For the most part, you can't really choose who you happen to fall in love with. You can definitely choose what you want to do with those feelings, but you can't force yourself to have feelings for someone and you can't really force yourself to stop. As a result, it's so easy to find yourself in a situation where you've fallen in love with the wrong person.
More often than not, these situations never really end well. If you think you're in love with the wrong person for you, relationship experts Greg Behrendt and Amiira Ruotola, authors of the upcoming book, How To Keep Your Marriage From Sucking, tell Bustle, you're in great company. "Almost all of us have been there, too," they say.
Just think about it. If we all fell in love with the right person right away, none of us would have to deal with the pain of going through a breakup. You wouldn't have to worry about whether or not your partner would cheat or why they seem to be checking out. You certainly wouldn't have to look for the various signs that they're "The One," because you'd just know.
Sometimes knowing you're in love with the wrong person will be obvious and sometimes it won't be. So here are some easy-to-miss signs that you might be in love with the wrong person, according to experts.
1You Communicate Your Concerns But Nothing Ever Changes
If you love the wrong person, you can have all the tough talks you want and communicate your concerns as often as you like, but nothing ever changes. That's because you can't ever really expect to change a person. As Behrendt and Ruotola say, most people are reluctant to change on their own accord. In situations like this, Behrendt and Ruotola say it's important to realize that this might be a long drawn out breakup in disguise. "Eventually you will need to be honest with yourself about where this relationship is or isn't going," they say.
2Your Schedules Don't Line Up
Have you ever fallen in love with someone who lives across the country in a different time zone or who works overnight, while you work a regular nine to five? If so, Bethany Ricciardi, relationship expert with Too Timid tells Bustle, you could be head over heels in love with the wrong one. Being in a long distance relationship or having completely different work schedules doesn't give you much time to spend together. Although these can work out with the right amount of trust and communication, there's a reason why many of them don't. "We all have wants and needs," Ricciardi says. "Sometimes I like to think of us as flowers; we need to be given a little bit of sunshine and water everyday. So who’s giving that to you when you and your partner never see each other?"
3You're Spending A Lot More Money For Your Relationship Than Your Partner Is
You may enjoy paying for everything in your relationship like date nights, dinners in, surprise trips, or even a Netflix account. That's totally fine. But as relationship coach Jenna Ponaman, CPC, ELI-MP tells Bustle, "If your partner doesn’t make the effort to share in the responsibilities, this may be a sign of codependency." The relationship has become more about necessity, and less about desire. If this continues, you may begin to feel a sense of imbalance. According to her, the relationship can become filled with resentment, arguments, and dissatisfaction. If paying for everything doesn't seem like a bad sign to you, those are clear and obvious ones to pay attention to.
4You've Started To Adopt Unhealthy Lifestyle Habits
If you used to practice self-care a lot, made sure to get a good amount of exercise weekly, and ate healthy before your partner and suddenly it changed, Ponaman says you may have fallen for the wrong person. "This varies from person to person, but healthy eating, for example, allows the body to feel rejuvenated, energized, and good," she says. "If you were once a healthy eater and decided to 'ease up' on the lifestyle after you began to see your partner, it shows you and your partner's lifestyle habits may not be fully aligned." It really comes down to the reason behind why you decided to make the change. If it's to make you two seem more compatible, you may have fallen for the wrong person.
5Your Relationship Is A Never Ending On-Again, Off-Again Saga
On-again, off-again situations may make you feel hopeful that one day things are finally going to work out. But as Jenna Matlin, Clairvoyant Intuitive of The Queen of Wands Tarot tells Bustle, "The danger with on-again, off-again relationships is that you are inadvertently training yourself to return to the very thing that does not work." So if you're stuck in a cycle where you keep breaking up and getting back together, you may be in love with the wrong person. "[If] you find yourself in this situation, you have to break the cycle and go cold turkey if you can," Matlin says. Furthermore, trying to maintain a friendship might not work either because it can lead you right back into that mess.
