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25 Signs You Are Forcing A Relationship

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There’s something wrong with your relationship.

Maybe it’s as loud and clear as your fights, or maybe it’s the silent absence of something that you know should be there.

Whatever is wrong, you’re not listening to it.

Instead, you are making your partner love you, or making yourself love your partner.

That’s not true love—it’s forced love.

The things is, no matter how hard you try to make it work, when you force a relationship, it’s doomed from the very beginning.

What does forcing a relationship mean?

Forcing a relationship means that you still want to be with this person, regardless of what your gut is telling you. You could be deeply unhappy with them, but you are determined to make things work for one reason or another.

You are trying to make yourself feel something for them in order to justify staying in the relationship.

“I’m just not feeling it,” or “It’s not you, it’s me,” aren’t just meaningless phrases people say to get away from a relationship with someone. Sometimes it really is about the feeling that’s missing or the chemistry between you, in the sense of something that you can’t impact, control, change or create, even though you want to and have even tried.

You can work on a relationship, but there’s a huge difference between working on something and trying to force something that you know can’t change.

Even if you genuinely care about each other, you might not be a good match. You want to be happy together, but you just aren’t.

There’s nothing you can do about it, but you continue to try. You are forcing it to happen because you refuse to accept that it can’t.

25 Signs Your Relationship Is Forced

If you’re not sure whether you are trying to force your relationship to work rather than experiencing true, healthy love, here are the signs to look out for.

And if you want the benefit of some expert guidance to help you figure out whether this relationship is right for you, and what to do instead of forcing it, try speaking to someone from for practical advice that is tailored to your exact circumstances.

1. You love the idea of a relationship, not the person.

Being alone can be scary, and you could be perfectly ready to settle down with The One. But are they The One, or do you just wish they were?

Maybe you are lonely, and you were hoping to get into a relationship for a long time. You love the idea of a relationship, but do you love the person that you’re in a relationship with? Would you be friends with them if the relationship wasn’t an option?

More importantly, would you still be in a relationship with them if it wasn’t convenient or if you had better options? If not, you probably just want a relationship, not the person in question.

2. You have to walk on eggshells around them.

Maybe there is chemistry, but not with you, at least not the real you.

You can’t be yourself around them, you have to censor yourself, or you overthink everything you say or do. You feel like you must walk on eggshells around them.

How long do you think you can stay with someone while being someone you’re not?

Would you sacrifice your entire identity for the sake of keeping this person in your life?

Don’t be with a person who stifles you, and don’t confuse what you’re feeling with real love.

3. You’re hoping they’ll change.

If you don’t love them the way they are now, you don’t love them, and you’re not going to love them if they change. You need to love the person, not the idea of someone that person could one day be.

Don’t be in a relationship where you’re hoping for your partner to turn into someone else.

The same goes for when you’re hoping that things are going to be different between you without any sign of that being a possibility. For instance, maybe you are perfectly fine with putting all your efforts into making the relationship work, but if your partner isn’t, it’s not going to turn into what you would like it to be.

4. You don’t make plans for your future together.

Where is your relationship going? If you know that you are going to break up, it’s better to break up sooner than later. And if you haven’t made plans for the future, you probably don’t intend to spend the future together.

Maybe it’s your partner who doesn’t want to make plans, maybe it’s you, or it’s both of you. In any case, no plans for the future means no future, and you know it.

Perhaps you think that you want to be with them, but you are always reluctant to talk about the future. That’s your gut telling you that you don’t want to stay with them, even if you are forcing yourself to want it.

5. You’re not excited about your future together.

Maybe you have made plans together, but you’re not excited to follow through with them.

It’s actually pretty simple—when you want to spend your life with someone, you’re excited about it. If it makes you feel uncomfortable, unsure, or worried, and leaves you questioning whether it’s the future you want, it’s probably not.

What do you feel when you imagine your wedding and starting a family with this person? If the thought of it causes you negative feelings instead of positive ones, or you simply feel nothing at all, you’re probably forcing the relationship.

You should look forward to spending your future with the person you’re with, and if you don’t, you’re missing out on a lot.

6. You are constantly fighting.

Maybe you have strong chemistry and intense feelings for each other, but you constantly fight. You are passionate about each other, but that passion is not always expressed through affection, but through anger too.

