3 Signs That a Relationship Is Based on Loneliness, Not Love
2. You feel empty when your partner isn't around.
Posted March 29, 2023 | Reviewed by Davia Sills
- Some people end up forcing relationships with people who are wrong for them out of fear or loneliness.
- It's important for individuals to feel like they can be their authentic selves with their partners.
- The need for constant companionship and a tendency to get jealous easily are two red flags in relationships.
There's a big difference between putting in the effort to find a romantic partner and forcing a relationship into existence. Sometimes, in our haste to find somebody, we lose sight of this distinction. This might cause us to look back on a past romance and wonder how we "missed the signs" or ended up intertwined with someone who was so obviously wrong for us.
The trick is to be able to tell the difference in the moment, not years later. While this may be easier for some than for others, we can all get better at sizing up the potential of a new romantic interest.
Here are three questions to ask yourself to help you distinguish a relationship based on true love versus one based on pressure to find somebody or a fear of being alone.
1. Do you feel like you can be your authentic self?
One of the clearest signs of a fear-based relationship is not acting like yourself. Your fear of losing your partner drives you to engage in relationship-pleasing behaviors, such as changing aspects of your personality or sacrificing your values in order to avoid retribution or judgment from your partner.
Because you're always worried about losing your partner, everything you do becomes an act of preserving what you have between each other rather than a way of truly enjoying the time you spend together
When you constantly try to adapt to someone else's expectations of you, you neglect your own wants and needs, which can lead to feelings of dissatisfaction and a loss of identity.
A healthy relationship is marked by both partners' efforts to maintain their individuality while also supporting each other in the relationship. Research suggests that maintaining a healthy balance between closeness and autonomy within romantic relationships is important for relationship harmony. Relationships tend to sour when one or more of the following things happen:
- One partner attempts to influence and monitor the other's attitudes
- One partner acts helplessly and has difficulty coping with challenging situations
- One partner invades the other's self-boundaries
2. Do you need to be in their constant company to be happy?
Yes, you're supposed to find happiness in the company of those you truly love. However, for some, that joy becomes an effort to avoid a paralyzing fear of loneliness.
If you feel empty in the absence of your partner, to the point that you believe you are incapable of being happy without them, that may be indicative of your fear of losing the person rather than loving the person.
While craving quality time with your partner is healthy and advisable for relationship growth, expecting your partner to spend all of their free time with you may mean that your relationship is driven by a fear of losing your partner.
Another thing to ask yourself is whether you prefer hanging out with your partner alone or in the company of others. If you find that it's difficult to "share" your partner in social settings, this may also indicate that you are overly reliant on your partner for attention and happiness.
3. Do you get jealous easily?
Jealousy is another sign that your relationship is controlled by your fear of loss and your own inadequacies.
According to research, occasional jealousy in relationships is normal and can be seen as a positive force in that it reminds couples not to take each other for granted. Jealousy heightens emotions and makes intimate moments more passionate.
Intense or irrational jealousy, on the other hand, is rooted in our fear of abandonment. Research has found that lower levels of trust in a partner may cause individuals with anxious attachment styles to become jealous, snoop through a partner's belongings, and become psychologically abusive.
Insecurities, in a more general sense, can cause us to become paranoid about losing our partner. They can stir up toxicity that may cause rifts in a relationship.
Haste makes waste, especially in relationships. When you feel like you are in desperate need of a partner, you might end up rushing into a decision prematurely.
Waiting for the right time to get into a relationship, although challenging, can lead us toward a partnership based on true love and shared interests, not loneliness or a fear of being single.
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