Choosing a partner is one of the most important decisions in our life. Make sure you do it wisely. Before you commit to someone, take a walk around the park and see if they truly deserve you. Most people have unresolved issues and traumas and dating is a good time to observe whether they have worked them out or not.
Not over their ex
I knew a guy in college who was amazing and we had a great time together. I knew a lot of girls who had a crush on him. However, he would keep talking about his past relationship, and how toxic it was. I never took it seriously only to find out later that he still has not healed and is carrying a lot of baggage which manifests in terms of his assumptions and insecurities in his present relationships. He was not in the right mindset to enter into a new relationship.
After this incident, I started observing around and there is a pattern. If somebody is still not over their ex, some signs of which are:
- they stalk them online
- they try to stay connected with them
- they often bring them up in conversations
- they still have the old pictures,
they will bring an insecure foundation to the relationship, which hurts the long-term prospects of the relationship.
They make you feel inadequate
Respect matters more than love. If your partner does not respect your choices, values, and opinions, it is a clear red flag. When you are in an environment where you cannot be who you are, it hurts your self-esteem. This applies to trivial matters as well. Do they make fun of your food choices, dressing sense, taste in music, etc.? You want to be with someone who makes you feel good about yourself and not someone who makes you doubt your personality.
I had a friend who would constantly belittle me and justify it with his intentions or love. Being with him always made me self-conscious and that felt horrible. I realized that if I do not stay away from such situations, the chances that I might change my values and try to fit in are high. That is a terrible position to be in. (Remember Raju’s interview scene from 3 idiots? He chooses his authenticity over fulfilling his employer’s expectations which went against his values. That is how you want to be. Although alongside, I do want to suggest you present your best self, just not your inauthentic self.)
About my friend, I confronted him about his behavior but nothing changed, and cutting him out of my life was my best decision ever. Even friendship was difficult with such a person, imagine how horrible a long-term relationship with them would have been.
Bad-mouthing other people
You want to be with someone who has integrity. If they have a problem with someone, do they bad-mouth them or do they confront them? If the former is true, realize that they are complainers and not problem solvers. They do not have a template for conflict resolution and when disagreements will arise in your relationship(which is inevitable), the chances are high that they would sulk and gossip about you instead of being vulnerable and having an honest conversation with you.
A person who is not strong enough to be vulnerable is not a good fit for a long-term relationship. Long-term commitments require sticking through thick and thin and finding solutions together, complainers are incapable of that.
Your boundaries are not respected
I am a sensitive person and every time somebody speaks to me in an impolite or disrespectful manner, especially a loved one, I find it hard to bear. I share this with people who are close to me and if someone still crosses that line, I know that they do not deserve a place in my life.
If the person you are dating does not respect your boundaries, you should not be with them. And your boundary can be anything. You do not drink and you would prefer not to be constantly convinced of it, you like to spend some alone time every weekend but the other person does not respect that space, etc. I hope you get the idea.
An ideal relationship makes you feel at ease and adds to your happiness, not the other way around.
Does not prioritize you
I am all in favor of having a balanced life and treating your relationship as just one part of it. I stole this line from my therapist that describes this idea best: Your partner must only be one planet in your universe of life.
However, you need to ensure that they are giving equal priority to this area as other areas in their life. If it does not happen temporarily, that is fine. For example, I am writing a book and I got very busy with it lately but I made sure that the situation did continue for more than a week.
If they are constantly canceling plans with you due to whatever reason (work, friends, family), it is not a good sign. You want to be with someone you can call a companion, someone who finds time for you and stays by your side during your bad times.
One easy sign: If you guys are on a date but this person cannot keep their phone down, walk away.
Also, if they are not investing as much as you are, slow down. That is a sign that they are not yet into the relationship as much as you are.
They are insecure
I cannot say this enough: one should be in a relationship because they want to be with the other person not because they need to be with the other person.
You want someone who is secure with who they are and have an independent life. If your dating partner depends on you for their emotional needs, you are signing up for an unhealthy relationship. They need to be comfortable with who they are and not sulk if you have to cancel plans with them (obviously, within reason).
- Do they get jealous when you hang out with friends of the opposite sex?
- Do they get mad or upset when you make plans with your friends that do not include them? (unless you have mutual friends)
- Do they become impatient and get anxious if you do not respond to them immediately?
- Do they sulk instead of confronting?
Any of the above signs are a sign of unhealthy love and you do not want to be with such a person in the long run.
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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