8 signs you were never genuinely in love, according to psychology

If you’ve ever been in a relationship, you know it can be overwhelming.

You may think you’re genuinely in love, but sometimes, it’s not always the case. You might feel intense affection one moment and indifference the next.

Fortunately, according to psychology, there are certain signs that indicate if your feelings were never truly love.

This is not to say that your feelings aren’t valid, but understanding them better could make your relationships easier.

So, let’s delve into the psychological insights that help you determine whether or not you were genuinely in love.

1) The intensity of emotions fluctuates rapidly

One clear-cut sign that you might not have been genuinely in love, according to psychology, is when the intensity of your emotions fluctuates rapidly.

You might feel overwhelmingly affectionate towards your partner one moment, only to feel indifference or even irritation the next.

This doesn’t necessarily mean your feelings aren’t genuine, but it does suggest that what you’re experiencing might not be love.

Because love, in its truest form, is more consistent and stable.

Psychologists suggest that these rapid emotional shifts can often be a sign of infatuation rather than deep-rooted love.

Infatuation can mimic the feelings of love, but it’s typically more fleeting and volatile.

It’s crucial to understand this distinction because it can help you better understand your relationships.

Recognizing the difference between love and infatuation can prevent misunderstandings and heartbreak down the line.

Remember, there’s no shame in realizing that what you felt wasn’t love. It’s all part of the human experience and an opportunity for growth.

2) You’re more in love with the idea of them

Sometimes, we fall in love with the idea of a person, not the person themselves.

It’s easy to build up an image of someone in our minds, often idealized and removed from reality.

This might mean you’re more in love with what your partner represents—a status symbol, a comforting presence, a solution to loneliness—than with who they truly are as an individual.

You may be caught up in the fantasy, the potential of what could be, rather than engaging with the present reality.

This is a common phenomenon, especially in the early stages of a relationship. 

Recognizing this can be hard because it requires a level of self-awareness and honesty. It’s important to ask yourself, “Do I love them, or do I love the idea of them?”

The answer might surprise you, but it’s essential for understanding your true feelings.

3) You avoid conflict

Conflict is a natural part of any relationship. It’s how we handle these disagreements that can illuminate the true nature of our feelings.

If you find yourself avoiding conflict with your partner at all costs, it may indicate that you were never genuinely in love.

Contrary to popular belief, avoiding conflict doesn’t necessarily mean you’re preserving peace or showing love. In fact, it can often suggest the opposite.

When we truly love someone, we feel comfortable enough to express our disagreements and work through them together.

This is because working through conflicts allows for growth, understanding, and deeper emotional intimacy.

If you’re sidestepping arguments or suppressing your feelings to maintain an illusion of harmony, it might be time to question if what you’re feeling is genuine love or fear of disruption.

4) Your happiness depends on them

It’s a beautiful thing to find joy in your partner’s company, to smile more when they’re around, and to share moments of happiness with them.

However, if you find that your happiness solely depends on them, it might be a sign that you’re not genuinely in love.

True love encourages personal growth and individual happiness. It’s wanting the best for your partner and for yourself.

If you’re feeling down when they’re not around or if their mood drastically affects yours, it might be worth considering why that is.

Remember, it’s okay to lean on your partner for support when you’re feeling low, but your overall happiness should come from within you and not depend entirely on someone else.

It’s not only healthier for you but also for the relationship.

Don’t be too hard on yourself if this resonates with you. Relationships are complex and understanding our feelings can be a difficult process.

It’s a journey of self-discovery and each step taken is one towards understanding ourselves better.

5) You can’t visualize a future with them

We all daydream about the future. It’s part of being human. We think about where we’ll be living, what our careers will be like, and often, who we’ll be sharing those moments with.

Think about your future, say five or ten years from now: Can you picture your partner there?

If not, it could be a sign that you’re not genuinely in love.

When we’re truly in love, our partner naturally fits into these visions. We can see them in different scenarios, standing by us through life’s ups and downs.

But if you’re struggling to see your partner in your future or if they seem out of place in your dreams, it might mean that deep down, something isn’t quite right.

It’s okay if this is the case. Not every relationship is meant to last forever. And realizing this is a big step towards finding the one that will.

6) You frequently compare them to others

Have you ever caught yourself comparing your partner with your ex, or even with a fictional character in a movie or book?

This might be an indication that you’re not genuinely in love.

Let’s take a personal example.

I once dated someone who was kind, caring, and thoughtful. Yet, I found myself constantly comparing him to my high school sweetheart, weighing their qualities against each other.

This was an unfair burden to place on the relationship and was a clear sign that I was not genuinely in love.

Comparisons tend to stem from dissatisfaction or unfulfilled expectations.

When we truly love someone, we appreciate them for who they are, without needing them to measure up to someone else.

This doesn’t mean you’re a bad person if you’ve done this. It’s natural to compare sometimes, but it’s important to recognize when it’s more than just a passing thought and could be pointing towards deeper feelings.

7) You’re reluctant to make sacrifices for them

In any relationship, there will be times when you’ll need to make sacrifices for the other person.

It might be as simple as watching a movie you’re not interested in or as significant as moving cities for their job.

If you’re finding it hard to make even the smallest sacrifices for your partner, it’s time to sit down and have a serious talk with yourself.

Love—genuine love—means putting the other person’s needs before your own sometimes. It means compromising, negotiating, and giving up something for their happiness.

If you’re always putting your needs first and are unwilling to compromise, it may not be love that you’re feeling.

It’s crucial to understand this because, in the end, a relationship cannot thrive on selfishness.

This might be a hard pill to swallow, but it’s necessary for personal growth and healthier relationships in the future.

8) You don’t feel a deep emotional connection

At the heart of genuine love is a profound emotional connection.

It’s more than just surface-level attraction or shared interests. It’s understanding each other on a deep, emotional level, and feeling a sense of comfort and security with them.

If you don’t feel that connection, if your relationship feels shallow or superficial, it’s likely you were not genuinely in love.

This doesn’t mean you didn’t care about them or enjoy their company, but love is more than just enjoying someone’s company.

A deep emotional connection is the foundation of genuine love. Without it, you might have a pleasant companionship, but not the profound bond that characterizes true love.


This article aimed to shed light on the signs that might indicate you were never genuinely in love, but remember that your feelings are your own, and only you can truly comprehend them.

The indicators mentioned here are not rigid rules, but guidelines meant to help you make sense of your complex emotions.

Time spent learning about yourself and your emotions is time well invested.

It leads to personal growth and a deeper understanding of who you are, what you want, and what love means to you.

Isabella Chase

Isabella Chase, a New York City native, writes about the complexities of modern life and relationships. Her articles draw from her experiences navigating the vibrant and diverse social landscape of the city. Isabella’s insights are about finding harmony in the chaos and building strong, authentic connections in a fast-paced world.

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