The other day, I went out for coffee with my friend, Jo, and we caught up on life.
She’s been with her partner for a couple of years, and I wanted to ask her the big question – “When are things going to move on to the next level?”
Turns out I didn’t have to.
She eventually brought up the subject herself, and I was really surprised to find out what was going on since they always seemed really good together.
She told me that despite feeling happy with him, there seemed to be something missing. She wanted to fall in love, but somehow, it just didn’t seem to be happening.
And it’s not like she was confused. She’d been in love before, and it just wasn’t feeling the same.
Are you experiencing the same thing right now?
If you think you may be, here are eight signs you want to fall in love with your partner, but it just doesn’t feel right.
1) They don’t feel perfect.
I’ve written a lot about how perfectionism can create major roadblocks in your life since I, myself, am prone to this unfortunate habit.
When it comes to relationships, searching for perfection can be even more damaging than in other areas of life because it can really keep you from finding the love that you want.
Even if you’re with someone who’s loving, kind, and makes you feel good, you might still feel like they don’t tick absolutely all of your boxes.
She’s great, but she has small hands.
He’s wonderful, but there is that funny noise he makes when he breathes.
The problem with perfection that I’ve said again and again (still trying to convince myself!) is that it isn’t real. It doesn’t exist.
The perfect person who’s right in every single way and has no flaws is a complete fantasy. If you keep searching for this person, you’ll waste your entire life and overlook lots of amazing people along the way.
I’m not telling you to settle. I’m just saying that 100% is impossible, and if you find 90% compatibility, you’ve really struck gold!
It could well be your perfectionism holding you back from love, not the person you’re with.
2) You have low self-esteem.
If you’re experiencing doubt about a lot more than just your love life, there could be something deeper going on.
A sign you want to but can’t fall in love could be that you don’t have any faith or trust in yourself and your choices.
Do you find that you second- (or third– or fourth–) guess yourself at every opportunity?
Are you constantly battling feelings of inadequacy?
This might be the reason why you’re not finding yourself able to fall in love with a partner who’s a really good candidate for receiving your love.
You could be going through a period of low self-esteem, which is influencing all of your thoughts and actions.
You might think you’re not good enough for your partner or that you’re somehow going to drag them down, and that’s why you’re not finding it possible to fall in love.
3) You have an insecure attachment style.
Poor self-esteem is linked to insecure attachment styles that form from our early bonds (or lack thereof) with our primary caregivers as children.
Avoidant attachment is thought to develop from being pushed away from the caregiver or having this person be emotionally distant. This leads people to distrust and avoid attachment in their adult lives.
An anxious attachment style forms from inconsistent attention from the primary caregiver, who sometimes gives love and affection and sometimes doesn’t. This can lead people to be anxious and feel unworthy, fear rejection, and untrusting of others.
Your early experiences form a model of how you expect relationships to be as you grow older. So, if your style is insecure, you expect your relationships to be insecure.
This may be what’s holding you back from being able to fully commit to loving your partner in your current relationship.
4) You might be aromantic.
Just as some people are asexual with no real sexual feelings or interest to speak of, some people also seem to be aromantic.
They might feel sexual attraction and interest or not, but they don’t seem to have any interest in romance or love in the romantic sense.
That doesn’t mean that they don’t love – they just do it in a more platonic way, like with friends and parents.
You might be in a relationship with someone who makes you happy and gives you great support and comfort, but you just don’t feel like you love them in that romantic way.
If you’ve never been in love before or even really interested in the experience, you could be aromantic. This could explain why, logically, you want to fall in love with your partner, but emotionally it doesn’t feel right.
5) You don’t trust your partner fully.
Another sign you want to fall in love, but something doesn’t feel right, is that you don’t trust your partner.
Not completely, anyway.
You may have experienced a really brutal heartbreak in the past that has made you build up thick walls around your heart.
That was the case with Jo.
She had a horrible breakup years ago after finding out her ex was actually married to someone else, and she was the mistress. It was devastating.
I think that today, it’s still a big issue and one that’s keeping her from opening up fully. We talked about this, and she says she still feels she has trust issues, even though her current partner is one of the most transparent people I’ve ever met.
Of course, your issue with trust might stem from real issues with your partner. You may have experienced cheating or lying in your relationship, and this is keeping you from trusting them completely.
Well, I hate to tell you, but before you can really fall in love, you’ll have to put these trust issues to bed.
6) You’re hiding something.
On the other hand, the opposite might be true in your case.
One sign that you want to fall in love but can’t is that you have a secret, a skeleton in your closet that is haunting your emotional life.
You may have cheated on your partner, and now you feel like if you fall in love with them, it’s not fair.
Or else you may have something in your past that you’re hiding, like a bad relationship history or something you did you know your partner would be very upset about.
You may even be hiding certain parts of your true self from your partner out of fear of rejection.
Whatever it is, you’re going to have a hard time being fully open to love if you’re holding onto a secret.
7) A future with them doesn’t excite you.
Many people meet, hook up, or date casually at first.
But eventually, they realize that they’ve found a person that they want to be more than casual with. This can happen fast or slow, and sometimes it can happen only one way.
One person might be absolutely smitten, while the other is simply content.
This creates an imbalance in the relationship that can lead to big problems down the line.
Maybe you’re that one half of the relationship who isn’t all that wowed.
A simple test is to take a moment to really imagine a future with that person. Where would you live? What would you do together? What relationship would you have?
If imagining a future together doesn’t excite you, this can be a sign that something doesn’t feel right about the relationship. And that something is very likely that you’re trying to force a relationship that just isn’t right.
8) You want the relationship more than the person.
Our lives are full of expectations.
Parents want us to go through stages of marriage and having families like they did.
We expect to advance through education to careers and from non-serious relationships to true love.
Sometimes, these expectations put pressure on us to want things or behave in certain ways that aren’t actually in line with what our hearts want.
If you look around you and see all of your friends coupling off, getting married, and having kids, you might feel a lot of pressure to do the same. And if you’re with a great partner, why not, right?
Except there’s a catch.
You can’t force love to happen any more than you can pluck the stars from the sky and put them in your pocket.
So, things might feel wrong because you want the relationship more than the person.
These eight signs you want to fall in love with your partner, but it just doesn’t feel right are things you should really listen to.
They show you there’s either something in yourself or in the relationship that needs fixing and until the repairs get done, love is going to remain as elusive as ever.