By Christine Schoenwald
For some people, living the single life is amazing and fulfilling; for others, they need to be in a relationship. Sometimes their need is so strong that they're willing to stay in a bad relationship because they're terrified of being alone. They don't see that being on your own is so much better than being stuck in a relationship that's failing.
So what are some signs you should look out for that indicate this relationship isn't right for you?
1. You find yourself wondering if you could do better.
We all want to be with the best possible person for us. Do you find yourself comparing other people to your significant other and finding that your partner pales in comparison? That there are people out there who are much more interesting, smarter, funnier and ultimately more enjoyable to be around?
Researchers call these perceptions of other potential partners your quality of alternatives. Psychologists can measure the perceived quality of alternatives by analyzing answers to such statements as "If I weren't dating my partner, I would do fine. I'd find another appealing person to go out with."
If you agree with this kind of statement, you have a ton of high-quality alternatives that sound like desirable qualities, because it shows that you've got confidence in yourself and are able to attract a good partner. However, if you're thinking about other partner options, this can undermine your current relationship's strength and increase the chance of negative behaviors.
The goal is to be with someone who's so fantastic that you don't even notice anybody better, because you're with someone you believe is the best for you and who thinks you're the best for them.
2. Your partner doesn't help you to be a better person.
When we're in a good relationship, we're happier, live longer, have less stress, fewer mental health problems, and less pain. In addition, when you're with a good person, they should help you be a better person.
Researchers refer to this experience as self-expansion, and your relationship should help to provide you with opportunities for self-growth. When you have a solid base of support from a partner, you feel more comfortable taking bigger chances and achieving bigger goals.
The more you're able to grow, the better your relationship becomes, with higher levels of passion, more excitement, less boredom, and stronger ties. If your partner isn't helping to build a better you, you need a better partner.
3. The people around you don't think your relationship is going to last.
Researchers at Waterloo University asked people in romantic relationships to predict their relationship's future, and compared their predictions to those made by their friends and family. The daters thought their relationships would last two to three times longer than what their friends and families thought.
Also, the people in relationships saw their relationships as much better than how others viewed them from the outside. It turns out that family and friends have unique insights into our relationships; they're looking out for us and are better able to see a relationship clearly and objectively.
When in doubt, ask someone you trust how they see your relationship; they may be able to see problems that you simply refuse to see. It's much better to be single than to be in a relationship that doesn't excite you, inspire you and will regret staying in.
This article originally appeared on YourTango.