I used to look at guys and wonder if they were The One without even knowing their first name.
I’d date people so wholly wrong for me that I could almost forsee the breakup before it even happened. “The heart wants what it wants,” I’d tell my friends or even to myself when I was trying to convince myself what I knew was wrong was right.
The problem is your heart doesn’t always know what’s best for you or what you truly deserve. I’ve been in a happy and healthy relationship now for nearly 3 years, and when I look back at all the people I dated, all of the signs were there, and right in my face. I wish I’d listened.
If you’re in a relationship right now, here are a few signs to look out for if you feel unsettled about the person you’re dating.
Even though the two of you communicate, nothing ever changes within your relationship.
You get into a huge argument, and you’re ready to get out of it. That is how frustrated you are.
The problem is your partner swears they’ll change. They swear they’re going to put in more effort, so you believe them and work through it. Months (or maybe weeks) later, you have yet again another argument over the same exact problem because they haven’t put in the necessary effort.
Relationship coach Caitlin Killoren says, “Waiting for your partner to change is a recipe for heartache.”
In any healthy relationship, two people come together and express their individual concerns with the goal of coming together with a solution.
However, if you’re with the wrong person, you can have all the conversations you want and communicate your issues as often as possible and still, nothing will ever change.
Eventually, you’re going to have to be honest with yourself about where this relationship is or isn’t going.
If you stay with someone who promises you they’ll be better but they never make an active effort, you’re going to be waiting for a really long time, wasting precious moments with someone who doesn’t care enough to follow through.
The financial investment is far from equal.
Relationship coach Jenna Ponaman says,
“If your partner doesn’t make an effort to share in the responsibilities, this can be a huge sign of codependency. This means the relationship is more about the necessity and less about desire. The more it continues, the more you’ll feel a sense of imbalance especially if it’s not something you’ve communicated about.”
Finances in a relationship can often be a slippery slope. Everybody has a different perspective on the matter; who pays for the first date? Should it be split? Who pays for dinner when you’ve been dating for several months? Or maybe a year?
I’ve always expected my date to pay for things such as dinners, coffees, etc. They asked me out; they’re trying to impress me; why should I pay for the dinner they asked me out on?
A friend of mine recently got into a relationship with a guy. He’s unemployed, unwilling to get a job, and she pays for everything. He also moved into her apartment, eats her and her roommates’ food, and even convinced her to open up a Best Buy credit card so he could get a new Xbox.
As Jenna Ponaman says, this is a huge sign of codependency, and this can lead to future problems and resentment in a relationship.
It’s a conversation that needs to be had, but sometimes you fall so hard for someone you don’t even realize you’re making yourself go broke because of them.
If you’ve been dating for only a short period of time and you’re already starting to feel a huge financial burden because of them, you might want to reassess.
Your lifestyle has drastically changed in an unhealthy way.
You know those people who start dating someone, and suddenly they become gym rats because their partner is a gym rat?
Or, those people who suddenly hop on the self-improvement train because they started dating someone who is into that?
These are all positive influences from a person. When I first started dating my boyfriend, I had very little knowledge as to what self-improvement was. I didn’t even know what entrepreneurship even meant.
This changed when we started to get to know one another, not because he was actively trying to change or influence me, but his positive habits simply rubbed off on me.
I was intrigued by his interests, I loved how he had his shit together, and I wanted the same for myself.
However, there are instances in which you start dating someone, and the complete opposite happens to you.
If you’re someone who believes in balance and eating healthy, but you’ve decided to ease up on that after meeting someone new, it might be a sign that your partner’s lifestyle habits may not be fully aligned with yours.
If you used to work out regularly, but your new partner convinces you to lay around and watch TV or hit up the bar, this could be a sign that the person you’re with isn’t right for you because they’re actively trying to replace your good habits with negative ones.
If you’re actively doing things that aren’t positive to make yourself feel more compatible with the person you’re with, you’re dating the wrong person.
You’ve confused being in love with lust.
Maybe you’re with someone right now who you’re absolutely obsessed with.
You feel like you’re in love, but in reality, you’re just infatuated. Being infatuated with someone often even feels like love, but it’s usually an obsessive and overly emotional idealized focus on them.
You know when you’re spending time with someone, and something inside of you just knows it’s not right? You know this mentally and emotionally, but physically you can’t tear yourself away from them.
There’s no real connection there, you don’t feel the click. In fact, it feels a little awkward when the two of you spend time together. You constantly try to fill the silence to make it less weird.
Love is not lust. Loving someone is seeing who a person is and being in love with them for it. You respect them, you appreciate their way of thinking, you could spend hours talking to them.
When it comes to having sex, it’s not a physical transaction. It’s an emotional connection that bonds the two of you.
Your relationship feels emotionally draining.
Relationships are not easy, let’s get that out of the way, but it should never have you feeling emotionally and physically drained.
A partner is meant to enhance your life and to add to it. If you’re starting to feel like instead, they’re taking away from it, you may be in love with the wrong person.
A few months into dating my boyfriend I was driving to his house after an extremely long and painful day at work. I felt exhausted, drained, frustrated, and as I was waiting for the stoplight to turn green I started crying.
I made it to his house and was greeted with the aroma of delicious food, and fresh new flowers. After a couple of hours, I even cheered up a little because I realized spending time with the right person never feels strenuous, in fact, it feels rejuvenating.
Take a step back and reassess, ask yourself why your relationship feels so exhausting.
Does your partner make you feel better when you’re down or do they drag you down even more? Do you ever wake up with dread knowing you’ll see them? Do you ever go home from spending time with them feeling like a night in, alone, would have been more enjoyable?
You can be with the greatest person of all time, and still feel overwhelmed in their presence and empty inside.
There are many signs outside of the ones I mentioned above that point to your relationship not being the right fit for you. But, just because the person you’re with isn’t The One, it doesn’t mean you’ll never find someone who is perfect for you in every single little way.
Maybe I’m a hopeless romantic, but I believe you have to go through a few wrong ones to hit the jackpot.
To reiterate, you might be dating the wrong person if you feel like:
- Despite the two of you communicating, nothing ever changes within your relationship.
- You’re already starting to feel a huge financial burden because of them, which is a huge sign of codependency and them taking advantage of you.
- You’re actively doing things that aren’t positive to make yourself feel more compatible with the person you’re with.
- You’re infatuated, and sometimes spending time with them feels a little awkward unless it’s in the bedroom.
- After a long day, the thought of spending time with your partner makes you feel even more tired.
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