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Healthy relationships tend to have an ebb and flow. There is a steady pace of harmony that keeps the couple stable, even when conflict arises. But there is a difference between a relationship being “work” and a relationship being a struggle. According to relationship experts, if certain parts of your relationship feel “forced,” the connection may not be, meant to be.

“Forcing a relationship means three things,” Rachel Perlstein, LCSW, relationship coach and co-founder of A Good First Date, told Bustle.

“When one person or the couple is forcing the relationship, things may feel like a constant struggle with competing needs and perspectives coupled with a lack of compromise.”

Here are some signs the relationship could be doomed:

Physical touch becomes too much effort.

Your partner should desire to touch you, regularly. “When one partner in particular is not feeling attractive or attraction to the other, different issues can arise based upon this need like physical or emotional cheating,” Perlstein told Bustle.

Both parties should desire to be in the partnership.

No one wants to feel like someone feels “forced” to be with them. Desire is an important part of each person feeling wanted and needed. “If you are constantly feeling a ‘should’ about continuing your relationship with your significant other (i.e. ‘I should stick it out because we’ve already lasted this long), it’s time to re-evaluate,” Perlstein says.

You should have shared hobbies/interests with your person.

If you find that you both just “don’t like the same things,” and you are constantly forced into participating in activities they like, and you hate, it might be a red flag.

Consideration and respect should be ever present.

As Lauryn Hill says, “Respect is just the minimum.”  “Mutual respect [should be] at the heart of every relationship,” Dr. Venessa Marie Perry, Founder and Chief Relationship Strategist at The Love Write, told Bustle. “Couples with a genuine respect for each other treat and act in a manner that shows kindness, gentleness and understanding in all situations.”

Spending time together should come naturally.

People who are meant to be, make their schedules work, despite the obstacles. Miranda N Dennis, LCSW, told Bustle, “We want to me make sure that our partners’ needs are taken care of because we want to contribute to their well-being and happiness,” she says.

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