Clichés like "you're a match made in heaven" or "you're meant to be" get thrown around all the time when it comes to romance. But have you ever stopped to think about what they truly mean? When it comes to vetting potential partners, it might be hard to pick up on the signs you and your crush aren't meant to be, but part of the reason it's so tough is because once you get stuck to the idea, it can be hard to abandon. Facing the possible reality that you and the person you have feelings for just aren't a compatible match can be sad and uncomfortable, so holding onto that hope for as long as you can is totally understandable.
"In a romantic context, I'd hesitate to define 'meant to be' as something related to our destiny," dating coach and writer Clara Artschwager tells Elite Daily. "It's an internal feeling. Sometimes, it's rational. Sometimes, it's not. The most important thing to do is get clear on: Are my feelings of 'meant-to-be-ness' grounded in reality or am I using them as a scapegoat for something else?" This can be anything from post-breakup blues, to bleak prospects for cuffing season, or dreading riding solo to formals and weddings.
With that in mind, here are three signs you and your crush just aren't meant to be.
1. You're Drawn To Them Just For Comfort
One sign you and your crush might not be a good match is if you're drawn to them, Artschwager says, "on the heals of some emotional trauma or challenge — a breakup, a death in the family, a challenging move." Again, the phrase "meant to be" is being used as a scapegoat.
Artschwager explains, "Our minds can convince us something is 'meant to be,' when in reality our loneliness and fear of being single is running the show." Because of that, it's good to be mindful of whether you and your crush are a good match, or you're just looking for something to fill the void.
2. You Keep Glossing Over Obvious Incompatibilities
You and your crush might not be compatible "if you find yourself making excuses or exceptions for them, or flat out ignoring their tendencies," Artschwager says. "I did this years ago with a guy I connected with intellectually and sexually, but who had a very different relationship with hard drug use than I did and preferred nights out to my 9:30 p.m. bedtime and Saturday farmer's market mornings."
Relationship incompatibilities can include everything from day-to-day routines and life paths, to little things, like you being a tidy queen and your potential bae being messy.
3. You're Ignoring Your Intuition
If you low-key get the sense that a committed relationship with your crush would be difficult or uncomfortable in some way, try not to ignore that intuition.
"We all have it," says Artschwager, about intuition. "It gets stronger and stronger as we get older. We get better at tuning into it with each passing relationship. A great exercise is to think back on the moment you knew in previous relationships or flings that things weren't going to work out, and you ignored it and moved forward anyway."
Whether you can draw parallels to past red flags you ignored or not, know that there's no reason to feel ashamed. Ignoring red flags is something that many folks have done at one point or another. When it comes to your sex and dating intuition, Artschwager says, "Our only job is to get better at listening to it."
So, How Should You Move Forward?
If you're having a hard time knowing whether or not you and your crush are a solid fit, there are a few questions you can ask yourself to ground yourself in reality and move away from lofty ideas of "destiny." Artschwager suggests asking: What are this person's values? How am I being around them? How does their life align with the direction of mine? Am I creating a story around their existence to avoid something in my own life? "This one is tricky, because we're very good at lying to ourselves," Artschwager says.
Sometimes, it's easy to get swept away in the romance of it all. Perhaps you see your chance meeting with your crush as the meet-cute of your rom-com dreams. Maybe all your friends have seen the Instagram you posted of you and your crush and told you you'd make a cute couple. Or you might have loads of chemistry with your crush, but your life plans are totally different.
Whatever the case may be, heed the red flags if they're there. And if you do proceed with the other person, understand that "meant to be" doesn't automatically translate into "forever." As Artschwager says, "Someone can be 'meant to be' for a particular season of our life, and then not. Someone can be 'meant to be' as a lover or to awaken a part of our sexuality, but not as a partner."
So maybe you and your crush aren't a "match made in heaven." But try to look at your situation with a fresh perspective. Pay attention to the strengthening of your intuition, how you respond to challenges, and how this crush has helped you grow as a person. When you use the positives as motivation to move forward, you'll be better for it in the long run.