We all know that extreme feels can sometimes translate to blind delusion when it comes to our partner’s flaws, but when these flaws and their negative influence begin to unravel our sense of self, this is a warning sign that he’s definitely not “The One.” A partner should nurture your unique nature, encouraging you to be the best version of yourself possible. Does yours? Ask yourself these questions to find out.
Are you comfortable sharing your crazy?
We’re all weird, wonderful and completely unique, and that’s a beautiful thing. Your partner should adore the quirks and idiosyncrasies that set you apart from everyone else because they make you who you are. Can you unleash your terrible Britany impression, talk to him about your weird dream, or confide your irrational public bathroom phobia? You should have the confidence to be 100 percent yourself.
Does he ask the important questions?
When you fall in love with someone, you want to lap up every detail about them you possibly can. Does he ask about your childhood experiences, know the name of your best friend from college, and have a deep understanding of your complex family relationships? Knowing everything is essential to providing genuine, positive support—something we all need to grow and thrive.
Does he support your dreams?
If we’re going to achieve our lifelong aspirations, we need confidence and self-belief to do it. If the person that’s supposed to know you best doesn’t truly believe in you enough to support your dreams then he’s not seeing the best in you or respecting your capabilities. Self-belief isn’t always easy to maintain, and your partner should be a source of strength and faith, not doubt and discouragement.
Is your opinion valued?
When it comes to important life issues like friend and work conflicts, family problems and health concerns, are you the one he seeks advice from? If he doesn’t respect your input, he doesn’t respect your experience, intelligence or insight. In the long run, this could derail your confidence and proactivity at work and in other areas, holding you back from your own success. As things get more serious, his issues will affect your life too—do you really want someone that doesn’t respect you to have this much control over your existence?
Are you always explaining yourself?
Whereas this is healthy in a new relationship when you’re getting to know each other, there comes a point when your partner’s inherent understanding of how your brain works should be a given. If you’re having to constantly explain, justify or defend your thinking patterns, reactions, and choices, this signifies a stubborn refusal on his part to truly get to know you. Without this interest in your inner workings, he can’t predict your feelings, provide the unique support you need through difficult times, or challenge you to grow positively.
Does he respect your interests?
So your obsession with the vampire genre may not be his cup of tea, but your interests and hobbies are an important reflection of who you are. This stuff is a source of joy, so if he won’t respect these things and show enthusiasm, he’s missing out on a big, fun chunk of your life. Anything that makes you happy should be encouraged by your partner, and certainly not be an opportunity for ridicule or contempt—no matter how “uncool” they think it is. Feeling awkward about your interests is not living your best life.
Does he take an interest in your career?
Does he ask about your day, know your colleagues by name, and understand the complexities of your work? Does he really listen and offer support and advice when needed? Your job is a massive part of your everyday life, and the summation of your education and experience. Therefore, it should be important to your partner too. If he doesn’t see the value of what you do, encourage your success, and take pride in your achievements, then something is very wrong with your relationship dynamic.
Are your friends his friends?
Like partners, friends are the mirrors that we measure ourselves in and a reflection of our personality. They’re also the amazing, hilarious, fierce squad you have chosen to align yourself with in life, so he’d better be down with them! Your partner’s attitude towards your special people is an important gauge because he should understand how and why they’ve earned your friendship, and respect and learn from this. If he doesn’t like or appreciate your friends, can he really love who you are?
Does he change when you hang with his friends?
Guy friends like to joke around with each other but when the joking is at your expense, this is a red flag. Does he bust out the everyday sexism and ‘needy girlfriend’ cliches to show off in front of his bros? Trust me—you are too good for that crap! This is a clear sign he cares more about what they think than you. Your partner should be proud to have you around, include you in the conversation, and have your back!
Are you truly happy?
We’re at our happiest when we have the freedom to be completely true to ourselves, no pretenses, no awkward self-awareness, no defensive barriers. If your partner is an obstacle to your happiness because of the reasons on this list then he’s not nurturing your beautiful, unique nature. Over time, a negative influence can have a massive impact on how you feel about yourself and react to the world. Don’t let anything in your life block your self-discovery and growth. Life is an adventure, so, if he’s not along for the ride, let him go his own way.
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