Falling in love feels great, but how can we tell if our partners are actually serious about our relationships?NO matter how much we love someone, it cannot forever blind us to the harsh realities of our relationships. Even though someone pays us lip service, it quickly becomes evident when they are not being honest about how they feel. With this knowledge to hand, it’s up to us to identify the warning signs and then take the necessary action that’s needed to protect our happiness and wellbeing.
We deserve to have a love that is stable, equitable and without radical conditions. Though someone might promise this to us, their actions can speak dramatically different things when they refuse to show up for us, or share their lives with us. Addressing the doubts we have takes courage, but it also requires some introspection too. Before we approach someone about their feelings for us, we need to make sure we realize the full truth of our feelings for them.
It can be hard to tell the difference sometimes.
Romantic love is so exciting and so exhilarating that it can often pull the wool right down over our eyes. We skip right over the lies and all the red flags in order to see the person we love as we wished they were. This rose-tinted delusion cannot last forever, though, and when the veil is lifted it can be hard to accept. Not everyone is honest with us about how they feel…and that includes our romantic partners sometimes.
It can be hard to tell the difference between someone who is lying and someone who is telling the truth. Letting someone down or ending things is never easy, so some partners will happily carry on in a lie in order to avoid the inevitable discomfort.
There are concrete signs that our spouses and partners are lying to us about how they feel. Whatever the reasons behind it, is is up to us to spot these signs and then act accordingly in order to protect our visions of a relationship or a future. These hangups can often be temporary, or a part of the natural seasons that our relationships pass through. Other times, however, they can be indicative of deeper issues and rifts that are insurmountable. We get to the truth by opening up, taking action and learning to talk to one another.
Definitive signs that someone is serious about you.
Falling in love is a great feeling, and when someone is as serious about us as we are about them — they show it. If your partner displays these behaviors, then chances are they are serious about taking things to the next level.
Coming to your defense
When someone is serious about you, or serious about building a life with you, they will come to your defense and protect your corner without needing to goad them or ask them. This is not to say that they will fight all your battles, or even that they will enter into any and every conflict that you find yourself in. It does mean standing up to the bullies, sometimes though, even when they are friends or close family.
Respect as a standard
There should be no need to request respect when it comes to our relationships. Respect is something that should come naturally, or that should at least be sought at all times. We all get heated and say things out of turn sometimes, but respect is something that should always be in focus. To respect someone is to allow them to hold their own views and pursue their own interests. It’s also giving them the freedom to be authentically themselves without fear of retribution or diminishment.
Voluntary inclusion simply means that your partner makes an effort to make you a part of their life. Outside of wanting you to be a part of their friend groups, or even their family — they should want to share hobbies or pastimes with you. They should want to create memories and share experiences that help you to bond and connect. You shouldn’t have to beg or nag your partner to build a life with you. It’s something that should happen organically.
Desire for honesty
When we’re serious about our relationships, we’re serious about being honest and being open with the people that we love. This means that we want to be honest with them, and we want to communicate and open up to them. We don’t have to be goaded, and we don’t have to be coerced. We are honest because we know that it’s required to remain in-sync with one another. Does your partner go out of their way to be truthful with you? It means they’re taking things seriously.
It’s important that we value the perspective of our partners or the ways in which they can offer insight to our lives. A partner who listens to and seeks out your opinion on issues big and small, is one who wants to see the world through your eyes. With this combined perspective, your partner knows you will both be better equipped to deal with the adversity and hardships that life throws in the path for you both.
Simple though it might sound, when someone is truly serious about us — they will vocalize it genuinely and often (in their own way). They will tell you that you’re into you, while backing it up with all the actions above. They’ll also talk about the future, or how they see you within it. While actions must always be judged with more weight than words, they hold more value when backed up by them.
Seeing you across planes
When someone is truly into you they see you across planes, which means they see and attach to you both emotionally and physically. To them, it’s not just a one-sided relationship. They want to connect with the fullness of you, and they want your relationship to be an experience — not just an outcome. This kind of multi-dimensional bonding and appreciation helps us to see one another in a truer and more authentic light, while allowing us to appreciate the unique beauty we offer.
The concrete signs they aren’t really that serious.
When someone is serious about us, they show it — and the same goes for the opposite concept. When someone is not that serious about our relationship with them, they express it in a number of behaviors and patterns. Understanding those signs comes down to us, however, and whether we have the courage to accept them as they stand.
