Home  >  My Life  >  Relationships

20 Relationship Problems that Push a Couple Apart or Bring Them Closer

Just because you are in a romantic partnership doesn’t mean that you won’t encounter relationship problems. Here are the most common issues you could face.

relationship problems

Relationships are one of the first things that all of us take for granted. We don’t want to take it for granted. But yet, we forget how much something really matters to us when we don’t stand to lose it. That leads to a lot of relationship problems.

Unfortunately, it usually takes losing something to realize its importance and value.

Wondering what the big problems in a relationship are, and what you can do to overcome them?

[Read: 30 must-know relationship rules for successful love]

20 common problems in a relationship all of us experience often

Depending on the kind of relationship you share with your partner, the problems in a relationship too could be just as unique.

But almost always, all problems in a relationship find their place in these big areas.

At some point or the other, these problems have a way of creeping into your romance.

Keep an eye on these issues, and understand how to overcome them, and you’ll see how easy it can be to eliminate all the frustrations you experience in a relationship.

Remember this, you can’t stop problems from cropping up in a relationship no matter how perfect the relationship is. What you can do instead, is eliminate the frustration as soon as you notice them. [Read: How to fix a relationship that’s falling apart and rebuild it again]

1. Lack of communication

At the start of the relationship, conversations are exciting and fun. Both of you spend a lot of time getting to know each other. But as time goes by, lovers forget to ask the same questions again.

We’re all changing all the time, in our preferences and the way we look at life. Don’t assume you know everything about each other or your romance will start to stagnate, or one of you will start to confide in some other person who seems more understanding. [Read: Things You must talk about often in a perfect relationship]

2. Trust

Do you really trust your partner? There are two kinds of trust in a relationship. Firstly, do you trust your partner enough to feel comfortable with them going out for dinner with someone else? If you don’t, perhaps, you’re insecure or your relationship is still too fragile.

And secondly, do you trust your partner’s decisions? Do you think your partner is capable of making important decisions for both of you? If you can’t trust your partner with life-altering decisions, it’s obvious that you don’t respect your partner or their opinions. And that’s never a good sign in a long-term relationship. [Read: How to build trust in a relationship and learn to be loyal and loving]

3. Jealousy and insecurity

Insecure couples are forever locked in a cycle of jealousy and anger. When you feel jealous about the attention your lover’s getting or their recent promotion, you’re not helping them become a better individual. It’s like a parent who’s angry with their child because the child is having “too much fun.”

You need to learn to have faith in each other and in the relationship. Instead of letting negativity build inside the relationship, learn to enjoy each other’s successes.

After all, your partner is your better half, and any accomplishments of theirs are your accomplishments too, isn’t it? [Read: How to handle insecurity and jealousy in a relationship]

4. Incompatibility in love

Love at first sight and infatuation can last several months. And it does a good job of masking any differences in a relationship. As perfect as two people may be, sometimes, they may just not be perfect for each other.

If you find yourself dating someone with whom you have nothing in common, you need to decide on the next step. Try to find common interests that both of you like, or walk your own paths instead of living in frustrations. [Read: New relationship advice for perfect romance]

5. Loss of sex drive

This isn’t rocket science. Over time, both of you are bound to lose the sexual urge of the first few months or years of a relationship. While both of you may have a hard time keeping your hands off each other, to begin with, now sex may start to feel like a chore.

This is a very common problem in relationships, and yet, it’s one of the easy ones to solve. Always look for new ways to recreate the sexual high of the first few times, and before you know it, both of you may go at it all over again like frisky bunnies. [Read: Top 50 kinky ideas to make sex more exciting]

6. Ka-ching! 

Anyone in a relationship for long enough will know just how important money or the lack of it really is. If your friends earn a lot more than you or your partner, it’ll end up frustrating both of you. And on the other hand, if both of you earn a lot more than your friends, there’ll be a lot of love and happiness in your lives!

