Many people don’t like to admit it when they’re dating someone who isn’t quite on their level. After all, they love the person they’re with regardless of their downfalls. But sometimes, love isn’t enough to create a healthy, long-lasting partnership. For a relationship to truly work, both people need to be on an even keel when it comes to most things. So, how can you tell if you’re dating down?
Your friends and family aren’t a fan. The ones that love you most can see things you can’t, especially when it comes to dating. They see you for all the beautiful and wonderful things you are and they can tell when you’re settling. If your friends and family don’t like your new love interest or have flat out said they don’t see anything between you, it’s a good indication that he’s not good enough for you.
Your career ambitions are seriously misaligned. It’s one thing to work hard and make money in any profession, and there’s no one job that’s better than the other if a person is truly passionate about the work they do. But if you’re an entrepreneur with grand ambitions for a bigger and better career life and your partner is fine with phoning it in until retirement at some comfortable job they hate, that speaks volumes.
You take care of him too much. If the relationship dynamic starts to feel more like a parent-son kind of deal and you’re doing everything for your partner, it’s likely that he’s not good enough for you. Sure, people bring their own special skills to the table in a relationship but if he walks into the relationship looking for a second mother to clean, cook, and tell him how to live his life, you’re not with a person who’s on your level.
He’s incredibly lazy. You handle your business and it shows. You shouldn’t have to be handling his, too. If your partner has no drive to do anything—plan dates, do his own taxes, take care of his life, etc.—and then has the audacity to expect you to do all that for him, well you need to start thinking about leveling up.
You don’t feel the need to show him off. If you avoid putting photos of the two of you on your socials or would rather go out without the guy you’re dating, it’s a bad sign. Most people can’t stop showing off their current love and if you don’t feel the need to do so, there’s a good chance you’re subconsciously embarrassed by him.
You’re always the punchline of his jokes. If a guy is insecure because he knows that you’re too good for him, he’s going to try to knock you down a few pegs out of sheer fear of being left. If his little couple roasts play on your insecurities more often than not, he’s not on your level and he knows it.
You can’t talk about anything. He wants to fill your head with celebrity marriage facts and you want to discuss poetry and the philosophy of life. That’s just an example, but if the two of you have very different ideas of what constitutes an intellectual conversation, you’re on different playing fields.
His parents tell you you’re too good for him. If the people that love your partner the most are flat out saying things like, “I don’t know how you put up with him, if you guys break up we’re keeping you and getting rid of him,” or anything to that effect, you know that you’re not with the right guy. Even his parents don’t think he’s on your level.
You don’t like his friends. Sure, you’re not going to love every single friend of his and guys always act a little different when they’re with the boys, but if the things his friends do, talk about, and participate in are things you absolutely loathe, there’s a good chance that your man was doing them all too before you got there.
There have been some fidelity issues. Cheating is a deal-breaker. What constitutes cheating is different for everybody, but if you’ve caught your guy participating in some shady behavior with people outside of the relationship, he’s just not good enough for you.
Sometimes you look at him and think…ew. You will never like all of your boyfriend’s mannerisms or quirks. That’s just a harsh reality. But if you find yourself looking at him in sheer disgust, you have to recognize that there’s a reason for it. That reason? He’s not on your level.
You’re the conductor of the effort train. If you’re the only one putting effort into the relationship when it comes to gifts, dates, romantic getaway planning, or just making sure the other person feels loved in the way they need to, he’s not on your level. You shouldn’t have to spend your life compromising because he’s ‘just not that into romance.’ Sure, he might not be a romantic, but it’s super easy to Google how to be romantic and put something on for the one you love. He just doesn’t care enough.
You keep the love-interest door open just a little bit. If you’re still peeking out the door of your relationship at potential people that may be better suited for you, somewhere deep down, you know you’re settling.
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