No matter how hard we work to make our relationships perfect, they just don’t always work out that way. Even when we think we’re heading in the right direction, we can often find ourselves confronted with a devastating new reality: The person that we love may not be the right person for us. Try as we might to find someone who is a dependable and loving spouse or partner to us, we don’t always make the best choices. Sometimes we fall for individuals who want more from us than they are willing to give; people who would take from us before they would see us and value us for who we are. In order to avoid this kind of heartbreak, we have to understand our need to pursue these types of relationships, and then take positive action in the name of our joy each and every day.
We’re not guaranteed happily ever after.
You can do everything you’re “supposed to” and still end up in a life-shattering partnership that does nothing but make you wildly unhappy. We’re not guaranteed happily ever after, even once we’ve gotten the house, and the family, and the dream. Life isn’t a straight road, and our relationships rarely are either. We have to be honest with ourselves and honest too when we’ve chosen someone who isn’t a good fit for the future that we’re building.
It’s time for you to stop running away from the truth. You’ve fallen in love with the wrong person, and you’re turning a blind eye to all the hundreds of red flags and warning signs that have been posted along the way. You can’t trust them. You can’t rely on them to help you, or even the split the physical and emotional labor that comprises your waking lives.
The feeling is probably very familiar by now; that feeling of being forgotten, left behind, or of being all alone within a very big house. You have to quit settling for partners who see you as valueless. You have to quit selling yourself short for people who don’t support you and love you as the beautiful and capable person that you are. That can only happen, though, when you take time to rebuild your self worth and reshape the way you see yourself and intimate partnerships.
The 10 signs you’ve chosen the wrong person.
Are you running up against some serious walls with your new spouse or long-term partner? Are things off balance or otherwise lacking in communication and intimacy? There are a number of signs that we’ve chosen the wrong person, but some are harder to spot than others. In order to thrive as a couple, we have to be honest and understanding when we spot these red flags.
Imbalanced financial investment
Do you and your partner struggle with an imbalanced financial situation? Maybe they are using you for your money, or demanding that you take on more of the financial burden than you’re comfortable with. While all relationships deal with money issues of some type, not all relationships survive this conflict. If someone is using you for your money, they’re not showing up out of a genuine desire to love and support.
Frozen by comfort
Believe or not, comfort can be another indicator that you’ve chosen the wrong person to “settle down” with. While we strive all our lives to find someone we’re comfortable opening up to, there is such a thing as too much comfort. You become lulled into a sense of laziness when you become too comfortable in your partnerships. Letting yourself go, you lose sight of those things which make you happy or fulfilled on an individual level.
A partner who encourages addictive behaviors is generally a partner who is not a good fit for the type of life we’re trying to build. Perhaps they drive you toward these behaviors as a means of coping (or numbing) yourself from the chaotic time you spend with them. Or maybe you both fall into unhealthy and lazy lifestyles that collapse your motivation and erode your sense of self. Either way, it’s a bad fit and a common sign that neither one of you belongs together.
Social isolation is always a crucial warning sign to pay attention to in your intimate partnerships. If your loved one forces you to isolate, or pulls you away from your family and friends, they’re engaging in tactics which are toxic and dangerous. Likewise, if you find that you feel as though you have to pull your partner away from their social circles — it’s a sign that you’re not a good fit in their world. Friends and family may also warn you that there is something amiss.
How deeply do you trust your partner? Do you believe that they are just as committed to you as you are to them? If you are not on the same commitment level, then you’re dealing with the wrong person to help you achieve romantic happiness. Perhaps you refer to them as your partner, but they call you a “friend”. Perhaps they’re keeping things more “open” than you would like. You need to be on the same page in your relationship, or you’ll end up with a mess you won’t enjoy cleaning up.
Refusing to take responsibility
In order for us to build up relationships that are equitable and fulfilling, we have to work together to fix issues as they arise. To that, we each have to take responsibility for our roles within the partnership, as well as what we get wrong and what we get right. If we refuse to take this responsibility and spend all our time blaming our partners, we end up with a mess and resentful loved ones who begin imagining their lives without us.
No happiness to be found
We shouldn’t be miserable in our partnerships. Sure, all relationships go through periods of ups and downs, happiness and unhappiness. Not all relationships experience emotional exhaustion, though, or a complete lack of happiness that makes them resentful of their partner. You should enjoy spending time together, and you should enjoy the lives and futures that you’re working so hard to establish as a couple.
Does it seem like your partner goes out of the way to embarrass you? Do you avoid bringing them to family functions, friendly get-togethers, or official engagements with co-workers? All of these are warning signs that there’s a major disconnect in your partnership. Perhaps they are immature or behave like a juvenile. They embarrass you with their antics. Either way, they’re on a different level from you, and are proving to be an impossible fit.
Sexual intimacy is an important component in bonding us a couple, and it’s also an important symptom to be aware of when problems arise. Our sexual intimacy is usually one of the earliest indicators that something is wrong. Maybe you and your partner aren’t having sex anymore. Or maybe the sex you do have is awkward and unenjoyable. In order to stay connected, it’s important to feel physical attraction (as well as emotional). But it’s also important to be compatible in and out of the bedroom.
Control, control, control
Does your relationship feel like a constant battle for control? Are you and your partner always engaged in a power struggle that makes it impossible to enjoy your lives together? This is one of the most common signs that we’ve picked someone who isn’t right for us. When we truly love someone we don’t seek to control them. We love them as they are, and we’re willing to accept them for all of their strengths and all of their faults (even if it’s not what we hoped for).
What to do when you’ve invested in the wrong person.
Even if you’re just waking up to a toxic and off-balance partnership, there’s still time to turn things around. You can find a way to be happy again, but it’s going to take hard work. Reconnecting with your self-worth is key, as well as personal honesty and candid communication. Lean into your personal space and figure out who you are again. Then you can begin taking positive steps in the direction of your authentic happiness and fulfillment.
