Sometimes we get so carried away by what we feel for someone that we don’t care to check the energy they give to us in return.
You think they are the one, but do they think so about you?
It’s a tough question we may not want to ask ourselves, especially when we know what the answer will be.
Sometimes relationships start great – as many usually do. Then the natural decay that sets in with time catches up with it. However, we often refuse to accept reality. We hope that it’s just a phase that will pass.
But most times it isn’t a phase; it’s a sign that we should move on.
“It takes two people to create a pattern, but only one to change it,” relationship therapist Esther Perel wrote in her book, Mating In Captivity.
Sure, we all want to be with someone we are attracted to. But as much as love is worth fighting for, you shouldn’t be the only one fighting. And some relationships aren’t worth fighting for. According to experts, here are six ways to spot them.
1. The relationship feels lonely
One of the best ways you know you’re with the right person is that you feel accepted.
This doesn’t mean that your partner feels you’re perfect, but they care about you enough to never use your insecurities against you. As the philosopher Alain de Botton put it,
“Intimacy is the capacity to be rather weird with someone – and finding that that’s ok with them.”
Sure, the right person will encourage you to be your best, but they won’t reject your worst. This is the essence of emotional safety — knowing that you don’t need to be afraid to be yourself when you’re with someone.
When you have a partner that subtly preys on your insecurities, telling you one minute you’re the best, and the other minute making you feel like you’re crazy for being the way you are, that’s subtle emotional manipulation.
You want to be with someone who pays attention to how their words make you feel. If your partner makes you feel like an outsider, then your relationship might be a lonely ride in the long run.
Related: 7 Signs She’s The One
2. They don’t value your interests
Think about how you felt when you excelled in something you were interested in. I bet it was great, wasn’t it?
Our interests shape our lives. We light up when we talk about them to others, especially those we love. When we fall short in doing them, we feel bad. And when we excel, we are filled with a sense of meaning.
Now, imagine telling someone you love about something you care so much about and having a dead response in return? That’s heartbreak right there.
According to experts at The Gottman Institute, one of the most fulfilling things in a relationship is having your interests and passions understood and acknowledged by your partner.
When your partner doesn’t take your interests seriously, it has a lot of implications:
First, it could mean they just don’t care about what you feel. If someone truly loves you, there will be empathy. They will pay attention to your energy when you talk about your interest and mirror it back to you.
Secondly, your partner not taking your interest seriously could just mean they don’t believe in you.
Whichever reason it may be, being with someone who doesn’t care about your dreams will make you feel unheard and neglected. There’s no love without empathy.
3. You don’t feel an emotional connection with them
“The more we trust,” Esther Perel wrote, “the farther we are able to venture.”
To bond with someone on a deep level, we have to be able to let down our guard with them. And when you’re always on the lookout, afraid you’re with the wrong person, it’s kind of difficult to fall deeply in love.
Do you know the best evidence of an emotional connection?
Watch how your partner handles the little things. Do they pay attention to you when you speak? How do they behave when you’re distressed?
Someone who is emotionally connected to you will make you feel heard. With them, you’ll feel the empathy, the ease of communication, and the attention they’ll give to you. And the more we feel that someone is emotionally invested in us, the more we know we can trust them.
Good looks may capture the eyes, but no one opens their hearts to you until they know for sure that you care.
In other words, we don’t trust those we love, we fall in love with those we trust.
Also read: 9 Signs She’s Pretending to Love You
4. You feel like an outsider
If someone thinks you’re their “one,” they won’t hide you.
According to studies, when we find someone we truly want to build a serious relationship with, we don’t just include them in our inner circle, we also try to use our inner circle to bring them closer to us (aka support marshaling).
Maybe you’ve also done this:
If you’re in a relationship with a girl you love, and you invite her over to your house, you’re going to tell your friends and family (or whoever is around) to treat her right, and more importantly, put in a good word for you. You’ll be proud to show her off.
That’s how it works when we are serious about someone.
However, when your partner keeps hiding you, it’s either they are not serious about you or there’s someone else in the picture.
5. You see minor resentment
Resentment often comes from the little things. First, you see the signs in the form of minor irritations, then it metamorphoses into passive-aggressive attacks.
According to experts, one of the major things that often breeds resentment is having unrealistic expectations from your partner. When your partner always looks at you through a critical eye, like you have to act in a certain way to earn their admiration, that’s a bad place to be in the long term.
You may think that minor resentments here and there should be nothing to worry about, but resentment grows fast and spreads like wildfire.
Passive aggression can quickly turn to full-blown irritation at even the littlest things.
True love is patient. And more importantly, if you’re going to be with someone long-term, they shouldn’t persecute you for your flaws. They should accept you, warts and all.
6. You’re the only one fighting
A relationship only flourishes when two people put in the effort to make it work.
If you’re always the one putting the effort to plan hangouts or apologize when things fall apart, that’s the wrong dynamic. And you’re most likely the only one looking for something long-term.
Here’s a hard truth:
Most people find it difficult to outrightly confront their partner when they want out of a relationship — especially if nothing drastic caused this sudden loss of interest. So their nonchalant attitude is often their attempt to tell you they are not interested in making things work anymore.
When you see the sign, don’t waste your time fighting. As the saying goes, a relationship is worth fighting for, but you shouldn’t be the only one fighting.
Most people don’t meet their “one” until after their first few relationships. We all have made mistakes and wasted time in relationships that we knew didn’t have a future, and that’s okay.
What matters is making the right choice today.
When you enter relationships because of how someone makes us feel, not because you need to be in one, you approach it differently.
The right person will make you feel loved, accepted, and heard. You’ll feel the emotional connection, and they’ll make you understand that you’re safe with them, even in your weirdness.