Falling in love is a magical process where things you never expected to happen begin to happen.
Feelings you never knew existed come to life inside you, and you want to express them to the object of your affection.
Even when your love leads to a relationship, however, this story doesn’t always have a happy ending.
Here are the signs that you’ve fallen for someone who’s just not right for you, no matter how much you wish they were.
1) You can’t be yourself in front of them
Love is about truly seeing someone and them truly seeing you, flaws and all.
If you feel like you can’t do that it means one of two things:
- Your love is one-sided or much more on your side;
- You are scared to show yourself and have more work to do accepting and loving yourself before you can be in a relationship with this person.
I know this isn’t what any of us want to hear when we have strong feelings for someone.
But if you feel like telling the truth about your past, the music you like, your political views or your weird (and sometimes unattractive) flaws, then this relationship will only remain surface-level and toxic.
2) They’re always too busy for you
If you feel left out in the relationship, your partner is not including you in the way they should be.
When you raise this with them, they may say you’re being needy or bring up reasons of their busy schedule and life that keep them away from you.
This is a rough situation, because unless you really are being needy and clingy it’s humiliating to hear you want too much attention.
Even if you’re in love, you deserve somebody who makes time for you. Somebody who can’t or won’t make time for you is not the person for you.
It’s as simple as that, and sometimes it’s as black and white as that, too.
3) They’re still fixated on their ex
When you’re in a relationship with somebody who’s still fixated on their ex, it’s natural to feel confused and frustrated.
It may feel like they don’t care enough about you, or like they have a whole other constellation of issues and longings they keep separate from you.
This becomes especially toxic if they are fixated on their ex in a victim role and constantly bringing up the way they were mistreated or hard done by.
Maybe they were! But dragging it into your relationship and then refusing to really work through it with you is like pumping polluted waste into a pristine river.
It’s not love.
4) You feel unhappy around them
Clearly we can’t always be happy in any relationship.
But if you find that you’re consistently unhappy around this person, it’s time think about heading for the exit door.
The truth is that some kinds of love are tinged with tragic sadness.
It may be that you’re with somebody who’s inescapably connected to a rough time in your past…
It may be that you’re with somebody who you love deeply but who mirrors an older and less emotionally intelligent version of yourself…
Whatever the reason, if your partner brings up feelings of sadness and shame around you then it’s not a love you should stick around for.
5) There’s no reciprocity
Relationships are always a two-way street.
There’s never going to be a perfect 50-50 split:
You may do more of the emotional heavy lifting, while your partner is more practical and the breadwinner…
You may be better at planning for the future, while your partner is more fun-loving and able to live it up in the present…
But if there’s no real reciprocity then you’re with the wrong person.
If you’re doing all the work and all the investment into this love and your partner is just sitting there, it’s not going to work.
Of course, this is something you need to talk over with them and be clear about.
But when you can see they still won’t take steps to truly change, it’s time to pull the plug no matter how strongly you feel.
If they are really ready to change and love you, they will change their ways.
6) You have completely different hobbies and interests
Are you falling for someone who’s on a completely different page than you in terms of what they like to do?
I believe strongly in the idea that opposites attract.
However, I believe this in the sense of personality opposites, not those who have completely different activities and interests.
There needs to be at least a tiny bit of overlap, otherwise you’ll barely be able to talk, much less actually do things together.
When you find that you’re in love with someone but everything they care about and like to do is just unimaginably odd or boring to you, then it’s sad to say, but it’s not going to work.
7) You’re fighting over silly things way too much
Fights happen in every relationship, and never fighting can actually be even worse for a partnership than occasional flare-ups.
But if you find that you’re fighting over silly things way too often, it’s not a good sign.
It’s usually a sign that there are bigger issues buried under the surface that one or both of you are repressing.
Bring up those bigger frustrations if you can and try to get your partner to open up, too.
One way or another, you’re going to either have to face the dragon or duck out and leave.
8) They leave you out of discussions of the future
Have you fallen in love with somebody who leaves you out of all future discussions?
If you’re already dating them seriously then it’s not a mistake on their part.
- Not that into you;
- Have commitment issues.
If it’s the first reason, you’re in an unrequited love situation, which is an awful situation to be in (speaking from personal experience).
If it’s the second reason, then it’s something you need to talk over with this person.
If they still won’t open up about it or get spooked, then you need to come to the difficult realization that this individual simply isn’t right for you.
The relationship just doesn’t have legs, no matter how much you want it, too.
You deserve more.
Love and compatibility: The harsh truth
There are three levels where we can fall in love:
Intellectually, emotionally and physically.
Usually we are more in love on one level than on another.
This is strong emotional affection, mental engagement and physical desire, sometimes all three. It is often unbalanced but if the right maturity and commitment is present in partners it can work for a relationship.
There is also what I refer to as a “white swan event,” which is the opposite of a black swan event.
A white swan event
Unlike a black swan event where things happen unpredictably leading to collapse or disaster, a white swan event is where events occur and you fall in love unexpectedly.
You love somebody beyond any real reason you can point out: it feels spiritual, predestined, complete.
This is what the poets speak of as “true love.”
I fully believe it is real, rare and meaningful.
However, true love is sometimes too beautiful for this world and it takes real fortune and blessing to translate that love into a real life together.
It does happen, but sometimes even when you are certain you’re in love and the other person is, too, your love has tragic flaws which make it unable to work in this lifetime.
Love always exists between two polarities: the perfect ideal and heart-pounding, soul-inflaming obsession and rational, low-key attraction and affection.
Every once in a blue moon the two align and become a real-world love, but it’s not something to expect or wait for.
Finding that relationship which has passion but can also work can be a long journey and is what most of us experience. It will always function differently for each person.
Look at the signs above and consider whether you may be in love with the wrong person. No matter how much you love somebody, sometimes you just have to set them free.