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"Relationships are like farts. If you have to force it, it's probably shit."
If there's one thing I've been very guilty of, it's forcing a relationship. It's because the one thing I've wanted, more than anything else, was a spouse. Unfortunately, my way of handling everything is to doggedly and aggressively pursue what I want until I get it or give up.
After a while, I realized that some things can't be forced. It's one of the brutal truths about dating that no one ever tells you because of how heartbreaking it can be. It's saying that, yes, Disney movies lied to you. You can't always win over people or get what you feel you deserve.
The funny thing about forcing relationships is that you aren't always aware of doing it, or even aware of why you're forcing it. Are you forcing a relationship without knowing it? Or, are you just forcing your relationship in general?
Many people knowingly or unknowingly force a relationship due to an addiction of love. If you notice these things, you may need to consider walking away.
If you were honest with yourself, you know that you have nothing in common with your partner.
Are you forcing a relationship? A good indicator that the relationship isn't as "free" as you'd expect it to be is to look at how much you and your partner have in common. If you have different goals, different lifestyles, and different hobbies, ask yourself why you're with that person.
If you can't come up with an answer, you're forcing your relationship with your partner.
You're dragging your partner to commitment, kicking and screaming.
Are you forcing the relationship if you have to literally browbeat your partner into commitment? Absolutely. Imagine if you had people dragging you into things you didn't want to be a part of, and you'll understand why this isn't a healthy thing to do.
Speaking as someone who's notorious for doing this, it's never healthy for anyone involved. In the case of the partner who's forcing the relationship, you often end up feeling insecure, hurt, and betrayed by your partner. You start questioning yourself as to why you're never good enough for your partner to want you.
Though it may be hard to admit, this is a time when you need to just cut your losses and leave. Who knows? Maybe they'll realize what they've lost later on after you marry someone else.
People are very uncomfortable when they see how your partner treats you.
More often than not, it's easier for others to see when you're staying in a bad relationship than it is for the people in the relationship. When we're the ones dealing with it, we don't realize how bad things really are. Why? Perhaps because we don't want to admit how bad things are to ourselves.
A good rule of thumb is to watch how people are reacting to your relationship with your partner. In cases where you're staying in a bad situation or forcing a relationship, people will often speak up or voice their concerns.
When I was with one of my now-exes, I had a friend who asked me, "Why are you forcing a relationship with this guy? He doesn't even treat you well."
That's when I knew, and I ended up bailing soon after.
You talk up your partner or come up with excuses for them.
If you regularly compliment your partner to others, are you forcing a relationship? Not always. However, if you're constantly gushing about how #blessed you are and how things are absolutely perfect, well, you probably are.
People who are in relationships that don't feel forced don't feel a need to "talk up" their partner. When you constantly talk about your partner, it's often a sign that you're trying to convince yourself of how happy you are — and yes, others pick up on that, too.
On a similar note, people who are in abusive relationships often find themselves feeling like they have to excuse their partner's behavior to others. Stop offering excuses and leave them. You'll be a lot happier in the long run, too.
You don't do what you want to do, just what you feel you're supposed to do.
A lot of times, you might already know the answer to the question, "Are you forcing a relationship?" You already know you don't want to be with the person you're dating — but just feel like you have to be, because you're "supposed" to do it.
I'm going to point out that one of the most common regrets of the elderly in hospice care is the regret of not living for yourself. Stop doing what you're "supposed" to do in the eyes of others, and start doing what makes you happy.
It's not fair to your partner to be with a person who doesn't love them. It's not fair to you to be dating someone you'll eventually resent. So, cut it off.
You have to heavily persuade your partner to do ANYTHING nice.
I remember these days pretty well. I'd subtly hint that I'd want a romantic date... and nothing. Then I'd tell them I want a romantic date... and nothing. And then finally I'd start pleading, and maybe bribe them with paying for the date... and then I'd get a mediocre date I half-planned myself.
Yeah, this is no way to go through life. At best, you're dating a user. At worst, you're annihilating your own self-esteem. Are you forcing a relationship at this point? Absolutely, and you're also destroying yourself in the process.
You're bored, not attracted to your partner, and can't admit it to anyone but yourself.
When the spark is gone, you can try to reignite it. If you can't reignite it, you can't reignite it. When it's gone and you can't remember why you ever liked this person, you need to start asking yourself a lot of questions about the nature of the relationship.
At this point, you need to ask yourself why are you forcing the relationship. Are you afraid of being single? Do you feel you can't get any better? Is it really that bad to be alone and willing to hit the dating scene again?
The effort is totally lopsided — and you're bearing the majority of the burden.
Do you find yourself making all the plans, doing all the work, and making all the compromises? You probably already know this is happening, and to a point, you might also resent the fact that your partner is not doing anything in return.
I've been there, and I also realize why this happens. You're hoping that, eventually, your partner will see all you do and start doing nice things in return. As bad as it is to say, this isn't the way people work.
Studies actually show that the nicer you are to someone, the less likely it is to make them respect you. This is true for all genders. So, chances are, your partner will not change.
At this point, you need to ask yourself why are you forcing a relationship that clearly doesn't do anything to benefit you. If you're doing everything, you might as well cut loose the dead weight and use that time to actually find people who do like you.
It's always drama, or always walking on eggshells.
In many toxic relationships, especially those that are forced, one of two things happens: explosive arguments, or constantly tiptoeing around a partner they're worried will leave at the drop of a hat. Many people even describe the overall atmosphere of the relationship like "a calm before the storm."
Sound familiar? Then you may be forcing things too much — and it may be time to look on a site like Love Is Respect to learn about what a normal, happy relationship should look like.
Your partner doesn't excite you and is at the bottom of your priority list.
When your boyfriend texts you, you leave it on "read." You regularly break plans with them, just because you can't stand seeing them too frequently. You groan at their jokes. Sound familiar? It's cause you're trying to force yourself to like him.
A good way to answer the question, "Are you forcing a relationship?" is to see how your sex life is going. Do you find the idea of sex with your partner to be grotesque? Or, rather, does your partner always come up with terrible excuses not to touch you?
In a healthy romantic relationship, sex will be satisfying for both partners. If you find yourself constantly begging for sex, or find your partner constantly bugging you to touch them while you feel grossed out by them, you're forcing the relationship.
This dynamic will not help your partner feel beautiful, nor will it help you feel good about your sex life. Do you really want to find love, if it means never having sex again? If that's not what you want to happen, then stop forcing the relationship.
If you're honest, you're only with your partner for an ulterior motive.
A lot of people will date someone only because they can provide something they don't feel they can get on their own, such as money, a house, status, approval, or even a kid. Make no mistake, if you're doing this and aren't even attracted to your partner, you're forcing it.
There's no reason to read an article titled "Are You Forcing a Relationship" if this is why you're with someone. You know you're not into your partner — so why even ask?