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15 Reasons Your Relationships Keep Failing



It’s so easy for us to give up faith in relationships. Many of us have thought about quitting several times. People will tell you, “When you fall off a horse, you have to get back on.” That’s provided you haven’t concluded that you don’t even want to be on that damn horse. Relationships can be like horses. Some people think they’re beautiful, remarkable, strong and elegant creatures. Others think they’re stinky, stupid, wild and really not all that important to their lives. There’s many ways to view relationships; the key is that we’ve all got to find ourselves in self-examination when relationships fail or don’t work out. Yes, there are many times when it wasn’t our fault, it was their fault. However, there are times that regardless of who’s fault, it’s time to examine why it isn’t working out.

  1. You don’t know when to shut up – There comes a point where making your point becomes harmful. There are times when your sentence could end and be just as powerful, but is ruined because of a motor mouth.
  2. You tell everybody your damn business – Your friends are your support system, but they are a gift and a curse. They can be there for you when you’re hurt, but they can also pacify you when you need to teethe.
  3. You refuse to accept that you’ll need to make some changes in your life – “I’m not going to change for anybody” is always the extreme of not knowing what, “How can I be better?” really means.
  4. You expect others to put up with your problems – “You should accept me flaws and all” is only half true. I’ve always said, “I accept that you have problems, but that doesn’t mean I’ll make them my own.”
  5. You’re inconsistent – You say you know what you want, you say you know what you don’t want, but you allow the two to mix sometimes. You can’t profess that you’re ready to settle down at one point and then shout “YOLO!” at the next.
  6. You’re not ugly, just unattractive – Too often people confuse looks with attraction. I know plenty of beautiful women who are not attractive. It may be personality traits, or they have only heavily relied on their looks and haven’t focused on their entire being to become completely whole.
  7. You’re too judgmental – Your perfect ten is probably not the person you envision them to be when you jot it down on paper. You also can’t expect them to come off-the-shelf like that too. You’re knocking down potential and people who may meet your 80%, just because you find minor flaws.
  8. Your network is not helpful – You are the company you keep. You have to have positive reinforcements in your life. It doesn’t mean that you have to have married friends, or friends with children. It means you have to have a positive network that is beautiful, instead of looking like a war zone of love.
  9. You haven’t learned to let go – Acceptance is a part of life that we always struggle with. We have to learn that we’ll have to accept things in our past and leave them there. We hold onto things because we think that if we let them go it’s like we’re saying it’s okay. We’re not, we’re accepting it and allow ourselves to move past it.
  10. You’ve got too much pride – Pride will stand in your way. It will make you quit a relationship because you feel slighted at a certain point, rather than doubling down and making it work. When you start concerning yourself with how you look to others instead of how you feel on the inside, you lose.
  11. You want what you deserve, but don’t want to earn it – Everybody thinks they deserve the world. Everybody thinks they’re awesome individuals. Then they make everyone pass all these tests before they’ll prove it. The world wasn’t made in a day – you have to put in the necessary work too.
  12. Your past becomes baggage instead of lessons learned – Everything that happens in our life, happens for a reason. At times, we acknowledge that something happened, but don’t understand the reasons and lessons we can learn. It becomes a story that ends with the occurrence and not what came of that experience.
  13. You digest entirely too much trash instead of daily bread – Whether it is too much reality TV or trash on the radio, learn to balance when you digest. Everything in moderation, but honest moderation. You can’t possibly know all the characters on each reality show, but can’t tell me one great book (heck, author of an article) that was written in the last year you’ve read.
  14. You make poor investments – We’re all guilty of investing our time and effort into things we know won’t bring us any closer to happiness. We tell ourselves, “just this last time” but we know it’s a guilty pleasure. We also put time and effort into investments that haven’t yielded any results in some time – learn to walk away and stop making those in the future.
  15. You allow yourself to be enabled – This one is huge – we become guilty of enablement. We say that “I’ll land on my feet,” “There’s plenty to choose from,” or we tout off how many degrees or how much wealth we have as reasons why we don’t have to make changes. Or, we make mistakes because we know there aren’t consequences, or don’t believe there are consequences. Don’t allow yourself to be enabled, always challenge yourself to do good despite of whether you’re held accountable for it or not.
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I swear to you, this list started out with five points, then it was seven, and then it was ten. I thought for sure I was done with the list. When I began to transform a few points scribbled down on paper into an actual post and talk to friends about the points, it expanded to fifteen. I also realize that this list is not exhaustive – there are several other points that could be made. A few other things about this list; 1) The reason why I started each point with “you” is because when we’re single that’s who we should focus on, not the other people, 2) This list is unisex, it wasn’t for women or men, and 3) You may suffer from one or you may suffer from all. If it doesn’t 100% apply to you, don’t toss it aside as not applicable.

