10 Signs You're Falling in Love
How to Spot Bad Signs when Falling in Love
Love is a wonderful feeling, yet it’s possible to love the wrong person and end up hurt. When you’re starting to fall for someone, ask yourself some questions about their character. First and foremost, look out for your safety and well-being and don’t fall in love with someone who is suspicious, abusive, or an active addict. Notice any big “deal breakers” in their personality. Finally, prioritize your needs and what you want from someone you love.
Watching Out for Your Safety
Determine if you’re in a healthy relationship.All relationships have problems, even the best ones. It’s all a part of life and learning. But in healthy relationships both partners are able to work together and account for their own actions. Each partner will try to grapple with their problems together. Look for the following signs of healthy relationships to judge your own:
- You and your partner support, respect, and value each other.
- You and your partner continue to socialize and have friends outside of your own intimate relationship.
- You and your partner can resolve disagreements and misunderstandings with an open and honest form of communication.
- You and your partner are honest with how each of you feel and what you need out of the relationship.
Don’t get catfished.Catfishing refers to someone pretending to be a person they are not via the internet. If you meet someone great on the internet yet they refuse to talk to you on the phone or they come up with excuses for why they cannot video chat you, be warned. They might send you pictures or voice messages, but this doesn’t mean that they are truthfully representing themselves. Be aware of any potential deception or if a person truly is too good to be true.
- If you’re falling for someone, ask to video call them so that you can see their face and hear their voice in real-time.
- Some people use dating and romance websites to scam others. If the person starts asking you for money or other items or services, be aware that they might be scamming you.
Look for problem issues.When we’ve been in a relationship for a while, we can sometimes be oblivious to bad signs. This can especially be true if it’s a new relationship, where exciting highs are mixed with lows. Try to keep aware of your emotional and psychological state in a relationship, as this can clue you in on issues to resolve. Look out for some of the following problem signs:
- Feelings of depression and anxiety.
- Feeling fearful of your partner or the situation you’re in with your partner.
- Feeling hopeless, helpless, a loss of self-worth, and increase in feelings of low self-esteem.
- Decline in physical health and lowering of immune system.
- Feelings of guilt, shame, frustration, hurt, or anger.
- Development of addictive behavior (like an increase in alcohol use or starting to use, become dependent on, or abuse other drugs).
Beware the signs of control issues.Control means exerting influence over others’ actions or behaviors or their environment in general. People who are controllers typically do so because they fear the unpredictable and often fear being at the mercy of others. This type of behavior can come from past traumas that left them feeling helpless and vulnerable—maybe they were abused or abandoned, or maybe they have anxiety, low self-esteem, or fear failure. To avoid feeling vulnerable again, they may act in unhealthy ways. This can take the form of:
- Micro-Managing the actions and behaviors of others, including keeping their partner from seeing friends or family and having strict rules to maintain daily structures and routine.
- Lying to their partner.
- Physical, emotional, or psychologically abuse. Also, bullying, taunting, and gaslighting.
- Sexual abuse.
- Many people who have control issues initially exhibit signs of their control through disordered eating habits (i.e., very restrictive and rigid diets, sometimes anorexic or bulimic in nature), compulsive exercising, self-harming behaviors, obsessive compulsiveness with tidying or cleaning, and substance abuse.
- Some signs a partner with control issues can exhibit are: feelings of shame, anxiety, depression, chronic stress, manipulation, and a host of many other mental health concerns.
Watch out for physical and sexual abuse.Keep an eye out for someone who is violent or abusive. Both men and women can be abusive, though men tend to be more physically aggressive. Physical abuse includes violence or force used against you. For example, they might grab you, hit you, pull your hair, or throw something at you. Sexual abuse may be forcing you or pressuring you to do sexual acts, being purposefully rough, ignoring your requests to stop, doing things that hurt you, or initiating sexual activity without your consent.
- If you’re being abused, don’t hope that your partner will change or that things will improve. You can’t change this person. It’s best to leave and get help and support.
- Sexual abuse and sexual assault can refer to a variety of crimes, including the following:
- Rape, sexual assault, incest, and child molestation. Other forms of sexual abuse that doesn’t neatly fit into the common definition include publishing of nude photos without your consent, acting out inappropriate sexual behaviors, or having sex while children are present.
- The following behaviors or actions are also considered physically abusive:
- Grabbing someone or physically restraining you against your will in a harmful way.
- Punching, burning, shaking, biting, pinching, or slapping.
- Beating or whipping with an object.
- Poisoning or causing someone to become physically ill.
- Any other form of debilitating action towards someone that causes harm.
Recognize emotional and verbal abuse.Verbal and emotional abuse may be more subtle than physical or sexual abuse, but nonetheless, can cause harm and affect your self-esteem. Some examples of emotional and verbal abuse might include insulting you, embarrassing you in public, telling you what to do or who you can see, or blaming you for their bad behavior. Your partner might tell you that you’re too sensitive, make you the punchline for their jokes, and make you feel like you have to walk on eggshells.
