There are countless things people confuse for love. I could rattle off the full list, but you know the major offenders already: dependency, hormones, attraction, lust, expectations, an idea rather than a reality. We all know the love supplements that occasionally explain our lapses in judgment, because they happen to all of us in some sneaky way at some point in our lives. But what nobody really talks about is what happens after the fact — what happens after you realize that you're in a relationship for the wrong reasons, even though it's going fine.
When you realize that you don't really love someone as much as you initially thought you did and now you're between a rock and a hard place, do you leave them? Or do you wait for love to — maybe, one day, hopefully — blossom? This indecision usually stems from not being totally clear on whether you're completely enamored of someone. And it's easy to feel overwhelmed by thoughts about whether you are overthinking or under-thinking something which, in the end, is not really as complicated as it seems. So I'm here to help you out. Here are 10 signs that you don't love 'em as much as you once thought you did.
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You Feel Inconvenienced By Their Needs
When you love someone truly, their needs become your own. This isn't to say that you lose yourself in caring for them. Rather, it means that when the hour comes in which they truly need a hand or a shoulder or an ear, you're there because you want to be, and not because "that's what girl/boyfriends do."
You Talk About Their Life As A Commodity, Giving Updates To Other Friends As If It's Entertaining News
This is somewhat appropriate in friendships, but as soon as someone's life essentially becomes your source of entertainment ("Did you hear about that thing they did this weekend? Insane!"), you've crossed a boundary into the "lack of genuine love" abyss. (And you often don't come back from that without a little mud on your feet.)
You've Already Put A Mental Expiration Date On Your Relationship, Or Have Already Decided On A List Of "Breaking Points"
You've caught yourself thinking "I'll let this go on for another year or so," or are waiting for the day they unveil some aspect of their personality that you can use as leverage for "why you don't want this anymore." Worse: you're pinning the reasons you don't feel a connection with them on things that are silly and arbitrary — they're not your "type," or things of that nature. That's you reaching for a reason when the answer is right there: You're simply not as emotionally bound to them as you first assumed.
You Are In No Rush To Bring Them Home To Your Parents — Or Haven't, At All
Days and weeks and maybe months have gone by wherein you just happen to have easily avoided ever bringing them home. You can talk yourself in circles as to why you're busy and how things have been hectic and however else you want to justify it, but when you really love someone, you make time. And finding a way to introduce them to your closest circle takes the cake.
You Find Yourself Regularly Justifying Why You're So Busy
You have a crazy project at work or a weekend that you just can't seem to let slip away for a couple's retreat. There's an art to prioritizing the important things in your life, but if your relationship is continually falling by the wayside, it means that you don't love it at least as much as you do your work. (Which is a very good measure to go by in terms of deciding whether or not to stick with it.)
There's A Period Of Time Between Receiving a Message From Them And Answering It — Most Of The Time
If you're playing a game, deflecting from a message, or simply no longer being the first to reach out, it probably means you don't really want to talk in the first place.
You Have To Make Yourself Up A Certain Way Before You See Them
You're honestly just not comfortable being the way you are. Seeing them requires an hour of prep — hair and makeup and an outfit of choice. Or maybe in a more abstract but important way, you don't let them see the sides of you that aren't carefully constructed and decided upon prior. You don't let them into who you wholly are; just the bits and pieces which you think they'll like.
You Regularly Project Your Personal Frustrations Onto Your Relationship
When you're looking for someone to hold responsible for your issues, you immediately pin it onto them. The thing is that, despite this being relatively normal, if you do it often enough, you don't really love them that much. If you did, their presence in your life would be a welcome relief, not a routine stressor that's "getting in the way," and certainly not something you could ever attribute major issues to.
Their Issues Are Inexcusable, While Yours Are Human
Your love for them is conditional, even if you think it's not. Its terms and conditions usually float on whether or not they're doing what you perceive to be "right," rather than being there for the person and whatever #journey they happen to be on at that time.
You're Planning Your Escape Route Without Even Realizing It
You know whom you'd date if you ever break up. You know you'd have to pull a How to Lose A Guy In 10 Days so that they're not completely devastated. You know that you'd move or go back to school, or how you'd spend your Friday nights. You're already dreaming up a life without them, even if you don't realize it at the time.
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