The reason romantic relationships are so powerful is that it’s never just about the person you love.
It’s about the story you’ve created in your head.
It’s about the future you’re marching towards.
It’s about the plans you’re drafting together as you decide to devote your hearts to each other forever.
Unfortunately, some people are more into the whole commitment thing than others. And if your partner displays these 7 behaviors, they might fall into the latter category.
They might be a difficult person to plan a future together with.
1) They’re all about “living in the moment”
Living in the moment is all fun and games… until you’ve got to commit.
When you want your partner to discuss your holiday for next year, they wave it away as something that’s “too far in the future”.
When you want to sit down and have a talk about your aspirations in life, they change the topic or say that their aspiration is to “enjoy the present moment”.
The thing is, living in the moment is, indeed, a great way to experience life. But if you want to build a life with your partner, it’s not enough to just take it day by day.
There are holidays to plan. Mortgages to save up for. Careers that should fit both of your lifestyles and contribute to the well-being of the relationship.
Sometimes, “living in the moment” just doesn’t cut it. A committed partner ought to think ahead. And if they refuse to do so… are they fully committed in the first place?
Or are they just saying they are, with nothing to show for it?
That is the question.
2) They don’t know what they want out of life
There’s another possible explanation for why your partner doesn’t look past tomorrow, and that’s the fact that they might simply feel lost in life. And too afraid to admit it.
They’re scared that if they come clean and admit that they don’t know what their goals and plans are, you might reject them or consider them weak. You might push them in a direction they dislike or give them some kind of an ultimatum.
No matter how you feel about your partner’s confusion and uncertainty – some people are completely fine with it while others expect their partners to have a life plan, and both are valid – it goes without saying that planning a future with this person might be a tough nut to crack.
And that’s because you’re essentially stuck in a limbo.
They don’t know what they want. Fine.
But once they figure it out two months or two years down the line, will their new plan fit in with yours? Or will it completely go against everything you’ve worked hard for and imagined in your head?
It’s a bit like placing a bet based on pure faith rather than concrete evidence.
3) They pull away when you need them most
If there’s one constant in life, it’s that you will always bounce between amazing success and having a breakdown on the bathroom floor.
No happiness lasts forever. No sadness does, either. There will inevitably be ups and downs, and the most effective way to make it through is to have a stable emotional support network.
And your partner is the very foundation of it all.
I used to date a guy – let’s call him Jimmy – who would make my life a thousand times better when we were both doing well. Our shared happiness skyrocketed the quality of our days, and we couldn’t believe just how happy we were together.
But the moment something went wrong – I got sick, we were going through a financial crisis, he was stressed due to his exams, you name it – Jimmy completely pulled away.
It was a bit like that meme where you’re drowning and the only hand reaching out to you ends up giving you a high-five before you ultimately succumb to the unforgiving depths of the ocean.
Yeah. It wasn’t great.
Jimmy and I eventually broke up, and I actually felt a great deal of relief. I knew he wasn’t someone I could plan my future with.
Because every future is riddled with obstacles, and I didn’t want to feel alone each time I needed my partner by my side.
4) They make empty promises
Here’s another thing Jimmy loved to do – every time we’d address an issue together, he’d promise to work on it, only to fail two weeks later.
On and on the cycle continued, like a merry-go-round that never stops.
Let me tell you something real quick.
You’re planning to be with this person for decades to come, right?
Well, if they constantly make empty promises and almost never keep their word, you’re looking at decades of tolerating this kind of behavior.
What’s more, it’s really freaking difficult to plan your future with somebody who has a habit of going back on their word because you can’t be sure your plans will even come to fruition.
Here’s what you can do. You can look at the person standing right in front of you right here, right now, and you can ask yourself: “If nothing ever changes, will I be happy spending my life with this person?”
The answer is up to you.
5) They don’t like change
I don’t want to get too philosophical, but the truth is that change is the foundation of all existence.
Everything is in a state of impermanence. Nothing lasts. And there’s beauty in the fleeting nature of things.
However, some people like that idea more than others. In fact, there are plenty of people out there who detest change because it forces them to go outside their comfort zone and evolve, which can be a painful and uncomfortable process.
And if your partner is one of them, it’s a sign you might experience some trouble planning a future with them.
Because life rarely goes according to plan.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s amazing to have goals and to take active steps toward reaching them. But it’s also essential to accept that there may be hiccups and caveats. You might have to change a plan or two. You might have to adjust your approach.
In other words, you’ll need to have some amount of flexibility.
And if your partner’s thinking and lifestyle are very rigid… well, they may take badly to your plans going awry, which could make everything a little bit more difficult.
6) They don’t take accountability for their actions
Everyone, say hi to an imaginary couple, Bonnie and John.
Bonnie and John have decided to plan their future together. As they’re talking through their options, John says he’d like to get a dog. Hesitantly, Bonnie agrees – but only if John takes the dog out for daily walks while she’s at work.
A year down the line, John rarely walks the dog anymore. In fact, Bonnie does most of the work in the evenings when she gets back home. But when she confronts him about it, John says they decided to get the dog together, and it’s therefore their shared responsibility.
When she brings up the deal they made, he claims he doesn’t remember.
This is a classic case of refusing to take accountability for one’s actions. John knew what he was getting himself into, and yet he’s decided to go back on his word, forget his responsibilities, and throw it all on Bonnie.
If your partner often forgets to fulfill their responsibilities, doesn’t learn from their mistakes, or even refuses to apologize… planning a future with them may be a little tricky because you can’t count on them.
7) Their affection toward you is very inconsistent
Does your partner shower you with affection one day, only to give you the cold shoulder two days later?
Are they very moody – so moody, in fact, that you never know what to expect? Does it sometimes feel like you’re dating two different personalities?
If you’re nodding your head yes, you might be dealing with someone who’s extremely inconsistent in their behavior toward you.
And while the chaos may feel good in a way – every time they finally reach out, you’re on cloud nine – it’s not conducive to a healthy long-term relationship because it turns your life into a 24/7 stress-fueled rollercoaster.
Plus, it kind of puts a dent in your plans seeing as you never know what to expect from your significant other.
Will they suddenly decide they want something else completely? Will they change their mind two days later? And do you even want that kind of uncertainty in your life?
Look, plans change. People grow. That’s completely okay. You can’t prepare yourself for a future with someone and expect it to go 100% according to plan.
But the person you’re committing to ought to display their devotion, too. They ought to consistently show you their love, reliability, and desire to make it work.
Don’t settle for less.