Every relationship is a unique journey, filled with its own twists and turns. Along the way, challenges inevitably arise – be it miscommunication, trust issues, or the complexities of daily life.
Love's puzzle isn't always straightforward, and within its pieces, you'll find challenges waiting to be solved.
If rom-coms and romance novels have taught us anything, it’s that even the best of relationships get thrown some curveballs. In a time when the pandemic has allowed us to have more face time with our significant others, it’s also opened up a lot of new relationship challenges. And we’re not just talking about the tug-o-war of having to navigate work from home meetings in shoebox-sized condos or trying to decide what to order for the fifth night in a row, we’re talking about the bigger things that have suddenly reared their heads.
When Couply users were asked what their biggest relationship challenge was today, their answers ranged from the ever-present communication and trust issues to an interesting new option: the vulnerability surrounding mental health challenges.
With answers from couples all over the world—like the US, Canada, Nigeria, the Philippines, and Germany, to name a few—it goes to show that borders can’t stop the relationship challenges that any couple can face. Because, like any dynamic in our lives, relationships will always have their ups and downs—but, what do you do when you’re faced with one of the lows? The Top 10 Relationship Challenges—According to Couples on Couply
Here are The Top 10 Challenges in Every Relationship:
1. Communication Issues
In the symphony of love, communication is the vital conductor that orchestrates the harmony between hearts. Yet, the challenge of communication issues can often strike a discordant note, leaving couples grappling with frustration and misunderstanding. Surprise, surprise, for 56% of users, this was the number one relationship challenge they often faced. There is a reason there are thousands of communication (or lack thereof) memes out there.
But being able to communicate isn’t just about saying what you feel, it’s also about listening without judgment, interruptions, and not on the defence. Just be honest! If something’s bothering you, say so—and if that requires frequent check-ins to help kickstart your communication habits, that’s okay. Communication issues often find their way into even the most loving relationships. Whether it's misunderstanding, misinterpretation, or simply not expressing thoughts clearly, these challenges can cast shadows over a partnership. But recognizing them is the first step to addressing them.
We hear you! In Couply we have built couple's communication games, and relationship communication quizzes which help you and your partner understand the way you communicate.
2. Not Spending Enough Quality Time Together
In the whirlwind of modern life, the enchantment of togetherness sometimes finds itself tangled amidst the hustle and bustle. The challenge of not spending enough quality time together can silently weave its way into relationships, casting a shadow over the intimacy that once flourished. The demands of work, commitments, and digital distractions often chip away at the moments meant for shared connection. Yet, in this hectic world, time becomes the most precious gift we can offer our partner. For 37% of Couply users, another relationship challenge was the lack of quality time. And yes, the pandemic has definitely forced a lot of couples to see each other 24/7—but this is a prime example that it’s about quality, not quantity.
Recognizing the impact of time scarcity is the first step in reclaiming those cherished moments. Whether it's the whispered conversations during a late-night stroll or the simple act of cooking a meal together, these pockets of time hold the potential to reignite the spark and rejuvenate the bond that initially brought you together. You could also Intentionally take the time to disconnect for a bit and snuggle up to a movie, plan a date at home, or even set aside for a deep conversation. And if that means having to schedule in a weekly date night, what day will you be penciling in?
3. Mental Health Challenges
Navigating the intricate landscape of a relationship sometimes brings us face to face with unexpected challenges, including those related to mental health. While often unspoken, these challenges hold significant weight. It’s no surprise that along with the COVID-19 pandemic’s lockdowns came a wave of anxiety, depression, and mental health issues. In fact, the CDC reported that 40% of adults were experiencing mental health issues—and, in some cases, those issues can create relationship challenges.
And for 35% of Couply users, the pandemic was the first time they realized their partner’s mental health concerns—requiring them to navigate the best way to intentionally support their partner. That’s why it’s so important to prioritize mental health—whether as a duo, or individually, and whether in couples therapy or solo—and taking the time to understand what each other needs. From the impact of anxiety or depression on emotional connection to the role of effective communication in fostering a safe space, addressing mental health within a relationship is essential. Navigating the complexities of mental health challenges within a relationship demands a delicate balance of understanding, empathy, and support. It's a journey that requires both partners to tread gently, acknowledging the weight of emotions while seeking avenues of healing.
4. Not Understanding Each Other
Does it ever just feel like you can’t be on the same page—no matter how hard you try? It's as if we're speaking different languages, our words often lost in translation. For 33% of Couply users it does. In the realm of relationships, misunderstanding can cast a shadow over even the brightest of connections. The challenge of not fully understanding each other is a common thread that many couples encounter. Whether it's differences in communication styles or simply viewing the world through different lenses, these disparities can create rifts.
The intricacies of our thoughts, feelings, and perspectives can become a labyrinth, leaving us feeling isolated and frustrated. The truth is, each of us carries our unique life experiences and viewpoints, which can color the way we perceive the world. But within this challenge lies an opportunity: the chance to embark on a journey of profound connection. By recognizing the depth of our differences and committing to bridging the gap, we can transform misunderstanding into a catalyst for growth. That’s why it’s so important to also know your partner’s Love Style, because once you do it gets a little bit easier to see just how well they’re communicating and loving you. Not sure what your top love style is? Download Couply to take the quiz!
