Signs, Solutions, and Self-Discovery on your Path to Love.
As matchmakers and dating coaches, the team at Drawing Down the Moon receive enquiry calls from clients who have struggled in previous relationships, particularly when they have found themselves dating the wrong person.
They may be unsure if they’re truly compatible with the person they are dating, or they may have realized that they’re dating the wrong person altogether.
Are you avoiding splitting up?
Deciding to end a relationship can be hugely stressful, and emotional. Particularly if the other person is unaware of any of the potential issues that you are facing in dating them. We have found that people put off splitting up with a partner, even when deeply unhappy due to wishing to avoid the stress of a painful breakup.
While it is a difficult and emotional decision to end a relationship, or to end things with someone you have been dating for a few weeks or months, staying with the wrong person can be even more damaging to your mental health in the long run.
Dating the wrong person impacts your life
Poor relationship health and a poor romantic connection can have an impact upon multiple other areas of your life.
More importantly it also prevents you from finding a partner in life who truly complements the way you live, and you them, bringing out the best in you both.
You are not alone
That’s why I wanted to write this post: to offer guidance and support for anyone who is questioning whether or not they are dating the right person for them.
Whether you’re in the early stages of dating or you’ve been together for a while, it’s never too late to take a step back, reassess your priorities, and make a positive change.
Read on as I share some of our matchmaker gleaned insights on what to do if you suspect you might be dating the wrong person.
From recognizing the signs of a mismatched relationship to taking proactive steps to move on, here is some practical advice, encouragement and information for anyone who thinks they might have found themselves in a relationship with the wrong person.
If you are feeling stuck or uncertain in your dating life, read on – you’re not alone, and there is a positive path forwards for you.
6 Signs You Are Dating The Wrong Person
1. Poor Communication
You have heard the cliche before, that communication is key in any relationship. If you are struggling to communicate your feelings with your partner, or you find that they are not interested in the things you wish to share with them, this does not bode well for the health of your relationship.
A healthy relationship should involve open and honest communication, even if it is sometimes difficult to do so. If you are working hard to communicate, and listen to your partner, but find that it is one sided, even after discussing it with them, it might be worth evaluating whether this is the right relationship for you.
2. Different life goals or values
It is important to have shared goals and values with your partner. The best time to find out if your values and goals are aligned is of course at the beginning of the relationship in the period where you are dating and getting to know one another.
But what if you didn’t take time to evaluate things at the start? Or what if you find over time that the person you are dating is changing in ways that mean your life goals are altering?
If you find that you are clashing over values or life goals and you no longer share a 5, 10 or even 15 year life plan, this could be another sign that you are not currently dating the right person.
While it is highly unlikely that you would ever agree on all areas with a partner (and who wants that?), two people who hope to move through life together have to at least agree on the basics of where that life is going.
And while values and life goals should have been discussed and shared in the early dating period, if you forgot this part and have woken up to someone who wishes to have a very different life to you, this is going to be a huge source of conflict.
3. Feeling like you can’t be yourself around them
I would hope that this one was a basic. However, for some people who we have coached in the past, this hasn’t always been the case. If you meet someone while you are on a dedicated health and weight loss kick, you don’t necessarily want to struggle with this for the rest of your life – if it is not naturally “you”.
A healthy relationship should allow you to be your true, authentic self. You should feel able to comfortably express your thoughts and feelings.
When we are with someone who loves us, they might struggle with this sometimes, if it is not something they are used to, but they should be able to go through this discomfort.
Because they care.
If you find that you are walking on eggshells with your partner or hiding parts of yourself, it could be a sign that you’re not with the right person, or that you are not the right person for them.
It is important in any loving relationship of partners that you feel accepted and loved for who you are, not for who your partner wants you to be.
Or for who you want them to be.
4. Lack of trust
Trust is essential in any relationship, particularly so with the person you have chosen to share your dreams, ambitions and even more importantly, someone you have chosen to be vulnerable with.
If you find yourself questioning your partner’s motives or worrying about what they are doing when you are not there, or worse, when they don’t contact you for hours or days, and don’t explain why later, it could be a sign that you’re not with the right person.
A healthy relationship should involve mutual trust and respect. Being mysterious might be sexy prior to a relationship starting, but it certainly isn’t once you are in a longer term relationship.
If you don’t know where your partner is because they simply won’t tell you, you are right to be feeling confused and insecure.
