1. You believe your life will begin once you have the love of your life. You believe in happily ever after in the way that you think once you find that special someone you will feel fulfilled, content and joyous every day. Love is fulfilling, contentment and joyousness, but it is certainly not guaranteed to always be that.
2. You’re dreaming of your wedding and the life you’ll have with someone, and you’re just looking for someone to fit into that role, not the other way around. You are fixated on what the relationship can do for you, not what you can give to it. We get into muddy waters when it comes to making checklists for what our significant others should and shouldn’t be. More often than not, it leaves us completely unfulfilled, disappointed or heartbroken, and the other person with a serious inferiority complex.
3. You know you don’t really love them, but you’re holding on to the love they give. You’re convincing yourself that you’re in love when you know that what you are really in love with is a lot more superficial, but a lot harder to let go of at the same time.
4. You have this inclination to want to change your partner or drag things out when you know it’s not going to work out in the long-run. You’re just always waiting to see if the person who can make you feel a certain way will develop from who you have right now. This is not love.
5. You fantasize (or worry, really) that someone “better” will come along. When you are only seeking the traits of someone as opposed to the reality of someone, you’re always looking for more. Such is the case in many instances of infidelity: people are no longer getting what they want, and so they seek it elsewhere.
6. You’re never single for too long. You don’t take the necessarily time to heal after a failed relationship. You just jump from one to the next. I’m not talking about a rebound or two, I’m talking about those of us who are completely incapable of being single for any extended period of time.
7. The qualities you are most concerned about in a partner are ones that are rooted in self-interest. You want someone who treats you like a prince/princess, someone who spoils you, someone who puts you on a pedestal, someone who makes you feel a certain way, someone who alleviates all your fears: the common denominator is always what it can do for me.
8. You believe that having love will make you feel worth being loved. If you’re waiting for someone to come along for you to be happy, you’ll be waiting forever, I hate to tell ya. Love for the sake of feeling as though you’re worthy of it or love for the sake of healing your own grievances is a tell-tale sign.
9. You have a propensity to be unfaithful. You can’t decide between two people, and you’re weighing your options based on how one makes you feel better as opposed to the other. You’re always out seeking someone better and another one better than the one before them.
10. In addition to these, you have low self esteem, lack of positive role models or feel unloved by parents, siblings, etc. There’s nothing really wrong with this, and it’s usually out of our control, because at the end of the day, we all need to be loved, and when we aren’t… well, it’s never easy to deal with. But it is also something to consider when trying to differentiate real love from being in love with the idea of love.
11. You can’t seem to take it slow, even when you try to. All of a sudden your life becomes this blossoming of obsession with the other person, you’re around them all the time, you are literally addicted to the feeling of being with them. Now, this is not uncommon in the honeymoon phases of love, but the difference is whether or not you are genuinely trying to control those urges. Most times, we’re not, because we want to feel love like that: quick, immersing, consuming, delusional.