It’s a stupid fact of life. But our own happiness is extremely dependent on the way others perceive us.

If you’re having difficulties in your relationship because of money, perhaps it’s time to change your friends and see the difference. [Read: The shocking truth behind why we lose friends]

7. Change in priorities

You may be in a relationship, but that doesn’t change who you are. And that’s where the problem starts. As individuals, we evolve and change all the time. You’re not the person you were last year, and you won’t be the person you are now next year.

And just like you, your partner too is changing constantly. And every now and then, you and your partner may experience changes that will pull both of you apart from each other. 

And soon enough, both of you may have nothing in common. Spend enough time with each other and try to evolve together in a similar direction. Talk about your beliefs and your interests with each other and it’ll help both of you grow together along the same path. [Read: The 80/20 rule in relationships and why it’s so important for a healthy love life]

8. Time

Do both of you have enough time to spend with each other? These days, time is a luxury that most lovers can’t afford. When you start spending too much time away from each other, it’s only a matter of time before one of you starts asking the big question, “Do I need my partner in my life anymore?”

Don’t drift away so far that both of you don’t need to be with each other anymore. Find ways to indulge in exciting hobbies or spend evenings going out on little coffee or ice cream dates. They make for great conversations and it’ll bring both of you closer too.

9. Space and individual growth

Now, this is contradictory to the earlier problem in relationships. But it’s still something to watch out for. Too much of a good thing can turn out to be bad too.

When you’re in a relationship, spending time with each other is very important. But at the same time, spending time away from each other is crucial too.

By spending too much time together, you’d subconsciously feel isolated from the rest of the world. And when that happens, you’d crave any attention from other interesting people just to feel better about yourself and your ability to communicate. And you know what could happen when that happens, right? [Read: Smothered in a relationship – 37 signs and ways to stop feeling suffocated]

10. Falling out of love 

This is the biggest problem in a relationship and one that’s hardest to overcome. Falling in love is easy. Staying in love isn’t.

Love is a delicate balance between dependency and passion. How much do you need your partner? How much do you love and want your partner? [Read: Real signs that reveal if you’re not in love anymore]

When the sexual excitement and the enthusiasm fade away, what do you have to hold both of you together?

A relationship should never be based on sex alone. It needs compatibility and understanding, and it definitely needs dependability. Staying in love forever is not easy, but with a little effort, it can give meaning to your life. [Read: How to stay in love forever]

11. Too much fighting

Whenever two people are in a relationship, there will be differences of opinions and overall disagreements. It’s normal – and even natural. So, having conflict is not a signal of relationship problems in and of itself. Instead, it’s how you work through your problems that really matter.

So, if you are always yelling, screaming, and name-calling when you fight, then that is toxic. Instead, you need to learn to be calm and rational and work through your problems as a team. Don’t see each other as enemies, but rather as a partnership that is working together so both of you are mutually happy. [Read: How to stop fighting in a relationship and 16 steps to really talk]

12. Avoidance of problems

On the flip side of too much fighting, you have the avoidance of fighting – and relationship problems in general. Some people hate conflict, which is understandable. No one really likes it. But when you hate conflict so much that you completely avoid your relationship issues, then that is not healthy.

If you avoid your relationship problems too long, they will just pile up through the years. Eventually, that pile becomes so huge that it’s nearly impossible to sort through all of it and move past it.

So, you need to address your issues as they arise – not avoid them. But as we just said, you both have to be calm, rational, and work together toward a resolution.

13. Lack of emotional intimacy

When most people hear the word “intimacy,” they usually think of sexual intimacy. And yes, that is a type of intimacy that is very important. But equally important is emotional connection.

A lot of couples drift apart, and as a result, their emotional intimacy wanes too. [Read: Emotional connection – 38 signs, secrets, and ways to build a real bond]

So, you have to work hard to maintain the emotional bond that you developed at the beginning of the relationship. That means having meaningful conversations, spending time together, and talking about your feelings. You can’t just run and hide from your partner and expect to stay connected to them.

