At the beginning of a relationship, everything is new and, oftentimes, neither of you know exactly where things are headed. It could end up that the two of you are together forever or things could crash and burn, leaving one or both of you heartbroken. It's scary, but exciting and worth it all at the same time. Later in relationships, however, you start to suss out how things will go. Then, the scary part is not knowing for certain whether you're on the same page, because there can be surprising clues your partner doesn't see a future with you, even though you thought you would get married, that you might not even recognize as such.
There's something especially painful about being blindsided like this and realizing that a part of your life is nothing like you thought it was, but it's arguably better to know that sooner rather than later, when you're even more invested and your lives are more intertwined. Figuring out that you and your partner actually don't have a future together is never easy, regardless of when you make that discovery, but sorting through the clues that might be there, right in front of you, can help make things clearer for you and, hopefully, save you at least a little bit of heartache later on.
1. They Have Nothing Nice To Say About Past Partners
Although you probably don't want your partner to be too focused on their exes, they should be able to say something nice about their past partners. Therapist Diane Spear told HuffPost that this kind of behavior means that they tend to "idealize" partners in the beginning and then trash them "when the newness wears off." If that's what they've done to all their past partners, they'll likely do that to you too.
2. They Won't Talk About The Future
Unsurprisingly, an inability or unwillingness to talk about the future doesn't exactly bode well for a shared future for the two of you. The website for TODAY reported that Amy Levine, a sex coach and the founder of Ignite Your Pleasure, told iVillage that planning for the future together is an important part of a healthy and lasting relationship. If your partner is unwilling to discuss it, that might mean that they don't see you having one.
3. They're Not Around As Much As They Used To Be
People get busy and things come up in life, of course, but if your partner doesn't seem to be as available anymore, it might be that they're pulling away. Aimee Hartstein, a relationship therapist, told Cosmopolitan UK that if they start to be more unavailable, something could be up — and your relationship might be over sooner than you think. If they don't see a future there, they might be trying to put some distance between the two of you.
4. They Want To Celebrate With You, But Not Commiserate
Of course partners should celebrate successes together, but they should also be able to support one another through struggles. If your partner is unwilling to share the not-so-great things that happen to them with you, that's likely not a great sign. Laurel House, a dating coach and author of Screwing the Rules: The No-Games Guide to Love, told Woman's Day that their inability to tell you about setbacks means you're not the person they go to for support, which isn't a good sign in terms of your relationship having a future.
5. They're Emotionally Unavailable
Ultimately, if they're closed off and emotionally unavailable, that likely spells trouble for your future. Aaron Anderson, a marriage and family therapist, told HuffPost in the aforementioned article that it's better for relationships to be "emotionally open." Emotional intimacy is very important, especially if you're going to be together long-term. If they're unwilling or unable to be emotionally open with you, it might mean that there's no real future there.
6. They've Told You They're Not Good Enough For You Or You Could Do Better
In the previously-mentioned article, Woman's Day noted that if your partner tells you that they're not good enough for you, it could be an excuse that they'll later use to end things. Not feeling as though the two of you are on the same level can make it difficult for your relationship to succeed and can be a sign that they don't see a future there and the relationship with you is more of a right-now thing.
7. They Don't Make You Feel Like Part Of The Group
In an interview with Bustle, dating expert Noah Van Hochman said that in a relationship with a future, your partner will make you feel like you're part of the group, not just an accessory. Whether with family or friends, if you feel like an outsider because your partner hasn't fully made you a part of the group, that might be a sign that they don't think the relationship is going anywhere.
8. They Never Ask For Your Advice Or Opinion
Partners bounce ideas off each other and ask for advice. If yours doesn't do that, they might not think you have a future. April Davis, a dating coach, matchmaker, and founder of Cupid's Cronies, a dating service, told Woman's Day in the aforementioned article that if they're going to someone else for advice, it likely means they value their opinions and advice over yours. Unfortunately, that probably means that they don't think there's a real future with you, regardless of how you thought the relationship would turn out.
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