5. Constant arguing or fighting
When you are dating and getting into a committed relationship, you don’t always have to agree on everything, and someone with different views on life is far more interesting and entertaining than someone with whom you agree on all topics.
Every relationship will have good periods and trickier ones, however if you find that you are arguing and fighting more than you are enjoying one another’s company, this could be a sign that this is not the right person for you, and you for them.
Perhaps their relationship patterns in childhood were ones of antagonism and argument and that is what they are comfortable with. Or perhaps you are the one who grew up in conflict.
Strong relationships involve positive, active, healthy conflict resolution and working through problems together, not constantly being at each other’s throats.
6. Feeling unfulfilled
This is a tricky one. Many people believe that a partner has to leave them feeling fulfilled. They have to be a great lover, brilliant parent, loving friend, plus someone who is romantic, cooks, arranges perfect dates.
It is very very hard for one person to achieve all of this, and I do think we often expect too much of one person who we expect to fulfil everything for us.
If you’re not feeling fulfilled or happy in your relationship, it could be a sign that you’re not with the right person, but it could also be a sign that you are expecting too much from one person..
A healthy relationship should bring you joy and happiness, but it should not leave you feeling unfulfilled or unsatisfied, over the longer term.
These are just some signs that may indicate that you are not with the right person. However, before you decide to speak to the person you are dating to let them know that you no longer wish to be with them, you should evaluate a number of things:
- Is this really about the relationship or are there other things going on in your life that are impacting your dating life?
- Are the problems you are experiencing short term, or long term issues?
- Are the issues you are facing ones that can be resolved over time and with discussion?
- Are the issues ones that could perhaps be resolved with the help of outside help, for instance with a therapist?
- On balance, is your relationship better for you than if you were apart?
It is really important to evaluate your relationship as a whole, and not make a rash decision about your future.
If you don’t wish to see a therapist, do you have friends or a family member you can confide in? To talk through the issues or reservations that you may have?
Why It’s Important To End Things When You Know It’s Not Right
For personal growth
Being in a relationship that is the wrong one for you, particularly where your values or life goals are not aligned, can hold you back from personal growth and development.
You may find yourself compromising on your goals and values, or not pursuing your passions and interests if your partner does not see “the value” in them..
Ending an unhappy relationship could free you up to focus on yourself, allowing you to pursue the hobbies, interests and life that is important to you.
Your Emotional Well Being
Staying in an unhealthy relationship can be emotionally draining and can ultimately take a toll on your mental health.
You may find yourself feeling stressed, anxious, or unhappy. It can even lead to depression. Choosing to end a relationship that is pulling you down, rather than building you up could give you the space, time and clarity you need to re-build your emotional well-being.
Respect for you and your partner
Staying in a relationship that isn’t right out of fear, guilt, or obligation is not fair to you or the person you are dating.
It is important to sometimes put your own needs first, to have the self-respect to acknowledge when something isn’t working and to have the courage to end it.
It’s also important to respect your partner enough to set them free. To set them free so that they can also be free to find the person who is the right person for them.
Finding the right person
Staying in a relationship that isn’t right can prevent you from finding the right person.
Right now, that person is out there looking for you, and if you are in a relationship that is destined to end, you just don’t know when, why wait?
Splitting up with someone who is not healthy for you, could open up the opportunity for you to meet someone who is a potentially better fit for you and with whom you could build a healthy and fulfilling life together.
How To Break Up With Someone You’re Dating
Breaking up with someone that you have been dating, whether for a few weeks, months or longer, can be difficult.
There are some steps you can take to make the process as respectful and compassionate as you possibly can.
You might not want to be with them, but that is no excuse for behaving badly in order to extricate yourself.
Here are some tips:
Choose a private and neutral location
When you have decided to break up with the person you are dating, it is important to choose a location where you can have a private conversation and where both parties feel comfortable.
A neutral location that doesn’t hold memories for either of you, where it is a coffee or a drink rather than a meal is ideal.
Be clear and direct
It is important to be clear and direct when breaking up with someone.
It is really hard not to beat around the bush, and even harder not to give mixed signals. However, you need to be clear.
Let the person know that you have decided to end the relationship and explain your reasons in a compassionate and respectful way.
This is not your chance to be mean, but you need to be firm in your resolution.
Be honest but kind
Honesty is important when breaking up with someone, to a degree. This is not the time to criticize them in such a way that their feelings are hurt.
