You don’t know you’re with the wrong person until you’re with the right one. Because wrong is rarely obvious.
Wrong usually doesn’t come with flags or neon lights. Sometimes wrong isn’t wrong, until it is. And that’s what makes relationships so tough. Wrong isn’t always obvious. Wrong can be a slow fade. Wrong can appear when we posses the ability to see more. Or grow more. Sometimes we don’t see wrong until we change our perspective or beliefs about ourselves, what we want, what’s important to us, what we’re worth, and what we believe we deserve.
Also, how do you know if you’re with the right one, when wrong was right in the beginning?
You don’t. For sure. Love is always rolling dice, to a certain extent. But hopefully by now you have some kind of radar. You have been through some shit and have learned some things. About you. Love. Others. You can now gamble with better odds. You don’t have to double down until you know. But no one ever really knows knows. You know enough to pull the trigger; to decide to invest. You can’t predict future feelings. On either side. That being said, love is about more than feelings. Love is a choice, a daily one. So all you can do is check in with yourself often and live at the intersection between smarts and feelings, right brain and left, logic and magic. But that’s another article. Let’s get back to finding wrong as fast as you can.
Here are some suggestions to help you know when something is wrong = unhealthy = unsustainable = building on sand.
You Don’t Feel Safe
Safety is everything. If you don’t feel safe, you can’t trust and if you can’t trust, there is no relationship. Maybe two people spend time together, or have sex, or think they’re in a relationship but you can’t build anything without first building trust. It’s the first fundamental building block. It’s glue. Without it, everything falls apart.
So what makes people feel unsafe?
Besides the obvious–like physical abuse, emotional abuse, infidelity (assuming you’re in a monogamous relationship)–there’s character assignation, control, crippling jealousy, poor communication, leaving people in the dark, actions not lining up with words, a change in values.
If you don’t feel safe, first explore why before you start blaming. Maybe there’s something happening with you that you must own? Once you’ve discovered why you don’t feel safe, you can then communicate that. Not feeling safe isn’t a reason to leave (unless it’s abusive). But someone not choosing to work on it, or that doesn’t have the ability to make you feel safe, means you’re with the wrong person.
Shit’s Just Boring (No Banter)
Ninety percent of your relationship is going to be hanging out, watching movies, sharing meals. Although sex is important, you’re not doing it all day. It’s an hour every other night. And that’s if things are good. So without the banter piece, things can get boring very fast. If you’re not able to have stimulating, deep, meaningful and fun conversations with someone, that is a sure sign they’re probably wrong for you. Even if the sex is hot and chemistry is on fire.
Without good banter, it will be short lived. Good banter is one of the pistons that keep a relationship exciting and moving forward. That being said, you have to define what ‘good banter’ means for you. For some, it’s shared humor. For some, it’s a common purpose or passion. For some, it’s intellectual conversations. For some, it’s all of the above.
I don’t believe good banter can be learned or developed. Maybe to a certain extent. But it’s either there or it’s not. You can learn to dance with someone without stepping on toes. But the kind of dancing where two become one, (I’m not saying two people should become one in an enmeshed way); the natural flow you have with someone that’s organic and effortless cannot be learned. You can build on it, but it’s either there or it’s not. And if it’s not, you are with the wrong person.
They Always Make it about Them
Some people just can’t make it about anyone else but them. And they may not do it intentionally. Maybe they were the only child and their parents made the mistake of enabling them to revolve everything around them. I don’t know, but if you are in something where he/she always figures out a way to make it about them, you’re going to feel like Jennifer Lawrence’s character in ‘Mother.’ And if you haven’t seen that movie–unheard and very, very alone. There’s nothing more sad than feeling alone in a relationship.
If you feel alone, you have to first ask yourself how much of that is because of you, and your own journey, and how much of that is due to your partner and the relationship. If you feel alone because of the relationship/your partner, and it’s not fixable, you are with the wrong person.
They are Controlling
Controlling behavior comes in all different forms. The worst is subtle control. Because obvious controlling behavior–like who you can and cannot be friends with, what you ‘should’ wear, eat, drink, behave, etc–is easy to spot and you will only tolerate that for so long. The more you believe you are worth, the more you will be able to spot their controlling ways. But the subtle shit, the manipulative, sneaky, convincing-it’s-you-and-not-them kind of controlling, that’s hard to spot. If you feel controlled, you probably are. Many mistake controlling for love because it feels familiar or can also be presented that way, and be very convincing. But love is not about control. Love is about acceptance and support; holding not grabbing. Control is about a lack of love/security in the one who is controlling.
Controlling can also mean high-jacking space, sucking energy, being a black hole of negativity. When I was in my early 30s and married, I was unhappy and that unhappiness meant coming home and being negative and complaining. I would instantly change the temperature of the room, but not in a good way. If this turns into a pattern, it can be a form of control, because the other person has nowhere to go. Technically one can leave the house or go into a different room. But I’m also talking about internally, it effects her state without her choosing.
If someone is controlling and not willing to change, you are with the wrong person.
Intimacy isn’t about sex. It’s about connection. When you lose connection, that’s a flag but not necessarily a reason to end something. But if you guys don’t have the ability to reconnect, then the flag turns into a sign.
If the connection in your relationship is like one bar on your cell phone; no matter where you go, you just don’t get better reception, you are with the wrong person.
Those were some sure signs you may be with the wrong person. That being said, I do believe there should be an effort to communicate and try together to right the wrong and get the relationship back on track. If you try with all your heart and it’s still wrong, then it’s not fair to either of you.
Life is too short to be with the wrong person.