Ah, the joy of the honeymoon stage. Infatuated, your lover crosses your mind again and again.
You’re so full of pleasure that you truly believe you’ve found the perfect partner. You’re dreamily content to ignore any potential downsides – until it all goes south.
Then, you think to yourself “but, I’ve never been so in love. What the heck happened?”
If this sounds like you, or if you are having doubts about your relationship, there’s a reason why. Love is certainty.
Not about everything, but about the things that matter: trust, expectations, commitment, goals. And it doesn’t bloom overnight.
It grows – slowly and surely. If you’re feeling confused about your relationship, here are some signs that you aren’t in love with your partner – and perhaps, you never really were.
1. You Haven’t Known Them Long Enough.
We love to romanticize the idea of love at first sight. But the hard truth is that it’s rare. You simply can’t know a person’s true nature, interests, or priorities upon eye contact.
If it’s only been a few weeks – or even a few months – you have to face the facts. You’re probably in lust – not love.
Love is a connection that is much deeper than infatuation or attraction. It involves vulnerability, difficult experiences, meaningful memories, understanding, communication – all things that take time.
To love, you must know your partner deeply. Can you talk about their past, their present, and their future with confidence and understanding?
Do you know what they want out of life? If not, how can you love them?
2. You Have A Lot Of Love To Give.
Would your friends describe you as extra? When you like something a lot, do you say (or think) that you love it?
If you experience strong emotions, that’s okay! That’s just who you are.
But when it comes to your interpersonal relationships, you need to distinguish from true love and expressive love.
It can be hard to identify true love, especially if you’ve never felt it before. Think about how the way you love a new pair of jeans and the way you love your family are different.
Loving a partner is different than both of these. And if you haven’t felt it yet, that’s all right. You will in time, even if it’s not right now.
3. The Sparks Have Died.
Once the initial infatuation of a new relationship wears off, you’ll be able to see each others’ true colors. In life, it’s easy to take for granted ‘what is always there’ – but that doesn’t make it right.
If you notice that you’ve stopped spending quality time together – like going out on dates, cuddling and talking about your days, or having meals at home together – you should consider these as red flags (and maybe watch for others, too).
Do you want to present your best self to your partner – emotionally and physically? Do they dress up for you still? Do they show up for you still?
Or do you get their leftovers after they’ve put all their energy into other people at work or home? Think deeply about the time you spend together.
Do you want to spend time together, still? What do you like about it? What do you wish was different?
Now that you’ve lost your rose-colored glasses, take a deep look at your partner. Do you love who they are? Or did you love the idea of who you thought they were?
4. You Compare Your Partner To Other People.
If you’re always comparing your relationship to your friends, families, or even strangers on social media, you’re probably not serious about it.
It shows that you’re not happy – that you think something is missing. If that’s how you feel, then why are you with them?
5. You Guilt Trip Them.
If you care more about ‘being right’ than your partner’s feelings, you don’t love them.
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Next time you get into an argument about the smallest, most insignificant thing, think about what you use for leverage. Do you put them down?
Bring up irrelevant mistakes from the past? Make them feel guilty for challenging you? If so, you need to put down your power trip.
Real love is healthy. It’s empathy and understanding. It’s compassion and listening. If you use guilt as leverage in the relationship, you need to check your ego and identify your insecurities.
And probably let the other person move on…
6. You Aren’t Growing Together.
Love is long-term. Change is inevitable in life. Do you see how the two are related? When you love someone, you’re willing to adapt and make changes.
That’s how it’s supposed to be. You share experiences, exchange ideas, disagree, and reach compromises. You won’t be the same by the end of it, and that’s normal.
You should always be learning and growing. In or out of love. And if you think you’re in love, but you feel stagnant, you and your partner could be holding each other back.
7. You’re Not Interested in Their Life.
You don’t need to be overbearing about it, but when you love someone, you take an interest in their personal life. If they fight with a friend, you care.
If they win an award, you’re elated. If they’re stressed, you want to help them. If they’re happy, you share in their joy.
If you don’t care about their successes, their failures, or their emotions, you don’t love them.
8. They Aren’t A Part Of Your Future.
When you’re in love, you commit. If you feel anxious about planning a trip well in advance – say, several months or a year in advance – it means you have cold feet.
In a new relationship, that’s understandable. But you need to be open and honest about what’s going on.
Sometimes factors in life pull people apart. If you’re not willing to make changes or plan a future together, you’re not in love.
9. You Talk, But Don’t Communicate.
Do you have more small talk than meaningful conversations?
If you avoid hard topics – like resolving arguments, planning for the future, or bringing up conflict – you might not care about each other’s feelings.
And if you feel fear about bringing up certain topics, your relationship is not healthy. When you’re in love, you should feel like you can openly discuss anything and still be heard.
You should feel safe and comfortable – even around awkward subjects.
10. You Don’t Want To Be With Them.
Sometimes you might find yourself wanting to leave a relationship, but also wanting to stay because you think you love them.
But that’s not a good enough reason, especially if you’re not sure if it’s real.
If you struggle to make time for each other, struggle to find a meaningful connection in the moments you share, or notice that you’d rather be alone or with friends, it’s time to move on.
When you’re in love, you miss your partner. You long to be with them – and you appreciate every minute that you are with them.
11. You Don’t Say It.
Of course, you don’t need to say “I love you,” to actually love someone. But, if one – or both of you – don’t feel comfortable with the L-word, you probably don’t love each other.
If you don’t feel the desire to say it, or if it doesn’t feel genuine, those three words don’t mean anything.
If you loved them, it would feel natural and comfortable.
12. You Could Ghost Them.
Would you be able to just turn your back on them and leave them? If the answer is yes, then you don’t love them.
Ghosting someone is rude. It hurts. And you know it. If you don’t care, then you’re probably only with them because you’re bored or lonely.
Stop using them and wasting their time. Do both of you a favor and tell them the truth about how you feel.
You’re the only one who can realize if you’re truly in love with someone – or if you’re in love with a fantastical idea of a person who doesn’t exist.
It can be difficult knowing if you’ve met the one, especially at the beginning of a new relationship.
But you need to distinguish a flourishing partnership and a toxic cycle. Love grows over time, but if one person loves and the other doesn’t, you could find yourself in a pretty sticky situation.
If you’ve noticed unhealthy signs in your loveless relationship, you should probably just get out while you can.
You deserve love, and so does your partner – whether it’s together or with other people. Talk about how you feel, and always be honest with yourself and each other.
How many of the signs on this list apply to your relationship? And what did we miss?
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