If you decided to date someone in the longer term, it's easy to get caught up in what will be rather than accessing what's happening in the present. People can be inclined to jump on ship on something that might be a semblance of what they think will be good for them. They blur all the red flags as to fulfill that dream that they're the exception. But instead, you need to ask yourself more often, “Am I the rule?” Because sticking to the present and understanding the rules will bring you closer to a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling reality. Here are 11 tell-tale signs that you are the rule, not the exception.

The meetings between you two are sporadic & spotty.
  • Quantity matters just as much as quality. The number of meetings should increase as time goes by and the caliber of your quality time is important as well. Not just “Netflix & chill”(s) or simply “going out.” There should be room for more formal settings (from plays to banquet dinners to concerts to sporting events to friend meet-ups to weddings).
Invitations to understanding your personality/character/inner soul are either ignored or skimmed over.
  • Superficial details clutter your relationship and forgo your supposed connection with this person.
Time, money, emotions, actions, or words are being put in emptily.
  • Because the investment comes from a place of convenience. If it’s convenient for the person to talk about their feelings because they want to be comforted, then it’s nothing special. The same goes, if he’s rich or free during the summer, or a smooth, smooth talker.
You differ in any of the following: communication styles, passions, humor/disposition, conflict-resolution, core values, lifestyle, and long-term/short goals.
  • If you both speak the same intuitive or perceptive language, it’s a lot easier for things to flow. And it’s a lot easier when the going gets rough as well. It’s also just fun to have someone understand the playful you. It’s attractive to feel invigorated. So is having the same obstacles and vision during a certain stage of life.
Fighting is an opportunity to realize strong differences instead of seeking and embracing similarities (and relating to each other).
  • Whenever, I fought with this guy, we would just try to impose others’ opinions on each other. I thought maybe we were being honest and that was healthy, but I didn’t realize that we were just speaking totally different languages. We did not really easily perceive the others’ problems or even attempts in resolving them.
You’ll only feel cared for enough but not ever all the way.
  • There are always lulls in any stage of dating, but there’s a totally different tone when the effort feels more forced and chore-like rather than willful, sincere, and warm.
Games, games, and games.
  • Hot and cold. On and off. Fight and make-up. Cycle and repeat. Just shaky, manipulative, and heady. When it’s a game from the start; it can only continue or end as a game. And no one truly wins when that happens.
Your (or their) Ego, needs, and desires are the forefront of the relationship.
  • And sometimes, there are cases where both parties are like that and there will be too much friction. Sure, it may seem exhilarating. But all that blood burning isn’t passion; it’s sneakily subtle contempt.
Your lives are separate and going in parallel directions.
  • There’s rarely or no interweaving of routines, plans, or goals whatsoever. Even if you get a sneak-peek, it’s all fluff or all compartmentalized so that you never get the full picture. The big ones are: friends, family, career aspirations, background, important hobbies, and personal dreams/aspirations.
You (or they) are not physically, emotionally, mentally, financially, or spiritually ready to have a relationship.
  • This goes without further elaboration. If you’re not ready, you’re not ready.
Something is missing.
  • You can’t easily put your finger on it. But something about this person just doesn’t make your soul ache. Or you feel like you can’t ever be your full self with them. You also don’t feel appreciated. It could be as random as their quirks annoy the living h*ll out of you. It could also be how you might feel that they are too doubtful or suspicious of you just being you. In the end, you need to be you and supported as you. No shaky relationship is worth stifling the essence of who you are.

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Posted by Sarah Suhaimi

Sarah Suhaimi practices 명음 by day and the art of dark chocolate bar swindling by night. She is currently working closely with a local Pittsburgh non-profit that serves sex-trafficked victims, Living in Liberty, as a volunteer and grant proposal writer. She founded the Southeast Asian Student Alliance (SEASA) at her university, and, as well, the "Offer Islam Campaign." Her works vary from prose to poetry to articles. Her published works include, ‘The Home of an Immigrant’s Daughter’ in the Art Catalogue for the 2012 Dublin Biennial, Dublin, Ireland and ‘Hidden Beauty Reveals Itself (Intellect Vs Instinct)’ in the Art Catalogue for the 2011 Florence Biennale VIII, Florence, Italy.

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