Relationships

8 Signs You’re in a Complicated Relationship and What You Can Do About It

8 Signs You're in a Complicated Relationship and What You Can Do About It
Written by Leslie Blair

While there are many different kinds of relationships, dating and love relationships are hardly as clear cut as they used to be. With so many people refusing commitment and forging ahead in their own definition of a “relationship”, it’s easy for things to get quite complicated. Whether it’s a matter of one person having stronger feelings than the other or both partners being unaware of the other’s expectations, a complicated relationship is unhealthy for everyone involved.

Are You in a Complicated Relationship?

It’s not always easy to recognize when one is in a complicated relationship. While most relationships are never easy, the truth is that even in the most complex situations, most of us refuse to accept that things are more complicated than they should be.

Are you worried that you have a habit of entering into complicated relationships? Are you seeking complicated relationship advice? Read on to discover the telltale signs of these types of relationships and learn tips that will help you build healthier bonds in the future.

1. There are “No Labels”

8 Signs You're in a Complicated Relationship and What You Can Do About It

Today’s relationships often fall between “friends with benefits” and some form of commitment. While many denounce labels like “boyfriend” or “girlfriend”, in most of these “situationships”, there is a lot of intimacy involved.

Though the physical bond is clearly defined, the lack of a definition for every other aspect of the relationship can leave you or the other person on the wrong page.

This type of relationship is incredibly complicated as one person usually falls in love while the other understands that intimacy is pure sex. Though it may hurt to learn the truth if you’d rather avoid complicating your relationship further, be sure to discuss where both of you stand.

2. Your Friends and Family Haven’t Met Them

In a relationship where both people are interested in each other, they are often open with their loved ones about their partners. In such a healthy relationship, both partners often can’t wait to share the news about their love interest with their closest friends and family members.

Alternatively, in complicated relationships, one or both partners may be actively working to keep this information a secret. If these partners never share details about this relationship with those closest to them, this is a sign that they are trying to hide the relationship.

3. There is Never Any PDA

8 Signs You're in a Complicated Relationship and What You Can Do About It

In complicated relationships or friends with benefits situations, there is rarely any PDA. As you both are unsure of where you stand as a couple, it may seem unnatural to share affection in public.

Though this can also be the average behavior for two people that aren’t fond of affection in public, if you or your partner actively ignore one another or act like you don’t know each other in public, this is a sign of a complicated relationship.

In addition to dealing with the awkwardness of not showing affection for each other in public, this type of relationship can damage your self-esteem and confidence.

Furthermore, feeling particularly interested in the other person while they repeatedly ignore you is the mark of an unhealthy and complicated situation. Address this lack of PDA if you’d like to find a way to resolve this issue and grow closer to your partner.

5. The Relationship Began as a Rebound

Wondering why is love so complicated? The best-complicated relationship advice tells us that these complexities don’t happen by accident. In most cases, these relationships begin in a very unhealthy way.

If your new relationship started as a rebound, you can guarantee that your partner has a lot of baggage they need to handle.

In addition to dealing with the mixed emotions of their past relationships, dealing with the emotions and intimacy that comes from getting into a new relationship will leave the partner that is on the rebound reeling.

At the same time, the other partner may expect more from the relationship and will eventually be hurt when they learn that they were only being used to get over a past relationship.

6. They’re Hiding Something from You

8 Signs You're in a Complicated Relationship and What You Can Do About It

We all have our secrets, but being overly secretive is a sign that someone is hiding something. In a complicated relationship, one or both parties will try to keep the relationship a secret.

For example, an individual that is married will always try to keep the presence of the other person they’re dating a secret from everyone. Similarly, they’ll try to hide all aspects of their married life from the person they’re dating.

If you feel as though the person you’re seeing can’t be honest with you or works hard to keep you from seeing certain things, this is a cause for concern. Even if they may not be married, the fact that they can’t be completely honest with you means that your relationship will never be as intimate as it needs to be.