It is important to be kind and compassionate.
Do try to avoid blaming or criticizing the person, even if you feel they deserve it.
Focus on your own feelings and reasons for ending the relationship, and ensure you do not leave room for things to be opened up again.
They need to know you are resolute.
Listen and acknowledge their feelings
Breaking up can be difficult for both parties, so it’s important to listen to the other person’s feelings and acknowledge their emotions.
Allow them to express themselves and validate their feelings, without agreeing to give things another chance.
You are not here to negotiate. You will have an uncomfortable conversation, but following that, you are free to move on with your life and you can both find someone who is more suitable.
Give them space
Once you have told someone that you no longer want to be with them, it is really important to give them time and space.
While it might be easy for you to maintain a friendship, it is highly unlikely it would be easy for them, and they may well think that by keeping in contact, they can “get you back”.
Avoid contacting them or trying to maintain a friendship, this is extremely confusing, and leaves room for them to either think you will renew things, or for you to give in and take things up where they left off.
Breaking up with someone you have been dating is never going to be easy. The actual break-up conversation will be hard for you, but by being clear, direct, and by maintaining the message you wish to convey, you can keep the conversation as respectful as possible, while achieving your goal.
If you have been dating for even a short period of time, and things did not go as you had intended, it can be helpful to seek out the help of a therapist or trusted friend/relative.
Give yourself time to grieve
It’s important to allow yourself time to grieve the end of the relationship.
Even though you were the one to instigate the breakup, it is important to allow yourself to feel your emotions and acknowledge them without judgment.
Don’t rush the grieving process, as it takes time to heal and move on.
Treat yourself with kindness and compassion during this time.
Be gentle with yourself and avoid self-criticism or negative self-talk.
Practice self-care activities like practicing mindfulness or meditation, or going for a walk in nature.
Connect with supportive people: Surround yourself with people who are supportive and understanding.
Talk to close friends or family members who you trust and who can provide emotional support during this time. Consider joining a support group or seeing a therapist to help you process your emotions.
Stay active and eat healthy
Taking care of your physical health can also help you feel better emotionally, and get you feeling more ready to find the person you should be dating.
Try to eat healthily, even though you might feel like doing otherwise. Physical activity as simple as walking, cycling or swimming, particularly if you are out of the habit can get the endorphins going that you might have been missing, it also helps with reducing stress and anxiety.
Take time to reflect on the relationship and what you learned from it. Even if things were not good overall, think about what you learnt. Think through what you might bring to a new relationship and what you might leave behind.
Think about what a new, future relationship might look like and what you might expect from it.
What would you do differently at the beginning of a relationship, that you perhaps didn’t do last time?
What things do you need to reflect on and work through to ensure that the negativity is left firmly in the past and doesn’t risk jeopardizing your new love or relationship?
It is important not to jump into a relationship before you are ready. When “ready is” is totally different for different people. Some people ready can be a matter of weeks, others months.
For some, longer.
However, if you are finding the months have moved on to years, you really must seek outside intervention to discuss the issues that are stopping you from moving on.
Breaking up with someone can be incredibly difficult, especially if you have strong emotional ties or if you’re worried about hurting the other person.
However, it’s important to remember that staying in a relationship that’s not right for you is ultimately more damaging to both of you in the long run.
It is okay to prioritize your own needs, to be “selfish” and to make a difficult decision in order to make the space in your life to meet someone who is better suited to you and you to them.
People often assume it is the fear of being split up with that stops people entering into new relationships, but as a matchmaker at the UK’s original matchmaking agency, I have discovered that it is often the fear of having to split up with someone that holds a much stronger power in people’s minds.
If you recognise this statement, the best thing that you can do is acknowledge it, while not allowing it to stop you getting to know someone wonderful, if you seek love and a long term relationship in your life.
Domestic Abuse/Forced Marriage:
If you need specific help to get out of a relationship that is abusive, there are multiple resources you can utilise:
The National Domestic Abuse Helpline is a 24-hour helpline that provides support and advice for anyone experiencing domestic abuse.
Specialist lines include:
Men’s Advice Line (0808 801 0327) for men experiencing domestic abuse
Forced Marriage Unit (020 7008 0151) for anyone at risk of forced marriage
If you are at immediate risk, please call the police on 999.
If you are ready to meet someone special, contact the friendly award winning matchmakers at Drawing Down the Moon Matchmaking.