Last, I’m not sure that you can solve these flaws overnight. That’s okay, not too many things work that way. Most times, it takes hard work and a concerted effort to reconcile and fix these. I think the first step is to tell ourselves that we have a flaw or an opportunity for improvement. Can you be in a relationship and work on yourself? Absolutely, but only to the extent that it doesn’t become a burden on the person you’re dating. Regardless, I don’t think there’s anything on this list that we can accept as a personal character trait and move on, that’s literally why our relationships continue to fail.

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Dr. J

Why do you think relationships fail? Also, what are some reasons that not only do they fail, but they continue to fail? Have you ever had to make changes in your own life to ensure the success of future relationships? Lastly, what’s it like dealing with people who are resistant to change in their relationships?


    1. I think I can work #14 into my rants below as well, lol. Def need to tweek my list of vetting questions. CLEARLY, I've left off a few important ones, smh.

    1. Oh yeah, having standards to the 5th power can be detrimental. Having standards are a must, but some people have a "hit list of things" that are a mile long. C'mon Man!

  1. I think the main reason I'm single is because I lack patience…like seriously. I have ZERO tolerance for whatever I deem to be stupid or unnecessary.

    But, honestly, I'm not sure if this will or should change. *shrugs*

    For instance, my most recent ex wanted me to stay in a relationship with him while he decided whether or not he was okay with being a step-parent. o_O …the hell??? Absolutely not. Holla at me when you are. The last guy I dated heavily wanted me to wait til he was ready to work out some of his internal/personal issues to become ready for a relationship…until then, we could build with no pressure. Building a business, he didn't feel doing that work now was a priority. Respect. Cool. Call me after you've done the work.

    I COULD HAVE waited, in both instances, to see what would happen. I chose to bounce/fall back and explore other options…which leaves me all the way single, LOL. It happens, lol. And sometimes, its no ones fault. Ahh well…

    1. You are right. I never understood why men would "try" to see what its like dating a single parent. Either you know its for you or you don't. And that's why we date to find who is compatible with us for the long haul. Those guys that disappeared actually did you a favor. When meeting people you have to find the similarities between you too and respect the differences.
      My recent post Addicted

    2. I agree with you @cynical. I feel as if I shouldnt waste my time on people like that. I don’t regret it. It’s like a bullet was dodged. As a female I think I shouldn’t settle and instead be somewhat choosy like men.

    3. PREACH

      My last relationship involved someone wanting me to wait for them to decide if he ever wanted to have kids. What the ever loving hell? People do this?

      Sometimes it isn't some big crazy issue. Sometimes people have issues. In those instances, I think it is okay to have no patience for nonsense. At least that is my opinion.

      1. But, you know what, Southerngyrl, Becky, and Wildflower? I'm not gonna lie and say I never EVER second guess myself. Like, if I would have been patient, it would have become what I needed and I'd have the good guy…cause they are good guys…I wanted at the time. I've questioned whether or not pride, #10, is what really prevents me from really taking my time, easing in, and letting things grow to where they need to be.

        Then, after questioning and second guessing myself, I realize that I want…NEED…someone who can meet me where I am. I'm ready to go. I've done my work. And, I'd rather invest time and energy into someone who not only knows I am what they want (after a reasonable amount of dating and getting to know) but is READY for who/what they want. I'm even willing to support you in your climb in other areas but you need to be CERTAIN about me and what comes with me first, daggonit! LOL…Jesus!!!!!

        1. Truth to your comments. We wouldn't be human if we didn't second guess ourselves about some things, but in the end you have to go with what feels right to you.

        2. @cynicaloptmst81 – "raises hand" I don't have patience because I rather you just let me down now instead of building up hope and then you letting me down later.

          I think you made the right choice. I am queen of the second guessing, worrying, whatever else you call it, and (I’m a work in progress). I will say sometimes I ease the second guessing by saying “it is what it is” or “whatever will be will be”.

          “You need to be CERTAIN about me and what comes with me first, daggonit! LOL…Jesus!!!!!”— If you’re not certain about me, I don’t have the patience, pride, or feelings to just wait patiently until you figure it out. Nope not willing to catch the short end of the stick, you at minimum have to be sure about me.

        3. Yes! If I need to take an L (loss), I'd prefer to take it asap.

          Being slow on the L is what gets folks stalked or showered in hot grits! LMBO!

          Not that I'd do it or anything…to my knowledge, LOL. But, I don't wanna find out what I'd look like on Snapped either!!!!

        4. "I'd rather invest time and energy into someone who not only knows I am what they want (after a reasonable amount of dating and getting to know) but is READY for who/what they want. I'm even willing to support you in your climb in other areas but you need to be CERTAIN about me and what comes with me first, daggonit! LOL…Jesus!!!!!"