Maybe you’re too different, or you don’t know how to communicate well. Either way, you can’t make it work.

Staying together would just make you both miserable since you simply can’t get along. Even if you do love each other, you are forcing a relationship that shows no signs of improvement.

You can work on a relationship, but you shouldn’t stick to it when there’s no sign of progress in sight. Fights happen in all relationships, but constantly fighting is something else, especially if you can’t resolve conflicts.

7. You can’t resolve conflicts.

Some couples can fight frequently but still manage to resolve conflicts with ease. You argue regularly, but you quickly recover from them. While this is not the ideal case either, it’s better than not being able to resolve conflicts.

But is this what your relationship is like? Probably not.

Do you think that every fight could end your relationship? Do you struggle to communicate efficiently? Do you care more about being right than about your relationship? Do you listen to each other when you argue or just scream at each other?

All couples argue sometimes, but it’s how you argue that makes all the difference. If you can’t resolve conflicts and recover from them, your relationship is going nowhere.

While you can work on your conflict resolution skills, if you’re simply not compatible, it’s not going to do much for your relationship.

8. You enjoy spending time apart from each other more than spending it together.

Obviously, you should enjoy spending time with your partner if you really love them. But what if you enjoy spending time away from them more? Or maybe they prioritize time away from you instead.

Either way, the relationship feels forced if you’d prefer not to be around them too much.

Maybe sometimes you make excuses just to be away from your partner, or you make plans with others so that you don’t have to spend time with them.

Do you feel relieved when you get away from them and look forward to being alone? This is a big flashing sign that they’re not The One.

9. You wouldn’t care too much if the relationship were to end.

Would you care if they broke up with you? Would you cry for them and miss them? Or would you feel relief? Or would it not even register on your emotional scale?

If you don’t care if the relationship ends, then in all honesty, you should be the one to end it. Now.

Your partner clearly doesn’t mean that much to you, even if you wish they did. When you’re not afraid of losing someone, you’re not really that interested in keeping them around.

Maybe you’ve broken up with them in your head, but you’re just afraid to do it for real. Don’t be. It’s much better to be honest with them and give them a chance to find someone new than to string them along when you know that you don’t want to be with them.

10. You fake affection in public.

Maybe you are a very affectionate couple in public, but is it the same affection that you have in private, or are you faking it?

Some people are into public displays of affection, and some are not. Both are fine.

But the level of affection you show in public shouldn’t be above the one you show in private. If it is, it could indicate that you’re trying to prove something that you don’t really feel.

Maybe you’re doing it to be seen as a better couple than you actually are. You’re unconsciously trying to fool other people, your partner, or even yourself.

11. You are thinking about other potential partners.

Are you considering your options while you’re still in a relationship?

Maybe you don’t want to cheat on your partner, but you do think that there’s someone better for you out there, and you are tempted to find them.

You should. But end your relationship first.

Sure, sometimes people in loving relationships think about other people, after all, they’re only human.

However, if you think that there’s something missing in your relationship that you could have with someone else, you might be trying to force the relationship to work just because it is familiar and safe, not because you actually want to be with your partner.

12. You don’t trust each other.

You shouldn’t be with someone you don’t trust. Maybe your partner lied to you, or you betrayed them. Maybe nothing happened, but you just can’t bring yourselves to trust each other.

You question their loyalty, you don’t trust their words, and/or you don’t value their insights and opinions.

Maybe it’s the other way around, and they don’t believe that you’re honest with them.

Either way, your relationship can’t work without trust, and you might be forcing it to. You can’t feel safe with them if you don’t have trust, and feeling unsafe in a relationship is a clear sign it isn’t meant to be.

We’re roughly half way through the list. Do you have a better idea whether you are trying to force an unhealthy or incompatible relationship to work yet? If not, don’t forget that personalized guidance from one of the exerts at Relationship Hero is available to you should you wish to get more clarity on your thoughts and feelings.

13. The spark is long gone.

Sometimes, the spark is just not there. It’s long gone, or it never was there to begin with. You can try to rekindle the passion and get the spark back, but sometimes, it’s gone for good.

You don’t feel the attraction that you should be feeling, even if you want to. Maybe you’re incompatible or aren’t a good enough match to have chemistry. Without the spark, you’re not partners, you’re just friends.

