5 Signs You Were Never in Love


Matthews Otalike

“I will never regret you or say I wish I’d never met you. Because once upon a time you were exactly what I needed.” — Bob Marley

Colleen Murphy Jun 20· / colleenmurphydepaolo.medium.com

We think we know what it means to be in love.

But when a relationship ends, we tend to question what it was all about. Was it ever love? It is one of the hardest questions to answer. Being swept away in the chemical cocktail that is attraction can mask a whole host of problems.

No one outside a relationship can ever really understand what you feel being in it. That leaves each of us to individually sort out if we believe we are truly in love. But true love can be defined…most accurately by what it is not.

1. It Moved Too Fast

Infatuation is chemical. The beginning of a relationship overwhelms the senses. It feels like true love. You can think of nothing but that one person. You just don’t know enough to evaluate if you are in love. At this point, the entire relationship is based in fantasy. You just don’t have enough information yet. When there are holes in reality, it is your brilliant imagination fills in those blanks.

“Infatuation is not quite the same thing as love; it’s more like love’s shady second cousin who’s always borrowing money and can’t hold down a job.”

-Elizabeth Gilbert

The beginning of a relationship is an illusion. You need time to know if it is love. In love, we expose our true selves. We need to let the mask fall. Love appears when we shatter the illusion of perfection. And that just can’t happen in a matter of weeks. It takes time.

The Image Of Two People In Love At Sunset Stock Photo, Picture And Royalty  Free Image. Image 9038335.

2. It Seemed So Perfect

The fantasy version of love thrives on a vision of perfection. Somehow, you think you found your soulmate. But as the relationship moves forward, you find yourself wishing your partner was…somehow better. You may wish they dressed differently, talked differently, pursued different goals. It all adds up to one fact..they are not your person. You are not really in love with this person, just an idea of who you wanted them to be.

“I always find beauty in things that are odd and imperfect — they are much more interesting.”

-Marc Jacobs

Being in love means you find those imperfections endearing. You love the great stuff and you love the weird stuff. You just like this person. They intrigue you. Their flaws don’t drive you crazy, they make you smile.

3. It Wasn’t Relaxing

You can only experience love when you can show up as yourself. If a relationship require you to hide parts of yourself, to edit what you share then it isn’t really love. Connection with another person is born of trust. When we are vulnerable enough to show our true selves and our partner isn’t interested, that motivation is destroyed. The next time you think of opening up, you just don’t. And that is the beginning of the end.

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“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”

Brené Brown

Relationships based in superficially and polite conversation aren’t love. If you find yourself always floating on the surface with your partner, then you haven’t really found the depth that is true connection.

4. It Felt Distanced

The beginning of a relationship always feels passionate. If things are progressing into a real lasting love, that passion transforms into something cooler but deeply connected. How do you feel when you see your partner? It is excitement to share your latest passion? Are you so excited to be together again? Or do you find yourself creating distance, discovering new ways to escape the potential conversations.

“True love, to me, is when she’s the first thought that goes through your head when you wake up and the last thought that goes through your head before you go to sleep.”

-Justin Timberlake

It’s not love if you aren’t excited. True connection with another person is motivating, not demoralizing. You can feel it in your body. You can’t help but think about your person. You find yourself smiling. You catch yourself being happy for no reason. Life isn’t perfect and neither is your partner. But in love, you will be happy and connected most of the time.

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5. It Felt Anxious

Your body reacts to the reality of any situation long before your mind catches up. Bad relationships are exhausting at a minimum. Our minds can rationalize why we feel angry. Work sucks right now. We can make excuses for why we can’t sleep. I had too much coffee. I am just stressed. But your body makes no such excuses. It just reacts. And it won’t comply with your excuses.

“As long as we feel safely held in the hearts and minds of the people who love us, we will climb mountains and cross deserts and stay up all night to finish projects.”
Bessel A. van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score

When something just feels wrong, we tend to rationalize. But the fact is that love isn’t one of those things. Being deeply loved and appreciated in a relationship smoothes over the roughest edges of life. Partnership and supportiveness give us a feeling of connection. You don’t feel bad when you are in love.

By stepping out of the fantasy version of a relationship, we step into true vulnerability. And in that moment, we are alone.

There is no facade to uphold. No perfect social media post to make us look connected. No fake relationship to hold. But the day we can let go of the fantasy is the one where our new life begins.

After all, what did we lose if it wasn’t really love?

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