We force relationships because we don’t want to accept the truth about how someone feels about us. And almost everyone has been there. Why?
Forced relationships often start great. You fall in love with someone amazing, you both share great chemistry, and it feels like you’re going to really be happy ever after.
But as time passes, decay sets in.
However, even though one person appears not to be all into the relationship anymore, the other still holds on to the hope of building the dream life with their partner. The only problem now is that you’re the only one dreaming. Your partner has long given up on the relationship. They just haven’t said it in words.
Forced relationships are very common because when we stop enjoying a relationship, we rarely want to confront our partner about how we truly feel. Instead, we’ll show our feelings through withdrawal, or any other form of emotional disengagement.
So how can you tell that your relationship is at this stage even if neither you nor your partner is saying it in words?
1. You’re secretly hoping that they change
In every relationship, there will be things that you wished were different about your partner. But they should be negligible things.
Fundamental things like your values and life-defining habits that could influence your relationship shouldn’t be condoned with the hope that your partner will change.
If you’re in a relationship with someone, and you’re holding on to them because you’re secretly hoping that they’ll change a lot of things about themselves, they’re not the one for you.
For instance, you feel embarrassed wherever you go out with him and he ends up drunk, but you hold on because you think he’ll change.
Or, you know she has an eye for flashy things, and this insatiability has led to her cheating in the past, but you hold on because you hope to make enough so you can buy her the whole world. You’re forcing the relationship.
According to research psychologist Rob Pascale, Trying to change your partner isn’t just unreasonable, it is also harmful to the relationship. And the major reason for this, as he explained, is that the spouse who wants the other to change will continue to be disappointed. And this disappointment can quickly lead to anger and resentment.
2. They are not excited about a future with you
You’re excited as you playfully paint a picture of how great it will be to have a beautiful house together with them, but they can’t even fake a genuine smile.
When someone isn’t into a relationship anymore, it means that they are most likely already looking for a way out. Hence, the mere thought of having a future with you isn’t appealing to imagine.
They may be able to fake being happy with you once in a while, but talking about the future will always catch them off guard. They’ll feel almost offended, as if they’re trying to tell you,
“Don’t you have any clue? This isn’t working.”
This could also be you. How do you feel when you imagine a future with your partner? Do you feel excited? Or just … okay.
Here’s the thing: Desire or excitement is often difficult to sustain even in the most passionate relationships. If you force a relationship with someone who you’re not excited to have a future with, then things are going to go downhill even faster.
Related: 10 Reasons He Keeps You Around But Doesn’t Want A Relationship
3. You have a forced attraction toward them
There are many things you don’t like about him, but you like that he is cute and has a lot of friends you guys always hang out with.
However, the fact that he always ends up drunk and misbehaves in public makes you feel embarrassed whenever you guys go out. You hate your relationship every time this happens, but you still hang in there.
This is just one example, but you get the idea.
Sure, no one’s perfect. But if you find yourself always having to explain away unbearable behavior simply because there’s a tiny aspect of your partner’s nature you’re holding on to, you might be forcing it with them.
People do this often because they hope that their partner will change those things that they don’t like. But holding onto a relationship and wishing your partner will change isn’t realistic.
If you can’t leave with someone now, there’s no proof that they’ll change in the future.
4. There’s no foundation for friendship
It’s hard to sustain a romantic relationship that isn’t built on friendship.
But is it even possible to be in a romantic relationship with someone without being friends with them first? Yes.
People rush into relationships simply because they find each other physically attractive. They don’t start as friends. It was passionate sex from the first day they met.
According to therapist Hannah Rose, these types of people are excitement seekers. They love the high of “new love.” They love like the adrenaline spikes, and as a result, most of their affairs tend to be mainly physical.
Of course, people who start like this may sometimes end up building friendship on the go, but in most cases, it doesn’t happen. Soon, they’ll realize that what they have is only physical. And you can see this by how well you relate when you’re alone with your partner.
Are you always finding things to feel your time? Instead of sitting in each other’s presence and just enjoying your company, you binge on Netflix because you can’t stand the awkward silence.
If the only moment you feel any connection towards your partner is after a great round of sex, such a relationship is not sustainable.
5. You can’t have difficult conversations
When partners never have difficult conversations, it’s usually one of two things:
Firstly, they are always sweeping issues under the carpet. Secondly, they don’t see their relationship as valuable enough to even fight for it. Either way, it’s not good.
In the first instance, when couples are always sweeping problems under the carpet, passive aggression is going to build up with time. And passive aggression can quickly become resentment.
Secondly, if two people don’t think their relationship is valuable enough to talk about difficult things, then being together isn’t worth it.
According to research, when partners express anger at things they don’t like, it often leads to honest conversations which end up making relationships stronger. In other words, the ability to have difficult conversations is vital in any long-term relationship.
Most times, the signs that a relationship is dead are obvious. But we choose to hold on because of the fun times we’ve had and the hopes that things will turn around.
But not all relationships can be turned around. If you’ve tried and still can’t restore the life in the relationship, chances are, you’re trying to force it.
Forcing a relationship often takes a toll on those involved. Firstly, you could use that time to start nurturing a relationship with the right person. Secondly, being in the wrong relationship is a sure road to slow emotional drainage.
Also read: 9 Signs She’s Pretending to Love You