No matter how in love you are, there may come a time when your relationship just doesn’t feel right. That uneasiness could just be the typical restlessness couples sometimes feel or it could be a sign you’re not with your best match. In fact, you may have fallen for the wrong person.
What’s the key to falling in love with the right person? Jeannie Assimos, eHarmony’s vice president of content, says it’s all about who you choose to love. “If you don’t change your mate selection mechanism, you will subconsciously choose the same heartache every time. You will ignore the obvious red flags, believing, that this relationship will be different… but nothing changes,” she reports on the eHarmony blog. “The key to finding true love is to discover the mechanism in your subconscious which fits like a puzzle piece with potential partners. You don’t have to change how you act, your clothes, your weight, or your personality; you just need to shift your piece of the puzzle. When your puzzle piece shifts, you will see that the men or women you meet will start to change as well.”
Here are some signs you might be with the wrong person.
1. Your self-esteem has taken a hit
Love shouldn’t hurt. If you find that you feel worse about yourself after spending time with your partner, it’s time to re-evaluate your relationship. Unfortunately, once your self-esteem has diminished due to a bad relationship, a vicious cycle begins where you continue to accept poor treatment because you feel you either can’t do better or don’t deserve better. “People with low self-esteem tend to be less confident that other people perceive them in a positive light. They doubt whether strangers will like them, and they’re not sure if the people they’re close to will continue to like, love, accept, or want them,” psychologist Alice Boyes says on her blog.
2. You’re not yourself
Someone who truly loves you will accept you for who you are. You should not feel pressured to fit into a mold your partner has carved out for you. You owe it to yourself to live an authentic life. If you feel you have to downplay certain aspects of your personality or pretend to enjoy events or activities you could care less about, you are doing yourself and your partner a disservice. “What is non-negotiable for you? You need to be really clear about that and to communicate those things to the person you’re going to be with,” life coach Carol Chanel says in her e-zine.
3. You don’t feel safe
One indication that you’re with the right person is you feel both emotionally and physically safe. If your partner has been physically or verbally violent, you must know this isn’t love. Take the necessary steps to remove yourself from this situation and surround yourself with people who can ensure your safety. What may feel like love is often fear or even distorted hope.
“Their desperate, often palpable hope, if you sit in the room with them, is that the abuse will go away. And they tend to block out all evidence to the contrary. In point of fact, they stay for love. Many abuse survivors cling to the positive traits in their partners — like being affectionate and reliable,'” psychologist Craig Malkin notes in a piece for Psychology Today.
4. You’re pining for someone else
Are you constantly thinking about a past love and wondering, “What if?” This could be your heart’s way of nudging you and letting you know you’re in the wrong place. And according to research, a rekindled romance may be more successful than your current one. “According to [Nancy] Kalish, the country’s foremost expert in rekindled romance, lost-and-found romances are surprisingly successful, as long as both partners are not otherwise attached at the time they reconnect,” Psychology Today contributor Pamela Weintraub says.
5. You’re emotionally drained
A good relationship should leave you feeling energized, not drained. Life is too short for you to spend your time with an emotional vampire. As soon as you realize you’re with someone who is draining you emotionally, it’s important for you to do your best to get away from him or her; your well-being depends on it.
In her book Emotional Freedom, Psychiatrist Judith Orloff urges readers to preserve their emotional health. When we don’t protect our emotions, we are setting ourselves up for poor health and a poor quality of life. Orloff had this to say: “Set your intention to feed what’s best and most beautiful within you, a stance that will impel your liberation.”
6. There’s unequal effort
Does it seem as if you’re the only one who really cares about whether the relationship survives? Your relationship should have a fair amount of give and take, so this is another sign you might not be with the right person. If your partner truly cares about you, he or she will try to make the relationship work. On the other hand, also make sure you don’t fall into the trap of score keeping. Psychiatrist Scott Haltzman warns that paying too much attention to who gives what could create unnecessary friction.
7. You’re afraid the relationship could end at any moment
Do you feel like you have to constantly walk on eggshells whenever you’re around your partner? You should feel emotionally safe and secure in your relationship. In a healthy relationship, it’s necessary for both partners to be able to speak openly and honestly. If your partner constantly threatens to leave over small things, it could be time to make a decision about whether you want to stay or go.
8. You can’t see a future together
When you think about the future is your partner in it? If not, this is a red flag. Couples who know they were meant to be together can’t imagine a future without their partner. If you feel happier when you think of not being with your partner, you clearly have a problem on your hands. Instead of hoping that things will get better, either work on your problems in counseling or move on.
9. You make excuses for staying
When you know you’re with the right person, you won’t have to make excuses for being with him or her. If you’ve been making excuses for why you should stay with your partner, dig deep and ask yourself exactly why you’ve stayed for so long. Are you afraid to be alone? Do you think you can’t do better? The reason for your decisions may be linked to issues with your self-esteem.
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