You should keep in mind that you can’t expect the same initial fireworks once you have been together for a long time. However, you shouldn’t have a feeling that something important is missing. Do you really have feelings for them or are you forcing yourself to have them?

14. You fake interest, or they do.

Are you really interested, or are you faking it? Maybe you’re sensing that they’re faking interest instead. Either way, you’re most likely not just lying to each other, you’re lying to yourself.

You’re pretending that you’re interested in their interests and hobbies while, in reality, you couldn’t care less. Or, you are pretending not to care about your own interest and hobbies because they don’t care about them.

In both situations, it indicates that the spark is just not there. You are probably very different when it comes to these things, and while you don’t have to be the same, you should care about things that matter to your partner—don’t fake it.

15. You’re not good friends.

Maybe you’re lovers, but you’re not friends, and you’re supposed to be both.

Don’t confuse physical chemistry for the spark. The spark includes laughing together, joking around, and enjoying doing unromantic things together too.

Couples who are friends know how to act silly and make boring things such as running errands much more enjoyable. They genuinely enjoy spending quality time together and sharing a life.

This is the kind of chemistry that can withstand the test of time, and if you’re looking for The One, they need to be your friend forever, especially when things get boring or tough.

People sometimes force a relationship because of great sexual chemistry, but this is not enough to make a relationship work. The real spark is in your everyday life, not just in the bedroom.

16. Your love is an addiction.

Maybe you started reading this article and thought, “What? I’m making myself love my partner? No, I’m crazy about them!”

But how “crazy” are you? There’s a quick spark that people often confuse for real love. Perhaps you are addicted to this person and are always chasing the pleasure that you gain from that addiction.

While love can feel addictive, it has to include trust, commitment, and respect for it to be a lasting spark, instead of something unattainable and unhealthy.

It’s also important to feel safe in a relationship for it to have real potential. If your love feels more like an addiction, it’s not love in the healthy sense of the word.

17. You feel unsafe or uncomfortable.

When you’re addicted to someone, you feel uncomfortable when you’re without them. Maybe you also feel unsafe because you can’t trust them and worry that the relationship will end.

If being with them makes you feel unsafe or uncomfortable for any reason, it’s probably not a relationship that you really want to or should be in.

For instance, maybe you are staying in a relationship with an abusive partner or someone who doesn’t want to fully commit to you. Feeling uncomfortable with your partner should happen very rarely in a healthy long-term relationship, and feeling unsafe never should.

18. It’s difficult to love each other.

You want to love them, but it’s difficult. Maybe you have a lot of problems in your relationship, you’re too different, or they’re not really your type.

Of course, you shouldn’t give up on a relationship when things get difficult, but is it hard to love the person you’re with? Do you really love them, or do you just wish you could?

Maybe you think that they are amazing. They look good, they have a great personality and treat you nice. But you’re just not feeling it. It’s not them, and it’s not you either, it’s the way you connect, or, to be more precise, don’t connect.

Maybe, instead, they’re making it difficult for you to love them because they have a difficult or even problematic personality. Could you be with them forever if things never change a bit? Would you want to? Don’t force a relationship because you hope for them to change one day.

19. You don’t agree on the important things.

A lasting spark often comes from shared goals and values, a similar sense of humor, and a connection that leads to intimacy, not just sex. Most importantly, it doesn’t feel forced.

When you don’t agree on the important things, you might feel like you’re having to really push something that shouldn’t be that difficult. You need to be on the same page for things to work out, and if you’re not compatible enough, no amount of effort will make up for it.

You don’t have to be exactly the same, but you should be able to agree on the important things.

For instance, maybe you don’t want kids while your partner is ready and eager to start a family. If your goals are too different, your plans for the future will differ too, and that’s when you probably shouldn’t force a future together.

20. You only love them sometimes.

Maybe you love them when you are on a romantic date, but you don’t love them when you’re drinking morning coffee the next day.

Perhaps you love them when you’re attending family gatherings, but you don’t love them when you’re with your friends.

Love is not something that you can occasionally feel toward someone due to external factors. It’s a feeling that’s supposed to come from within and last with consistency.

It’s not always easy and convenient to love them, but you love them, nonetheless. Anything other than that is not the real love that you want and deserve to have in your life.

