The world has gone crazy for love. Crazy! If we’re single we are all looking for The One, and when we’re not, we’re thinking about looking for The One. Now.
Patience is no longer a virtue. It’s outdated. In a world where we can have almost everything at the touch of a button – or swipe of a screen – why would love be any different?
Hollywood, Netflix and all those streaming networks might be pumping out more content than ever, but the messaging remains the same: love conquers all. Without it we are lacking something vital is the not-so-subtle narrative. After all, the world, or at least ready meals, were built for two.
And we are falling for love, and the idea of it, big time. This year alone, dating app Tinder has 75 million users, rising from 66 million in 2021with 45 per cent of its users aged between 25 – 34, the prime age for wanting to “settle down” and find “The One.”
But even if we’re lucky enough to get a match, how do we know that our new significant other is The One? In our haste to have what everyone around us has, and what is supposed to make us happy, are we ignoring signs that we are not compatible or that they are not right for us, after all?
Rose Richardson, a marriage and family therapist, believes that a good gauge for the state of your relationship is how often you compromise to make the relationship work.‘If your expectations are not aligned, you could end up making decisions you’re not 100 per cent comfortable with,’ she says. ‘Ask yourself whether or not you will be comfortable with those decisions in four to six months.’
An important question to ask yourself is: ‘How am I interacting with my partner most of the time?’ Dr. John Gottman, a leading researcher on relationships, spent 25 years observing couples’ interactions and discovered happy couples experience a 20-1 ratio of positive to negative interactions while soon-to-divorce couples are just 8-1.
Clinical psychologist, Lisa Firestone, Ph.D. says, ‘Relationships will never be seamless or entirely easy. There will always be struggles and stresses at one point or another. Yet, when all you’re doing in your relationship is struggling and stressing, there may be someone out there with who things will be simpler, someone who will be more accepting and loving toward you.’
So what are the signs that could mean that the one you’re sharing most of your precious time with, isn’t The One or at the very least The One For Right Now?
The 7 Signs They’re Not That Into You
You’re bored. You’re hoping that today will be the day when your partner wants to do something you want to do. Except that day never comes. You’re fighting to be you. Things might look exciting, depending on the way you Insta-paint it. But in reality, they’re just, well, boring. You don’t have to be constantly dancing on cloud nine, but life shouldn’t be dull. If the relationship is making you yawn – before bedtime – maybe it’s time to wake up.
2. Toxic Behaviour
Life isn’t a bed of roses. But that doesn’t mean we should force ourselves to tolerate toxic behaviour. If you’re putting up with being spoken to like a piece of rubbish, because sometimes your partner can be kind, that’s not good enough. If you’re being made to wait, to rush, to slow down, to keep quiet, to do more, to do less, you’re being controlled. Abuse comes in a variety of nasty forms and you should never have to put yourself through this. By tolerating this, you’re admitting that you’re not worthy. And you are. You really are.
3. Don’t change
Ever. Especially for somebody else. Change should always come from you, on your terms. We all deserve to be loved and appreciated for who we are right now. We don’t need to change. You don’t need to change. But if your partner thinks so, it’s probably time to say goodbye. Nawal Alomari, counsellor and life coach says: ‘If your partner forces you to abandon your hobbies, certain personality traits, or other important aspects of your life, that’s unacceptable. Someone who loves you for real will support everything about you because they want to see you happy.’
4. Where are they?
Seriously? Did The One not show up, again? Think about it. Are they really there for you when you need them the most? Whether it’s an amateur dance show and you’d like them to support you by sitting in the audience, or be a rock while you’re nursing a sick relative, a relationship is a partnership. You’re either a team, or you’re not. If it’s the latter, you deserve better.
5. Different Paths
It’s difficult to stay on the same road if the destination isn’t the same. While it’s near impossible to have the exact same values as another person, it’s vital for us to understand our own key values and recognise whether they align with our partners. At first, the differing views could create some form of banter and mystery, but once that particular spark has fizzled, it’s going to be a struggle constantly shooting for such different stars.
6. La La La
Stop. Listening is a skill. It requires ongoing action. If you’re not being heard, you’re not going to feel confident. So it’s time for you to listen now – to your gut. We don’t need concrete facts to know instinctively when something is wrong. We feel it. It sits in the pit of our stomach. Don’t ignore those organic sensations; they’ll manifest into anxiety. Instead, listen, take action. There is an alternative life out there for you where your gut instinct will let you know you’re right.
7. They Know
Okay, so nobody knows your relationship better than you. But your close friends and family also know you better than anybody else. They can sniff danger, especially if you’re not ready to be on high alert. You’re in a completely different headspace and hellbent on making your relationship work. But often, those who truly care about you are usually right. They love you unconditionally. So rather than battling with your partner to be heard, it might be a good idea to pause and listen to your loved ones instead.
Admitting they aren’t The One and are not what’s going to make you happy going forwards is challenging. But living miserably and outside of your authentic self will present difficulties every single day. You know that you’re deserving of a relationship that can – and will – be amazing. In the melodic words of Michael Bublé: ‘I just haven’t met you yet!’