          I think patience is a problem for me too, but this is EXACTLY how I feel. You don't have to have it all together in ALL areas of life per se, but you damn well need to be CERTAIN about me. Why should I wait for someone to realize that I am the best thing that ever happened to them?

          Pride is also an issue I struggle with. I will cut someone off quick if I sense shadiness or wrongdoing. Does this need to change though? I don't know…
          My recent post Are College Rankings Relevant?

        5. "I will cut someone off quick if I sense shadiness or wrongdoing."

          I say this line to my cousin all the time, "Girl, you know I keep Nike's on standby…laced and ready to run!" LOL!

          I will get down in the trenches to do some real relationship work, sure will! What I will not do is sit pretty while you use me up…draining me of emotional support…while you decide whether or not you shonuff want to be with me…or are ready to do the work you'd need to do in order to be with me…whichever, whatever, lol.

          I ain't even gonna be able to do it. Sorry.

          If that's work I'm supposed to do, I've got a real problem, lol…a real dilemma!!!!

        6. RIGHT!! This applies to friendships as well. I just had to cut someone off for that very reason. I am the nicest person, but not stupid…I just can't!!

          Guess I'll be single indefinitely if I'm supposed to give and give and give and wait and wait and wait…lol
          My recent post Are College Rankings Relevant?

    4. I think you can't confuse patience and waiting around in a idle state.

      I can't tell you if you made the right decision. I can tell you that patience is virtue and that all relationships need patience. You just have to be careful not to walk away from a situation that if you had exhibited patience would have been great.

      Relationships are hard work. Most times when they experience rough patches, people walk away, they don't double down on it to make it work. It's not black and white, but yeah… just my thoughts.

      1. "I think you can't confuse patience and waiting around in a idle state."

        But, how do you NOT confuse them? LOL! They kinda feel the same, you know? How can you tell when a situation requires patience or is simply idle?

        I think I can be patient when we agree on what needs work and we're willing and able to do the work at that time. I think I view the situation as idle when one partner is either unwilling to work, incapable of doing the work, or if you don't agree on what actually needs work. Idle? Can't do it.

    5. Cynical, you aren't the only one who lacks patience for bullchit and stupid stuff….add drama to that list too. _

      Life is too short…I just can't…. I won't….rather than focusing on relationships, I'd rather go about ENJOYING life.

    6. @Cyn

      I would argue that you are 30+ and your looks doesn’t inspire men to overlook your flaws compared to when you were 20-something. And the child doesn’t help.

      But you are a divorcee, I don’t think less of you, I can see how women who fall into your category would have problems. It is par for the course. You’ll be fine.

      1. Actually, considering what this response could have said, I'm not mad at all, LOL, smh.

        Thanks, Adonis. I'm sure I'll be fine too. 🙂

        1. @CynicalOptimist81

          If you have any memories of me taking you to task on anything, please shoot me a link.

          I would like to relive them too.

          Good day.

        2. You've never taken me to task. If you say something I don't agree with, I usually just don't respond to it…and I never hit the thumbs down button on anyone. But, I've read what you've said to others at times…OUCH, lol. Considering those things…what you've said to others, I know that what you said to me was actually nice…and from a helpful place.

          I have pretty thick skin, lol. Plus, true or not, I see the logic in your response.

          You have a good day too. 🙂

    1. Its really not that difficult just learn from your mistakes…period.
      No one's perfect. It takes everyone time to find the right one. Just stay positive and you'll find each other.

  2. A big one is communication. People internalize their issues instead of expressing them to their partners and end up blowing things out of proportion and working through their issues.

  3. I have gained more patience in areas that I did not have patience before…at the same time, other areas, I just won't entertain….and if that leaves me alone, I am really okay with that. I don't think many people can say that.

  4. Just to piggyback off of what Dr.J said in an earlier post- Work. Relationships take a lot of work and especially when you have been together for awhile it gets easier and easier to do less of it to keep things running smoothly.
    That and the "comfort zone". Sometimes people may grow apart in different directions and you know it's not working out but you stay in it because it's the evil that you know. You reason with yourself and say that it's better to deal with all the hang-ups about your s/o rather than ending the relationship. Only to find someone else and have to start the process all over gain, getting to know the ins and outs of another being that may be worse than what you had.

  5. "There’s many ways to view relationships; the key is that we’ve all got to find ourselves in self-examination when relationships fail or don’t work out. Yes, there are many times when it wasn’t our fault, it was their fault. However, there are times that regardless of who’s fault, it’s time to examine why it isn’t working out."

    Truer words are rarely written.

