to keep some stuff to yourself. But if they never invite you to meet their friends (or to meet yours), if they never want to go anywhere with you, or if they just generally want to keep your personal life so private that you have absolutely no proof that it exists, that’s not a relationship.
6. Giving up what you want out of life. Look, relationships involve a fair amount of compromise. And as you grow — both as your own person and as a couple — chances are that your goals, aspirations, and dreams are going to grow and change, too. (Or maybe you only become more firmly rooted in them, and that’s okay, too.) And while it’s tough to call a relationship off because you want kids and they don’t, or they want to get married and you aren’t the getting-married type, or their job would require a big move and you don’t want to give your job up for that, sometimes that’s the way things pan out. But the fact of the matter is, someone who loves you will love you for all of those things that give you drive, and forcing you to compromise who you are isn’t loving all of you. And settling for someone who loves less of you than you can offer is only selling yourself short — and keeping you from the kind of love and life you deserve.