6 signs you’re in love with someone who doesn’t love you back, according to psychology

Do you ever wonder how your partner feels about you? Or worry that your feelings for them are stronger than theirs for you?

If you’re questioning these things now, you’re right to look into it a bit more and face it head-on. 

You absolutely deserve someone who’s as crazy about you as you are about them, especially when you’ve poured so much into it.

The good news is you don’t have to figure it out alone. 

There are some clear signs that can show you whether your partner is on the same page as you or if they’re not quite there, according to psychology.

Today, we’re diving into 6 signs that might reveal you’re in love with someone who doesn’t love you back. 

Take note of how many of these signs sound familiar to you in your relationship, it might help you to figure out where you stand once and for all.

Ready? Let’s jump in.

1) They won’t open up and let you in

Do you ever feel like your love interest is keeping you at arm’s length?

You’re all in, ready to dive deep, but they won’t budge. 

Whenever you bring up feelings or serious topics, they clam up or steer the conversation elsewhere.

This is a big red flag. It means they’re not opening up or letting you see the real them. 

As couples counselor Kari Rusnak, MA, LPC, CMHC, explains, “Being vulnerable creates emotional intimacy and connection. Opening yourself to your partner shows and builds trust and helps them understand you on a deeper level.”

If your partner avoids being vulnerable, it shows they’re not into building that deep connection and trust with you, even though you are.

This is a subtle sign that they might not be feeling love like you are right now.

2) They don’t show you much affection

How affectionate are you and your other half with each other?

Think about the little things, like holding hands while walking, spontaneous hugs, or snuggling up during a movie. 

These gestures, or the lack of them, can tell you a lot about how someone feels.

Research shows that when people are really into you, they want to be close. It’s not about being sexual; they’re just showing their love through closeness and touch.

Here’s the thing: if you’re always the one being affectionate and they hardly ever return the gesture, that’s a big hint. 

It could mean you might be in love with someone who doesn’t feel the same way about you. 

This one-sided affection is something to think about, as it can tell you where your relationship really stands.

3) They avoid talking about the future 

How does your partner react when you talk about the future?

Maybe you’re sharing dreams about where you might live, raising kids, having a dog, or even just planning a vacation. 

If your partner shuts down and avoids these conversations, it’s not a good sign.

When your partner avoids discussing the future or making plans with you, it’s like they’re telling you they don’t see you as part of their long-term life.

According to research by psychologist Arthur Aron and the IOS scale, how intertwined you see your lives is a big indicator of your commitment and love toward each other. 

When someone avoids talking about the future, it suggests they don’t see you as part of their long-term life, hinting that they might not love you back.

4) They don’t introduce you to their family/friends

Another sign your partner might not love you back is if they’re reluctant to introduce you to their family and friends. 

Think about it: everyone knows meeting your partner’s friends and family is a big deal. It shows they want you to be a part of their life. 

But if they keep you away from their inner circle, it’s a sign they might not see a future with you.

According to social psychologist Erica B Slotter Ph.D., we want our friends and family to approve of our partner and what they think matters to us.

“We all seem to care to some extent how our friends and family feel about our romantic relationships, and our perceptions of their approval or disapproval can influence how we feel about the relationship itself.”

If your partner avoids introducing you, it suggests they’re not looking for that approval, which can mean they don’t love you and aren’t serious about the relationship.

5) They rarely take the lead or initiate anything

Are you always the one texting first, suggesting dates, or saying sorry? 

Maybe you’re the one coming up with ideas for things to do together, while your partner just goes along with whatever you plan.

When you’re in love with someone who doesn’t love you back, you often end up making all the moves. 

Here’s the kicker: healthy relationships are balanced, with both partners putting in effort to communicate and plan together.

And it really matters. Research shows that the more effort partners put into a relationship, the more satisfied they are. 

If the effort is all one-sided and your partner rarely takes the lead or initiates anything, it suggests they may not love you back and aren’t as committed as you.

This is a pretty tough pill to swallow, but it’s necessary. You deserve someone as eager to call, text, and make plans as you are.

6) They don’t seem interested in communicating

Did you know that poor communication is the number one cause of relationship failure?

Psychologist John Gottman has done extensive research on this topic and has even identified the number one predictor of divorce: the presence of contempt in a relationship.

It’s pretty clear: communication is the heart of a relationship

Better conflict management can protect a relationship, and sharing good news can enrich it even more.

How much does your partner communicate with you? 

When someone is feeling the love, they want to know everything about their partner and even remember small, insignificant details about them.

On the other hand, when someone doesn’t have strong feelings for you, they’re not interested in communicating with you or getting to know you more.

If your partner isn’t showing any interest in communicating with you or learning more about you, it’s a telltale sign they don’t love you back and you’re wasting your time with them.

Final thoughts 

Remember, discovering whether someone might not love you back is challenging, but it’s vital for your happiness. 

Learning the truth sooner rather than later can keep you from lingering in a relationship that doesn’t fulfill you.

You deserve to feel loved, valued and appreciated for who you are. 

Choosing the path that allows you to experience these feelings is an essential step toward a brighter future.

Cat Harper

Cat is an experienced Sales and Enablement professional turned writer whose passions span from psychology and relationships to continuous self-improvement, lifelong learning and pushing back on societal expectations to forge a life she loves. An avid traveler and adventure sports enthusiast, in her downtime you'll find Cat snowboarding, motorcycling or working on her latest self-development project.

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