5 Tiny Red Flags Your Partner Isn't Actually In Love With You, So Guard Your Heart
You can never make somebody fall in love with you, nor should you ever try. It's a dead-end process that will leave you depleted, like going back to a dry well to replenish your cup. But sometimes, a person chooses to fight for a relationship, even when they don't feel love, because they think their partner determines whether or not they are worth loving in the first place. However, love comes from many sources, each as valuable as the next. If you're experiencing these red flags your partner isn't in love with you, it's time to look for love in the places that will actually nourish your heart.
Admittedly, some of these red flags look like actual signs of love as we have been taught to recognize it in our culture. But love, contrary to popular mythology, is not as tied up in sex as one might believe. Lust is the emotion that hits you all at once and wants you to stay tangled up in the sheets. Love takes time to develop and grow and requires as much time alone as it does together. If your relationship takes place entirely in the bedroom, for example, you might not be giving a lifelong relationship the space it needs to thrive.
But you don't have to believe me. Here are warning signs from the experts:
1. Things Are Moving Super Fast
Love is a slow process of gradually coming to see the other fully. And love doesn't happen overnight. "Love understands that true intimacy is developed over a long time and through many seasons of life," dating and relationship coach Monica Parikh, of the School of Love NYC, told Elite Daily.
It takes time and trust to peel back the layers of ego before you can reveal your true self. If you and your significant other are completely falling head over heels for one another, it might mean that you haven't given the garden of your love the nourishment it needs to bloom.
2. You Can't Stop Having Sex
Sex is not the only way to express depth of feeling. In fact, it is possible to experience strong, romantic attachment without any desire for physical intimacy at all. If you and your partner spend day after day in bed together, your lust might be burning through any possibility of love.
In fact, according to Alyssa Bunn, a professional matchmaker at Tawkify and creator of Love + Co, if you're in a partnership with someone who has testosterone, you might start having less sex as your feelings for one another grow. "When a man starts to fall in love, his testosterone levels drop," Bunn told Elite Daily. "They may feel fatigued, moody, and you may witness a reduced sex drive, weight gain, or muscle loss."
3. You Want To Control One Another
Control has no place in love. You're not falling in love with a robot. You're falling in love with another human being, who has their own hopes, desires, narratives, traumas, and wishes for the course of their life. Love is deciding that you want to explore alongside them for a while, while also pursuing your own dreams.
"Infatuation seeks to control. Love is when you cede control," Parikh said. “Love understands that we are all autonomous beings seeking our individual fulfillment, which may not perfectly align to your vision.”
Trying to exert control over your lover means that you think your expectations are more important than the course of their life. Love makes room for surprise.
4. They Are Hesitant To Share
If you feel like your relationship isn't getting beyond surface level attraction, then your connection might not turn into a deep love. According to Helen E. Fisher at Rutgers University, the attachment aspect of love is "characterized by the maintenance of close social contact in mammals, accompanied in humans by feelings of calm, comfort, and emotional union with a mate."
If you don't get far enough to form an emotional bond, it might not be love at all.
5. Your Bond Can't Withstand Conflict
We fall in love because we recognize a piece of ourselves in the other. There's a point in every relationship where the mirror breaks, the illusion falls away, and we are left looking at the other person just the way they are. Oftentimes, the mirror becomes destroyed because of a conflict. If the mirror does not find a way to repair itself — if the two of you do not open yourself up to the change that has to happen — then your relationship wasn't meant to grow into a lasting love, because it can't get past the point of infatuation.
"In infatuation, when one partner hurts the other, the trauma pulls apart the relationship. In love, each partner sees the trauma as the catalyst for deeper intimacy and understanding," Parikh explained to Elite Daily.
It takes two people to recover from the aftermath of chaos, to practice bravery, humility, and cultivate tenderness with one another. Does your relationship have what it takes? One way or another, you're going to find out.
If the mirror doesn't grow back for this particular relationship, don't worry. Love never leaves for long, and you can trust that it will come back in another form.
Check out the entire Gen Why series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.
Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!