It can be hard to tell when you are being realistic in terms of finding love, and when you are actually settling for a bad fit. That said, there are some pretty clear signs you're trying to talk yourself into a relationship that is not working out very well. Trying to force a romantic relationship is rarely going to have positive results, because these things need to grow and develop naturally over time.
For the most part, a healthy and positive romantic relationship will not require so much force. To some extent, it should feel easy and natural. "A good relationship or marriage requires work along the way, believe me, but the work shouldn't be hard — leaving you exhausted and spent. Easy is the word to think about, and if you can nod your head to that about your relationship, you're most likely in good shape," said dating coach Bela Gandhi, the founder and president of Smart Dating Academy, in TODAY. So if your current relationship feels anything but easy, then it may be time to think about your options. Ultimately, a relationship that develops easily and naturally over time is going to feel better than one that you don't honestly want all that much.
1. You Pretend To Enjoy Their Company
Sure, most partners will annoy one another from time to time. But how much do you honestly enjoy this relationship? "When you feel like you’re going to scream [every time] your partner starts telling the same dumb joke or boring story, then you probably need to sit down and talk honestly about [the relationship],” Dr. Suzanne Degges-White, Ph.D., chair and professor of counseling and counselor education at Northern Illinois University, told Cosmopolitan. Consider how much you honestly enjoy this person's company.
2. You Make Excuses
Constantly making excuses for a partner does not tend to end well. "Whether we're feeling insecure, needy, or desperate, excuses help us keep the dream of a happy partnership alive," relationship expert and author Susan Winter explained in Glamour. It's more about the fantasy than the reality in this case.
3. You Fantasize About Spending Time With Other People
It's normal to consider other life choices every now and then, but how much time are you spending in a fantasy world? "If you just seem to annoy one another, and no longer have any fun, your fantasies about single-hood may show that you are already mentally 'checking out' of the relationship and planning to leave," said Dr. Becky Spelman, We-Vibe's psychologist, in Cosmopolitan. If you really just want to be single right now, then maybe this relationship is a bit strained.
4. You Downplay Your Boredom
In a fulfilling relationship, a couple can do almost anything (or nothing at all) and still enjoy their time together. "Enjoying spending time with your partner, regardless of what you’re doing together, is often one of the fundamental parts of a relationship, so when this part is missing, it may mean that there’s a bigger issue at play here," Heidi McBain, MA, LMFT, LPC, RPT, a licensed marriage and family therapist, told INSIDER. If you honestly don't enjoy hanging out with this person, then maybe you're forcing the relationship.
5. You Won’t Admit Something Is Missing
Although passion will come and go over the course of a long relationship, you'll know if something is seriously missing. "They are attractive, kind, attentive. But it’s not right somehow. This is ok! Trust your gut. You deserve (as does the other person) to have a relationship that is not only good on paper but also full of passion," wrote marriage and family therapist Dr. Gary Brown. If intimacy is very important to you in a relationship, then it's OK to hold out for a partner who honestly excites you.
6. You Fake-Laugh At Their Jokes
Most relationship experts stress the importance of a matched libido, but it's also important to have a matched sense of humor. "You don’t need to be with the life of the party, but you should be with someone with whom you share a similar sense of humor," said marriage and family therapist Virginia Gilbert in HuffPost. Are you constantly forcing a laugh for the other person's sake?
7. You Don't Envision Them In Your Future
When you think about future vacations or other adventures, is this person by your side? "If you do not want to explore the world with your partner, you may not covet their company," wrote licensed marriage and family therapist Stephen J. Betchen in Psychology Today. You will want to have new experiences with the right partner. For the most part, a healthy relationship will not feel so forced or difficult. By ending a contrived relationship, you open up the possibility of forming an easy, natural partnership with someone new.