The start of a new relationship can be overwhelming in numerous ways, but one thing that causes early relationship problems is putting on airs. Each person is on their best behavior, trying to make the best impression with every date instead of being authentic.
It disallows the other person to learn natural moods and habits. When these start to seep out, it can prove eye-opening to the other person, ultimately leading to struggles in the partnership and sometimes being a deal-breaker for one or the other.
Should you expect to have problems early in a relationship
Asking if it’s natural to have early relationship problems is tricky because it depends on the people, their level of communication, and how much they allow themselves to be genuine with the other person.
In essence, it shouldn’t be a “normal” occurrence to have many problems early on. If you experience this level of issues early, those are red flags that the things bothering you now might become significant for you later.
None of us are perfect, nor will we exactly be the same on every level.
Some character flaws, on the other hand, will be natural and acceptable. But if there are behaviors, perhaps a little lie here or an indiscretion there, it’s essential to consider that on a grander scale as the relationship progresses.
Is that an ongoing problem you want to work through continually, or does that constitute a deal-breaker? Something to consider.
20 early relationship problems that can get worse over time
Problems early in a relationship are something each person either wants to work through or decides to cut their losses and move on. Really, it depends on the nature of the issues and the level of “like” already developing.
Small “challenges” like perhaps your mate seeing another person when you believe the relationship is exclusive can be a sign of future indiscretions or miscommunications that are not worth the partnership progressing any further.
Let’s look at some new relationship issues that could lead to walking away from the other person.
A miscommunication, not even as serious as whether you’re exclusive, but something as simple as what time you’ll meet for dinner, can be an indication that instead of talking things through, you’ll be that couple that bickers.
Misunderstandings develop over time, causing bickering sessions to turn into arguments and fighting without resolutions but instead creating distance and withdrawal from each other.
When you start a new relationship, it’s usually the priority to nurture and develop the connection. When life is a persistent inconvenience, it means one or both of you were not necessarily ready to get involved, and that can happen.
Unexpected encounters with another person occur all the time. But when they do, it’s essential to allow it to flourish- placing it first over the chaos.
When the two of you notice you put the union on the back burner, it’s time to make a conscious effort with reprioritizing the other person regardless of your day-to-day situation to battle the new relationship struggles.
If you or your partner expects that there will be fine wine and dining for every dinner date, but neither of you can afford that lifestyle, it foreshadows what could be a long-term concern unless you sit down and work together to set financial goals complete with budgets leading to a much brighter monetary future.
Problem 4: Trust is critical from the very beginning
Every relationship has problems, but when you first connect, you don’t want to go in with the idea that you can’t trust the other person. If this is baggage from a past relationship, that’s unfair and self-defeating for any new partnership.
If your new partner made a promise and then lied to get out of it, that will create mistrust early on. That’s tough to get back. In an effort to do so, there needs to be much transparency and commitment in keeping your word moving forward.
Problem 5: You can readjust goals at a moment’s notice
Perhaps in the first few weeks of dating, your life goals appear to be similar, but a profound life circumstance changes your perspective on where you see yourself in the future or maybe your mate’s.
The change is not in keeping with what the two of you discussed. In this situation, you can find a way to get your partner to see things from your point of view, or the partnership won’t be possible.
These are the kinds of issues in relationships that are difficult to overcome. Often differences in life goals are deal-breakers.
Problem 6: A kind word here or there
New relationship problems can include a lack of manners in numerous ways. Pleasantries like telling someone they look nice or saying thank you, or expressing how much you appreciate something they’ve done wane after a few dates.
It shouldn’t—unfortunately, comfortability and taking a partner for granted set in quickly. If you notice this early on, say something, but also make sure to lead by example. Be the first to tell your mate these things often.
Problem 7: Notice continued bad behaviors with a new relationship
You’ll know you have early relationship difficulties if your mate is continuously on their phone when you’re together. That’s incredibly rude behavior for anyone when they’re with other people for any reason, let alone being on a date or in the early stages of a partnership.
The focus should be on time spent with each other since free time is precious with the world’s hectic pace. When this happens at the start of a partnership, it won’t get better with time. It needs to be addressed and stopped to strengthen your union ultimately.
Problem 8: There is a lack of sexual compatibility
Some of the more sensitive early relationship problems include a mismatch with intimacy.
Your libido can become exceptionally unpredictable as age progresses. With the immense stress and hormone changes everyone incurs each day, lack of intimacy becomes a very real possibility for many couples.
The issue can ultimately create a disconnect and distancing between partners. If this is an early problem for you and someone you’re genuinely in “like” with, it’s critical to communicate gently but freely with each other and seek options for help.
It might not seem like a topic that you should discuss early in a relationship, and you wouldn’t bring it up on the first day but certainly early in a partnership, discuss your feelings on having children.
If each of you has a different stance, will that change for you, or are you willing to forego your feelings to pursue the connection? Anything is possible.
Your mate could very well decide to alter their feelings on the issue down the road, but that’s a significant life issue you need to consider if you want to compromise in exchange for the union.
Problem 10: Do you have a problem with jealousy, or does your partner?
Early relationship problems that you might want to avoid include jealousy. It’s natural to have a twinge here and there. You wouldn’t be human otherwise.
