Dating can be hard, especially because so much of it, despite all of our effort and most optimistic energy, turns out to be a giant waste of time. Even when relationships don’t work out, you can be fulfilled by them for having had interesting experiences and learning things about yourself, other people, and what you do and don’t want from a relationship. All of that is important, and we should value the experiences that give us that information.
Here are 9 signs you’re probably just wasting your time with someone, and you should get out sooner rather than later:
1. You don’t feel that emotional connection.
Hooking up is fun, but there is so much more to a relationship. Hanging out and going on dates is awesome, but a true connection goes beyond getting dinner and going to a movie. Can you stay up late having conversations about the meaning of life? To be happy in a relationship, you need to develop a strong emotional connection that runs deeper than cute dates and exciting hook ups. If you want to commit to them, you need to ask yourself if that connection is really there. Maybe you just need to get to know each other better, or maybe he/she has no interest in getting to know you on that level. If that’s the case, you deserve so much better, and you need to find someone who wants that deep connection.
2. They don’t have time for you.
Not responding to calls or texts is one thing, because as I mentioned sometimes there’s a legitimate excuse. But that behavior paired with always being “too busy” to make plans with you is a sure fire sign they’re worried they’re wasting precious time with you that could be better spent doing other things. You should always be with someone who wants to be with you. You should be in someone’s top three priorities (work, significant other, family, in whatever order is most pressing at any given time), because everything else on the list isn’t a priority at all, it’s just an option—Don’t be someone’s option.
3. They don’t give you space.
If you can’t make it an hour or two without checking in or asking a question of your partner, you need a break. You should have the freedom to say you’re out with friends without having to text your partner every hour. If he/she gets angry when you don’t answer, it’s time to run for the hills. Needing some time apart doesn’t mean you don’t love your partner; it just means you need time to take care of yourself and recharge.
4. They are not interested in introducing you to their friends.
When someone has a tight-knit group of friends that you’ve never met even after dating for a few months, that’s a huge red flag. If he/she’s met your friends, you should be given the same privilege. Let them take their time, but after a few months, you should at least be introduced. If you’re shut down every time you suggest group activities, there may be a reason.
5. You’re not interested in introducing them to your friends.
Sure, you want to get a little one-on-one time under your belt before bringing any new person around your friends and family. That’s normal and healthy. But if someone is such a snoozer or so embarrassing or so insignificant to you that you don’t ever find yourself wanting to bring them around your friends then you’re one hundred percent certainly wasting your time. You’re not really serious about someone you don’t want to introduce to your friends.
6. They are not interested in your hobbies.
Sometimes, we end up dating people who are extremely different from us. It’s okay to have totally different hobbies and interests as long as the two of you share some of the same core values. But what if your partner doesn’t take any interest in your hobbies at all? Even if you’re both interested in different things, he/she should still support you as you pursue your passions.
7. They make you feel less than worthy.
If anyone’s treatment of you makes you feel consistently bad (be able to differentiate from say, natural and healthy disagreements as opposed to emotional manipulation or plain, downright meanness), then they’re a hot bag of poop you should discard of immediately. Dating should make you feel predominantly good, and if someone makes you feel predominantly bad, that’s the clearest sign for you to move on.
8. You only hang out with them as a last option.
If you find yourself on dates because you’re looking for something to do and all your friends are busy, then you’re wasting your time. Hang out alone instead. They invented Netflix binge watching specifically so you wouldn’t have to go out on lackluster dates to pass the time.
9. They’re seeing other people.
If you’re totally into someone but they wont commit to you exclusively and keep seeing other people, then they’re a waste of your time. You should really only give your precious love to people who are willing to give it back to you on terms that satisfy you both. One person having their cake and eating it too never works out for the best.