Have you ever wondered why such a large percentage of romantic relationships end up failing miserably? Ever thought that perhaps a significant portion of breakups might be preventable?

In my experience, there are a few common things that typically derail relationships. These problems are what I’m going to focus on in this article.

Now, if you do a bit of reading on the topic, you’ll find a lot of dating websites will say, “It’s because of poor communication!” or “you two aren’t psycho-socially compatible!”

Errr… right. Ok. Whatever that means.

Research has shown that more than 85% of all breakups are caused by a “fundamental loss of attraction”. No, I’m not talking about just sexual attraction… I’m talking about just “attraction” in general.

Human beings have been on this planet for thousands of years, and over time, we’ve developed a common set of things that we find ‘attractive’. There are certain traits than men possess that attract women, and there are certain traits a woman possesses that attract men.

But what are these traits, specifically?

Well, let me cover four unattractive traits that you may have exhibited during your relationship that may have caused it to fail:

1) Being too needy and ‘clingy’.

Yes, the “clingy girlfriend”… unfortunately, this is a very common trait that many people exhibit in a relationship.

While your partner may seem to think its “cute”, being overly needy is actually one of the biggest attraction killers there is. Yes, as weird as it sounds, studies have shown that being that “clingy” girlfriend or boyfriend is actually a massive, massive turn off.

We humans are constantly seeking a challenge. When something becomes “too easy,” it’s in our nature to move on and find new challenges. This sort of survival mechanism is our way of finding ways to continually improve ourselves and our environment.

If you’ve been guilty of this in your relationship, then spice things up a little bit more! Learn to be a challenge sometimes. Don’t hand over all your affection on the first date… it’s just not attractive!

2) Being overly controlling.

Yes, this is another big reason relationships don’t work out.

Being way too controlling over your partner will actually give you less control in the end. That’s right. Studies have shown that the more controlling one partner gets, the more the other partner will try and break free. As you can probably imagine, this puts you on a collision course for failure.

If you’ve been guilty of this, learn to manage your jealousy. It’s a huge sign of insecurity, and it won’t help solve any potential infidelity anyway (it may even encourage it!).

3) Constantly seeking ‘validation’.

This goes along with being insecure about the relationship. Have you ever asked your partner, “does this make me look fat?” Or, if you’re a guy, have you ever asked your girlfriend, “is my penis big enough?”

Huge. Turnoff.

Instead, try and be that confident, powerful individual. This is attractive. The former is not. It’s OK to seek validation once in a while, but don’t make it a habit or you’ll be sending powerful messages of self-doubt.

4) Cheating and infidelity.

This is an obvious one, but lack of trustworthiness is a very serious threat to romantic attraction.

In medieval times, you could actually be killed for adultery… and almost all human cultures consider it a sin. Cheating will almost certainly end your relationship, especially if it’s serious and romantic in nature.

There’s no doubt that humans generally look down upon this sort of behavior, so next time, think twice before you try something stupid that will provide a few minutes of pleasure but potentially ruin your relationship in the process.

If you can manage to avoid these four common trouble spots, then you and your partner are much more likely to enjoy a happy, conflict-free relationship. And while just addressing these few items may not prevent breakup altogether, it will help ensure that any loss of attraction is organic and unpreventable.

Mark Belmont, MA, CPT, is a dating coach and editor at LoveLearnings.com. His writing covers numerous relationship & romance topics, including what men want in a girlfriend and what guys look for in women.