1. You’re more worried about having them meet the people in your life than you are proud to introduce them. If you’re worried that the people who you love most in this world – whose opinions you value – are going to disapprove of your choice in partner in some way, there is probably a reason.
2. You like how they make you feel about your future more than you like how they make you feel about your present. This means you’re more in love with an idea of them than you are actually having them in your life.
3. Your timelines aren’t aligned. If you want kids in two years, your partner wants them in 10; if you want to live in the city and your partner wants to buy a house in the suburbs; if you are ready for a relationship and your partner isn’t… it does not matter how profound you think your connection is, it’s not going to work if either of you has to compromise too much of who you are or what you want.
4. You’re not sure that you’re totally attracted to them. Love is something that develops and grows over time. Attraction is fundamental. It’s there or it’s not, and it’s crucial. If you’re “not sure” about it, it means you don’t have enough.
5. They make offhand comments about moving to another part of the country, never wanting to get married, dreading the idea of kids, or wanting to be “free,” seemingly without consulting you on any of their life plans.
6. They tell you it’s not the “right time.” It is not the right time until it’s the right person. Nobody that truly, completely loves another person puts them on the back burner until they’ve had a few more years to rage and sleep around.
7. They express interest in other people, whether explicitly or not. You catch them leaving off-putting comments on random people’s Instagrams, or mentioning how hot your friend is one too many times for comfort.
8. You can only spend time with them in short bits. Whether you easily become frustrated with them, or just “need your space,” they are absolutely not your forever person if you can’t spend a whole lot of time together and be happy.
9. Outside of your relationship with them, your life is deteriorating. When you’re with your forever person, they make you better, and so as a byproduct, every part of your life starts to improve as well. If the opposite is happening, it says something about the effect they have on you.
10. When you think of being with them forever, you begin to think of everything you’re going to miss out on because you’re committed, not everything you’re going to gain.
11. You frequently want to call it quits, even if you come back around together again. If you’re going through a constant back-and-forth, there’s a reason, and it’s usually that the happiness you feel when you’re with them doesn’t outweigh the stress or dissatisfaction yet. It’s just doesn’t feel worth it to keep working or fighting.
12. You’re not comfortable around them, or vice versa. You often feel anxious about them meeting your friends, or eventually seeing you excrete some kind of bodily function. You’re worried that their approval is something you can lose, or you can sense that they love an idea of you, not who you fundamentally are as a person.
13. If you knew that they’d always be the exact person they are now, and that your relationship with them would not change, would you be thrilled to have that forever, or would you realize you were making the wrong move?
14. You’re afraid to voice your thoughts and feelings because you fear doomsday. You acknowledge that any further incompatibilities would probably break you, so you suppress what you want and need for the sake of ensuring your relationship doesn’t dissolve. This doesn’t mean you love someone – this means you desperately need them. Mutual love provides a deep feeling of security.
15. They are the person you vent about, not the person you vent to.
16. You’re more unsure than you are sure. You constantly have to list through the reasons why you’re so “meant to be,” which is a big sign that you don’t actually feel that way. If you’re so unsure that you have to regularly convince yourself, or seek counsel about it constantly, you are certain, it’s just an answer you don’t want to accept yet.