- If your partner makes you feel small or cuts you down, this can indicate verbal abuse.
Look for financial warning signs.Someone who is financially reckless may be reckless in other areas of their life, so keep an eye out for how they handle their finances. Your partner may also use finances to control you and your behavior. For example, they might restrict your access to money and finances, get credit cards or loans in your name without your permission, or use your credit cards or checkbook.
- Especially if your partner makes more money than you, they might use their financial power over you in order to get you to do things or behave the way they want you to.
Notice problems with drugs or alcohol.Your partner may try to hide their habits or downplay them, so be aware of any problems they have with drugs or alcohol. An addict might say that drugs or alcohol help them cope with stress or that they don’t usethatoften. Some signs of addiction might be covering up their use or making excuses. If they use, they might lie or downplay what they did, even if there’s evidence against them. If you’re concerned, recommend inpatient drug treatment.
- If it’s obvious that they have a problem yet they refuse to admit it or change their ways, it might be time to go.
- Some people are willing to change, but recognize a relationship with someone who has an addiction is often very difficult. Proceed with caution.
Looking at Their Personality and Behavior
Find someone who’s empathetic.Ideally, your partner should comfort you and affirm the way you feel in an empathetic way. If your partner belittles you, minimizes your needs or wants, or ignores your requests for things that matter to you, you might feel invalidated or unable to bring your wants or needs to them. Some invalidating statements might include, “You’re blowing this out of proportion,” “I don't care about this,” or, “Just chill.” Having your feelings invalidated might create disconnected feelings between you and make you feel less understood.
- Your partner should care about what you think and how you feel. For example, if you come home after a difficult day, they shouldn’t say, “Get over it.” Instead, you might appreciate them saying, “I’m sorry it’s been a tough day.”
- You shouldn’t feel like your partner feels contempt toward you.
Trust your partner.You want to trust the person you’re falling in love with. Trust means being consistent in actions and words, respecting boundaries, and being dependable. It means being respectful of one another’s privacy but not being secretive. If they are often secretive or evasive, start asking some questions. When you ask questions, you should feel like you are getting an honest answer.
- Listen to your instincts. A lack of trust on your part can be a sign of a lack of trustworthiness on their part.
- You should trust your partner not to be aggressive, violent, or threaten you in any way.
Pay attention to jealousy.It’s normal to be a little jealous, but if your partner’s jealousy impacts your relationship greatly, take note. For example, they might demand that you stop spending time with people they don’t like or tell you to wear different clothes or only clothes they want you to wear. Maybe they check your emails, phone calls, or texts to monitor your behavior and make sure you are not cheating or acting in a way they don’t like.
- If your partner is suspicious of you and other people often, the jealousy is likely unhealthy.
Examine their relationships.Take note of how the person relates to their friends and family. If they’ve cut out their family and burned bridges with multiple friends, this might be a warning sign of conflicts and interpersonal problems. While not everyone gets along with their families, look for someone who can maintain relationships and who is respected among their friends.
- If they talk about conflicts in their relationships, notice how they talk about them. For example, do they blame others and take no responsibility for their own role? Ideally, they should take some responsibility for things going poorly or for not responding well to a troubled situation.
Notice if they’re a narcissist.If your partner’s needs seem to take priority over your own needs much of the time, you may be dating a narcissist. They might be preoccupied with their own lives, feel contempt toward you and others, get you to serve their needs, and cross (or violate) your boundaries. This kind of person thinks they are the best at everything and no one will measure up to them.
- Sexual narcissism refers to gratification without consideration of the other partner, making outrageous demands, or frequent criticisms.
Prioritizing Your Needs
See if you’ve changed.Have you noticed that your likes, dislikes, opinions, way you speak, or type of dress have changed as a result of being in the relationship? If you’ve changed who you are in a major way, this can be a bad sign. You should feel comfortable to be yourself and express your own opinions without fearing judgment and criticism.
- If you and your partner disagree, both you and they should be able to accept the difference without it causing major problems.
Take note of anything that makes you uncomfortable.It’s easy to overlook certain comments or actions early in a relationship, but give them some serious thought. Maybe even your first date had a moment when you felt uncomfortable or your partner said something that was off-putting.For example, some people enjoy creating drama or conflict in relationships. If this is not something you want, keep your eye out for these patterns.
- Think about your positive versus negative interactions. Your positive experiences should far outweigh the negative ones at this point.
Talk about exes.Nobody really enjoys talking about exes, but speaking about past relationships can help you get an idea of what it’s like to date and be with your partner. For example, if they have never had a long-term relationship, they may not know how to date long-term. If they are on bad terms with all of their exes, see what happened. Ideally, you want to find someone who has learned from their mistakes and takes equal blame in problems.
- If you are concerned they might not be over an ex, talk about their past relationship and see how they describe the person, the relationship, and why it ended.
- You might not want to date someone who describes all their exes as “crazy” because you might become one at some point.
Video: 10 Signs Your Relationship Is Falling Apart
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