14. Selfishness

Everyone is a little selfish from time to time. And to an extent, that’s okay – as long as it doesn’t negatively affect the other person. But when someone is so selfish that it costs the other person their happiness, then you have a big relationship problem.

So, you have to put your partner’s needs at least equal to – if not before – your own needs. If you don’t, then your partner will eventually get resentful. You see, being a “taker” is not healthy. And only being a “giver” isn’t healthy either. [Read: Selfishness in relationships – 15 tips to do the right thing]

15. Lack of empathy

When people are too selfish, they also lack empathy for their partners. Empathy is the ability to put yourself into another person’s shoes and look at a situation from their perspective – not just your own.

When you lack empathy, you have extreme selfishness. So, you have to be able to set your ego aside and try to understand what your partner is seeing, thinking, and feeling.

16. Listening

People think that listening merely means that you sit, look at the speaker, and don’t do anything else. But real listening is called active listening. You can’t just sit and stare at the TV and be a good listener. [Read: 19 genuine ways to be a better listener in a relationship]

Instead, you have to pay attention, respond, paraphrase, and show them that you are listening to what they are saying. You also need to ask questions and try to understand how they are feeling. A lot of couples lack good listening skills, which is another one of the big relationship problems.

17. Different core values

You might think that you are similar at the beginning of a relationship. It seems like you have the same personalities and you like to do the same things. Well, that’s a good start, but it won’t sustain the relationship very long.

So, you have to have matching core values. In other words, you have to have the same world views on topics such as religion, politics, work ethic, and things like that. If you don’t, it will be very difficult to have a healthy, long-term relationship. [Read: What does being compatible in a relationship mean?]

18. Personality differences

They always say that opposites attract… but do they really? Sure, they might for a while. Opposites can complement each other in good ways. But ultimately, they may lead to relationship problems.

If you’re an extrovert and always want to go out and do things, but your partner is an introvert and prefers to be a homebody, then that is not going to be very good for the two of you in the long run.

19. Resentment

Resentment is a powerful negative emotion that can really damage relationships. It can build over time and be toxic. Where does it come from? Well, there are many ways it can be created. [Read: Resentment in marriage – 33 causes, subtle signs, and how to get rid of it]

Whenever a partner betrays the other, that will create resentment. It could be betrayal from cheating, lying, selfishness, or any other negative behavior. When resentment creeps in, that is one of the biggest relationship problems of all.

20. Abuse

Abuse of any kind is unacceptable. Usually, people think of physical abuse when they hear that word. But there is also emotional and mental abuse too, which is just as damaging.

Obviously, if someone hits you, strangles you, or does any other bodily harm to you, that is physical abuse. But name-calling, demeaning, gaslighting, and criticizing are mental and emotional abuse. Any of these kinds should be grounds for immediate termination of any relationship. [Read: 21 big signs of emotional abuse you may be overlooking already]

How to solve your relationship problems without breaking up

Yes, these are all some pretty big relationship problems. So, you might be thinking, “how do I resolve relationship problems without breaking up?”

First, it depends on the size of the issue. As we just said, abuse is a deal-breaker. But if it’s something a little more minor such as not working through conflict effectively, you can learn to do that if you try.

But the bottom line is this – BOTH people have to work together to fix the problem. It can’t be one-sided or it will never work. But if you both have committed to creating a healthier relationship, it can be done.

[Read: What to look for in a relationship? 23 traits of a happy romance]

Relationship problems can come and go. But if you ever come face to face with these 20 big problems in romance, don’t overlook them. It could cost you the relationship itself!

Liked what you just read? Follow us on Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest and we promise, we’ll be your lucky charm to a beautiful love life.

Alison Ricard
Alison Ricard loves sunshine, good books and contagious laughter. And when she isn’t writing, you’ll find her sitting in a café, people watching and commun...
Follow Alison on