1. Reconnect with your self-worth
Pull yourself away from your relationship for a moment and look inside.Consider yourself entirely on your own, apart from your loved ones and everything else, which serves as a reflection of who you think you should be. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Spend a few moments considering who you are right now in the moment. Would you say you’re a worthy person? Do you love yourself? You must in order to build relationships that work.
Reconnect with your sense of self worth. Where along the way have you forgotten just how entitled you are to your own happy life? We all deserve to be happy. We all deserve to have the things we focus on and work hard for. You have to believe that, though, in order for it to happen.
Build your self-esteem from the bottom up. Focus on your strengths and all those physical attributes you love first. Write them down in a journal and name 3 of them out loud each day. Once you’ve fallen in love with the obvious strengths of your character, spend some time zeroing in on your weaknesses. Until you love them as fully as you love your strengths, you’ll never be able to love (or understand) who you are as a complete person.
2. Be honest about what’s wrong
Like it or not — you can’t fix what’s wrong in your life or relationship until you know what those specifics are. Mechanics don’t wander into a dark room and throw their wrenches at the engine. They use their lights at all different angles so that they can see exactly where the problems like. You have to do the same with your relationships. Whether you plan on fixing them or freeing yourself from them, the only way to get to the other side is by figuring out where you are first.
Initially, you need to figure out what your vision of “right” is so that you can better identify what’s wrong. What is your idea of a perfect relationship? What do you need most in terms of physical and emotional affection and attention? These things matter. Wheedle out anything unrealistic, but get serious about drawing out what the ideal partnership looks like to you.
Next, compare your current relationship to this ideal one. What’s different between the two relationships? How does the concept of each partnership make you feel? Do you need more from your partner, or do you need something different altogether? This is the time to be brutally honest with yourself. Don’t hold back. Is this the person you’re ready to send the next 20 or 30 years with? There’s no right or wrong answers save the brutally honest ones.
3. Lean into some personal space
Personal space is a powerful thing, and it becomes even more powerful when we’re dealing with a turbulent or chaotic relationship. In our personal space, we get a chance to recharge our emotional batteries and make more sense out of our needs and expectations. We can also reconnect with our support networks and even spend some time getting a better perspective on things without interference. Struggling through a toxic relationship? Take a time out on your own.
Lean into your personal space and learn how to enjoy time on your own again. Re-engage with your passions. Follow those pastimes and activities that once brought you so much joy and peace. You don’t have to spend this time obsessing over your relationship. As a matter of fact, it’s better if you don’t.
Use this personal time to get back in touch with those things that make you, “you”. Who were you before you relationship took a dramatic turn? What things interested you, or brought you that sense of validation and contentment? You see, true love isn’t just felt in intimate relationships. We can also feel it in the art we create, the students we teach, and the hearts we touch in those who need us most. Romance doesn’t make the world go ‘round.
4. Open up an honest dialogue
You can’t repair anything with your partner (or make any effective plans moving forward) if you don’t sit down and have an honest conversation with them. Communication is a dire need when our partnerships begin to break down. It’s the way by which we stay focused, and it’s the primary means by which we break down our differences and overcome them. You need to talk to your partner and explain where you’re coming from. Then you can find solutions…or not.
Find a safe time and space to sit your partner down and hash things out. Consider your timing and look for a window of time in which you’re both dealing with minimal stress at work and at home. Approach your partner with compassion, and approach them with respect too. Explain where you’re coming from slowly and avoid blaming language.
You need to put them precisely in your perspective. You need to (as closely as possible) help them to understand the emotion you’re experiencing, and the fallout those emotions are bringing on. Once you’ve said what you need to say, give them room to do the same. If they’re having a hard time being candid with you, ask them questions and remind them that they’re safe. Remember, though, don’t over compromise or give away the self you’ve worked so hard to reconquer through self-esteem and acceptance.
5. Take positive action toward joy
At the end of the day, you are the only one who is in charge of your happiness. You are the only one who is going to step up to the plate for you, and you’re the only one that can. We are each responsible for our own lives, and we’re responsible for our own validation too. While a romantic partner might help us to see ourselves in a different light, we decide whether we are worthy of the only love we actually need — our own.
Throughout this journey remain honest and respectful of yourself. Don’t settle for someone who is only playing games with you. Don’t move backward for someone who doesn’t hold the same dreams and intentions as you. Stand up for yourself. Find at least 3 ways each day you can take positive action in the name of your joy.
Of course, this can mean moving away from someone who means very much to us. Painful though this may be, it can be the right choice when we’ve fallen for someone who is a bad match and an even poorer fit. Never let your honesty waver. Is this person making you happy? Is their presence in your life making your future a bright or a darker one? Ensure that — in all things — you are always seeking to bring more light and more success into your life.
Putting it all together…
Try as we might, the relationships we build don’t always end with the happy result we imagined. We pick the wrong people to love us, sometimes, and that’s okay. After all, we are not the sum of who we pick. Rather, we are the sum of what we choose to do after realizing we’ve given our heart to someone who neither wants nor deserves it.
Reconnect with your self-worth and use that to re-align with your higher purpose. You were put here to be happy, and you deserve that happiness as much as anyone else in this world. Be honest about what’s going on in your relationship so that you can be realistic about fixing it, or setting yourself free. We don’t always choose the right person to build our lives with, and that’s okay. Fall in love with yourself and lean into a personal space that can help you re-imagine who you are and what you want. When you’re ready, open up an honest dialogue with your partner and let them know where your heart is sitting. Then, you can take positive action in the direction of your joy and do the right thing for you, your love, and your future happiness and fulfillment.