How to know when “the one”…isn’t.
One of the most difficult things anyone will ever have to admit is that they’ve chosen the wrong romantic partner.
It means facing the realization that they need to start over at square one — but first, they need to muster the courage to end the relationship.
Depending how far down the line you are, this could mean someone moving out, separating from a beloved pet…or maybe you’re married. Maybe you’re married with kids…
Maybe you’re married with kids and own a house.
The point is this: Even when relationships are simple — just two single people otherwise unattached — it can be difficult to walk away. Let alone when a life has been built around the relationship.
So many people miss (or ignore) red flags early on that they get so far down the wrong road, they’ve got no idea how to turn around. So, sometimes, they don’t. They just settle into a mediocre life with a mediocre love and pretend to enjoy mediocre days.
That, though, is not the life that you envisioned for yourself, nor the one that you should choose to live. Your life and your love should be filled with passion, adventure, excitement, peace, harmony, and connection.
But, what if it’s not?
Below we’ll discuss five feelings you’ll have if you’re with the wrong person, so you’ll have a fair chance at doing something about it.
1: You feel “meh” about your future together.
Let’s be real about this: Forever is a long time.
If you’re in a mature adult monogamous relationship, odds are that you’re not just looking for a fling, but someone you can genuinely picture spending the rest of your life with.
That, for many, sounds daunting.
You have many decades left, after all. Manyphases of life. Many wins, losses, challenges, illnesses, expenses, duties, chores — accomplishments, goals, victories, celebrations…maybe marriage, kids…
All of which are going to be shared with one person that you choose — if you choose monogamy.
Now, imagine the person you’re with is alongside of you during that journey: How do you feel?
How do you feel about waking up next to them in five, or ten years?
How do you feel about raising children with them?
How do you feel about taking that international month long trip with them?
How do you feel about growing old with them?
If you just feel “meh” about that vision — or even worse — dreadful about it…it’s a clear sign that you need to evaluate why you’re with this person in the first place, and what is really important to you down the road.
We only get one shot at this life, the last thing we should do is choose to share it with someone who isn’t right for us.
2: You’re secretly hoping they’re going to change.
It’s not realistic to love everything about your partner, but you do have to accept everything about them.
This means their habits, nuances, quirks, and idiosyncrasies. We all have them.
The problem arises, though, when there are fundamental qualities or traits in a person that you simply cannot get past, or that make you incompatible.
You overlooked them when the relationship started because you were excited about this new person and you were having a great time together. You’d go out and have fun, enjoy special occasions, have fantastic sex, laugh until you cried, and cuddled until you fell asleep.
And then…after awhile, you simmered into your real life together. When the boiling water stopped bubbling, you could see what was beneath the surface again.
So now you’re with someone who has things about them that someday, you hope are going to change.
But, deep down, you know that they won’t — because they’re ingrained in your partners’ identity.
You grin and bear it as you get through the days and hope maybe tomorrow will be different. But, it isn’t.
At this point you need to ask yourself how long you can realistically hold on to something that you know isn’t right. How much stress or anxiety are you willing to endure as you simply tolerateyour partner, waiting for that magical moment when they turn into the person that — gasp — you secretly wish they were?
Truly loving someone is about fully accepting them as they are today, not secretly hoping they’ll turn into someone else tomorrow.
If you can’t love them for who they really are, let them go to find someone who will.
3: You have to “trick yourself” around them.
Here’s what I mean:
Do you have a friend who you love doing certain things with, but not others?
For example, maybe Susie or Steve are always down for a good time. If you text them to get a drink, they’ll be there right away. You know the night will be exactly what you need and you’ll have fun together.
But — they’re not on your list of invitations for the casual family get together.
When you choose a romantic partner, they’re your guest for everything. And, if there are only certain things you like doing with them, you’re going to have to trick yourself into doing the others.
Maybe you need to let loose and have a drink or two first.
Maybe you’re always apologizing for their snide remarks or rude comments…but “they mean well, really.”
Maybe you think it’s normal or natural for your feelings or attraction to come and go, fade in and out, be hot and cold…
So, in the times that it’s cold you do something artificial to heat it back up again.
No, we can’t be expected to be on fire with our partner at all times no matter what, but it’s a completely different discussion when you’re questioning why you’re with them the majority of the time.
They should bring far more joy to your life than they bring anxiety. If the balance is shifted in the other direction, then why are you still with them?
4: Your arguments are about WHO is right, not WHAT is right.
When I was younger, I had a blind optimism about relationships. I didn’t think that happy couples ever fought…ever.
Of course, when I got older and learned the truth, I understood that disagreements and even arguments occur in all types of relationships, no matter how healthy.
But, how these disagreements are handled makes all the difference.
I believe that being in a relationship makes you part of a team, and a team works together towards a common goal.
Teammates do not play against each other, they play alongside each other.
Likewise in a relationship: It should be you and your partner against the problem, not you against your partner.
This requires you to stand shoulder to shoulder and find a resolution to your conflict together. If you find that you are fundamentally unable to do that, then each of these arguments is simply going to stack on top of each other until the pile is so tall, you can’t even see each other over it.
If you find that consistently, over time, your viewpoints are simply too far apart to build a bridge between them, it may be time to just leave the pieces on the ground and walk away.
5: You don’t like them “as a friend.”
No, I don’t mean just as a friend — a’la “the friend zone.”
I have been saying for years that happy relationships are built on a foundation of friendship.
Meaning: You should like your partner as you would a friend. You should like doing the boring, monotonous things with them. Errands, chores around the house, cooking, boring dinner on a boring Tuesday.
Yes, life can be full of excitement, adventure, and passion — but the reality is that it’s also full of regular, everyday stuff.
And, the older you get, the more of this regular everyday stuff plays a role in your life together.
Imagine being in your rocking chair after retirement not liking the person who’s next to you.
Imagine finally taking that huge trip you’ve been saving towards for years and not liking the personwho you take it with.
Imagine having to care for someone after an accident or during an illness…and not liking them.
When you can truly enjoy the time you spend with your partner, no matter what it is that you’re doing, life becomes fuller, richer, and more enjoyable.
You’re choosing a person that could be by your side for decades to come, if that’s not something to hold the highest of standards for, then I don’t know what is.