If it grows out of control and becomes a consistent source of contention, the partnership can grow toxic. When a mate begins spying, like checking your phone or stalking you when you’re out, these are massive red flags that things are not healthy between you.
Problem 11: Neediness is a close cousin to jealousy
They’re not quite the same but neediness is indicative of early relationship problems. It’s okay to spend quality time together. There’s also nothing wrong with spoiling each other – occasionally.
But when one of you becomes somewhat extremist in spending every second with the other person and exhausts a fortune buying gifts or making homemade dinner every night or other indulgences, that can become an annoyance in the long term.
Each person needs to have their personal space to engage individual interests, see their friends, family or merely relax alone. That’s even in married life.
Not being able to have room to breathe early in a partnership can lead to a suffocating marriage. It’s time to have a conversation with your mate to try to change the behavior.
Problem 12: Do your core values match, at least to a degree?
Before you become emotionally invested in another person, it’s essential to learn where their beliefs stand, what their family values are. Early relationship problems can develop with substantial differences in things like politics, religion, goals, etc.
A way to maneuver around these issues when you believe this person is the right one for you regardless of the differences is to have a serious discussion about being willing to accept each other’s opinions and move forward agreeably.
Problem 13: Perfectionism is an unattainable expectation
Those who are perfectionists, workaholics, Type A personalities tend to hold an expectation for the people they’re dating that’s often unattainable if they don’t carry the same ethic.
When you like a person who might be the opposite of you, it’s because they have qualities that balance you and you admire, perhaps wish to learn.
Remember, no one will always meet your expectations and cut your mate some slack, or you might lose a good catch.
Problem 14: Severe early relationship problems
When you start dating someone, you often won’t learn much about them until a relationship begins. As it progresses, more details come to light, and sometimes these issues are serious.
As an emotional attachment develops, it’s occasionally tough to simply walk away because a significant problem arises, like an addiction. These are rampant in today’s exceptionally stressful world, more so than most realize.
It can be a heartstopping challenge in a partnership, but you can help your partner through with the right resources. That doesn’t mean that you’ll ultimately progress to a more prolonged relationship, but with the best help, your mate can become healthy if they choose to accept the help.
Problem 15: Is it love, or is it liking?
One of you sees love, but the other sees liking. Which is it? If you’re not on the same page with the relationship, meaning you’re each moving at a different pace, early relationship problems abound.
Someone might be ready for the next step, perhaps moving in together, while the other person isn’t even sure if they can say those three little words yet.
It’s likely a commitment issue that needs working through, and only talking about it will help. If a conversation isn’t beneficial, you need to consider what the future holds with a commitment-phobe.
Problem 16: Someone is controlling and overbearing
Early relationship problems that need addressing as soon as they begin including individuals behaving in controlling, overbearing ways. A partnership needs to be mutual and respectful.
If one person feels they should make all the decisions and you need to follow their lead, this results in a toxic partnership, and no one needs that. A deal-breaker from which you should walk away.
Problem 17: Why is the responsibility falling entirely on one person?
Are you doing all the texting or calling, maybe making all the arrangements for dates? Do you decide on restaurants for dinner with a lack of responses for suggestions?
When the dynamics are lopsided, the person handling all the responsibilities grows tired of keeping the partnership going over time. That speaks loudly to how things could be in the future.
There needs to be a conversation regarding their lapse and the need for them to pick up the slack so you can proceed with a healthy, functioning union. Make sure things don’t fall back into the same pattern gradually over time, or you’ll need to reconsider the relationship.
Problem 18: Try to avoid settling into a rut
It can be so easy for a couple developing a new relationship to settle into a comfortable, easy pattern. Unfortunately, this grows monotonous over time and can become boring if you allow it.
When a rut develops this early, it can continue to plague you throughout your time together. Each of you needs to learn early how to put in the time and effort that a partnership requires to keep it fresh and exciting for the long term.
Problem 19: Lying comes easily to them
When you begin to notice patterns of little white lies, this is a significant red flag of early relationship problems. Small lies now can mean “tall tales” as the partnership grows.
It’s something you need to put a stop to quickly by letting your mate know you’re aware. Explain your expectation for honesty in a partner so the significant other can decide if they want to move forward truthfully. More lies lead to mistrust and an ultimate end.
Check out this video to understand how to handle relationship lies:
Problem 20: Anger episodes are a definite no-go
Toxicity in a relationship isn’t merely early relationship problems. It’s an indication that you should probably move on. One of the things that makes a partnership toxic is fits of anger or aggression, which you only need to witness once before walking away.
Anger is controllable through coping skills taught through counseling, and this is something you can encourage with your mate as a helpful suggestion, but that doesn’t mean that the union will progress forward. You don’t want to put yourself in a harmful situation.
When a relationship has problems early on, it doesn’t mean it’s doomed to fail.
Any couple with a healthy open line of communication can usually work through commonplace behaviors and life circumstances if they have a connection they genuinely want to pursue.
In other situations, like a toxic scenario, perhaps an addiction, or anger management, it’s wise to ensure your safety while also finding help for the individual.
They can either take advantage of the resources or not, but you will have tried. The relationship will likely not progress forward, but each of you will take something from it. When you can say that, you can claim success.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.