6You Barely Spend Any Time With Your Friends And Family
Your life can change when you finally meet your match. But as Ponaman says, that's not always a good thing. "Good change is when you make a choice that is clearly for your highest good, but if you feel like you’ve sacrificed something to make this person happy, sometimes this isn’t the healthiest of choices," she says. For instance, if your relationship is causing you to spend a lot less time with your friends and family, you may have fallen for the wrong person. "In most cases, we tend to make these sacrifices to spend more time with our partners," Ponaman says. "But this only happens because we don’t feel that we have had enough attention from our mates." When you're in a healthy relationship with the right one, she says you wouldn't need to change your pre-relationship lifestyle to accommodate theirs.
7They're Not Into "Labels"
Not everyone is big on labels and it's not uncommon to be in a situation where one partner just wants to "see where it goes." But if you are in love with someone who hasn’t given you any signs of commitment and that's what you really want, you probably fell for the wrong one. "You should be able to get some clarification on whether or not this relationship is exclusive," Ricciardi says. If you're looking for exclusivity she says you probably need to get out fast before you fall even deeper in love with someone who won’t commit to you fully.
8You're Only With Them Because It's Comfortable
Being in a relationship with someone who's been around you for what seems like forever can make you feel comfortable. "But just because a person has been in your life for a long time and it feels comfortable, it does not mean that they are a good fit for who you are now, or will contribute to your growth moving forward," Matlin says. If you feel like that passion and desire for your partner is lacking, she says you need to be willing to "step out into the wilderness" and trust that the right person will come to you. "Be willing to embrace ambiguity," she says. "Trust the unknown. Be radically honest with yourself and what you truly want."
9You've Confused Being In Love With Having A Crush
Having an intense crush on someone may seem like love, but it's important to differentiate the two. According to Matlin, a crush is sometimes one-sided. "It's often an obsessive, overly emotional, and idealized focus on another person," she says. Most importantly, there's a huge distance between you and your person of interest. Falling in love, on the other hand, is to see the person for who they are and loving them for the good, bad, and ugly. When that crush turns into unrequited love, you know you've fallen in love with the wrong person.
10Your Partner Isn't The Type To Apologize
"If your partner does or says something that hurts you deeply and is unable to apologize, this is a sign that they are uncomfortable admitting any wrongdoing," relationship expert and psychic Davida Rappaport tells Bustle. This is also a sign of emotional immaturity. Saying "I'm sorry" is so simple and shows that you can take responsibility for your actions. If you're with someone who can't do that, you might have fallen in love with someone who's possibly immature and most likely not right for you long-term.
11Their Behavior In Public Sometimes Embarrasses You
If you have a partner who is unable to act like an adult in public, you may be with the wrong person, Rappaport says. Maybe they have an annoying habit of getting super rowdy or maybe they don't show respect for servers. "You don’t want to be apologizing for your partner’s bad behavior," she says. If you find yourself in situations where you feel the need to make excuses or apologize for your partner's behavior, you're probably in love with the wrong person.
12You Don't Feel Comfortable Talking To Your Partner About What You Really Want In Bed
The definition of "good sex" varies from person to person. As Ricciardi says, "It’s unrealistic to think you’re going to be craving your partner's body 24/7, 365 days a year like lovebirds do in the movies, but having a healthy sex life with lots of passion and desire is super important." If you find that your partner isn’t as interested in things that you are in the bedroom or you find yourself not being sexually pleased, she says you may have fallen in love with the wrong person. Sure, many people have different libido levels or want different things in bed. Although communication is key, you need to have that level of intimacy in order to feel comfortable enough to tell your partner what you really want. "If you're with the right person, your pleasure should be important to them," she says.
13You're Having A Lot Of Sex Without Any Intimacy
"Most people think that regular sex with your partner means a healthy relationship, but not always," Ponaman says. Instead, "emotional, connected sex" equates to a healthy relationship. If you've fallen in love with the wrong person, you may have this idea that having more sex is the key to keeping your relationship alive. According to Ponaman, many couples unconsciously shift from sex with an emotional connection to sex for necessity. "If it becomes something you pencil into your schedule, it’s no longer an act of love but a 'to-do,'" she says. If sex is the only thing keeping the two of you together, that's a sign you may be with the wrong one.
