10 Signs Your Partner Could Be Stifling Your Potential

Relationships are fun…when you’re with the right person. When you’re not, you can sometimes feel like you’re being held back by the one you call “your person.” But it’s not always obvious when this is happening. (Or maybe it is, and you just need to get a proverbial slap in the face). In their new action-comedy, AMERICAN ULTRA, Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart are a listless couple grappling with this thought…along with some other explosive issues involving a secret CIA program. In partnership with AMERICAN ULTRA, in theaters August 21st, we bring you ten signs your partner might be stifling your potential.


American Ultra
American Ultra

1. They hate it when you do anything without them.

It’s not so much that you have a stage five clinger (or maybe it is), but that your partner wants to be the center of your attention every second of every day. Whether you’re getting a drink with your friends or need some alone time, they always want to be involved. I mean you love them, but you often find yourself asking them (in your head), “Can I live?”

2. You can’t talk about your work or life achievements without making them feel bad.

Birds of a feather flock together. It’s why Bey and Jay make a great couple. And it’s why it gets super uncomfortable when you’re killing it at work and life and you can’t share it with your partner because you know it’ll make them feel bad. Now there’s a difference between being with someone who’s less successful than they want to be but still motivated, and being with a person whose achievements are uninspiring, if not entirely non-existent.

3. They don’t appreciate your sense of humor.

How did you even get into a relationship with someone who doesn’t appreciate your sense of humor? You are funny. Now, say it to yourself: “I am funny!” If your partner can’t recognize the Dave Chappelle or Sarah Silverman that exists in you, then honestly you have no business being together. There’s nothing worse than having to constantly explain your jokes to someone who doesn’t get it. Okay, there are worse things but come on, humor appreciation is the bee’s knees.

4. They contradict everything you say to play “devil’s advocate.”

You know, a little contrariness is good. But when you can’t get through an afternoon meal without them wondering why you’d use spinach instead of kale for the side dish, and then they go on to talk about how much better kale is than spinach, it’s time to re-think this entire relationship.

5. Your positive choices are an indictment on them. Or so they believe.

So you’ve decided that you want to complete a triathlon or enter a competition that involves turning The Confessions of St. Augustine into a rap song…(I don’t know what you’re into). And what do they do? They make fun of you. They make little snide remarks about the positive life choice you’ve made for yourself, and somehow think you’re doing this to make them look bad. Meanwhile, you’re just all about trying new things and keeping life interesting.

6. They are a sucky travel partner.

Whether it’s road trip just a few hours away or a journey halfway around the world, you’ve learned they are totally that person in more ways than one when it comes to being a tourist. Maybe they get louder at locals who don’t speak the language, thinking said locals will magically understand them, or they simply complain about minor things the entire time. Whatever it is, they cramp your travel style.

7. Their social media posts give you anxiety.

We all know people we love or like (or can barely stand in real life), whose social media presence leaves much to be desired. And it’s an awful, awful thing when that person happens to be the same one you’re dating. Whether it’s constant posting or incessant bitterness or a pretentious #soblessed image they’re portraying, you know that your entire friend group is judging you hard because of your partner’s digital life.

8. Their goal in life is to one-up you.

On the opposite spectrum of “the person you can’t share details of your life with” is the one who always has a much better detail about their life to share with you. Usually right after you’ve shared yours. Not only is this exhausting to deal with regularly, you’ll probably find yourself wanting to impress them, and probably never winning. Your partner should be your motivator, and you theirs – not each other’s competition.

9. They don’t read (anything). And they’re proud of it.

I personally don’t understand what it means when someone says, “I don’t read.” Like, what does that really mean? You hate books, magazines, and the Internet? Either way, if you’re in a relationship with someone and they don’t read, your future (and your potential children’s future) is going to be pretty bleak. Sure, not everyone needs to have read Dante’s Inferno, but being proud of not engaging in a knowledge-enhancing activity that people have been doing for centuries is a bit weird.

10. Everyone tells you how happy you are when they’re not around.

Now I don’t mean to get all deep and cliché here but sometimes, 2 + 2 = 4. What do I mean by this? I mean there are facts in life. And sometimes the fact of the matter is that if everyone can see how much happier you are when your partner is not around you, it’s not because they “just don’t get your relationship.” It’s because they think you’re too wonderful and spectacular to not be with someone who brings out the very best in you, and somehow, makes you want to be even better. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

This Post Brought To You By The New Action-Comedy, American Ultra, Now Playing In Theaters.


About the author

Kovie Biakolo

Former Senior Writer & Cultural Advocate at Thought Catalog • Buy Conversations for Smart People • Connect on Twitter, Facebook, & Instagram