8 Signs Your Partner Isn’t Helping You Grow

Our relationships with other people help us grow and help encourage us to be the best versions of ourselves that we can be. However, sometimes relationships end up dragging us down. Maybe the other person involved just doesn’t want you to succeed, or maybe they don’t understand the positive aspects of growth. Here are some ways to tell if your partner is not helping you be the best version of yourself.

  1. They aren’t working to their full capacity. I’m not saying that everyone needs a full-time job, but I think that people should try as hard as they can to contribute to bills and activities. Even if you don’t live together, hopefully you’re planning on that step someday. If you’re dating someone who still depends on their parents and is completely okay with it, they’re stuck. If they don’t see the light, don’t expect them to be the type of person to grow along with you.
  2. They don’t understand your need for a promotion. If you’ve heard that “you’re good at your job now, why try to jeopardize that?” you need to cut things off pronto. That means this person isn’t thinking about the future. They’d rather be comfortable where they are and don’t see the need to be challenged. Don’t think things will get better overnight — it’s hard to motivate someone to push themselves further.
  3. Your relationship is the same as it was years ago. On Fridays, you order a pizza. During the weekend, you go for Chinese or Indian. If life was like this even before being quarantined, you might want to mix things up a bit. Life is too short to fall into the same routine week after week. If your partner gets weirded out that you’d rather do something else on Saturday night, there’s not a lot of hope that things will get better.
  4. They’re obsessed with high school. It’s really sad when someone clings to old memories and doesn’t have the energy to make more. High school was an interesting time for everyone, but there’s life outside of it. If they refuse to acknowledge that, they’re stuck in the past. It’s even worse if you went to high school together since they’ll expect you to constantly share the same nostalgia. You don’t want to be with someone who peaked at 18. You deserve better than that.
  5. They refuse to move out of their hometown. There are certainly valid reasons why someone wouldn’t want to move. Maybe they have a really great job that’d be hard to find elsewhere. Or, maybe they already have kids that they need to stay close for. But if that’s not the case, it’s a little strange for someone to refuse a new opportunity. You don’t want to be with someone who’ll drag you down. If you get the chance to move to a big city and pursue a dream, don’t let a significant other talk you out of it just since it’d be more convenient for them if you stayed.
  6. They haven’t made new friends in years. As you become an adult, making friends gets a lot harder. It’s wonderful if your boyfriend or girlfriend is still close to a group they grew up with. But, it’s telling if they’ve refused to try and meet new people since. Even work acquaintances count — striking up a friendship at a job can cause it to be less of a drag. If your partner isn’t open to the idea of meeting other people, they may feel intimidated if you are. Never let someone make you feel guilty for being social, or trying to make friends. It doesn’t mean you’re a step away from cheating on them.
  7. They’re jealous of any friend you make of the opposite sex. Yes, opposite-sex relationships can be possible without any sort of romantic undertone. Unless your significant other has caught you sexting someone else you just met, they should have no reason to feel intimidated. But, it’s possible they’re trying to shut things down since they know that they might not be able to compare. You might love your partner, but it’s sad to see them get jealous of someone who’s slightly more established when they, themselves, are too lazy to do the work to improve.
  8. They’ve been critical of a wardrobe change or a haircut. It’s important to change things up a little and keep things fresh. Your partner has a right to have an opinion over a style change you make, but it’s a bummer if they don’t like something just because “it’s different.” Don’t let them talk you down for trying to express yourself in different ways. You should never be scared of making a change that you really want to, based solely on the fact that they’ll be negative about it.
Karen Belz is a New Jersey native who is currently living in Maryland. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication with a focus in Broadcasting and Print Media Studies from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Since graduating, she has written for sites like LittleThings, HelloGiggles, and Scary Mommy and is currently an e-commerce editor at Bustle.

When she's not writing, she enjoys making her phone run out of memory after taking too many photos of her dog. You can find her on Twitter @karenebelz or on Instagram @karenbelz.