It’s challenging when you’re dating someone — and wondering if they’re the right one. To answer that question, it’s tempting to focus on him, frantically monitoring his every word and behavior looking for signs that might predict future happiness or misery to come.
But here’s the truth you need to know … the only real and accurate barometer of whether this man and this relationship are right for you — is you. Your gut instincts, your feelings — they won’t let you down. They’re already communicating with you and it’s okay to listen.
Here are seven signs your gut instinct is already telling you the truth about Mr. Wonderful … even if it isn’t what you want to hear.
1. You constantly feel frustrated and confused by your man’s actions.
He says all the right things (a.k.a. the things you want to hear) but his actions don’t align. You’re left feeling baffled and frustrated and neither feeling is going away.
Reality check: When it comes to communication and trust, there is no better predictor of his future behavior than his behavior now.
When words and actions don’t line up, it’s so tempting to focus on the pretty words. But the truth is always found in his action. Actions seldom lie and they speak loud and clear.
2. You make excuses for him all the time.
No matter what he does or doesn’t do (whether it’s standing you up at the last minute or forgetting your birthday), you make excuses for him to anyone and everyone (including yourself) even though you know that behavior isn’t alright.
Instead of trying to resist what’s actually happening, try bravely listening to your fears and concerns. What truths are you avoiding when you shine over his behavior with excuses?
3. Your feelings of self-doubt and insecurity keep growing.
A healthy relationship promotes inner calm and confidence, making you feel wanted and comfortable.
Of course, no relationship rids us of all our concerns or insecurities, but a healthy relationship should never add to them either. If something doesn’t feel right with this guy or being around him makes you doubt yourself, he’s probably not right for you — gnawing anxiety seldom lies.
4. You start believing it’s you.
If you find yourself endlessly wondering what you can do or be that will make you more appealing to him, something is off. If when he pulls away, you only wonder what you did to cause it, you’re taking on an unhealthy amount of responsibility for your shared relationship.
He might even tell you how his behavior was your fault, or list the ways you aren’t good enough for him (words lie), and yet he is with you (behavior doesn’t).
If you weren’t good enough for him, he wouldn’t be dating you. Instead of falling for this bait and switch — which is typically called projection in psychology — start asking yourself if he is good enough for you. And be honest with yourself.
5. You feel lonely and invisible when you’re with him.
Of course it’s lonely when he avoids you, but if you also feel lonely when you two are together, this may mean he’s incapable of letting you in. And, no, this isn’t because you’re just “too needy.” Loneliness is often more about the company we keep, than whether we’re truly alone.
6. You refuse to see his limitations as permanent.
As you start to understand what he brings to the table, it’s tempting to focus on how (maybe) he can change the not-so-great parts of himself. And believe me, people can change!
But an ability to change does not predict whether he will. You must look at who he is fundamentally NOW (not his potential future self) and decide if you want him as he is. If he never changes a thing, can you accept him, warts and all?
7. You are afraid of being single.
This is the kicker. Even if you see the limitations of this relationship, you’re at least in one, and it’s tempting to think an iffy relationship is better than nothing.
Thanks to our “negativity bias,” we are typically primed to over inflate our fears, and focus more on the things that scare us rather than the things that make us happy.
When you think about being single, your “negativity bias” likely kicks in, scaring you into believing you can’t handle being alone (making you hold on to this man even when you know he isn’t a right fit).
But here’s the thing: You’re already alone if you’re in a relationship that makes you feel lonely, frustrated, or insecure. Being single is better than being in a relationship that makes you feel bad about yourself. So remember, your feelings are your most trusted resource if you have the courage to listen.
More from Dr. Clark at YourTango:
4 Ways To Stop Your Grumpiness From Rearing Its Ugly Head
6 Surprising Ways Stress Makes Your Life Better
The Warped Messages 50 Shades is Teaching Your Teens About Love
This article originally posted at YourTango: 7 Unmistakable Ways Your Instincts Scream He’s Not The One
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