Love and comfort — two emotions that often intertwine, but are they really the same?
I’ve learned the hard way that they aren’t.
You see, sometimes we mistake being comfortable with someone for being in love with them.
It’s a common misconception, and it can lead to heartache if not recognized.
But how do you discern between the two? How can you tell if you’re settling into a cozy comfort zone or genuinely experiencing the phenomenon of love?
Well, there are certain signs that make this distinction clearer. In this article, I’m going to share these 9 signs with you.
So, if you recognize these signs in your relationship, it could mean you’re mistaking comfort for love.
1) Your relationship is mainly about convenience
Let’s dive right in.
Sometimes, we find ourselves in relationships that are primarily based on convenience.
They’re comfortable, easy, and they fit nicely into our routines. There’s no upheaval, no drama, and no major changes to adapt to.
But here’s the catch: love isn’t always convenient.
True love often involves compromise, effort, and stepping out of your comfort zone. It’s about pushing boundaries, taking risks, and making space for another person in your life.
If you’re in a relationship mainly because it’s convenient and not because you’re passionate about the other person, it could be a sign you’re mistaking comfort for love.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing to be in a comfortable relationship, but it’s important to understand the difference between comfort and love. Because recognizing this difference can save you from a lot of confusion and potential heartache down the line.
2) You’re not growing together
There’s a concept in psychology known as “parallel play.”
This term is often used to describe the way toddlers play side by side but don’t really interact with each other. They’re happy in their own little worlds, content to coexist without truly engaging.
Now, you might be wondering, what does this have to do with love and comfort?
Well, sometimes, relationships can fall into this pattern of parallel play. You and your partner might be coexisting comfortably, but not truly growing together.
You’re living parallel lives, not an intertwined one. You’re doing things side by side, but not collectively as a team.
If you’re in a relationship where you feel more like roommates than romantic partners, it’s worth considering whether you’re mistaking comfort for love.
A loving relationship typically involves growth, both individually and as a couple. It’s about supporting each other’s dreams and ambitions, challenging each other, and building a life together—not just merely existing in the same space.
3) You don’t challenge each other
Challenging each other might not sound comfortable, right?
That’s because it’s not.
In fact, it’s often messy, difficult, and even frustrating. But it’s also a crucial aspect of a loving relationship.
Linking back to our previous point about growth, challenges play a significant role in driving personal and mutual development in a relationship.
If you and your partner never disagree, never debate, and generally avoid any form of conflict or challenge, you’re likely in a comfort zone.
While it might seem perfect on the surface — no arguments, no disagreements — it might indicate that you’re not pushing each other to grow and evolve.
A loving relationship isn’t about always agreeing with each other or avoiding conflict at all costs. It’s about challenging each other in a respectful way that promotes growth and deepens your bond.
If this element is missing in your relationship, you might be confusing comfort for love.
4) Are you excited about your future together?
When you think about the future, what do you see?
Is it filled with shared dreams, adventure, and anticipation? Or is it more of the same, with no real excitement or change on the horizon?
If your vision of the future is more about maintaining the status quo and less about shared dreams and creating new memories, it’s possible that you’re in a comfort zone.
Comfort can often lead us to settle into routines and resist change. We might avoid taking risks or making big plans because we’re comfortable with how things are.
But love? Love thrives on the shared excitement of building a future together. It involves dreaming together, making plans, and looking forward to creating shared memories.
5) You’re not meeting each other’s emotional needs
In a loving relationship, partners strive to meet each other’s emotional needs. They understand the importance of emotional intimacy and work towards maintaining it.
However, in a comfort-based relationship, this aspect often takes a back seat.
Here are some signs that you might be overlooking each other’s emotional needs:
- Conversations are mostly superficial, avoiding deep or emotional topics.
- There’s a lack of empathy or understanding when one of you is upset.
- You don’t express appreciation or affection regularly.
- There’s a constant feeling of loneliness despite being in each other’s company.
If these points resonate with you, it might be an indication that your relationship is more about comfort than love.
6) The thought of losing them doesn’t scare you
This is a tough one to admit, I know.
But let’s be honest here. In a truly loving relationship, the thought of losing your partner is downright terrifying. It’s not about possessiveness or dependency; it’s about the deep bond and connection you share.
When we truly love someone, the mere thought of living without them can make our heart wrench.
On the flip side, if you’re in a relationship for comfort, the idea of parting ways might not be as daunting.
Sure, it might be inconvenient or uncomfortable, but it doesn’t stir up that intense fear or sadness that comes with losing someone you genuinely love.
7) You’re not truly vulnerable with them
Picture this: you’ve had a rough day. Everything that could go wrong, did. You’re feeling low, frustrated, and just plain exhausted.
Now, here’s the question: would you open up to your partner about this? Would you let them see you at your most vulnerable?
Vulnerability is a cornerstone of love.
It’s about letting your guard down and allowing your partner to see you—flaws, fears, failures, and all. It’s about trusting them enough to share your deepest insecurities and darkest thoughts.
But in a comfort-based relationship, true vulnerability is often missing. You might share certain things, but there’s always that line you don’t cross. You keep those deep fears and insecurities hidden away.
8) There’s a lack of passion
I remember a time when I was in a relationship that felt more like being with a friend than a romantic partner. We got along well, had fun together, but there was something missing – passion.
Passion is one of those elements that sets a loving relationship apart from a comfort-based one. It’s that spark that keeps the relationship exciting and vibrant, even after years together.
When you’re in love, there’s this undeniable pull towards your partner.
It’s not just about physical attraction; it’s also about an emotional and intellectual connection that fuels your passion for each other.
In a comfort-based relationship, however, this passion often fades or is non-existent. You enjoy each other’s company, sure.
But that spark, that intensity? It’s just not there.
9) You can’t imagine them as your life partner
This is the final, and perhaps the most telling sign, that you might be mistaking comfort for love.
In a loving relationship, you can see your partner as your life partner. You can imagine growing old with them, facing life’s challenges together, and sharing your joys and sorrows.
You envision a future where they’re by your side, through thick and thin.
In a comfort-based relationship, however, this vision is often blurry or non-existent. You might enjoy their company now, but when it comes to imagining them beside you for the rest of your life, it doesn’t feel right.
What does love feel like then?
It’s important to remember that love isn’t just about comfort. It’s a complex, beautiful, and sometimes challenging emotion that goes beyond just feeling at ease with someone.
So, what does love feel like? Here are a few hallmarks:
- It feels like respect for their individuality and uniqueness.
- It feels like genuine excitement about their happiness and achievements.
- It feels like an acceptance of their flaws and imperfections.
- It feels like a willingness to compromise and make sacrifices for them.
Comfort is wonderful and necessary in a relationship, but it’s not the same as love.
So, as you reflect on your own relationships, remember: it’s okay to be comfortable. But it’s also important not to mistake that for love. Understanding this difference can save you from future heartaches, and guide you towards a more fulfilling, loving relationship.
After all, you deserve nothing less than genuine love.