    Dr j, I can't even begin to disagree with anything you have written. All you have covered above exemplifies true introspection. For one to really mature and learn from relationship lessons, one must actively look within and analyze the ongoings and short comings in order to become a better version of themselves going forward. This should be applied to life in general, but in terms of relationships, this is a good start.

    But alas, if people only took the time. And unfortunately too many of us are stuck in our own ways and are unwilling to look within to make the necessary adjustments to foster personal growth.
    Either way, very well done. Great post!

    Mr. SoBo
    My recent post My Rants On Twerking, Interracial Relationships And Celebrities

  6. By far one of the best post written. So much truth in so many of the points. Sometimes SBM writing is tailored to younger college kids as you mature you see life and relationships through a different prism. This one hit the nail on the head and gave much needed advice to older and younger readers. Thank you.

  7. on point with this article especially #1 and #2, well said. Ever heard of the term "loose lips sink ships" I think those aforementioned reasons are among the major reasons why. Whatever happens in house stays in house–that includes the bedroom. It's one thing if you're venting to a close friend or your homeboys but I feel that's where it should end. Not just anybody needs to know when there's issues in your relationship. I think another reason is that couples don't act as a team, you know, stay on the same page. You gotta be damn near finishing each others sentences. Be a cohesive unit and don't let anything tear your stuff apart.
    My recent post Confessions Of A Tired Black Soul

  8. LISTEN, I had to learn that I had to keep my business about my relationship to myself only because of #8. Honestly, you don't realize who your true friends are until you're in a healthy relationship…*sigh!*
    Misery loves company. BEWARE!

  9. I can appreciate insight as much as anyone, but in reality we all need to work on certain aspects of our lives. We are at a place now where we kinda get self-righteous when we have some aspects together and condemn those who don't have as much together from our perspective. I can honestly say I'm single because of me, and I won't put my shortcomings off on any female past or present. As far as the future, I wont be arrogant to try to predict it, but I will say that from my past experiences with love, my spirit will know. Patience, pride, and lack of communication skills kills even our potential relationships nowadays. Remember it's not fair to demand (acceptance, patience, etc) when you're not able to reciprocate!

  10. I will love to share my testimony with all viwers because i never thought i would have another chance with my boyfriend, the man i wanted to marry left me for another woman, and when i called him, he never picked my calls,he deleted me on his facebook account and then set the status to having a girlfriend with the other chick. I was devastated. I went to three spell casters before hector and i had really lost hope. i lost a lot of money with them and got no results. so when i came to hector i was really leery of him and didn’t think he could help me. i though it is too good to be true, because all the other spell casters were supposedly good and none of them helped me. i saw the testimonials and read the other testimonials and decided to get the consultation. he said he could help me, but my chances of getting my ex were very low and he didn’t recommend it at all. But i insisted that he at least give me the chance to work with him and try and if it didn’t work, i wouldn’t be upset and i would move on with my life. He agreed. Since he is in jersey and im in nyc, i decided i would go in person to have my spells cast. he is a really sweet and gentle man, when i met him i was really surprised. he looks very young, and i had my doubts whether or not he would be able to help me. But i figured i came all that way and i said i would try so i tried it. He called a spirit to talk with me and do the work, it was a woman spirit and when it came it totally transformed hector’s face. that is when i thought to myself that it might just work. the spirit gave me some advice and did the spells. i had a separation spell and a reunion spell done. the spirit said it would take a while for my ex to leave his new girl but once he did, he would come to me very quickly. She gave me some things to take home and do. I did them, but i was really nervous. i think i messed up a few times and i told t and she said just keep going and i would be fine. so i did. it was like 6 or 7 weeks later and i saw that my ex unblocked me from facebook. I saw he had changed his status again to single. so i was super excited because i took this to mean that he had split up with the other girl. about 10 days after that my ex called me. At first, it was weird between us. he wanted to see me. so i went to meet up with him. he didn’t ask me back then. i got very anxious and told t, and she said to stay calm and everything would turn out okay. So i did the best i could although i was still worried. We met up a few more times after that, and still he didn’t ask me back out. so i got a consultation with hector and he said to expect my ex to ask me back out within two weeks from the consultation. i listened, but i wasn’t sure it would happen. then it was almost 2 weeks later, and i though, damn, hector was wrong. But the next day (there was like 2 days left from it being 2 weeks) my ex called and we got together. He asked me if i would be willing to try our relationship again, which of course i said yes. that was about 3 weeks ago, and so far we have been doing okay, we still have a lot of things to work out, but i am very happy. doctor is the real deal and i am so glad that i found him and i recommend him to anyone who needs help. thank you so much doctor you saved my life?Reply ?you can as well contact him for your on help email [email protected]


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