4 Signs Your Partner Doesn't Want A Long-Term Relationship, So Don’t Get Too Attached
Before I met my current partner, I had a tendency to have a lot of short-term relationships. I would just get caught up in the excitement and kind of jump into things without really getting to know someone. Then, either I'd realize we weren't a match or the chemistry would just kind of fizzle out. What I learned through this experience was that some relationships aren't built to last, and that's OK too. But everything is a lot smoother when everyone is on the same page, so signs your partner doesn’t want a long-term relationship are something you should always be keeping an eye out for early on in a new relationship. That way, you don't catch any really deep feelings and get hurt.
Sometimes these short-term relationships are situational, like, for instance, one or both of you is about go off to college, or move to take a new job, and the long distance thing isn't realistic. But sometimes it’s just that right now, one or both of you are in a place where making a long-term commitment just isn't your jam. And that's fine, so long as no one is being led on. Yes, even in short relationships, honesty and communication are key. That being said, those are tough conversations and not everyone is going to be brave enough to have them, and in that case, here's what behaviors the experts say you should be paying attention for, if you think their heart isn't all the way in.
1. Your Partner Avoids Talking About The Future
The first sign that your partner doesn’t want to go the distance is how you feel in your gut. We often don't want to admit to things our instincts are telling us, but as Susan Winter, NYC relationship expert and dating coach, told Elite Daily, if your partner refuses to talk about the future, it’s time to listen to what your gut is telling you.
“[If] you can't shake the lingering sense that your partner’s unwilling to make an effort to be closer," she said, then it's a clear sign they're not taking things seriously. She added, “Your relationship is fine, for now. They do just enough to keep the relationship going, but not enough to move it forward into more meaningful territory."
2. They Avoid Introducing You To Their Friends And Family
Have you been dating for a while, but still haven't met their friends and family? Well, that's a sign that this is a relationship with an expiration date. As Winter explained, meeting the family and friends is a sign that your partner is taking the relationship seriously, and avoiding it sends an equal but opposite message.
"When a partner's not looking for commitment, they'll make excuses for not introducing you to their friends and family," said Winter. "Remember, getting into your partner's inner circle means you're a priority and are considered an important part of their lives."
3. They Avoid Making Plans For Your Future
How often do you and your partner talk about the future? It's normal for committed couples to have some vision of the future that includes each other. However, if your SO is avoiding the topic all together, it doesn't bode well for the longevity of the relationship. As Erika Ettin, dating coach and founder and CEO of A Little Nudge, explained, a partner who is not in it for the long haul, "never wants to have 'the talk' about exclusivity." She added, “[They also don't] make any plans in the future, even the near future."
Winter also warns to be on the lookout for the person who talks a good game but never makes any concrete plans for the future. “They may lure you in with dreamy images of a fantastic life together that includes vacations, adventure, and excitement," Winter warned. "But, you'll notice that no actual plans are made. This keeps conversations of this type in fantasy land, rather than reality."
4. You Don't Factor Into Their Decisions
If you want to know how your partner really feels about you, Pricilla Martinez, a life coach at Blush, told Elite Daily to pay attention to how they make decisions, and how much you factor into them.
“You can tell [by] whether or not you're included in any decision-making, [or] whether or not you're taken into account even if it ends up being their decision in the long run." If the answers to that question are “no” and “not at all,” well then, I guess you can consider your question answered.
So, what should you do now?
It can be hard to realize that your partner isn’t in it for the long term if that’s where your heart and hopes were at. But it’s better to know what’s up from the start than to be caught totally off guard. So, if you've either come to realization that your partner isn't ready to fully commit, or still aren't sure what they want, well, it’s time to do the hard thing: Talk to them about your feelings. Ugh, I know. But the experts are right, it's the only way to make sure your needs are being met.
"Don't be hesitant to talk about your dreams and goals for partnership," Winter said. "Far too many people balk at being honest from the start. They're afraid of being rejected for speaking their truth. This results in daters sharing airy fairy, nebulous information that's confusing and inaccurate."
So, yes, it can be hard to speak your truth, but you should never be ashamed to say what it is that you want and need out of the relationship. And if you're afraid of how your partner will react, Ettin offered some final advice: “Don't be shy about 'scaring someone away.' It's better to know sooner rather than later whether you are on the same page."
Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!