A lot of us have experienced relationships that don’t work out, whether it’s a short rendezvous or a long-term commitment. There’s no way to sugar coat it, breaking up flat out sucks but the better you understand why relationships don’t always work out, the better you protect yourself from potential heartbreak.

Here are the three biggest reasons many relationships don’t survive.

1. You started out with unreasonable expectations 

Some of us suffer from unrealistic expectations in our partners and the relationship. We create a vision in our head of exactly how we think things should go and we get fixated on checking off every box. If things don’t go according to plan, we kind of lose it.

Keep in mind that no one you’re with is going to be 100% of what you want 100% of the time and they will feel the same about you. Unfortunately you’ll be constantly disappointed if you try to see it any other way.

No one can ever fulfill every last one of your requests but you can spend your life with someone who comes pretty damn close.

2. You haven’t settled your past

Emotional residue is what I call the emotions that are left behind from our past whether it’s our trauma or the leftovers from a past relationship. Some of us carry around a lot of weight and because we’ve carried it for so long, we don’t even realize how much it affects us. 

We all have past pain and it doesn’t always have to be an amazingly intense event to cause our emotional residue. This pain may be causing those same cycles over and over with negative and lasting effects.

Concentrate on healing your past before pursing something new. 

3. You settled 

Settling is one of the worst things you can do for yourself and a relationship. Don’t spend time and energy trying to convince yourself of anything, that’s not going to bring you happiness.

Do not get into a relationship because you feel pressure to get into a relationship, because it’s convenient, because you don’t have the heart to be honest about your feelings. The only reason you should be in a relationship with someone is the idea of living without them being unbearable to you. 

Be truly honest with yourself and ask yourself how you and your partner add to each other’s lives. If you’re both not happy genuinely happy in the relationship bringing out the best in each other, respect yourself enough to let the relationship go and open yourself up to the kind of love that you deserve.