7. They Bring Up Their Exes

We all have pasts and baggage to some degree. However, a partner that constantly brings up their ex is one that is clearly not over the relationship. Oftentimes, when someone constantly refers to their past partners, they are drawing comparisons between their current relationship and their exes.

If exes are always a topic of discussion, this means that the two people in the current relationship can’t move forward with each other. If you’re constantly discussing your past relationships, want to date other people, or your current partner keeps bringing up their ex, this is a clear sign that you both have some baggage that you need to address.

7. They Never Discuss the Future

8 Signs You're in a Complicated Relationship and What You Can Do About It

Healthy relationships are grounded in the present while both partners work together to actively plan for their future. If you or your partner never talk about goals or aspirations, it’s likely that one or both of you don’t foresee a future with each other.

While some people embark on relationships knowing that they’ll be temporary, complicated relationships involve both partners having different visions of the future.

If one person hopes to plan a future of marriage, children, and more while the other sees their current relationship as a fling, this relationship won’t last. If you hope to have a solid relationship with your partner, discuss plans for the future with them. If both of you aren’t on the same page, your relationship already has an expiration date.

8. You’re Not Sure How You Feel

Though some relationships can leave us questioning what we want out of them, the right relationships come with a sense of certainty.

If you’re not sure how you feel about a partner or your relationship with them, you’re already involved in a complicated relationship. If you simply have no idea of what you want or how you feel, the relationship between you both won’t be able to progress.

Tips for Successful Relationships

Even if your relationship is currently complicated it doesn’t have to end that way. If both partners work to improve their communication efforts and get on the same page, they can work past their issues to create a stable environment for their love to flourish. Consider the following tips to start building a successful relationship:

1. Build Trust

Trust is a key component of a healthy relationship. Though it will take time for you and your partner to establish trust with one another, make efforts towards trusting each other more each day.

Practice being open and honest with one another when it comes to any fears, achievements, dreams, or worries. Though it may be difficult to be vulnerable at first, the more you are able to share with one another, the more the trust between you both will grow.

2. Practice Active Listening

Listening is another important aspect of every positive relationship. In order to be in tune with your partner and be sensitive to their wants and needs, it’s essential that you listen.

For many, active listening doesn’t come naturally, but it’s a life-saving part of any relationship.

In addition to hearing your partner out, active listening shows your partner that you truly value them as a person and want to be present with them at all times.

Practice active listening by making a point to engage and ask questions when your partner speaks so they know you’re right there with them.

3. Engage in Intimacy-Building Activities

In a complicated situation, both partners are rarely on the same page and often spend little quality time together outside of the bedroom. Alternatively, part of building a healthy relationship is dependent on building intimacy through quality time.

Start building up this intimacy with your partner by engaging in hobbies together.

Whether you enjoy watching movies, landscaping, painting, or any other activity, asking your partner to do this with you will provide both of you with another way to bond with one another.

As you bond together during these engaging activities, don’t forget to connect in other ways as well. Spend some time asking your partner about their goals, dreams, and anything else that comes to mind as this good help to strengthen the bond between you both.

4. Be Supportive

Complex relationships often involve partners the tare frequently at odds with one another. In this type of relationship, it’s clear that both partners can’t depend on one another for support, regardless of the situation. If you hope to strengthen the bond you share with your significant other and build a healthier relationship, focus on cultivating the support between both of you.

Whether you both are motivating one another in individual projects or helping out from time to time with advice, money, or other forms of support, this is a key part of developing a healthy relationship.

If you’re ready to step into the relationships of your dream, ask yourself, “Why complicate love?” With the right person, you can use these tips and tricks to avoid any unnecessarily complicated situations and focus on growing together as a couple.

8 Signs You're in a Complicated Relationship and What You Can Do About It

About the author

Leslie Blair

I decided to become a Dating and Relationship Coach because of my interest in human relationships and desire to help people experience more fulfilling, authentic relationships with themselves and ultimately others. Creating a healthy intimate relationship is about much more than finding the "perfect" partner. I’ll help you to identify and overcome every obstacle you’re going through in your relationship.

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