Relationships are tricky. Sometimes even if we’ve got the best partner we could ever ask for, someone who checks all the boxes…something still feels off.
Does that mean they’re not the right one for us?
Maybe. But how do you know for sure?
As someone who’s been in relationships with seemingly “right” people before, I’ve picked up on a few signals that might suggest you’re in the wrong relationship.
…Even if the other person is good, kind, and perfect on paper.
In this article, I’ll share those signs with you. Let’s dive in!
1) You often feel emotionally drained
The first sign that you might be in the wrong relationship is if you often feel emotionally drained.
Don’t brush it off when you feel that way; it could be your intuition telling you that something’s not quite right.
Because the truth is, the right partner for you should make you feel excited, not drained.
If you’re feeling drained, that means, on some level, you’re forcing yourself to make an effort. Being in this relationship doesn’t feel natural to you, though you may not realize it yet.
I was once in a relationship with a perfectly nice guy who treated me well. I had nothing to complain about, really. And yet, for some reason, I felt much more relaxed, even excited sometimes, whenever he was away.
Eventually, I realized that that strange feeling was a sign he wasn’t right for me.
2) You often feel lonely or discontented
Another emotion that could clue you into the possibility that you might be with the wrong person is loneliness. Or, at the very least, a sense of dissatisfaction.
I think feeling lonely in a relationship stems from a lack of authentic connection. You could have a good person for a partner, but if you aren’t connecting on an emotional level, you still won’t feel a warm sense of home.
That feeling like this person “gets” you.
And so, while they might be treating you well, there’s a part of you that still feels unseen and unheard.
Which is probably why you might also be doing the next thing…
3) You’re constantly wondering if there’s someone better
In the movie Serendipity, both the lead characters were respectively engaged to perfectly suitable partners.
And yet, they couldn’t help feeling like something wasn’t quite right. They had unsettled business with each other and for some reason, they just couldn’t let go.
Granted, these two characters had already previously met each other and experienced such a dramatic connection, which is why that unsettled feeling never really left them.
But what I’m pointing out here is that even while they were in solid relationships with other people, they weren’t 100% all in. They were constantly wondering about each other.
Maybe you resonate with that feeling. Maybe there’s a part of you that’s wondering if there’s someone better out there. If you’re just wasting time here, with this perfectly nice person you do love somehow.
Real talk: when you’re in the right relationship, this question rarely, if ever, comes up.
So pay attention to that question. Then, it should be followed with two even more important ones:
Why are you feeling this way? And what are you going to do about it?
4) You don’t feel like a priority
Now, let’s talk about where you stand in your partner’s life. Do you feel like you always come first?
If you don’t, that’s another red flag that shouldn’t be ignored.
I remember being in a relationship with a great guy who was so kind and hardworking. The problem was, he was so hardworking that work always came first.
My calls and texts would go unanswered for hours. He would cancel plans at the last minute because he had to tend to an issue at work.
At first, I understood. But after a while, I started feeling lonely and unimportant. And I realized, as lovely as he was, he wasn’t the right fit for me.
I wanted someone who would put in the same amount of effort I was putting in to make the relationship work. I wanted someone who understood the concept of a balanced life.
So you see, it all comes down to your specific needs. A person might be genuinely good but if they can’t make you a priority, it would be hard to keep the love alive.
5) You feel like you can’t be your true self
One of the hallmarks of a healthy and fulfilling relationship is the freedom to be your true, authentic self.
Do you feel like you’re always playing a role that calls for a bit of pretension? Are you damping down the parts of you that you don’t feel safe sharing?
That’s the keyword here – SAFE.
If you’re in a relationship with the right person, they are your safe space. You should feel relaxed to be who you are and to say what you really mean without fear of judgment.
So, if there are some parts of you that you’re still hiding, take the time to reflect on that. Maybe it’s a sign you’re in the wrong relationship, even if they’re a good person.
6) There’s more conflict than comfort
Now what if you’re being your true self and expressing your thoughts and feelings adequately enough? Does it result in conflict most of the time?
Every relationship has its share of disagreements. Despite that, there should still be more good times than bad.
Constantly fighting or disagreeing doesn’t mean that either of you are terrible people. It may mean, though, that your conflicts are due to:
- A difference in your thought processes
- A difference in your communication styles
- Different sets of expectations
- Different habits
- A difference in your values and belief systems
Notice the most common word that appears in the list?
We all come from different backgrounds that influence how we think and act. So sometimes, even when we’re in a relationship with a good person, understanding each other can be a real challenge.
7) Your values don’t align
Spinning off from that list, I’d like to talk more about the importance of shared values.
These values could be about anything – family, career, money, what you want from life…
One of you might want kids, while the other doesn’t.
One of you might be a spender, the other a saver.
One of you might be an adventurous type, while the other is a complete planner.
See where I’m going with this?
No matter how fundamentally good you both are, a difference in your values will be a real problem. A deal breaker, even.
You might dismiss it in the early days of your relationship when you’re all caught up in starry-eyed romance. But sooner or later, it will come back, and you’ll realize just how irreconcilable your differences are.
And that’s heartbreaking, really. I’ve seen couples who were so in love, so convinced that their partner was THE one, only to break up when they realized their core values were ultimately incompatible.
After all, when we’re in a relationship, we want to know that we’re in it for the long haul, as the next section shows…
8) You don’t see a future with them
You don’t need to have every single detail of your life together planned out, but do you at least see your partner still with you a long way down the road?
Because this one’s huge.
Remember the hardworking guy I told you about earlier? This was another issue I had with him.
As I mentioned, at first, I really wanted to make it work, just because he was so kind and funny, despite his busyness with his career.
But whenever I tried to imagine our future together, I would draw a blank. I just couldn’t see it happening, and I suppose that was the start of the end.
So if you’re feeling confused if you’re with the right person, try this exercise: think of possible future scenarios and see if they fit right into them.
Do you see them traveling to your bucket list places with you?
Do you see them getting the kids ready for school?
You get the idea. If you can’t imagine it, that could be your confirmation that they’re not the right one for you.
9) You’re staying out of fear, not love
Lastly, think about your own motivations for staying in the relationship.
Let’s get real here – not everyone stays out of love. Some may have reasons other than love that keep them staying with someone who’s all wrong for them. For example:
- Fear of being alone
- Fear of starting over
- Fear of hurting the other person
- Desire for stability
- Desire for validation
- Societal and cultural expectations
Look, if you’re staying for the wrong reasons, that’s a clear sign the relationship is wrong for you.
Sorry to be ending this with another rom-com, but really, the movie 500 Days of Summer encapsulates the whole point of this article so well.
In this film, we see two good people – Tom and Summer – who like each other. But in the end, they just weren’t right for each other. There was no bad guy there, just a romance that didn’t work.
One could say it had a sad ending because they didn’t end up together. But personally, I found it perfect.
It was such a good reminder that while there’s no foolproof way to know if we’re with the right person, we’ll definitely know when we’re with the wrong one.
Also read: 12 signs you secretly want to be single