So, don’t force it by putting yourself in situations where you could get yourself to imagine that you love them.

21. You are forcing yourself to love them.

When it’s the real deal, you just know. You can’t really explain it or pinpoint what exactly is causing it, but it’s there.

And when it’s not there, you know too. Maybe you can’t put your finger on it, but you feel that something important is missing.

You don’t feel the love that you know you can feel. You’re fond of them and want it to work, but you can’t make yourself fall in love with them.

Don’t force yourself to love them if you’re not feeling it. There doesn’t need to be a specific reason for your lack of affection. It’s not always about who they are or who you are, it’s about who you are as a match, and you’re probably not a good one.

22. You are forcing them to love you.

Maybe you love them with all of your heart, but you know that they don’t feel the same way about you.

Still, you want them so badly that you’re forcing them to love you and stay with you. If they expressed the wish to end the relationship or don’t want to commit to you, you should definitely let them go.

You can’t force a person to love you or to be in a relationship with you. Even if you succeed in making them stick around, it won’t be good for you and your partner. You won’t be able to have a healthy relationship.

Why would you even want one with someone who can’t reciprocate your feelings? You should be with someone who loves you just as much as you love them.

23. You know that it’s over, but you don’t want to accept it.

Whether you’re forcing it or they are, you know that it’s over.

Maybe you broke up with them in your head, or you’re aware that they want to end things with you. Still, you can’t accept it, and you’re still clinging to the relationship.

Maybe you’re afraid of losing them or of being single again. But those are not good enough reasons to stay in a relationship that’s already over.

Maybe you talked about the breakup, or you’re just sensing that it’s coming.

Perhaps you even know that it’s the right thing to do, you just keep postponing it in the hopes that something will change.

Breakups always hurt, but when you’re looking for The One, it’s much worse to stay in a relationship that is not meant to last.

24. You are afraid of leaving them.

You want to break up with them, but you are afraid of it. You don’t want to break their heart, you’re afraid of change, or you’re afraid of being alone.

In any case, fear is making you force a relationship that you actually want to get out of. You need to beat your fear and go after what you really want in life.

Perhaps you’re staying in the relationship out of guilt too, not just fear. Guilt is no more noble a reason, even if it seems that way.

If a future with them is not what you want, give both of you a chance to find someone you could have a future with. Don’t stick to a relationship out of fear.

25. You know that you’re forcing something that isn’t meant to be.

In truth, we most often know when we’re forcing a relationship. We might not like to admit it, even to ourselves, but we know.

Think about your relationship. What is your gut telling you? Are they The One? Are you willing to invest time, effort, and energy into making it work with them? Can it work? Most importantly, do you really love each other?

Working on a relationship is worth it when you’re both in it together, and when there’s a possibility that you could have the relationship you want. But is this the person that you want a lifelong relationship with?

Would you have to sacrifice your identity or plans for the future, change, or make them change for it to work? Is this your soulmate?

Don’t settle for what you have if it’s not what you want.

Still not sure whether you are forcing your relationship? It’s not an easy situation to be in, and it might be all the more difficult if you don’t have anyone to talk to about it. Talking to someone is a great way to get your thoughts and your worries out of your head so you can work through them.

Speak to an experienced relationship expert about it. Why? Because they are trained to help people in situations like yours. They can listen to you and help you work out if this relationship is right for you or if you’re ignoring the red flags and pushing forward with it anyway.

Relationship Hero is a website where you can connect with a relationship counselor via phone, video, or instant message.

While you can try to work through this situation yourself, it may be a bigger issue than self-help can fix. And if it is affecting your relationship and mental well-being, it is a significant thing that needs to be resolved.

Too many people try to muddle through and make relationships work when they aren’t even sure it’s what they want. If it’s at all possible in your circumstances, speaking to a relationship expert is 100% the best way forward.

Here’s that link again if you’d like to learn more about the service Relationship Hero provide and the process of getting started.

You’ve already taken the first step just by searching for and reading this article. The worst thing you can do right now is nothing. The best thing is to speak to an expert. The next best thing is to implement everything you’ve learned in this article by yourself. The choice is yours.

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About The Author

Ana Vakos enjoys writing about love and all the problems that come with it. Everyone has experiences with love, and everyone needs dating advice, so giving these topics more attention and spreading the word means a lot to her.