I’ve been in a few relationships where after the initial excitement wore off, I had doubts about how much I was really into the other person. This is a common problem with many friends I’ve talked to. Breaking up can be so messy and painful that sometimes we just keep going with the relationship, even if we know we’re not right for each other. But really this isn’t doing anyone any favors, especially the person you’re with.
So, I’ve tried to develop some tests to determine whether I’m really into someone or not. Take a look at these items and see if they apply to your relationship.
If you’re not really into someone, the best thing to do may be to break it off and let them find someone who really is.
Note, I’m not a relationship expert! I’m just someone trying to figure things out based on past successes and failures (and I’ve read quite a few books on the subject in my research). With that said, here is a checklist I came up with to help you decide whether you’re really into someone or not.
1. You are not eager to share the news of your relationship with the world
When I’m with someone who I really adore, and if she is also into me, I want to tell everyone. I want to post it on Facebook, tell my friends, and basically shout it from a mountaintop!
Now, it’s not always wise to actually do all of these things, but it’s a really good indicator of how you really feel about someone. Are you eager to tell your friends and family about this person? Or, do you find yourself hiding the fact that you’re going out with them?
2. The prospect of making a long-term commitment to this person doesn’t excite you
As a test, think of how you’d feel living with this person, getting married, and having kids. If the notion scares you, you should think about why not. When you’re really into someone, you want to be with them forever!
Does thinking about the relationship make you joyful or sad?
3. You are afraid of someday causing emotional pain
If you often think about how much breaking up would hurt the person you’re with, and you stay in the relationship just to avoid hurting the person, it’s a sign something is very wrong.
If thinking about the relationship makes you sad instead of thrilled, it’s a red flag. Investigate why you feel that way.
When you think about a relationship where you are in love, you should feel joyful.
4. You are REALLY attracted to other people
Being in a relationship doesn’t magically stop you from finding other people attractive. But at the end of the day, if you’re with the right person, you’ll be grateful you’re with them even if you sometimes find other people attractive.
When I’ve been in relationships that are not working, I would find other people really really attractive, to the point where I start wishing I was with them instead. That’s not a good sign for the relationship that you’re in.
If you are attracted to other people to that degree, I submit that you’re not in the right relationship, or that you shouldn’t be in that type of relationship altogether right now.
5. You are not highly motivated to please this person
When I’m really into someone, I’d walk 500 miles for them, just like the song says. If you find yourself lazy when it comes to pleasing them, something could be wrong with the relationship.
To see if this applies, think about some really unpleasant task, like spending a whole weekend with their annoying family or friends (or something like that). It’s easy to please someone if you also enjoy the activity. Think about doing something you hate, or giving up something you really enjoy. If you’d do it for the person without hesitation, you’re really into them.
6. You regularly hold the relationship hostage with conditions
If you find yourself saying “it’s my way or the highway” to your significant other often, you might not be that into them.
When you’re not into someone, you might look for excuses to end the relationship, for example, ultimatums like “if you don’t quit smoking by next week, you can find yourself another boyfriend/girlfriend”. Now, smoking might be a valid reason to leave – that is just an example. But, I believe that if you really love someone, the response would be more like “I care about you and would like to help you quit smoking”. When you’re in love with someone, you have blinders that actually make you overlook a person’s shortcomings.
Having said that, I want to say that there are important and valid boundaries that should be set in a relationship. If the person is violent, dishonest, etc., you should leave.
7. You are not physically attracted to this person
This seems obvious but it’s a real problem that a lot of people try to overlook. Of course, the initial spark and pure physical attraction will diminish after a while, but you need to at least have been super-attracted to them at one point. Physical attraction is very important to a relationship, even though sometimes we try to deny it. The need to have physical attraction doesn’t mean you’re shallow – it means you’re human.
8. You seek validation for the relationship from other people
Do you stay with someone because your parents or friends like him/her, even when you’re not sure about them yourself? When you’re really into someone, it just feels right, and you don’t need anyone to reaffirm it. In fact, when you’re really into someone, no one can convince you otherwise! If you are relying on other people’s opinions alone to justify the relationship, something could be wrong.
9. You try to rationalize the relationship
If you hear yourself saying things like “I’m not sure I really like him, but he’d make such a good father”, or “I’m not sure if I’m super attracted to her, but she’s such a good person”, or “I’m getting old – maybe I should settle for this person”, then you’re trying to justify the relationship to yourself against what you really know is true deep down.
10. Your gut is unsure
Your gut has a way of cutting through all of the rationalizations and getting to the truth. If you have a gut feeling that the relationship isn’t right, there’s probably something to it.
11. You don’t get jealous
Jealousy is widely regarded as a negative emotion to be shunned. But, jealousy is actually a sign of romantic love. If you find yourself not getting jealous when your partner is flirting with someone else (or similar activity that should normally provoke jealousy), it might be a sign that you’re no longer into them.
12. Your relationship fails the “Time Machine” test
If you could go back in time and make it so you never got into this relationship, would you do it? This is a simple test that tells you where your heart is.
13. You don’t respect the other person
Respect is a key component of a long-term relationship. It’s very difficult to maintain a relationship with someone you don’t respect for anything more than physical traits.
14. You searched for this article
If you went online searching for advice about your relationship because you are unsure about it, that is an indicator that you’re not really into the person. When I’ve done it before, the relationship was doomed. When you’re in love with someone, you don’t need an article on the internet to tell you.
These tests may seem obvious, but when you’re in the middle of a relationship, muddled with lots of emotions, you may be in denial (I have been there). Simple obvious tests like these might be just what it takes to show the truth.
Now, if your relationship passed all of these tests, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re right for each other. There are many other factors to consider!
Sorry to sound so bleak, but when I talk to folks who are in successful long-term relationships, they tell me that they “just knew” it was right, and no one could tell them otherwise.
You may not want to hurt the person you’re with, but sometimes the best thing to do is cut them loose so they can find someone who really is into them. You’re not doing anyone any favors by staying in an unhappy relationship.
And, I contend that the inability or unwillingness to endure the short-term pain of ending a bad relationship is part of the reason for the 50% divorce rate. It’s not that people have trouble staying together, but rather, that they don’t break up when the relationship isn’t right, and instead go all the way to marriage before they figure it out.
What do you think?
As I said, I am by no means a relationship expert! These are just some tests I came up with from personal experience and research. Please leave your thoughts below! – Brian
p.s., check out these signs you’ve found the right partner!