They say the only time that a relationship is great is during the getting-to-know-you phase. This is the time that the proverbial “sparks fly” happens, where love at first sight blooms, and when a man and a woman put their best foot forward to capture the heart of the one they desire. When this honeymoon period is over, that’s when reality sinks in. Suddenly the woman can’t stand to be in the same room with her beloved. Her beloved feels the same way, and all he can see now is a mouth that nags him to death.

This is indeed tragic. How can such a romantic beginning end in despair? What went wrong?

Issues in a relationship are inevitable. When the sparks fade, when the love at first sight settles its sights firmly on the reality of being truly in a relationship, that’s when issues with one another come to the surface. If your current relationship feels like it’s headed to Splitsville, you might want to look out for these signs that scream red flag.

1. Miscommunication

Men and women have different communication styles. They are not programmed on the same software. They are not wired on the same spool. In short, they don’t speak the same language.

How different are these communication styles? Very. Picture this: The girl is upset with her guy for going out with his friends without informing her. When the guy asks if there was a problem, the girl just shrugs it off and say, “Nothing.” The guy takes this as gospel truth and no longer ask. The girl will be upset even more as she thinks her man isn’t sensitive to her feelings. From being upset, she will then feel mad about how her man handles their problem and a fight ensues.

Sounds familiar? Indeed it is! All of us have gone through the exact same argument with our significant others at one point in our lives. And when we look back at how we approached the problem, we now feel silly for not handling the matter more maturely. But it is being inside that argument that our immaturity makes its presence felt. When we step back from it will we realize how petty the argument was, and how childish we are for acting that way.

Making an effort to understand one another is the first step toward building a happy and healthy relationship. For example, women should not make a clairvoyant out of their men. They can’t read your mind! Men are direct with their dealings, so you should say what you want directly and as it is.

2. No time for each other (or lack of quality time)

Most relationships suffer from this kind of setup: One is so caught up with work that the other feels neglected. If you’re lucky, your significant other will not do something about the negligence and find elsewhere to fill the void. But if you’re not…well, you should have known better. When you entered into a commitment, you were physically there, so in nurturing and ensuring that the relationship sees its full potential, you DEFINITELY have to be there, in the flesh.

Some men would make an excuse out of “I’m trying to build a better future for us.” This excuse should be banned for all eternity. Work should not be a reason for not spending time with your loved one. You can always make time if you really want to. And not just being there, but really spending quality time with your beloved to make up for the all the times that you were simply too busy.

3. Extreme jealousy (or lack of it)

A healthy dose of jealousy can be a good thing. It adds spice to the relationship and keep it in check. Too much of it reflects that you don’t trust your partner, and trust me, paranoia is outdated and does not look good on anybody.

The lack of jealousy is just as bad. Some women would interpret this as you no longer find her desirable so you’re confident that nobody will try to steal her from you (Ouch!). When she makes an effort to dress up and really look good, tease her a bit and say, “You look beautiful, honey. I hope that’s for me.” A little jealousy affirms that you love her and you do not want to lose her.

4. Romance fizzles out

Romance isn’t just about sex. It’s about intimacy, attraction and connection. When all these three are lacking, your relationship is on the verge of a cliff. Make an effort to connect with your loved one by spicing things up when things are becoming stale. Compliment each other and don’t fall short on kisses. Remember, all it takes is a kiss (a really great, earth-shattering one!) to heat things up.