Over the past decade, I’ve been in one relationship after another. I’ve told a total of eight men I loved them. Yet here I am, with only one man.
I don’t say any of that to incite pride. If anything, I feel my serial monogamy did me more harm than good. But one thing I can say is, I have a lot of experience of knowing what it’s like to be with the wrong person.
Because I imagined eight different future weddings with men I thought were “the one". And now, I feel rather foolish. The signs were, many times, obvious. I just wanted to only see the good or ignore them wholly.
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If you want to know if you’re with the wrong person, you have to do a few things first.
Be honest with yourself. Most of the time, people know they’re with the wrong person; they’re just scared to admit it. No amount of articles or books you read can reassure you enough to make up for the courage you need to admit the truth to yourself.
Take off the rose-coloured glasses. Don’t only try to see the good in your partner. See the bad as well. Better yet, see what they present to you (their words and actions) and take them at face value.
Have the tough conversations. Because a surprise break-up isn’t fair to anyone unless they’re abusive. Maybe what’s bothering you is something your partner hasn’t realised. It’s okay to be honest with them on where your head is at.
If you’re able to do the above with yourself, then you’ll be in the right headspace to really figure out if you’re with the wrong person. Through those seven failed relationships that I thought would last forever, I realised there are a few key moments that tell you loud and clear that this isn’t the person for you.
1. Moments of silence feel awkward.
It’s such a small, seemingly insignificant thing, but feeling awkward when you and your partner aren’t talking isn’t a great sign. This means you’re uncomfortable merely being with your partner. If silence makes you feel like you need to quickly think of something to say, I’d ask yourself how at ease you feel with your partner.
2. You always feel like you need space.
If you want space because you both work from home, together, then this makes sense. It’s healthy for any relationship to maintain your individual identities. But if every night, you’re wishing that you could just be alone, there might be something more going on.
3. Their opinions bother you.
I used to date a man that I now realise was sexist and racist. The things he would say made my skin crawl. While I was bothered by them at the time, I forgot about those comments shortly after. But what I failed to realise was how wildly different our morals and values were. Both of which were signs I wasn’t with the right person.