We’ve all been there. We meet someone we like. We go on several dates and have a good time, each time. There’s texting. There are phone calls in between texts. It seems as if all signs are pointing towards things transitioning from “casual dating” to an actual relationship. And that transition has not happened yet, and you’re not sure what you can do to well, make it happen.
One of the hardest life and love lessons to learn is that you can’t make a relationship be what you want it to be all on your own. So, if it feels like things are not going the way you want them to and you’d like a few clues that it may have already hit its peak, here are five signs that could save you a lot of stress, worry, and regret (oh and bitterness too).
The future never comes up.
OK, if you’re someone who wants to discuss marriage on the first 3-5 dates, that is not called “planning”. That is called “rushing”. It’s also not the other person’s fault if they are a bit put off by that plan when they hardly know you. But if you’ve been dating a few months now and there are never any future references, you should take note.
The person you’re seeing may not say, “So when we get married…” but do listen for things like “So, are you interested in going on a double date with my friends?” or “I’m taking a trip this summer and thought you might want to come along.” A person who wants you in their life long-term is going to be thinking about how to make that happen.
They tell you they’re not interested in anything serious.
The late and great Maya Angelou once said that when a person tells you who they are, believe them. Yet sadly, not nearly enough of us take this advice. Often, if you look back on your past relationships, the outcome was not shocking. There were signs, if not blaring red flags, along the way that predicted the result.
The reality check is that you may not have wanted to see them. Look, when a person tells you that they don’t want anything serious or that they want to be friends, that does not code for “convince me why we should be together”. Do yourself and them a favour and take them at their word just as they said it.
They don’t invest.
Your birthday comes up, and all you get is a call. Thanksgiving is on the horizon, and they tell you to have a good time with your family. Valentine’s Day happens with nothing more than a heart emoticon on your smartphone. At least for now, this person is not trying to build a future with you. People who want something powerful and lasting are going to make investments to get that kind of result. If you’re not getting “I want to build with you” vibes, don’t assume the relationship is anything more than a good time, from time to time, between two people.
They are commitment-phobes.
One of the reasons why going to the movies or live concerts should not be a constant dating go-to is because you can’t engage one another in those environments. Unless you don’t want anything serious to evolve from your interaction with a person, you need time to get to know them. And one of the things you need to find out is if they are afraid of commitments.
One of the best ways to find that out after 3-4 dates is to ask them to share their past 1-2 relationships with you. If you keep hearing “But I wasn’t ready to commit” or “They were getting too serious”, there’s a chance that you might be the exception. But still, proceed with caution. Or at the very least, awareness.
You continue to feel like something is missing.
Patience is a virtue, and yes, some people sabotage their relationships because they are not willing to let things progress naturally. But, one of the beautiful things about being single is that you are your top priority. This means that you have every right to set standards for what you want and to end a relationship if you feel that you are not getting those things and all indications point to the fact that you probably never will. There are a lot of people in the divorce court who married someone hoping that they would change.
There’s a way to avoid that happening to you. If you have needs—especially articulated needs—that are not being met, stop treating your relationship like a mirage. In other words, don’t try and make something be there when it’s not. Cut your losses before things get too weird, stay friendly with the person, and peacefully move on. On to someone who wants to meet your needs. On to someone you can truly have a future with.
Also Read: Are You In Love With Love?