Expressing commitment hesitation
Some people are so in love with their partners (or the idea of them) that they miss that warning sign even when they’re clearly spelled out. This occurs when a partner expresses — outright — their intention. They might tell you that they aren’t looking for something serious, or that they aren’t looking for something that they have to invest a lot of time and energy into. Either way, it’s up to us to listen and align our expectations accordingly.
As partners, it’s only normal to want to share our lives with one another. Outside of sharing experiences (like travel and date night) together, this also means sharing our innermost social circles. Our partners should want to meet our family and our friends, and we should want to share those people with them. Consider your partner. Have you met their family? Have they met yours? What about your friend groups? Even the newest of relationships can benefit from exposure to those who know us best. If your partner can’t (or won’t) share in those things — take note.
Total lack of presence
Romantic relationships require presence, and they require us in those moments to make happy memories and commitments to one another. A partner who is not present when you’re around is one who is checked out or disinterested in what’s going on. They don’t ask questions or show any interest in getting to know you, or what makes you tick; they’re not curious about who you are. There’s a total lack of presence when you’re with them, and it hurts on the deepest of levels.
Failure to communicate
Communication is a cornerstone of any happy relationship, but it’s also an important warning signal. A partner who cannot (or will not) communicate, is one who is not open. When we communicate, we share our true selves, without it we cannot show the people we love who we are. If communication in your relationship has begun to falter, or if it never existed at all, you might be dealing with someone who doesn’t have the same depth of feeling for the relationship as you do. (Or, they may just have trouble opening up.)
Lacking in history
Consider your partner’s relationship history. How much do you know about it? If they have a past that’s riddled with holes, it can indicate some hangups or drops in the story that might be important. Likewise, if their romantic history is nothing more than a laundry list of short-lived relationships — it can be an indication that they’re not someone who takes committed partnerships very seriously. This is not right or wrong, it just is.
No interest in making plans
As couples, we have to make plans together in order to build lives and futures that we can be proud of. This planning should involve a meeting and compromise of minds and needs, that allows us to stay connected and overcome any adversity that poses a threat to our happiness. A partner who has no interest in making plans with you is one who does not see you in their future. When we love someone, we picture them at the finish line. That’s only natural.
Avoidance is a common sign that someone isn’t being honest with you. If they go out of their way to keep you out of the most important aspects of their lives, it means they have something to hide or something they don’t feel confident in you seeing. We have to be open with our partners, and we have to allow them into our personal lives in order to grow together. A partner who doesn’t allow themselves to be open or candid around you (without everything being carefully choreographed) is a partner who is masking their true self.
No ranking in priorities
When it comes to our romantic partnerships, we have to make our partners a priority sometimes. This doesn’t mean that we have to live our lives in servitude to our partners, but it does mean that we should consider them without being asked to do so. If you don’t even make the top 5 when it comes to their priorities, then they aren’t making the same considerations for you as you might be for them.
The way we feel around a person says a lot about them and our connection with them. Listen to your gut. Your intuition will tell you when something isn’t right. If your comfort goes out the door any time they’re around, it might be a sign that your subconscious is picking up on something that you aren’t. Listen to your heart. You should be comfortable and feel at ease with someone who sees you for you.
A one-sided love affair
We can look for warning signs in the way our partners bond with us and the way they attach. When someone wants us for one thing and one thing only, it can be a warning sign that they aren’t as serious about us as we might be about them. Look back at your relationship. Is it entirely about the sex? Or the emotional nursing you do for them? If they’re clearly only with you for physical or material reasons, it’s a one-sided (and short-lived) love affair.
How to handle someone who isn’t being upfront about their feelings.
Whether your partner is truly serious about you or not, it’s important that you address your doubts with them and get to the root of the truth. You cannot build a happy or stable relationship on a shaky foundation. Brace yourself and take action to find the truth. Then, you’ll be able to rest in peace knowing you’ve done what you can to protect your wellbeing.
1. Calm down and collect the facts
Doubting a partner or their intentions is painful and uncomfortable. Our emotions become quickly involved, and they can take over in the worst sort of way if we don’t manage them carefully. Before we leap at our partner and demand that they reveal their true feelings for us, it’s important to ask ourselves: how do we really feel about them?
Calm down, take a step back, and collect all the facts. Separate your emotions from what’s really going on and understand that, while what you’re feeling is most certainly true (and valid) — it might not also be reality.
