Significant age difference. An age difference of more than ten years may present a unique challenge in a relationship. The age difference becomes less significant as the age of partners increases.
Challenges for the older partner
- becoming impatient with your partner
- acting like a parent
- being more financially successful than partner
- controlling partner due to power differential
- having to compromise interests, friends, etc. to appear more compatible with partner
Challenges for younger partner
- putting partner on pedestal
- giving up personal power
- being put in the child position
- compromising friends, interests, etc. to appear more compatible with partner
Different Religious Backgrounds. The more rigid the belief system and more extreme the differences, the worse the explosion.
- customs and holidays
- raising children
Different Social, Ethnic or Educational Background. A healthy relationship is based on the commonality you share with your partner. Commonality serves to make living together comfortable rather than full of friction. It’s not that you and partner have to agree on everything, but there’s a point beyond which too many differences will create too much friction and make having a harmonious relationship very difficult to achieve.
- not having enough in common
- having very different values
- unhealthy competition
Toxic In-Laws. You will experience a compatibility time bomb when your partner refuses to acknowledge or confront his/her parents on behavior or attitudes that are negatively affecting your relationship.
- they become time/energy vampires
- they attempt to interfere in your life
- they may refuse to acknowledge you or your relationship
- they may attempt to drive a wedge between you and your partner
Toxic Ex-Spouse. Toxic ex-spouses don’t respect the boundaries of their relationship with their ex. They have never really let go of their mates and will hang on for dear life all the while undermining your relationship.
- they may not respect your privacy
- they may use guilt to drive a wedge between you and your partner
- they may become time/energy vampires
- they may try to turn the children against you
Long Distant Relationships. Things look different close up than they do from a distance. A long distant relationship makes it easy for you to think the relationship is much better than it is because you don’t spend consistent quality time together. The goal of two people in a “normal” relationship should be to become more loving and intimate with each other. In a long distant relationship the goal becomes to see one another again.
- you don’t get to see what your partner is really like
- you avoid dealing with problem areas
- you may have an unrealistic view of your compatibility
- you may spend a lot of time alone
Unavailable Partner. A person may not be free to be in a relationship with you because they are involved with someone or something else that takes up a lot of their time and energy. This could include other people, activities, or even work.
- feeling you are someone else’s leftover
- having the relationship based on someone else’s schedule
- having to be clandestine
- having to spend a lot of time alone