Let’s set the scene: you’ve been dating someone for a few weeks, a few months, or maybe even a few years. You know they’re not perfect and accept that you will not meet someone who is 100% perfect for you. You put up with the way they treat you and their personality until one day it hits you: There are so many people out there, how do you know if this is the right one for you? Would it be better to leave and start over with someone more compatible?

Here are seven telltale signs that they might not be right for you. These signs can be applied to many situations and relationships, but the decision on whether they are right for you remains yours and yours alone to make.

1. You feel like they judge you.

You should never feel like you are constantly being judged by your partner or that they don’t respect your beliefs and opinions. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree on things, there should be a constant two-way flow of support. If they judge you for who you are and what you wear, they’re not right for you. You should feel comfortable going to your partner about anything and knowing that they will never hold what you tell them against you.

2. You feel like you can’t be yourself around them.

Ever feel like you have to exaggerate portions of yourself to satisfy them? You have to go to the gym twice a day even though you’d rather spend that time relaxing and watching a movie. You try your hardest to not laugh too hard because when you do you snort like a baby piglet for 0.5 seconds and there is no way you can let them hear that! The right person will accept you for who you are. They will be there to support you whatever your lifestyle choice and will love the crap out of your little piglet laugh. If you can’t be yourself around the person you’re dating, what will happen in the future? Be with the person who loves you for you and constantly supports you. If you can’t open yourself up to somebody or are judged when you do, they are not the right person for you.

3. Their goals and lifestyle are incompatible with yours.

It’s important to note that we aren’t talking about the little things like they want to be a doctor and you want to be a lawyer. We are talking about big things, like them wanting to move to England and raise five children while you could never see yourself living in that bloody country and do not want children. Or they want to go out every night and party the night away while you’d rather stay at home and relax. Or they are constantly putting their career and professional goals ahead of your needs.

Be with somebody whose goals and values fit in place with yours. They don’t have to be exactly the same, but their goals should not get in the way of yours. Some goals and aspirations can be morphed together and changed while others are deal breakers. My high school boyfriend was ready to get married and build a life together a few years after my graduation. Although he was a few years older and we had been dating for two years, I knew his goals and what he wanted short term was not what I wanted. I decided to break off the relationship, and we have since found people who make us very happy.

4. You avoid telling them things to avoid fighting.

This may not seem like a problem at first. Nobody is completely honest with their partner about everything. There will be times when you disagree and fight. There are certain topics that will be “off limits” and need to be approached with caution and care. But if you are avoiding sharing details about your life and your views with your significant other, they may not be the right person for you. Your partner doesn’t have to agree with you on everything. In fact, they shouldn’t. They should, however, show respect and support even if they think you are wrong or have a different opinion.

If you find you are constantly fighting, you need to develop a more productive way to deal with conflicts. Try different problem-solving tactics. If this does not work, if you continue fighting all the time and they are putting you down or making you feel insecure, have the courage to leave the relationship.

5. Your friends and family don’t like them.

Are your friends or family constantly trying to set you up with somebody else or telling you to dump your current boo? Are they reminding you of your previous partners or asking “whatever happened to the cutie you went to Jesse’s wedding with?” Your family is not doing this to be annoying. They are doing this because they don’t think the person you are seeing is right for you. They are trying to tell you to keep your options open and that they are not a good fit for you. Consider why the people closest to you feel this way.

6. They rarely compliment you or show affection.

Your partner should want to be around you and show you off to the world. Of course, some people are shy about PDA and would rather not show off too much affection. That being said, there is a difference between your partner treating you like one of the gang and them shying away from physical affection but still providing affection in other ways. I once dated a guy who was shy about PDA. I thought he was not into me but came to realize he was just a private person. We talked about the issue and reached a compromise that pleased both of us. Most of our PDA was verbal, in the form of compliments and conversations, with occasional physical PDA, depending on the circumstances.

You deserve to be complimented and to be with somebody who wants you to feel good about yourself and feel beautiful. If they do not acknowledge your existence in public yet happily get down with you in private, this is a red flag. Try talking to them about it. If you get the impression that your partner is embarrassed by you or does not respect you, they do not deserve your attention.

7. There is no “spark”.

If there is no chemistry, that may be a sign you are simply are going through the motions. It is common for relationships to lose the spark at times, so try to rekindle it. Go on a romantic getaway, try something new in bed, or remind yourself why you fell in love with them in the first place. If there is still no spark, take that as a sign that they’re not right for you. It’s not worth it to remain with somebody and “go through the motions” when you could be with somebody who genuinely excites you. A lack of sexual chemistry may be your body’s way of telling you that you are no longer attracted to them and no longer see them as a good match for you.

At the end of the day, I hope you would rather be alone and happy than with the right person for the wrong reasons. Leaving somebody can be scary and stressful, however, if you have a gut feeling they’re not right for you, chances are they’re not. You deserve someone who will respect you and spoil you. Be with someone who makes you happy and boosts your confidence. If the person you are currently with isn’t that person, it may be time to cut them loose.

As my mother always said, “there are plenty of men out there who will want to be with you and promise you a whole bunch of things. Be with the man who turns those promises into actions and you can’t see yourself living without”. I know that all of you out there will find that one person you can’t live without and hope that you remain patient and optimistic that they will come along.


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