Dig deep and probe your own feelings. Is there anything here you’re projecting onto your partner? Is this a conflict you’re ready to open up? Do you really want to spend the rest of your life with this person, or are they the one you pictured spending forever with? Question how you truly feel about your relationship and compare it against what you really want for your eternity before you put in more effort that you need to.
2. Look at the “why” behind it all
The “why” behind someone’s behavior (or lies) is never an excuse — but it is important to consider. Having hard conversations requires us to be empathetic and understanding if we hope for them to be successful. When we keep the “why” in mind, it’s easy for us to tap into our empathy; which then makes it easier to maintain productive and level-headed conversations.
Once you’ve had some time to consider what you want, what you expect and what you need (because no, they’re not all the same thing) you can then start to ask yourself why your partner is behaving the way they are.
Understand that you can’t make any solid conclusions without their input, but look at the way they behave and the patterns they’ve exhibited in the past (if you’re privy to that). Has a dysfunctional home life made it hard for them to open up about their feelings? Or, are they just someone who has a long list of low-commitment relationships behind them? You’re the only one who can answer that.
3. Open up a dialogue — calmly
Dialogue is a powerful thing, and it’s also one of the most important parts of any relationship. We have to communicate with one another and we have to do it frequently in order to maintain not only love, but respect and compassion for one another. Speaking to one another, we get to the root of what’s gone wrong, and we find the resolutions that can bring us all peace.
If you truly want to address your doubts, you have to talk to your partner. Find a quiet, comfortable space where you can both express yourselves without threat of embarrassment or interruption. Speak calmly and avoid blaming language while being very candid about your concerns.
Although this is an emotional conversation, do your best to leave your emotions out of it. Stick to the facts. Give vivid examples of behavior and how those behaviors or actions have come to create the belief that your partner or spouse isn’t being honest about how they feel. Don’t dip out on your integrity in order to make them more comfortable. The more honest you are, the easier you make it for them to respond and see your perspective.
4. Communicate your boundaries
Opening up a dialogue about your doubts isn’t enough. When we’re disrespected or dismissed by the people in our lives, it’s because we allow it. You have to communicate your boundaries with your partner, as well as your expectations and the things that you need from them in order to feel like they’re returning your emotional investment within the partnership.
Find (or create) a safe space for honesty and then open up about your own feelings, as well as any doubts that you might have. Once you’ve had a chance to express yourself, leave room for the other person to do the same. No matter who is right or who is wrong, we still owe one another the respect of being heard.
Communicate your boundaries. Express to your partner what you need in order to feel as though your relationship is productive and fulfilling. Once they’ve had a chance to do the same, communicate your “off-limits” boundaries that can’t be compromised. You have a right to engage with someone that feels as strongly about you as you do about them. You also have a right to honesty and respect. Your time holds value — and so do you.
5. Find the resolution (or cut the cord)
You’ve gotten real about your own feelings. You’ve investigated all the reasoning, and you’ve opened up a dialogue. Once it’s all out there in the open, what’s to be done? Quite simply: you have to come together to find a mutually workable resolution, or prepare to cut the cord and go your separate ways.
We all deserve to be happy in our partnerships, and we deserve to get fulfillment, respect and visibility within those relationships. If either party cannot value the other — it’s a waste of time.
Be brutally honest with yourselves and be brutally honest with one another. If the issues that have left you emotionally disjointed are too major, it’s a waste of everyone’s time and energy to keep pushing forward. Demand honesty now in this moment more than ever before. Cut the cord if love isn’t on the cards and make room for the right people to move in.
Putting it all together…
Romantic love can be exciting, but it can also blind us to some hard truths. It’s not always easy to see or accept that our partner is lying to us about their feelings, but it’s necessary in order to safeguard our wellbeing. When the doubts arise, it’s up to us to take action and address them. We alone are responsible for ensuring we get the love and respect that we’re do — but that requires some radically brutal honesty.
Before you explode in a display of emotion, take a second and take a step back. Consider the full scope of the situation and the full scope of the person that you’re working with. Then, compare that against what you really need and want from a fulfilling partnership. Look at the “why” behind it all. Are they lying to you because of a tense atmosphere in the relationship? Are they afraid of commitment, or dealing with hangups of their own?
This outside take can help us keep our compassion in mind as we move forward toward resolution. Open up a dialogue, but stay calm and avoid blaming language. Express your doubts and allow your partner to do the same. Communicate your boundaries and then express your expectations for a future. We have a right to be respected and we have a right to be loved. If your partner can’t come to that same resolution — cut the cord and find a better way to be happy.
Featured Image by @Nodar via Twenty20