7 Signs Your Relationship Partner Will Leave You Heartbroken

Barry Davret


Image licensed from Shutterstock // Antonio Guillem

When I saw them dining together, I thought it was a business meal. After all, if you’re going to cheat on someone, wouldn’t you at least try to keep it a secret?

Something looked off, so I stepped inside the restaurant for a closer view. They sat on the same side of the table, nuzzled together as though they were trying to keep each other warm. Every so often, they’d feed each other sushi. Nope, not a business dinner.

I was the manager on duty that night at the hotel, making my customary rounds of the property. I nodded to the host and pretended to check something off on my clipboard, stealing occasional glances towards the couple. One quick turn of their heads would blow my cover, but I didn’t care.

I had met the guy, Kevin, a few times before — the boyfriend of Chloe, one of my friends and colleagues from work. Kevin could charm anyone, but he had proven himself the vindictive type. Several weeks earlier, we were out at a bar. He invited all of us to a party. But then he became testy after losing a game of darts, going so far as to disinvite the guy who beat him. Perhaps that childish nature explained why he chose this restaurant for his tryst.

Like a voyeur, I stalked conspicuously and stared intently, my handy clipboard giving me a plausible reason for being there. I inched forward, towards the host, still focused on the couple.

Kevin and I locked eyes. I stopped short. He nodded once, turned back to his date, and fed her a piece of sushi.

The aftermath

The next morning, Chloe and I grabbed coffee in the cafeteria. I shared news of Kevin’s brazen date. She showed no surprise. He’d been cool to her for over a week, ignoring her after a recent argument. She had tried to talk it out with him, but Kevin lacked the maturity to discuss what bothered him, and instead, withdrew.

Most of us have had similar experiences with partners like that, and ones who sported other qualities that doomed relationships. Truth. I’ve been that person myself — the relationship partner who exhibited at least one of these seven qualities.

1. They fear and distrust your friends of the opposite sex.

Kevin resented Chloe’s guy friends. He looked at us as competitors even though he had no reason to fear us. Friends of the opposite sex can be a touchy subject. A less confident person may wonder, why would you need opposite-sex friends if you already have me?

It’s vital to talk about this early on, so there’s no confusion. A quality relationship partner won’t pressure you to drop your friends. Nor will they try to discredit them to ensure they’re the only man/woman in your life.

2. They show Jekyll and Hyde behavior.

Have you ever dated someone who treated you wonderfully in person but horribly in group situations? It’s one thing we disliked about Kevin the first day we met him. He laced his speech with sarcasm, shrouding his barbs in playful tones to soften the harshness. It left us wondering, was that an insult or just a horrible joke?

When we questioned Chloe about it, she’d say, “But you should see him when we’re alone together. He’s different.”

Isn't that always the response?

The Jekyll and Hyde personas don’t always signal trouble. If your new beau acts shy or tries too hard with your friends, give them a break. Some people don’t do well in group situations. But there’s no excuse for veiled meanness.

3. They won’t let you pick a restaurant, movie, or anything else.

In college, I dated a woman for three months, and during the entire time, I never picked a place to eat or a movie to see. At first, I didn’t mind the lack of responsibility. I enjoyed letting her choose our adventures.

But her obsession with control began to grate on me. The few times I asserted a desire that conflicted with hers, she shot me down. No discussion. No attempt at compromise.

Early on in a relationship, the control freak can make life easier. They plan everything. You don’t have to make any decisions. But soon, you feel a lack of agency and individuality when you date someone who commands every aspect of your relationship and even your life outside of it.

4. They’re untrustworthy and unruly when drunk.

A former partner, Erin, would get affectionate when drunk, and not always with me. Whenever we went to a bar, my antenna was on full alert. She'd always cozy up with some random guy, forcing me to interject and introduce myself as her boyfriend. It made me wonder what went on when she partied without me.

Not everyone drinks, so it’s not always applicable. But some folks don’t handle alcohol well and either can’t or won’t curb their behavior. The worst of them use it as a cover for engaging in actions that would otherwise get them in trouble. But I was drunk. It doesn’t count.

Beware of the partner who shows a pattern of over-drinking, or engaging in questionable behavior while drinking. You’ll always fret over what kind of trouble they’re getting into when you’re not around.

5. They're sore losers, even in board games.

Whenever you date someone new, always play a game of monopoly or some other board game. You can tell a lot about someone’s relationship potential by observing their etiquette. It sounds silly, I know. But playing board games can reveal a person’s worst qualities in a safe and controlled environment.

Do they attempt to rewrite the rules? Do they cheat or accuse others of cheating without cause? Do they lose their shit when someone else wins? If they lose control in a friendly game, what do you think they’ll do when the stakes are higher?

6. They’re missionaries seeking to convert you.

Years ago, a friend of mine dated a vegan. The guy knew my friend ate meat and accepted her, despite his disapproval. But during their fling, each morning, an article would appear in her inbox followed by an IM urging her to read it. Other attempts at persuasion followed.

Successful couples don’t have to agree on everything. You can hold different opinions, debate each other, and still respect your differences.

But when a partner relentlessly presses you to adopt their views, they’re not seeking a healthy debate. They’re seeking conformity to their way of thinking. I’ve known friends who have succumbed to strong-willed partners and relinquished their worldview in the name of relationship harmony. Is it worth it? Some will disagree with me, but I say no.

7. They hold grudges indefinitely for even the tiniest slights.

Does your partner maintain a sh*t list? Most people who do hold grudges far longer than they should. I know because I used to be one of those people. In my twenties, I lost one potential relationship partner and more than a few friends because they made it onto my shit-list, and remained there until they had exited from my life.

People like this almost certainly lack self-confidence. They interpret all your mistakes and missteps as calculated efforts to inflict pain and torment.

Like the other qualities, it’s not always a permanent mark. Your partner may grow out of it. I did, though not until my thirties. If you date someone like this, prepare yourself for a project — someone who needs constant coddling and reassurance.

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Experimenter in life, productivity, and creativity. My work can be found in publications across the internet

Summit, NJ

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