10 Signs You’re Only Dating Someone Because You’re Lonely

10 Signs You’re Only Dating Someone Because You’re Lonely

Are you dating someone because it’s really, truly awesome, or… are you just scared of being alone? Being with someone should make your life feel like a fireworks show, not just a way to avoid the ghost town of Singledom. Here are 10 tell-tale signs that you might be seeing someone more for the company than the connection.

1. You’re always looking for them to validate you.

Ever feel like you’re on a constant hunt for compliments or reassurance from your partner? It’s like you’re living for their approval. If you’re more into their validation than the actual relationship you’re supposedly forming, it’s a bit like using them as a self-esteem ATM. You’re worth more than someone’s approval. True confidence comes from within, not from someone else’s words. It’s crucial to find self-worth independently, so your happiness isn’t tied to someone else’s opinions.

2. You feel unfulfilled and kinda empty around them.

So you’re with this person, but instead of feeling all full of butterflies, you feel like you’re just filling space. It’s like you’re physically there, but your mind is miles away, dreaming of a connection that feels more real, more vibrant. This emptiness can creep in when you’re with someone not because you deeply connect with them, but because you dread the thought of being alone. Remember that dating someone should enhance your life, not just fill an emotional void. True companionship brings joy and fulfillment, not a sense of loneliness in a crowded room.

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4. You’ve lost all sight of personal space

Remember those hobbies and friends you used to love before you started dating this person? If they’re starting to feel like distant memories, you might be losing yourself in their world. It’s like you’re blending into their life, forgetting what makes you, you. This often happens when you’re more scared of being alone than excited about getting to know someone new. It’s healthy to have your own interests, friends, and time alone. Independence in a relationship isn’t just cool; it’s necessary. It keeps you from being overly dependent and helps maintain a healthy balance.

5. You have very little in common with them.

Are you into the same stuff, or are you pretending to be? If you’re just going through the motions, doing things together but not really enjoying them, it’s a sign. A healthy relationship is built on genuine common interests, where you both get psyched about the same things. This shared excitement is what makes hanging out together so much fun. If the stuff you do together feels more like an obligation than excitement, it might be time to question whether you’re dating them for the companionship or the company.

6. You’ve been overlooking red flags.

You know those little (or big) things that you’d usually never tolerate? If you’re suddenly fine with them, ask yourself why. Are you scared of being alone so much that you’d rather deal with issues that used to be deal-breakers? This kind of denial can lead to bigger problems down the road. It’s crucial to address issues head-on and not  keep on dating someone just because it feels safer than being single. Remember, it’s better to be single and true to yourself than seeing someone that doesn’t respect your boundaries.

7. You often feel jealous or insecure.

Jealousy every now and then is normal, but if it’s more like a constant companion, it’s a sign. This kind of jealousy often stems from the fear of losing another person because without them you’d be alone. But here’s the thing: a relationship built on fear of loss rather than mutual trust and respect is like building a house on sand. It’s shaky and unstable. Addressing your insecurities and building trust is key to a healthy partnership, not just clinging to it out of fear.

8. You focus more on status than connection. 

It’s cool to be “in a relationship,” but if that’s the best part about dating someone, that’s kinda like eating a sandwich just for the bread. Are you more interested in how it looks to others than how it feels to you? If yes, it’s a sign that you might be valuing the status of not being alone more than the actual connection. A real relationship is about feeling a deep, personal connection, not just about how it looks on social media or to your friends.

9. You’re reluctant to open up about your true feelings

If opening up to your partner feels like trying to climb a mountain with no gear, it’s a red flag. Deep conversations are the glue that holds relationships of all kinds together. They’re what make you feel understood, respected, and loved for who you truly are. If you’re avoiding these conversations, it might be because you know, deep down, that the connection isn’t as strong as you’d like it to be. Sharing your deepest thoughts and feelings can be scary, but it’s essential for a healthy, strong partnership.

10. You spend a lot of time thinking about other people.

It’s not about wanting to cheat or anything; it’s more like wondering if there’s someone out there who’d be a better fit, or even if you’d be happier flying solo. This kind of daydreaming is a big indicator that you’re not fully satisfied in your current situation. It’s important to evaluate why you’re having these thoughts. Are they a sign of a deeper issue in your relationship, or a hint that you might be better off alone or with someone else? Either way, it’s a signal that something needs to change.

Harper Stanley graduated from Eugene Lang College at The New School in NYC in 2006 with a degree in Media Studies and Literature and Critical Analysis. After graduating, she worked as an editorial assistant at The Atlantic before moving to the UK to work for the London Review of Books.

When she's not waxing poetic about literature, she's writing articles about dating, relationships, and other women's lifestyle topics to help make their lives better. While shocking, she really has somehow managed to avoid joining any social media apps — a fact she's slightly smug about.