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Many people seek love or to be in a relationship.  But that involves growth, which can at times be painful, compromising, or make you vulnerable. Love demands that we constantly improve, be more understanding, and practice patience. On the flip side, it also means knowing when things just aren’t working out anymore and having the guts to leave. Confused about how you feel? Here are six signs you were never in love.

You moved things first with your partner

Infatuation thrives on speed, but love takes time to develop. Relationships expert Susan Winter says “Infatuation lives in illusion but love can survive reality.” When you’re quick to jump into a relationship with someone, you base it off on your dreams more than who’s really in front of you. Common examples include fantasizing about your future with them, lusting after them, and obsessing over their lives…all done only after a few weeks of knowing them

You expect them to be flawless

And then you get angry or disappointed when they show you their true self. Do you believe in soulmates or fate? It sounds good in theory, right? But Winter states that “Infatuation needs perfection in order to survive.”

When you expect your partner to be consistently well dressed, good with their words, or impressive with their accomplishments, you deny them space to be completely honest with you. Love, on the other hand, is grounded. When you love someone, you accept their imperfections as your own, work through the bad, and enjoy the good together.

You’re not comfortable enough around them

Okay, we’ve all felt self-conscious about saying the wrong thing or making a bad impression. But when you truly fall in love with someone, that’s when you can let loose and stop caring so much. Research expert on vulnerability, Dr. Barney Brown, discovered that those who have a strong sense of love and belonging are more open to vulnerability, whereas those who feel disconnected around their partners consistently build their walls. When you don’t share your emotions, struggles, and secrets with someone, you haven’t fully loved.

You become more distant

It’s normal for passion to intensify initially only to taper off in a steady relationship. But two people in love will still want to be around each other even when the relationship becomes “boring”. If you find yourself wanting to get away from your partner more and more these days, cancelling dinner plans often because you’d rather go and hang out with your friends or family, then something’s up.

Your mind is elsewhere

And soon, your heart follows too. Stephen Betchen, Author of Magnetic Partners, states that “Partners who are in love tend to maintain a focus on their counterparts.”When you notice the little things about them or express concerns when you have a fight with them, it shows that you care for them. But if you avoid those half conversations, or slip away from arguments, you also stop emphasizing their importance in your life.

You’ve developed anxiety

Have you been experiencing digestive problems, or have trouble sleeping? Psychologist Kate B. and Dr. Ann Sheba both say that anxiety can show in these bodily dysfunctions. You might have something you need to get off your chest and dread how to break the news to your partner. Remember, you can only run away from the truth so long before it catches up to you. Forcing love when it’s absent will only hurt the two of you. Both of you deserve to find love elsewhere if it cannot be found in your relationship

Where do you think you stand on your feelings? To learn more about how to keep your relationship healthy, check out our expert guide on The Only Advice You’ll Ever Need For a Successful Marriage

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