10 warning signs your partner doesn’t envision the same future as you

You’ve probably already had twinges of doubt, but it’s super hard to accept when someone isn’t really into you, especially when you’re really into them.

It’s just easier to put your head in the sand and hold tight to the slightest shred of evidence that your feelings are reciprocated.

Most of us have been there. I know I have, and I do not recommend it. 

The only way to be sure if he’s serious about you or not is learning to be objective when assessing your love life. I’m not saying it’s easy to learn, but it will save you from heartbreak down the line.

A little pain now versus a lot of pain later. Your call.  

Part of said objectivity is not ignoring the messages you don’t like. Now, you don’t have to parse every remark your partner makes for hidden context.

Just be aware of what the warning signs are and recognize them as the red flags they are instead of brushing them off and making excuses.

Here are a few examples that should give you pause.

1) Future? What future? 

In most adult relationships, talk of the future — like moving in, getting married, or having kids — becomes part of the conversation. So pay attention if you’ve been together for at least 18 months and your partner still avoids any discussion of your joint future. According to experts, chances are they never will by that point. 

If they always make last minute plans with you, that probably means they don’t consider you a priority. This is a clear indication that they view your relationship as something “for now”  that could end abruptly at any time.

But if they’re buying two tickets for events months ahead of time or making vacation plans with you, it probably means they can and do envision a future with you.

If they start using the pronoun “we,” you can almost bet on it.

2) There’s no “I” in “we”

If your boo plans on spending the rest of their life with you, they will graduate from “I” plans to “we” plans.

So if all you hear from your partner are statements like “when I do this” and “when I finish that,” take it as a sign that they aren’t ready for lifelong commitment.

3) They don’t ask about your day

This may sound like a small thing, but it’s really not. If your partner is all in, they’ll show it by being interested in the details of how you spent your day.

Sharing the mundane events of our lives is essential when forming a connection conducive to a healthy long-term relationship​.

If they don’t ask, they don’t care. So don’t sugarcoat the situation or make excuses for them. There will just be more dismissiveness and broken promises headed your way.

4) Broken promises

Nobody’s perfect and we all let our partners down from time to time. But your partner consistently letting you down is a major red flag. The repetitiveness of the behavior indicates their unwillingness to change their ways. 

In a loving relationship, your partner should care enough about your feelings to make more of an effort not to disappoint you. If they don’t, it’s safe to assume they don’t take your relationship seriously.

5) Hitting below the belt

And not in that fun way.

Couples fighting is totally normal. But if you two are fighting dirty, your relationship is in peril.


Because how you argue as a couple determines whether the relationship can stand the test of time. If you, your partner, or both of you, regularly express contempt for one another, the less likely you are to build a loving, healthy relationship.

And that can only happen if you both put each other first.

6) You’re an option, not a priority

OK, I know I sound like a broken record here, but the chasm between being a priority and an option cannot be stressed enough.  

If you propose plans and they tell you they’re waiting to hear back from a friend first, take that as a bad omen. Because this is clear evidence that you’re just an option and not a priority. 

Someone who’s serious about a future with you makes you a top priority. That doesn’t mean you’ll always come first in their lives. That’s a bit unrealistic and unreasonable. 

But you’ll be numero uno most of the time unless an emergency pops up that requires their attention.

If you’re a priority to them, it’s pretty unlikely they’ll bail on you without a solid reason.

7) They bail on you

dealing with a master manipulator 10 warning signs your partner doesn't envision the same future as you

Life happens and things come up. Grown-ups understand this. The problem is when the bailing is habitual

If they cancel your plans a lot, it’s pretty obvious they disregard your feelings and aren’t particularly worried about losing you.

Crummy, but obvious.

A person who’s serious about you wants to spend time with you (so he won’t cancel unnecessarily to begin with.) They’ll also have respect for you and your feelings, so they won’t waste your time by making plans with you, then bailing.

8) Doesn’t share his backstory

Look, if they don’t let you into their heart and soul along with their pants, the only difference between you and everyone else in their life is that you’re doing the horizontal tango.  

If they aren’t sharing their hopes and fears with you, especially if you’re sharing those things yourself, you might want to seriously evaluate the potential of your relationship.

When someone genuinely cares about you, they want to share their real self with you, warts and all. This is far more intimate than sex. And less messy. 

If you always have to drag answers out of them about their past or day-to-day life, then they probably don’t envision a future with you.

If you only get vague replies when you try to get them to open up, or they abruptly change the subject, take note. This is their way of keeping the vibe between you casual.

When a guy is serious about you, he’ll not only want to share his story, he’ll want to hear yours, too.

9) Doesn’t care about your backstory, either 

When we are interested in someone, we want to hear the stories that make them who they are. You want to know about their triumphs and accomplishments, and their weaknesses and heartbreaks. 

You just can’t get enough intel to satiate your rabid curiosity. 

If your partner seems distracted when you’re telling your stories or acts uninterested, I’d stop daydreaming about wedding plans and skedaddle. 

If someone is genuinely interested in you, they’ll be thinking about a possible future with you, so they’ll want to know all about you.

And they’ll have no problem referring to you as their girlfriend. In public, even.

10) You have no official title

This happens tiresomely often.

Here’s the scenario: one person in the relationship doesn’t want to get serious. But the other person hangs around hoping the other will come to their senses and see how delightful they are.

Not gonna happen. If someone tells you they aren’t ready or interested in a serious commitment, believe them. If you don’t believe anything else that comes out of their mouths, believe that. 

If this person doesn’t want an official relationship, this pretty much means they’re cool with dating someone else and dumping you (or keeping you too, if you’re willing to demean yourself that badly.)

They’re OK with you walking away as well. It’s a big whatever to them.

If he won’t call you his girlfriend, he’s not serious about you, plain and simple.

It is what it is 

It’s a fact of life that most relationships don’t work out. Most times it’s just basic non-compatibility and neither person is to blame. 

So pick yourself up and brush yourself off. The only thing you get from disentangling from the wrong relationship is the chance to be free for the right one. Seems like enough motivation for me.

Picture of Kathy Copeland Padden

Kathy Copeland Padden

Kathy Copeland Padden lives in a New England forest paradise with her cats, kid, and trusty laptop. She has been writing since age 8 and is such a pack rat she can back that up with physical evidence. Music is her solace and words are her drug, so her house is strewn with records and books. Watch your step.

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