5. Finances & Money
The Notorious B.I.G. once said mo’ money, mo’ problems—and sometimes we have to agree. Or at least 25% of Couply users do. Money matters can test even the strongest relationships, stirring discussions on spending, saving, and future planning. When it comes to finances it’s important to be on the same page. It's a delicate dance between individual priorities, shared goals, and the everyday realities of financial management. From contrasting spending habits to differing views on financial security, the financial landscape can be both a source of joy and a trigger for tension. While money discussions may seem daunting, they are essential for a partnership's health and longevity.
Set a budget as a couple, set one individually, and discuss your debts. When it comes to money it’s important to be transparent. Remember, the journey of understanding and aligning finances is a continuous one. Challenges might arise, but with communication, empathy, and a shared vision, you can navigate the financial landscape hand in hand, turning potential pitfalls into stepping stones towards a stronger, more harmonious relationship.
6. Lack of Sex & Intimacy
Maintaining a fulfilling level of physical and emotional intimacy can pose a significant challenge. Life's demands and evolving dynamics can cast shadows over the once vibrant connection. For 22% of Couply users, this is definitely a relationship challenge. While sex can really bring people together, sometimes dry spells happen in relationships too.
So, what do you do? Talk it out. Make an effort to express yourself, but not doing so in a way that places blame. Sometimes life gets in the way, and this is just a prime example of how to better understand your partner and what they may be going through. Acknowledging this challenge provides the opportunity to reignite the flame. Open communication, shared vulnerability, and a mutual commitment to rekindling intimacy can transform this hurdle into a catalyst for a renewed and invigorated bond.
7. Trust & Infidelity
Sometimes we wonder: who doesn’t have trust issues these days? No surprise, 17% of Couply users flagged this as a common relationship challenge. If you’ve been in toxic situations or past relationships that left you with a couple more scars than you wanted, it’s understandable why it’s hard trusting your partner.
But, if you’re struggling to build trust in your relationship, consider these key things: be consistent, be open-minded, be an effective communicator, and slowly be comfortable with being vulnerable. It’s not easy—we get it—but, baby steps. Acknowledging the breach and delving into its root causes are the initial steps toward healing. Open conversations and transparency, coupled with forgiveness and patience, form the foundation for rebuilding what was lost. Seeking professional support and creating new foundations based on understanding and growth can transform this challenge into an opportunity for renewed connection and intimacy.
8. Issues Related to Extended Family and Kids
When two lives intertwine, so do their extended families and potential aspirations of building a family of their own. The intricate tapestry of relationships often extends beyond the couple itself, reaching into the realms of extended family and parenting. Challenges related to in-laws, differing parenting styles, and the balance between personal lives and familial expectations can strain even the strongest partnership. Yet, navigating the complex web of extended family dynamics and the prospect of raising children presents a unique set of challenges.
Balancing the expectations and opinions of in-laws and addressing differing parenting styles can strain even the most harmonious relationship. And for 15% of Couply users, some relationship challenges stemmed from extended family (like in-laws) and kids. And while we believe supporting family and your kids is important, it’s just as important to set time aside for some 1-on-1 couple time. A relationship, requires quality time to let the dynamic bloom. If you need to hire a babysitter for one night to go out on the town, we recommend definitely hiring the babysitter.
9. Lack of Support and Help
When the winds of life grow fierce, seeking refuge in each other's support is essential. Yet, the challenge of a lack of support and help within a relationship can create a sense of isolation. And for 10% of users, the lack of support or help really put a strain on a relationship. Partners may find themselves facing life's hurdles alone, causing strains that ripple through the connection.
In these cases, it’s so important to ask: remember if you never ask, the answer is always no. It’s also important to remember that asking for help doesn’t make you weak—it’s important to allow others to help you carry the load. And for partners who are really struggling to prioritize, discussing expectations is never a bad thing. By understanding the impact of this challenge and learning how to bridge the gap, partners can transform their relationship into a haven where unwavering assistance and encouragement flourish.
10. Issues from the Pandemic
The global pandemic has cast an unforeseen spotlight on relationships, revealing strengths and vulnerabilities like never before. The challenges imposed by the pandemic – from lockdowns and social distancing to the strains of remote work and constant uncertainty – have seeped into the fabric of partnerships, prompting many couples to navigate uncharted waters.
Whatever the relationship challenge that might arise from the “new normal” that is COVID-19, try to find the silver linings in these unprecedented times. While we’ve all had to pivot and navigate new routines, it’s important to incorporate relationship-centric habits to keep the passion and romance alive. And for those in long-distance relationships, it’s about spicing up even your usual virtual dates.
And if ever you need a little bit of extra support to breathe some life into your relationships, Couply can help you have better relationships by helping you understand your personalities, Attachment Styles, while also giving you a new date idea to shake things up. Download it now for your Android or Apple!