12 signs you don’t really love your partner (and you’re scared to admit it)

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I’ve been in a loveless relationship for almost a decade. Luckily, I got out of it before my soul shrunk to the size of a pea.

Now, I’m with someone who I can confidently say is my true love. And let me tell you— the difference is night and day!

So if you’re wondering if you truly love your partner (or you’re simply tolerating them for whatever reason), allow me to help you along.

Here are 12 glaring signs that you don’t really love your partner.

1) You don’t really give a damn about them

They might have had the worst day of their lives and you feel… nothing. 

You’re not interested in hearing them talking about how much they hate their job either. If anything, you find these complaints annoying and a bit of a turn-off. 

You might be kind and polite, sure, but the fact is that deep down you simply don’t give a damn about their feelings or worry about their future.

This is different if you truly love someone because their happiness is your happiness, and their sadness is your sadness.

It’s true what they say—the opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference. 

So if you notice that you truly don’t care about your partner that much, step back and ask yourself why.

2) You find them demanding

If you don’t love someone, it won’t matter how little or how much they ask of you, you’ll find them demanding.

Maybe they want you to spend more time with them, or to give them hugs and kisses. Or maybe they want you to go with them to a friend’s party.

All of these annoy you. 

And in fact, you probably don’t even have to know what they want—the fact that they want something from you is enough to have you grumbling.

As far as you’re concerned, they’re a little too clingy

The thing is that if you genuinely love one another, you will find that they’re not as clingy as you thought they were… and even then, you can easily tolerate any genuine clinginess from them.

3) You’re emotionally detached

People who truly love their partner can’t help but be affected by their partner’s feelings. They will be happy that their partner is happy, and sad when their partner is sad.

The thing is, that’s not how it is with you. 

You can tell your partner that you empathize. You can congratulate them on their victories and extend your condolences in hard times.

But despite your words you simply feel… detached

You are not any more moved than you would be if a stranger were crying or rejoicing in front of you.

And perhaps, most damning of all, is that when they say “I love you”, you don’t really feel anything special even if you tell them you love them in return. It’s all just meh.

4) You can’t imagine growing old with them

You don’t see them when you try to imagine your future. And when you do try to force yourself to imagine a future with them in it, you can’t help but feel unsure.

In fact, you might even feel apprehensive and a little bit terrified, thinking things like “Gosh, I should do something about my life before it’s too late.”

If this is the case, then chances are that either you don’t really love them, that there are some significant conflicts that you two simply haven’t resolved, or you’re simply not the kind of person who wants to get married.

The more of the other signs you see on this list, the more sure you can be that it’s because you don’t love your partner.

5) You think they’re nice…but that’s all!

It’s normal to feel a little wistful about the opportunities you’re missing out on when you commit.

But when you truly love someone, your feelings for that person would be so strong that you won’t feel like you’re settling at all.

In contrast, if you don’t actually love your partner, those same doubts and fears will hang over your head like a cloud.

When someone asks you why you love your partner, you’ll comment on how they’re nice or adorable but in the back of your head think things like “what if “the one” is still out there?” or “what if I find someone who really clicks with me?”

6) You don’t chase them when they want to be chased

You’re not going to chase after them and beg for their forgiveness if they end up sulking after a fight. You’ll just keep minding your business and let them sulk all they want.

If they tell you that they need some space, you’ll take their words at face value and leave them alone.

You see through this manipulation and hate it, but more than that… you simply don’t give a damn. 

If you truly love them, you’ll do something to rebuild bridges between the two of you and, if you can see that they are indeed being manipulative, you’ll try to call them out on it gently.

That is because if you truly love them, you’ll put in the effort to fix things. If you don’t, you can’t be bothered to try.

7) You don’t miss them when they’re away

It doesn’t bother you if the two of you are apart and haven’t messaged each other for days.

If anything, you actually feel a bit relieved and free.

That’s probably because you’ve always felt like you had to perform a role when they’re around—be that the role of the loving girlfriend or doting husband. 

And you know why it feels like you’re playing a role? It’s because you’re faking affection. You don’t really love them.

Playing a role like this for too long is stressful, and there really are just times when you’d rather just not.

Someone who truly loves their partner might still want some time apart every now and then, but they WILL miss them when they’re apart.

8) You envy other couples

You feel a sting when you see other couples being happily together. In them you see something that you don’t have in your relationship.

You dismiss your feelings and convince yourself that the problem is with you—that you’re just the type of person who can’t be content because your partner ain’t that bad after all.

You gaslight yourself and force yourself to look at the good things in your partner and your relationship…but it’s been a while and you still feel the same way, even worse.

So you stay away from romance books and movies, you look away when you notice happy couples, you don’t listen to love songs.

You toughen up and bitterly tell yourself “Love doesn’t last anyway” and “They’ll break up someday.”

9) You don’t want to compromise

Relationships are all about knowing how to live with compromise. After all, we can never truly have our way all the time—it’s important for things to be fair when you’re living with another person.

But you personally don’t feel like it’s fair for you to make personal sacrifices for your partner in the first place. 

If you need to be somewhere at 8, but they’ve said they can only go at 9, then you’ll just go all by yourself.

If you’re a vegan and they’re not, you’ll try to talk them into being vegan while choosing only vegan restaurants to eat out in instead of trying to find places that serve both.

You know why this happens?

It’s because when you don’t truly love them, you feel like your relationship is a burden and so you have nothing more to give.

10) You’re with them for the perks

In my case, it’s because we had a kid together.

It wasn’t even a case of me being in love and then my love fading—I was infatuated for a while, but was never in love with him.

But despite my profoundly loveless life and all the loneliness that came with it, it was convenient for me to have him around while my kid was growing up. So I stayed.

Even if I didn’t love them for a long time, at least he’s a good father. Not ideal but at that time I had no choice—and I forgive myself for that.

So what about you?

Can you think of a concrete reason for staying with them aside from love?

What do they provide you? Security? Companionship? 

If all of these are taken away, will you still stay? If the answer is no, then you probably don’t love them.

Final thoughts

Think about how reading this article makes you feel. Do you feel horrible seeing all the signs line up before you? 

Or do you perhaps feel happy, knowing that you actually do love your partner?

If you find that you actually don’t love your partner, think about the reasons why you’re staying with them and what you might do moving forward.

Whatever the case may be, remember that life is not worth spending in misery; if you can find a way to be free, breaking free is definitely the ideal option.

But if you think the timing isn’t right, it’s okay, too. As long as you have a plan and you’re honest to yourself (and hopefully to your partner), then you’ll be in a much better place than simply living a lie.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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