1. Long-term goals and plans don’t coincide.
This is going to seem as though it contradicts with #7 so let me explain now. You have to have a working idea of where you’d like to be in 5, 10, 15 years if you are considering spending those years with this person. However, this does not mean you spend all of your time fantasizing about and waiting for the day that the future arrives when you are finally happy together. Another example of where this is important is knowing if one is certain that they want kids and the other is certain that they don’t… and the former thinks the latter will eventually change their mind. That’s a huge lifestyle choice that needs to overlap. But I digress: if you want to spend your life with someone, or even the next 6 months, you have to be okay with their plans to move to the other side of the country if that’s what they want.
2. Moral codes are inherently different.
You do have to agree on basic this-is-how-I’d-like-to-live-my-life principles. You need not be the same person, practice the same religion, or have the same ideologies. You do, however, need to be on the same page with your morals.
3. You start or stop doing things because they would or wouldn’t want you to.
Love can change you, or make you more of who you are, and that’s all well and beautiful. However, when love influences or pressures you to change your behaviors or lifestyle without you genuinely wanting to, that is a problem.
4. Your uncertainty outweighs your sureness.
More often than not, if you have a continuous and nagging feeling of being unsure, your gut is trying to tell you something. It doesn’t necessarily mean you aren’t going to be with that person eventually, but it does mean that there are other avenues to explore, possibly other people that you could love more, and a different direction that you should probably follow.
5. You are constantly haunted by the idea of “could I love somebody more?”
It’s not necessarily that you want to date anybody else (but it could be). It’s that you can’t let go of wondering if this is all that there is. You start imagining your life with other people and putting yourself in hypothetical situations where you’d feel all warm and fuzzy for someone else and realize that you don’t feel that way with the person you’re with now. It could be a matter of unreasonable expectations, but it could also be legitimately not loving someone enough to want to be with them for the long haul.
6. You find yourself not always being honest about them to friends and family.
You’re covering up their past behaviors, you’re stretching the truth about their schooling, job status, etc. Essentially, you’re making excuses for them to make yourself not look as though you’re with a loser.
7. Your focus is more on the future than the present.
As aforementioned, you spend your days thinking and talking about what you could be and not what you are. Of course it’s crucial to talk about future plans and make sure that your paths will align– but you cannot always be waiting for what you will be instead of what you are.
8. You can only take them in small doses, and you don’t have any aspects of “friendship.”
I’ve always said that the best relationships are those that people are best friends and lovers. It’s hard to find and harder to maintain, but at the bare minimum you have to have some elements of friendship: wanting to be with one another, having fun together, respecting and looking out for each other, etc.
9. They belittle you, especially in public.
This one is a huge no-no and yet I see people sticking in these relationships regardless. If an equal and mutually respected relationship is what you want, no party should ever belittle the other, even during an argument. I call this fighting dirty, and you should never do it. Make sure your problems are about your problems, not about the nasty names you called each other in the heat of a fight.
10. There is a disinterest in working on things.
If this isn’t there now, there’s little hope it will be in the future… and it’s absolutely crucial for making things work in the long-haul. You have to go in with the mindset that you will plow through no matter how difficult things get– because they will. If this isn’t here from the get-go, there’s little hope that it will be in the future, when you really need it to be.