3 Signs A Relationship Isn’t Worth Your Emotional Investment

Your time — and your feelings — have value.

You haven’t known each other very long, but you’ve been going out, and it’s been fun. You’re getting excited about this guy, perhaps you’re developing feelings for him already.

But should you?

Should you let yourself become emotionally invested in him? It might not be too early to tell, especially if you pay attention to the signs.

I know these signs well because I’ve seen them up close. I’ve lived through them, and I understand how dangerous it can be to ignore any of these if you’re looking for true partnership.

Every time they popped up, my gut told me something was off, but I ignored it. I allowed myself to become emotionally invested in men who weren’t even worth my time.

He changed dating plans in the spur of the moment — without consulting me.

I thought he was taking me out for drinks at a fancy cocktail bar — at least that’s what we had agreed on no more than an hour before. So I dressed for fancy cocktail bar, and that’s what I was in the mood for. But then he picked me up.

As I boarded the car, he informed me he was hungry and wanted to go to a restaurant instead. When I reasoned there was probably a food menu at the bar, he countered he was in the mood for tacos, so he thought we might just go and grab some — and not once did he phrase it as a question.

So we went to the restaurant. I was overdressed and slightly cross, but tried to make the best of it. I come home smelling like a burrito and wondering if the best I could expect from date night with this guy would be mindlessly riding in his car and letting him take me wherever he felt like going.

Spontaneity is fun, but being spontaneous and changing plans without consulting the other person are two very different things. It signals not only unpredictable behavior, but a lack of respect for your opinion.

He’s not growing at pace with his friends.

One of his friends got married, had a child, and got a decent job to support his growing family. My guy resented him because “his friend changed,” and he “didn’t recognize his friend anymore.”

“It’s like he has a whole new set of values now.”

Well, duh. His friend is a mature man now, no longer a perpetual bachelor wasting his days on video games, pointless internet pursuits, and meme dark holes. Of course, my guy was out-of-sync with his more mature friend, he didn’t even have a job to begin with, let alone a family to protect and take care of.

As more of his friends followed the path of growth, the more my guy was left behind — until he was the only one left.

While not everyone has to (or should) get married, have kids, or choose a career by a certain age, there’s a point in every man’s life where he needs to grow up and start taking responsibility for his own support and his own future. If his friends are miles ahead of him on the path towards maturity, but your guy isn’t keeping pace, that’s not a good sign.

He couldn’t handle someone having feelings for him.

As soon as I demonstrated I had feelings for him, he panicked.

Not because it was too early, or too much too fast, but because he simply couldn’t handle knowing somebody liked him. He wasn’t emotionally intelligent enough to know what to do.

He asked me for space, insisting he wasn’t looking for a girlfriend — even though that’s not even what I was asking for. I was only asking for emotional connection, which he proved incapable of providing.

He grew distant, eventually flipping out and ending things abruptly.

When that happens, you know: you two were not meant to be.

Trust your gut

Above anything else, trust your gut. If you feel something is off, or that you’re a lot more emotionally invested than he is, take a step back.

If I had trusted my gut from the beginning, I would have been spared a lot of frustration. I know better now, and I hope you do too if anything remotely like this ever happens to you.

Human Connections

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