If you’re on a self-love journey, confronting this will be a crossroads of sorts and really test your commitment to yourself.
It’s a tough one if you aren’t used to feeling loved unconditionally – by yourself or others.
You may even have lived your life doing something called “CRAPFIT.”
A term used by those who have C-PTSD to describe how they have had to fit themselves to crappy situations in order to cope.
But it’s something that we as a society do to varying degrees.
Combined with the media’s depiction of love and the bar for relationships being in hell, it’s no surprise that a lot of us would rather think we’re loved than really feel it.
So here to help make the confrontation less confusing, are 8 signs your partner claims to love you, but their actions show otherwise.
1) They don’t respect your boundaries
Respect for personal boundaries is a fundamental aspect of any healthy relationship.
However, a lot of people’s ideals surrounding love resemble the sentiment of “if you loved me then you would do this for me.”
Which completely disregards any respect for you – let alone the trust built between you two.
Over time, a relationship that is rooted in involuntary or unfair give and take will have copious amounts of resentment.
Without you knowing how to process this feeling as a lack of real love from your partner, it can lead you to feel guilty or ashamed.
Constantly forgiving them for mistakes they don’t intend on taking accountability for can also take a toll on your relationship with yourself.
It’s time to stop normalizing being the overgiver just because it’s the only way you feel deserving of good and see their behavior for what it is.
If you don’t, it will only warp your perception of “good.”
2) They are bad at communication
Saying one thing and then doing another is a great example of poor communication.
But let’s dig a little deeper.
Effective communication is necessary for both parties to feel connected to each other and maintain the bond.
In addition, there are way too many people who weaponize “therapy speak” that it’s completely lost its purpose.
It’s become just another way to control the outcome of a discussion by giving certain individuals more “legitimacy.”
Instead, if you want to communicate effectively all you need to do is be real about your intentions. And listen when someone tells you theirs to ensure you’re on the same page.
That includes providing a space for each other to express your emotions in a way that doesn’t accuse or blame anyone.
Hard or easy conversations aren’t meant to be perfect – just honest.
3) They are inconsistent in their affections
This can be someone who is only good to you when it’s convenient for them.
For example, when they need something or when they’re trying to earn your forgiveness.
It’s also when you feel like you have to beg them to put in effort.
And a lot of people when they hear the sentence, “how they treat you is a reflection of how they feel about themselves – not you”, they get the wrong idea.
They’re almost relieved and feel a need to be understanding toward their partners.
I’m here to tell you that if someone isn’t able to show up for themselves consistently, they shouldn’t be getting into relationships.
Because as you try to “train” them into loving you, what will inevitably end up happening are situations where you aren’t prioritized.
4) They fail to prioritize your needs
Everyone has different needs, but feeling safe and appreciated for who you truly are should be the bare minimum.
That means someone who is able to prioritize you will take the time to understand how they can better love and protect you.
You won’t feel like you have to keep tabs on them or worry about how they act behind your back. And if you do, talking about it shouldn’t feel like a crime.
In other words, your intuition would be allowed to take mini vacations so you can relax and stop playing detective.
This also includes being able to show up for you when you need them the most.
Not to mention, if you’re familiar with feeling neglected, you won’t always recognize that this isn’t acceptable behavior.
As someone who has been there, it’s crucial you end that emotional cycle. Start to question the authenticity of someone’s love if they have more excuses than presence.
Or control over appreciation.
5) They are extremely critical
A lot of wishy-washy partners are insecure.
And their insecurities jump out the most when they don’t feel in control of you or the relationship. Meaning when you start displaying more confidence and independence.
This can lead them to criticize you for not fitting into the mold they’ve built for you under the guise of wanting to “protect” you and because they “love” you.
“I miss the old you,” they might say. God forbid you are an actual human being, instead of a fantasy!
Another point in the relationship where these insecurities rear their ugly heads is when it starts becoming more serious.
Which makes it that much more tricky because at that point, it’s been 3-6 months since you started dating them. You might feel like there’s too much at stake to leave.
But I’d like to invite you to look at the grand scheme of life – it’s better to leave now than later when it’s been a year or several.
You are far more interesting and valuable than whoever your partner thinks you are. And I’m not the only person who believes that.
There are truly plenty of fish in the sea.
6) They don’t have any shared goals and values with you
You can’t blame yourself for the actions of a bad partner.
However, it’s your responsibility to make sure you know what you’re looking for and not looking for. And moving accordingly even if it means breaking up with someone.
As well as to take your time when deciding if someone is capable of matching their words to their actions!
A huge part of that is ensuring they have the same goals and values as you.
For example, if they claim to value a stable future but they have very obvious spending issues, they’re a dreamer not an achiever.
Same goes for their expectations of a partner.
If they expect more than they can give or have outdated ideals, that’s a huge red flag that they lack self-awareness and make up for it in entitlement.
Another thing you should look for that deserves its own subtopic is a sense of accountability.
7) They don’t acknowledge their mistakes
I used to think that a good person was someone who was nice.
And I’m sure there are people who are just as nice as they are genuine.
But I’ve come to realize that when it comes to being a good partner, a big, fat, green flag is when they are able to acknowledge their mistakes.
They’ll keep you accountable for yours, too.
Not only does this show how they are willing to compromise, but that they have a strong moral code where they know wrong from right.
You won’t feel like you’re teaching them how to be a decent person, nor will they make you feel crazy for feeling hurt because of something that they did.
This is why having a shared vision for healthy love and life are so important – disagreements will usually be constructive and empathetic.
And it’s how you can both use this beautiful thing called accountability to grow in the same direction.
8) They don’t take initiative
Taking initiative is taking action.
And taking action as we’ve seen throughout this article, is what gives loving words their license to be real.
That includes being an active member of your support system, remembering and celebrating your milestones, as well as keeping the romance alive.
So taking initiative is doing all that you can to express your love for someone instead of assuming that they know.
That’s the thing about words – they can make us feel things that we can hold on to.
Which is a beautiful thing!
But in the wrong hands – or mouths – it becomes something that leads us away from reality. And keep us attached to a person who hasn’t grown since we met them.
Anyone who has a healthy outlook on love and romance would surely understand the value of expressing it with consistency, actions and sincerity.
Don’t settle for thinking you’re loved when you could be feeling it too.
Maybe they do mean it when they say they love you.
That would be being very generous of our benefit of the doubt. But for the sake of this conclusion, let’s entertain it for a second.
More than how their words make you feel.
And of course, you have to value yourself enough to not base your definition of love off of someone else’s.
Especially when they’ve proven time and time again that they don’t love themselves.
It may take some time but seeing yourself as worthy of that time seemed to help me grasp the point.
That’s how I know you will too.