14You Overthink Everything You're Going To Say Because You Worry About What Your Partner Will Think
When you're in love with the wrong person, you can't be your true self around them. As Ellen Bolin, Certified Professional Relationship Coach, tells Bustle, "You'll never want to disappoint or 'rock the boat,' so you worry about how your partner is going to react to what you may want or need." The right person will make you feel 100 percent comfortable being yourself. You'll be able to say whatever you want without feeling like you're going to be judged or ridiculed.
15They Like Having Things Go Their Way
"If you have a partner that is a bit selfish and has to have their way all the time, you may be ... with someone who has not grown up sufficiently enough to be in a relationship," Rappaport says. A healthy relationship with the right person is one where there's compromise. You should be able to feel like your voice and your opinions truly matter to them. If you don't, you might have fallen for someone who's all wrong for you because they don't respect you enough to see you as an equal.
16You Don't Care If Your Friends Or Family Like Them
As Samantha Daniels, Dating Expert and Founder of Samantha’s Table Matchmaking tells Bustle, this is a big one for the majority of people in relationships. "The blessing of your friends and family can make or break any relationship," she says. But if you find yourself thinking that you don’t care if your friends and family like the person you’re in love with, this may be a sign you’re in love with the wrong person. "This typically indicates that you might not feel as strongly about this person as you thought because if you did, then you would seek the validation from your friends and family members."
17Being Around Their Family Makes You Uneasy
"I'm not saying this is a deal breaker, but it certainly can be," Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking, tells Bustle. This is especially true if family is super important to the both of you. So if you just can't stand their family (or vice versa), you may have picked the wrong person. "Chances are, no matter how crazy or wrong your partner's family might be, they love them," Trombetti says. "You may need to find someone to be in love with who's family is a better fit for you." According to her, sometimes it happens. This is one of those things you really need to decide if you can live with.
18They Are All About You And Your Needs Only
Having a partner who's all about your needs may seem like a dream situation to some. But as dating coach Julie Spira says, this is an easy-to-miss sign that you've fallen in love with the wrong person. For example, when you and your partner are trying to choose a restaurant for dinner, your partner is the type to always (or most of the time) say, "I don't care, you choose." As Spira says, this constant catering to your needs could indicate that they don't feel comfortable speaking up for their own wants or needs. "They may not feel comfortable enough to be themselves in the relationship or they struggle with their own feelings of insecurity and desire to please others," she says. You should be with a partner, not someone who's just going to wait and take orders from you. That is not the person you may want to be in a relationship with.
19Your Relationship Makes You Feel Emotionally Exhausted
Nobody says relationships are easy. But it shouldn't be so difficult to the point that you're completely drained. As Daniels says, "a good relationship should leave you feeling energized, not drained." If you realize that being with your significant other makes you feel emotionally exhausted, you may be in love with the wrong person. "This sign typically indicates that you don’t feel emotionally free and stable around this person, therefore you have to put up a front when you’re with them, leaving you emotionally drained," she says.
20You Love The Potential More Than The Reality
"If you find yourself imaging who the person could be rather than who they actually are, this is a huge red flag," Matlin says. In other words, you're creating a fantasy scenario in your head while ignoring the realities of the situation. "Sometimes we love potential more than reality because we are actually scared of true vulnerability and commitment," she says. "But this is self-sabotage in the making." So if you find that your fantasy about your relationship doesn't quite match up to reality, you may be in love with the wrong person.
It's easy to beat yourself up when relationships fail or you keep going back to the same types of people that aren't the best for you. But as Ponaman says, always have compassion for yourself.
"You didn’t do anything wrong, and this says nothing of your worth or ability to attract someone great," she says. "This simply means you've made choices that are not aligned with who you truly are. If you want to find someone right for you, go back to square one. I know it’s hard to start over, but trust me, it’s worth it."
Letting go of a situation that seems right but isn't truly what you want can be hard. But if you can muster up the courage to do it, you can be in a relationship with the right person who loves you and who you love in return.