When you first start dating someone, most of us have one question in mind.
…Even if we don’t want to admit it.
“Are they the one?”
Whether we believe in soulmates or “the one,” most of us wonder if we’ll spend the rest of our lives with the person.
After all, every relationship has one of 2 inevitable outcomes: we stay with the person forever or we break up.
If you’ve been through treacherous breakups and are looking to avoid more heartbreak, this question may weigh on your mind more than others.
There’s a lot of factors that make someone the right person for you. But there’s some general signs when you’ve met the wrong person too.
Here, we’re counting x signs that he/she is NOT “the one”.
12 Signs He’s Not the One
Wondering if you’ve found the person you’ll spend the rest of your life with? Here’s some good signs that you should keep looking.
#1 Your Morals are Different
To be clear, you can have some differing beliefs from someone and still make the relationship work very well. For example, maybe your partner is a different religion than you, or they’re religious and you aren’t.
However, morals transcend religion and spiritual beliefs. Morals are about what you think is right and wrong. For example, if you’re partner thinks that women only belong in the kitchen and you know that’s wrong, that’s a red flag. If your partner thinks it’s okay to be rude to someone who looks different and you know that’s wrong, that’s also a red flag.
#2 They Disrespect You
Disrespect is one clear sign that you haven’t found the one. The person you end up with should respect you, even in disagreements. If your partner resorts to rude insults, downplays your opinions or embarrasses you in front of others—they aren’t for you.
Even if you’re in an argument, you should find ways to communicate with each other (or take a time out). There is no reason your partner should disrespect you.
#3 They Disrespect Others
So your partner respects you? Awesome. Now the next part is, do they respect other people? Even if someone is very kind to you, they should also be respectful to others. If they shower you in compliments yet berate the retail associate, they’re not a good person.
#4 The Effort is Unbalanced
Some people believe a relationship should be 50/50. That’s true in general. But it’s important to recognize that there’s times where you may only be able to give 30 and your partner is filling in the other 70. And vice versa. That’s typically ok and normal.
But if one partner is consistently giving more than the other, that’s a problem. For example, if you’re complimenting your partner, buying gifts, planning dates, asking about their day, doing acts of kindness for them, carving out time for them and they do none of that back—that’s not ok. You deserve someone who can meet your efforts and you probably don’t want to live the rest of your life fighting for a few measly breadcrumbs.
#5 Any Type of Abuse
Abuse is the #1 sign you’re with a wrong person. There is never ANY reason someone should abuse you emotionally, physically, sexually. Period. No reason. Ever.
If you find yourself in this relationship, it’s likely you feel a special attachment to the person, especially if they apologize and the situation calms down for some time. It’s important to know that often, abuse escalates in dangerous ways. It’s a well-known fact that many people murdered by their partners have never experienced physical abuse before the incident. No matter which type of abuse you’re going through, seek help through community resources, domestic abuse hotlines and/or confide in friends. If you’re not sure where to turn first, try a hotline staffed with professionals who can help you make a safe escape plan and connect you to local resources. (Remember that partners may know how to view your search history, so delete your browsing history after searching hotlines).
#6 They Can’t Say Sorry
Look, everyone screws up in relationships. Not necessarily in big ways, but in small ways. Maybe something came out the wrong way and someone gets hurt. Maybe they forgot an important day. The list goes on but in any case, both partners should be able to admit when they’re wrong. After all, if they don’t admit the problem, how can they improve? How can they make amends? Both partners should be able to say “sorry” when it’s appropriate.
#7 Rug Sweeping
Are you in a relationship where your partner doesn’t want to talk about any problems? They simply say “ok” and state they “get it” and don’t want to talk anymore? And maybe you’re still hurt by the time it happens again—only you can’t talk about it then, either.
That’s a surefire sign that the communication is bad and likely to get worse with growing resentment. To be clear, everyone needs to work on communication in a relationship and partners can overcome this. But if you’ve expressed your concern to actually talk about issues, and your partner would rather sweet it under the rug, that’s not productive or nice.
#8 They Lie
People generally agree that some lies are acceptable. For example, maybe they tell you that you look beautiful in that blue dress, but you know they absolutely hate the color blue. That’s different.
But sometimes, the lies are big or strange—and those are red flags. Maybe your partner says he’s working late when he’s out drinking with the guys. Even you know he’s not doing anything suspicious, the lie is still a sign that something is off. Or, like me, maybe your partner lied about his age and faked an accent for 7 months—definitely not “the one” material.
#9 Double Standards
This ain’t the 1950s. Women can have jobs and men can make their own sandwiches. While the division of chores or responsibilities is up to each couple, it should be based on your own decisions and not on what your partner thinks is expected of you by society’s very, very old standards.
Similarly, if your partner can do something, you should be able to do it to, regardless of gender. For example, if your boyfriend goes out to the bar but tells you that you shouldn’t because you’re a woman, he’s holding a double standard and that’s not ok. If he can stay out until 2 am with friends but you can’t, that’s not cool. Double standards can be used to subtly control people throughout relationships.
#10 Tit for Tat Mentality
Relationships are a team. Even if you’re arguing, you still have one goal: loving each other. But if the need to win overcomes love, there’s a problem and it’s not just a competitive one.
For example, maybe you catch your partner in a lie and ask about it and your partner brings up how horrible you are because of a smaller lie you told earlier (or rehashes the past). In this way, they’re deflecting their own behavior by blaming you. Because you both did wrong, you both get a point, and they don’t need to hold themselves to account. Not cool.
Gaslighting is a tactic used by abusers, narcissistic or manipulative people. It involves making another person feel crazy by discounting their concerns.
This can work on lesser extreme and very extreme levels. For example, maybe you tell your partner you want to spend more time with them and they’re always busy working or with friends. Instead of responding normally, your partner claims that every guy has no time for girlfriends and that you’re naggy, probably the only girl that would ever complain about this. In fact, every other girl would be ok with this behavior. And suddenly, you feel like you’re in the wrong and you’re a bad, naggy girlfriend for wanting to see your partner more.
An extreme example could include abuse. For example, maybe you haven’t seen your friends in a month and your boyfriend doesn’t want you to. He claims that you hardly spend any time with him, even though you see him every day. He says your friends are bad people and you’re a bad girlfriend because you want to see them. Even though you know in your heart that seeing friends is normal, he is making you feel that you’re a bad person for it.
In short, gaslighting can make you question your reality and is a tactic people use to gain control over you.
#12 There’s No Connection
Ok, so you made it through everything on this list and your partner is in the clear. The first and last thing to consider is if you feel a real connection with them. Somebody can check off all the boxes, but maybe you don’t feel romantically attracted to them. Or, maybe you did before and have tried to get that feeling back, but you’ve outgrown it. That’s ok and the right thing to do is honor that feeling.